I eat differently from lots of long-distance hikers. Sure I like to gorge on crappy hot dogs and do-nuts at the Quickie mart too… but generally I eat whole/natural foods. I don’t have a sweet tooth generally, but find myself able to enjoy cookies and ice cream on trail.
Also, I am on a tight budget. I believe the cost of mailing food re-supply boxes with healthy bulk foods that I enjoy is the best choice for nutrition, section meal-planning, and my budget.
I spent a mere 2.5 days at my parents house provisioning for about 10 weeks, and it was totally exhausting and sorta stressful! I am a professional wandering artist and I was between two art residencies/fellowships.
I created 10 boxes, and made Google doc spreadsheets listing their varied contents. The cool thing about that is multiple users can edit them. On the trail I can highlight foods I liked/hated and mom can see that. I am using these 10 varied boxes as templates that my mom can replicate. So I will have copies of the contents of each box and can tell her when and where to send which box, and if I need items added or removed. Wow, organization!
I figured, what if an injury or something makes me quit… mom doesn’t need 50 pounds of buckwheat, quinoa, and organic Pop-Tarts does she? However, if… WHEN… all goes well, she’s gonna have to do lots of shopping for me. Thanks, mom!!
So, what the heck do you eat? AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE!
Well, long-distance hikers generally require at least 2x as much food as you’d normally eat.
As I said, I don’t eat like most hikers. I avoid sugar, msg, white flour, and overly processed food. That said, there’s exceptions to every rule. Fig Newtons and Pepperoni are all good!!!
I require lots of food I can eat while hiking. I prefer taking few breaks.
Stuff like… Clif bars, Lara bars, Powerbars, granola bars, Kashi TLC bars, Snickers, Snickers “Marathon”, Annies Cheddar or Graham Bunnies, fig newtons, Organic-type Pop-Tarts,
peanut m&ms, thai spiced peanuts, sesame stix, GORP of all kinds. You want yummy stuff that packs tons of fat and calories in small packages.
During my 3-week section hike on the AT in May, I ate and loved most Knorr/Lipton Rice and Pasta sides. One package is a perfect hiker-meal. Cheddar Broc was my fav. I hated instant mashed potatoes, a traditional hiker staple. But I’m gonna give em a try again, I think this time I got a better brand, the “Idahoan” (snicker, snicker) and got some dried gravy packets too. You can toss some diced up pepperoni or “Fully Cooked Bacon” or chicken from a packet (haven’t tried that yet!) in there. Also I painstakingly made little Parmesan cheese packets. Small pleasures are a really freakin big deal when eating on the trail.
I’m getting much more experimental in the meats/protein.. not just tuna packets!! But even tuna packets have variety- I like the “lemon pepper” tuna added to cous cous or quinoa. THAT’S RIGHT. QUINOA, baby!! But that’s not all. What is your ULTIMATER UBER HIKER SUPERFOOD, you ask? BUCKWHEAT. Yes. I can not get enough freaking buckwheat. I tried this brilliant food last year upon reading 2009 thru-hiker “Buckwheat”‘s blog. Both Quinoa and buckwheat are very high in protein: a double “serving”= one hiker portion that’s 1/2 dry grain. A small volume with 14 g protein and it fills me up for hours! I soak it in 1 c. water for at least an hour, then bring to a boil, kill heat and put in pot cozy. I really love it for breakfast with some GORP and cinnamon.
Yes. Dehydrated refried beans. My brother (who thinks he’s funny) attacked my portioned out bags made from Whole Foods bulk dept with labels like “Now with more GAS power!” Being originally from Texas, I thrive on a high-bean diet. I also eat dyhydrated Hummus. With some tortillas, inst. rice, and the wads of appropriated Taco Bell hot sauce packs I purloined on a road trip, this should be a great re-hydrated lunch that doesn’t require (I think) using the stove.
“Mung beans, HELLS YEAH!!!”, Thanks, bro.
These home-made bad boy packets are the perfect on-the-go cold no-stove trail lunch!
Uh, no I haven’t tried em yet….
At Whole Foods I found sprouted lentils and sprouted mung beans- they just need to be rehydrated. Add whole-wheat cous-cous and some random spice packets and salt and ya got an instant health nut salad. Add some chicken, olive oil or whatever. I know that I can not survive on peanut/almond butter alone. I want to like peanut butter forever, so I’m gonna try REAL HARD not to eat it every single day.
Sometimes Organic/uber-healthy type granola/snack bars are on sale. This adds much-needed zesty variety in my snacking. However I also succumbed to the individual sized multi-packs of cookies like Oreos, and even will try some (I’m horrified, really) whole wheat PB cracker packs.
Do you have ANY IDEA how many CALORIES are in Oreos dipped in peanut/almond butter???