Trek'n Eat freeze dried is the latest brand to partner up with GSC
Monday, March 15, 2021 8:25 AM
One of the challenges that Skippers in the Global Solo Challenge will face is the weight management of all the supplies, sails, tools, water and fuel that they will have to carry to attempt a non-stop solo circumnavigation by the three great capes.
We all know the old adagio that we should drink 2 litres of water a day. Few know that this has turned over time into one clever motto adopted by the bottled water industry to increase sales. The amount of 2 litres was originally referred to in a 1950s study as the daily consumption of liquids by an adult, which however took into account also all the liquids naturally contained in food. The study did not indicate we had to “drink” 2 litres of water, simply that our daily intake of fluids should be of 2 litres, which is a rather different proposition.
When preparing provisions for a circumnavigation, considering the various climates we will sail through and perspiration during manoeuvres the general recommendation is to base our calculation on an average of 3 litres per day, which is likely to be, on average, on the safe side. This water can either be carried as fresh water and / or be partially contained in our provisions. Either way, it is clear that the weight of our food and liquids will soon add up and even become a cause of concern for the trim and balance of a small boat together with everything else that needs to be taken along.
There are two ways to address this, one is indeed to reduce the amount of fresh water carried, integrating our emergency water supply and day to day reserve with a watermaker.
For this reason one partnership that the GSC Organisers were proud to announce was that with Katadyn Group which produces the lightest electric-powered watermaker on the Market, the Katadyn PoweSurvivor 40E. For a small boat this will almost inevitably be a must-have item, Vendée Globe boats carry two units each. Only large boats could in theory do without a watermaker and carry enough water without affecting trim or performance.
The second way to address provisions weight is to extract all the water that is naturally contained in food. As part of our provisioning we can add dried foods, which are excellent, as well as seeds, although many dried foods have lengthy cooking times and / or require overnight soaking. A light weight option for a quick meal is also provided by instant noodles which can be bought for a few cents a packet. However, a single serving of instant noodles is high in carbohydrates, salt, and fat, but low in protein, fibre, vitamins and essential minerals. What's the alternative then?
What is freeze drying food?
Freeze-drying is a technical drying process that takes advantage of water‘s unique physical characteristics. Frozen water transforms directly from a solid state into gas (sublimation) in a vacuum chamber. Freeze-dried meals are made by instantly freezing foods and then drying them in a vacuum chamber.
With this method, water in foods does not melt, but can escape as steam. All that is required to prepare them is boiling water. Their light weight, simple preparation and stove fuel savings makes freeze-dried foods the meal of choice for mountain climbers, trekkers, long distance sailors and those on expeditions.
Today, these kinds of foods are quickly becoming a part of all outdoor activities. The most important advantages are:
Long shelf-life (3 years)
Stove fuel saving
Trek'n Eat meals are based on a value of around 600 calories per package to cover the variable energy consumption during different days. Trek'n Eat meals are available in waterproof resealable standing pouches and are quick and easy to prepare.
Freeze-dried foods are used around the world by expeditions, sailing voyages and outdoor activities.
Event Director Marco Nannini commented: “On the smaller boats carrying pans and pots or pressure cookers will be impracticable, the cooking time of many healthier dried foods is an issue and freeze dried food becomes an integral part of our daily diet, especially on a voyage were we have a watermaker and we can spare ourselves from carrying any unnecessary water contained in food and which we have to lift for stacking at every tack. During my round the world trip all we could do was boil water, no pots, no pans, I mixed a combination of freeze dried meals, vacuum packed porridge and occasional cheap noodles, although with these I ended up getting sick of their taste of glutamate. Freeze dried meals where the highlight of the day and I am glad we could arrange a discount for GSC competitors with Trek'n Eat”.