July 7, 2010
Organizing food for the JMT has been an ongoing process for the past 1-2 weeks
Coming up with a food plan for a 12 day thru-hike is obviously a challenge. You need relatively dense, high-calorie foods, but you also need some variety. Luckily, Andrea and I like the same types of foods, and we're fine with eating a lot of the same stuff over and over again. We're limited by the fact that we have to keep our food in hard bear cannisters (see gear list).
The plan is to eat 3 meals and 3 snacks per day. Here is the breakdown with some example foods:
Breakfast: Oatmeal, Pop Tarts
Morning Snack: Trail mix, Dried fruit, Pretzels, Peanut M&Ms, Crackers, Chex Mix
Lunch: Whole wheat tortilla with peanut butter and nutella (this is an amazing high calorie and delicious lunch)
Afternoon snack 1: Mike & Ikes, Peanut M&Ms, Skittles, Gummy Bears, Fruit Snacks
Afternoon snack 2: Cliff Bar / Powerbar
Dinner: Pouched chicken, dehydrated vegetables, and the primary card source, which is either 1) couscous, 2) instant mashed potatoes, or 3) stove top stuffing
We'll have small containers of olive oil and salt/pepper to add to our dinners.
Basically, we want to eat about 2500+ calories / day and not spend a ton of time preparing food. Yeah, we'll lose some weight, but that's ok... we have plenty of food so as to not go hungry.
We're starting with 6-7 days worth of food (which is about 10 lbs each) and picking up a bucket that we packed with another 6 days worth to the Muir Trail Ranch (which we'll reach after 107 miles). If we have extra (which we will), then we'll have a few double dinners and extra snacks if our appetites are up for it. Plus, we'll be able to grab some snacks to stuff in our pockets at Yosemite Valley and Toulumne Meadows.
There are also two 16.9oz Diet Mountain Dew bottles in our resupply bucket. I don't how we're going to last this long without the dew... but that dew at Muir Trail Ranch is going to taste like heaven!
This is the 5 gallon bucket that we mailed to Muir Trail Ranch. It will be waiting for us at the 107 mile mark, just before halfway. We expect to pick it up on the morning of our 6th day on the trail. It weighed in at 22 lbs, including the bottles of dew that we stashed inside!
I bought this Ziploc system to vacuum seal veggies that we dehydrated. It only cost a few dollars, the bags are cheap, and it works really well. I highly recommend this system for anyone doing backpacking trips.
Instant mashed potatoes are something we are really looking forward to!
This was our major splurge, in terms of packing eficiency - pouched chicken (which is VERY hard to find). We have a 7oz package for every dinner. We could have done without it (it doesn't weigh much, but it takes up a lot of room in the cannister because we can't puncture a hole in it to let the air out), but we both feel that it will be good to have some chicken every night for protein. We can't afford to lose too much muscle mass!