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geowizard
14:32:29 Fri
Aug 7 2009

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Grubstaking anyone?


Grubstaking usually refers to the cost of mining. Although there are many different costs, the cost of grub is one that is not often the subject of discussion.

One of the first physiological things that happens to every intrepid prospector/miner after the euphoria of being in the middle of gold country with a pan full of nuggets is hunger!

Planning ahead of time helps a lot. What foods do YOU plan on having at your mining camp?

What are the economics of costing out the food required to execute a prospecting or mining expedition?

In preparation for a two person, two week stay at the Madison Creek Mine, here's what I did. First, I took time while in McGrath to visit the Northern Commercial Store and check the cost of a variety of food items. A 12 pack of tuna is $25.00. A can of spam or chunky beef soup is $4.00 to $5.00.

After returning to AZ, I visited the nearby Walmart and did some comparison shopping. Then I picked up a few Flat Rate Priority Boxes and determined how much food could be crammed into one box.

Canned chunky beef soup, here, is $1.98, you can pack 15 cans in a box and mail it for $13.95.

Savings is $2.00 per can x 15 cans = $30.00, less the $14.00 to ship is $16.00 per box. I shipped 10 boxes, 160 pounds of food yesterday and they will arrive in McGrath on Monday or Tuesday. Total savings is $160.00.

No, it's not ALL canned chunky beef soup! There's gourmet coffee, canned fruits and veggies. There's corn beef hash and instant oatmeal packets. There's blueberry pancake mix, Maple syrup. There's fixin's for "goulash", chicken pasta and beef pasta dishes. Clam Chowder soups, Pink Salmon, Indulgence trail mix, to name a few.

Any ideas on what to add? :confused:

  
Ghoti
15:09:18 Fri
Aug 7 2009

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Re: Grubstaking anyone?

Much of what you listed can be bought early and stocked up in preparation to go. Most if not all items listed go on sale and if you have already laid out a menu plan and have the amounts needed listed you can save even more. With what you save on shipping your food there you can afford to work in some of what may have been cost prohibative items (cheese, eggs. steak, etc)

  
gpg
15:10:30 Fri
Aug 7 2009

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Re: Grubstaking anyone?

From AZ. Lots of dried red chilis. Light, last forever, lots of vitamins. Fire is good in Alaska, no? Hatch is selling right now.

  
Walt_Anchorage
15:56:31 Fri
Aug 7 2009

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Re: Grubstaking anyone?

In Alaska we have a feature the Postal Service calls "By pass mail" that allows you to send bulk packages at a much lower cost than normal mail or even the flat rate boxes. That's how many village residents get their groceries and many of the other things they need. It may be something that could save you money in the future.

...and don't forget to take the sourdough starter.

And one more thing. Lots of bug dope. Maxideet is the best. It's 100% deet. Anything less is just an appetizer for the skeeters.:duuuh:
[2 edits; Last edit by Walt_Anchorage at 17:55:07 Fri Aug 7 2009]



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Brian_Berkhahn
19:54:48 Fri
Aug 7 2009

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Re: Grubstaking anyone?

For items that you plan to store you may want to also pick up some plast containers with screw on lids to store your items in.. box's won't work. Mice/Shrews will eat through them real fast, I learned that the hard way.

You said you priced food in McGrath vs. Arizona.. Yes McGrath is going to have outrageous prices on food but Anchorage is okay.. granted it's still higher in price then Arizona but if you add that freight into the cost of the price which would be cheaper?

You may also want to pick up a couple head nets, the 100% deet doesn't effect the redflies, whitesox and no see ums.. seems it's just flavoring for them.

Brian

  
Walt_Anchorage
20:44:46 Fri
Aug 7 2009

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Re: Grubstaking anyone?

With all that food don't forget the TP. Leaves can be hell on the hemorrhoids. One other nonfood item that always seems to come in handy in Alaska is a blue tarp. I never leave home without it.

If you're bringing a firearm check on the availability of ammunition there if you need it. I went looking for ammo for my .44 pistol today here in Anchorage and they did not have any in stock at several places I checked. They were low or out of just about everything for pistols and rifle ammunition was getting scarce as well.



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rlh1946
21:02:08 Fri
Aug 7 2009

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Re: Grubstaking anyone?

same on the ammo down here in Calif. short supply and I bought a box of 20 270rifle 4 times what it was a few yrs back, back to reloading I guess. Even reloading supplies are hard to find an cost are way up.

  
BobAK
22:31:45 Fri
Aug 7 2009

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Re: Grubstaking anyone?

Walt, I disagree with the blue tarp. I like brown, green or camo, way less visible, Bob

  
MarshallAk
22:38:04 Fri
Aug 7 2009

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Re: Reloading Supplies

Quote: rlh1946 at 21:02:08 Fri Aug 7 2009

same on the ammo down here in Calif. short supply and I bought a box of 20 270rifle 4 times what it was a few yrs back, back to reloading I guess. Even reloading supplies are hard to find an cost are way up.



Reloading supplies are downright scarce up here in Alaska as well...getting very hard to find decent stuff. Long gone are the days when you could buy a pound of powder for less than $10. Shelves are bare at Sportsmans Warehouse/Anchorage of most powders, bullets, primers. Some of the gun shops have a small stash...but prices are way up. I've started casting my own bullets...

Once in Alaska, try "Alaskas List" for local reloading supplies. (like Craigs List, only they allow guns, bullets, powder, primers, etc)...

