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Why don't you integrate some webbing and pouches to supplement your pack? Keep some essential items i.e a canteen, knife, fire starters, IFA ...on the rig and more food in the pack. It will also help with weight distribution if done right. Also, by spreading things out if you ever loose your pack you can still carry on with what you have on you.

Godspeed
Look for some kind of load bearing vest you can wear under your pack. I use a military FLC vest covered with MOLLE (because it’s covered with MOLLE) but there’s probably some that are more low profile. It helps a lot with weight distribution. And if you hang the stuff you need all the time on the front of your vest, you don’t have to take your pack off to get to it. Keep the really important stuff on your vest, so if you lose your pack, or you have to run away and you don’t have your pack on at that moment, you’re not totally up the creek.

Buy lifeboat rations. That’s the only food I have in my pack. Loaded with calories, designed to be stored in poor conditions. They come in a tight square cube shape, you can get a lot of them in your pack. They taste like lemon flavored sawdust, but ...
 

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Yes, I’m concerned about that too, fortunately the area is big cattle country, the ranchers set up watering stations for their herds, so I packed a LifeStraw in the bag. And also a good stretch of the route runs parallel to the California aqua duct. Most of these “mountains” are more like big hills anyway.
You ought to get a good map, that shows where the cattle watering holes are, or wherever else there’s water. Water is top dog. Much more than food.
 

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in this case, water is an even bigger concern than i previously thought, because you're going to be so high off the water table you might struggle to find natural sources, depending on the weather and time of year.
Sorry, after this I’ll shut up. If it was me, I’d figure out how much water to take, and build everything else around that. A day and a half, two days with no water, and none of your other stuff is gonna matter. Because you’re gonna dump it and try to find something to drink.
 

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Mountains in the winter is just as bad as mountains in the summer. Worse due to no snow to eat/drink and the extreme sun/heat on summer days.
 

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Due to my current living conditions my prepping is essentially limited to a Bug Out Bag, at current, the bag contains three complete MRE’s and several loose entrees with the chemical heater packs, I’ve also included a few packets of instant oatmeal. I estimate that i have enough food to last approximately 1 1/2 weeks if I ration it out. This might seem excessive, but I felt that it was justified because my work has taken me away from home for at least the rest of this year. In case of some extreme circumstances that would require me to bug out and try to get home, my SUV could do it in two hours, however if I were forced to do it on foot for whatever reason, then I expect that it would take at least ten days, hence the excessive food preps. The bag is not overly heavy, even when my water bottles are full, I would guess that it weighs approximately twenty pounds. It is quite manageable ( for at least three miles). But it’s starting to bulge and there is absolutely no space left for anything else. So what does everyone think, is it too much? If it is , what can be done besides getting a bigger pack?
It's not too much if you are able to effectively walk a few miles with it. Take your BOB out on a 2-5 mile hike and that will be the greatest indicator if your bag has too much stuff in it or not.
 

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ever heard of first strike rations? cuts down on the bulk 3 meals plus snack in each less calories. no heaters but lighter and less bulk.
 

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Due to my current living conditions my prepping is essentially limited to a Bug Out Bag, at current, the bag contains three complete MRE’s and several loose entrees with the chemical heater packs, I’ve also included a few packets of instant oatmeal. I estimate that i have enough food to last approximately 1 1/2 weeks if I ration it out. This might seem excessive, but I felt that it was justified because my work has taken me away from home for at least the rest of this year. In case of some extreme circumstances that would require me to bug out and try to get home, my SUV could do it in two hours, however if I were forced to do it on foot for whatever reason, then I expect that it would take at least ten days, hence the excessive food preps. The bag is not overly heavy, even when my water bottles are full, I would guess that it weighs approximately twenty pounds. It is quite manageable ( for at least three miles). But it’s starting to bulge and there is absolutely no space left for anything else. So what does everyone think, is it too much? If it is , what can be done besides getting a bigger pack?
So assuming that you are potentially crossing 120-150 miles of Cali mountains let me put forth a couple of things.
You do 10 miles the first day, 8-9 the second and so on. Most people unless they are seriously conditioned will be down into the single digits within a couple of days. Especially when the rations aren’t keeping up with the calories burned.

Put together some route caches of food and water to start, every 5-6 miles.Those lifeboat rations, cans of tuna in oil, peanut butter pouches, stuff that you can eat cold and without adding water.
When you are done with the job, pick them up on your way home.

Add some harsh weather clothes to the closest cache, just in case.

When we hunted the Colorado high country, it was amazing how quickly our daily mileage dropped. Even when we were 25-30, in prime shape and eating like horses. After two weeks in the snow and high timber, we were wiped out physically.

Think about lengthening the time frame to get home, so you are in one piece
 
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