Really loved the olive oil packets and dried Nido brand whole milk (though I’d like to try soy milk) Also key: hot sauce packets, salt and pepper packets, occasional Mrs. Dash seasoning little packet! Jelly packets and honey packets were a fun rare treat with Peanut/Almond butter wraps/bagels. I tried this vegetarian jerky and loved it, normal jerky I don’t like so much.
I overdosed on the tuna packet thing. But they are fantastic. Try the ones in Olive Oil (harder to find). And add mayo and mustard packets to tuna. The Chicken packets are actually really fantastic too! I found that I only ate half of it and didn’t like trying to save the other half for later. Personally, I didn’t venture to the Spam.
If you are planning a future thru-hike my advice is this: Try really, really, hard to have a dedicated person sending your food drops. Consider making google docs (free, online spreadsheets changeable by multiple people) to communicate foods you LOVE and HATE, and if (like my mom) they truly love you, they will find new choices for you and alter your packages! Sure, you think you’re not picky now… but after several months of cramming your gullet with almost 3X your normal amount of food, you will desire variety. Also consider TEXTURE. I just can’t eat glop all day. Powdered potatoes were never once consumed on my 2011 PCT thru-hike. Hah! I’m just saying- be sure you have some chewable stuff.
You’ll be super happy if you pack out a big bag of chips, also try crackers (dense big health-food store ones pack the best, but a full tube of ritz is ok too) bagels are great: take a 6-pack and pre-spread them with cream cheese and jelly, PB or almond butter and honey etc. Seriously, it makes life ez and they really do not get soggy or weird (well maybe in SoCal they would). Thanks to Han Solo and Rockfish for that hot tip.
In Town: look for individual 99 cent packs of Budding brand deli meat slices, great for making a to-go sammy for your hike-out day. Also there is a brand of sliced, good salami that can be found on its own or with cheese slices. Perfect size for a meal. It’s very common in stores on the trail (Italian tri-colored label) and a super yummy easy lunch w tortillas.