Good luck!
Marshall
[2 edits; Last edit by MarshallAk at 22:40:28 Fri Aug 7 2009]

  
Brian_Berkhahn
23:28:29 Fri
Aug 7 2009

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Re: Grubstaking anyone?

Hey Geowizard,
Don't know about rubbing bear scat on ya to go keep the flies away.. I know if you don't take a shower for a few days they bother you even less.
I heard on the TV (always gotta be true) that the best bug deterant is body odor, seems to work.

Ammo is getting scarce.. you know who to thank for that.

Marshall has a good story about bears, gas cans and a can of orange spray paint.. I wonder if anyone ever shot that sucker?

Brian

  
baub
15:44:18 Tue
Aug 11 2009

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Re: Grubstaking anyone?

Ok some more stuff.

T/bags, both traditional and other

jerky, several types

PLASTIC cups of puddings and fruits. Plastic burns and doesn't need to be buried or carried out . Some have gel encapsulated fruits.

1st use for toilet paper might be as a filter, water, coffee etc, use several layers and dry for the second use, or not.

small canned ham. Use can for whatever later

I like angel hair pasta because it cooks quick and requires less fuel.

PRESCRIPTION drugs, Tums, antibiotics, small first aid kit, spices, duct tape for splints, sunscreen, Ibuprofen or equivalent.

water purifier

treats

leatherman tool. small tool kit, good brand a duct tape,
razor knife, tywraps, cord, micro fishing kit, tweezers, 20 feet or so of electrical wire,

backpack or vest to carry things handy. Orange mebbe ?

waterproof matches, couple a flares. Same reasons

mirror, breakproof. Magnifying glass. Micronta style microscope, binocs

hand axe, another small knife, spare tent pegs, 2 spare bullets, in case the intruder brought friends, lol.

Small roll of reflectix insulation for making a ground sheet or sleeping bag addition etc. Some thing to sew it with. Duct tape ?

Did I mention duct tape ??

b

  
overtheedge
18:13:52 Tue
Aug 11 2009

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Re: Grubstaking anyone?

pilot bread
peanut butter
jam

Just cause sometimes you don't wanna cook.

I like candles for starting a fire when things are a bit damp.

  
NeilAK
20:50:02 Tue
Aug 11 2009

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Re: Grubstaking anyone?

Does Mr. Magnuson know you are heading out there?


  
baub
23:38:13 Wed
Aug 12 2009

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Re: Grubstaking anyone?

Aluminum foil for cooking, reflecting heat, wire and fuses.

smallcord for many things. I use it to hang my rolls of ta da, duct tape, high in the tree so bears don't steal it.

To make wire :
Use cord for the inner strength and length, wrap it with alum foil for the conductor and use tape for outer wrap. Some tape is conductive tho.

small container of beach, wet or dry, for water purifying, wounds, etc. Plastic container may be best.

Good luck Geo !

b

  
baub
02:44:03 Thu
Aug 13 2009

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Re: Grubstaking anyone?

Thanks for the water filter idea, Geo. I will check it out. I've heard some horrors stories about giardia. Brrr.

One mo thing. Heat retention. You may not have any problems this time o year, but if you go to the higher country, it could be a problem. I've used large black, plastic garbage bags as rainsuits and heat collectors.
They come in rolls, handy.

b

  
eklawok
04:02:09 Thu
Aug 13 2009

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Re: Grubstaking anyone?

Hey!?!?!? WHAT ABOUT BEER? It's not only for getting drunk on ya know. There is a reason that it is called "liquid bread". Good quality, unfilterd beer (the stuff with the yeast at the bottom of the bottle) has lots of good stuff in it. Lots of calories, vitamins, and minerals. And you can make it for cheap too. 6 lbs of malt extract will yeild 5 gallons of liquid gold. And since you have to boil the water to make beer, it's safer than drinking the water. Imagine that!

  
Walt_Anchorage
04:47:50 Thu
Aug 13 2009

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Re: Grubstaking anyone?

And beer makes friends too. Offer some to your neighbors and see how willing they are to help with whatever you need done.



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swiftcreekmine.com
 
 
Walt_Anchorage
17:15:21 Thu
Aug 13 2009

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Re: Grubstaking anyone?

Baby wipes are nice to have. When you don't get a shower for extended periods they are a good substitute.

Also the Spot Locater I borrowed from BobAK seems to be working here in remote Alaska. I've been sending OK messages daily. It could come in real handy in case of an emergency. If you haven't seen them go to: http://www.findmespot.com/en/



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rubyalaska.info
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swiftcreekmine.com
 
 
rlh1946
17:28:24 Thu
Aug 13 2009

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Re: Grubstaking anyone?

Quote: geowizard at 14:55:12 Thu Aug 13 2009


Now you're getting on to one of MY favorite subjects!

No grubstake would be complete without a beer or two. Many old timers kept a flask with instant refreshment inside. The old liquor bottles were curved so they fit right inside the back pocket of your pants. Whether you strike it rich or not, you can always celebrate!

A few years ago, I got curious about making some home brew. I lived near a feed store and they had high quality horse feed in 50 pound sacks. The horse feed had rolled oats, corn, barley, molasses and 50 other things that sounded like good ingredients. I picked up five, five gallon buckets added a heaping 4 ounce spoon of yeast, a cup of sugar, and filled each bucket with horse feed and warm water.

Made my garage smell like a brewery! :confused:

<>
was it any good?

  

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