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GORP Calculator


taysel
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Hey all,

I am trying to determine if homemade GORP will be cheaper than store-bought GORP. I priced out trail mixes and ingredients but I am having trouble setting up a calculator to convert the prices if have in pounds into a serving (quarter cup) of trail mix, then compare that to the price per pound of store-bought trail mix. Does anyone already have this set up in Excel or have any suggestions?

Thanks!

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You can make it easier on yourself by dealing with only one unit of measure. Since you're primarily focused on cost per unit of weight, deal only with weight. Volume and serving size is irrelevant at this point. Sticking with your one unit (weight), you need to come up with a recipe for the homemade mixture that is a ratio in units of weight. For example, just throwing out random numbers, 8 oz of peanuts, 4 oz of M&Ms, 4 oz of raisens, or 8:4:4. Conveniently enough, that adds up to 16oz, which is one pound. Lets say your cheapest store GORP is $16 per lb. Convert that to $1 per oz. Lets say peanuts are $.50 per ounce, M&Ms are $1 per ounce and raisens are $.75 per ounce. Thus, 8 x $.50 = $4, 4 x $1 = $4, 4 x $.75 = $3. Then, $4 + $4 + $3 = $11/lb. Assuming you were to be intent on sticking with the 8:4:4 recipe it would not make sense from a cost standpoint to buy the ingredients in any means other than a bulk bin format where you have control over the exact measure of weight of each ingredient that you purchase, other wise you'd likely have a quantity of one or more ingredients leftover which, even though you don't have to include it in your cost per weight analysis, is nonetheless a real expenditure.

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You'll almost always save money by making it yourself.

That said, you're looking at three things here: cal/$, cal/lb, and carb/protein/fat balance. Pure calories, i.e. pasta, rice, or generic pop-tarts, sell for over 1000 cal/$. Weight-wise, carbs and protein are 4 cal/g (1800 cal/lb), while fats are 9 cal/g (4000 cal/lb), and water is 0 cal/g.

Carbs are quickest to digest, while the others are slower. You need roughly 100 cal/mi. If you're running, most of that will need to be carbs; otherwise, you can add a lot more fat to save weight. For backpacking, it's cheapest and lightest to carry a bottle of oil, and pour it into everything you cook.

Standard GORP (peanuts, raisins, chocolate candy) is pretty good in the right proportions. Nuts are protein and fat, fruit is carbs, and chocolate is fat and carbs. Maximize the amount of fat you carry while also carrying the necessary amount of quickly-digestible carbs (90% for running, maybe >=50% for hiking). Protein will take care of itself. Store-bought trail mix is usually at least half fat, and more expensive than the mix you want. Generic pop-tarts plus salted nuts are a cheap, easy, and more carb-heavy solution.

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