Lunch Logistics

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When to Eat?

It's helpful if each trip sets a framework for when to eat lunch before the start of the trip. This way, there’s no confusion on day one about when the group is going to stop for lunch.

Some groups will be very flexible about when to eat lunch. It'll happen somewhere sometime. This is fine, as long as all folks on the river trip have snacks available to keep energy levels and electrolytes up.

Other groups will stop sometime between 11:30AM and noon, no matter where they are, and make lunch. This ensures that folks who are hungry get fed. The thinking here is that energy and electrolyte levels stay up.

Either way, the lead boat should have an idea about when and where to stop for lunch. Anyone who passes the lead boat around noon without communicating with them might just pass up lunch. This is not a good idea.

Sometimes a large trip will have a small dedicated lunch cooler which may not have any ice in it just has the food packed there each morning for that day's lunch or there is easy access to a regular ice-filled cooler. Some trips keep a lunch bucket with its own cutting board (there are thin flexible ones that fit a round bucket); and its own can opener,knives, forks etc for cutting and serving. Just remember to wash and repack each evening.

Some folks always make lunch on a boat others prefer to take a roll top table up to a shady spot on a beach and prepare it there.

On the Water Lunch?

Sure, why not. If you are in a calm section of water, like, say, just below 202.3 Mile riffle, you can gang the boats together and serve up lunch before you get to 205 Mile Rapid. This lunch should be an easy one, like bread, cheese, lunch meats and condiments, and fruit.

What about a Hiking Lunch?

If you are doing a long hike from a camp where you are making breakfast, lay out lunch for the hikers. You'll need some simple lunch baggies to put lunch into. This lunch should be an easy one, like bread, cheese, lunch meats and condiments, and fruit.

What about a Siesta?

Some groups, especially in the summer heat, may take a 30 to 45 minute siesta after lunch to aid digestion, especially if there's some shade nearby.

On a cold day? In winter, it's worth having some cans of soup or chile accessible or hot drinks to warm up your passengers. Access to a pot, stove or blaster, propane should be thought out at loading time. Small trips may get away with filling thermoses at breakfast.

What to eat?

  • One standard meal is cold cuts.

Each person can make their own from a table spread with bread, mustard/mayo, cheese, cold meats, sliced tomatoes, lettuce, red onion, avocados, cucumbers, sliced oranges and apples and cookies. It requires access to a cooler.


  • Another meal type has a bowl of food mixed up at lunch time to serve in pita bread or tortillas.

Possible mixes are: -tuna salad - cans of tuna, sliced onion or celery, apple and mayo and lemon juice. -Cheese/pimiento - 1 can of pimientos per each packet of grated cheese.

You can add a big bowl to your lunch utensils for these or if it's a small group, mix it in a clean ziplock bag, close it and cut off one bottom corner so you can squeeze it directly onto bread with a minimum of mess.


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