Since last month’s epiphany, getting prepared with food is MUCH easier. I have even started packing up the mail-drops now with 4 days of food ready to be drop-shipped by my family once on the trail. It’s both reassuring and frightening that most of this food has a shelf life of 6-12 months. Yes, I can be confident the pre-packaged food won’t go bad … but one has to wonder what preservatives are in some of these things. Better not to think about it I suppose…
That is the good news. The bad news is that my spare bedroom/office has been overrun with boxes, baggies, and food stuffs. I’m running out of space, but I feel good about having a head start on this to make the last few weeks as stress-free as possible. I’d rather focus my last few weeks on body conditioning and field testing, and less time on food prep. Fortunately, living in Southern California, our winters are perfect backpacking weather, so I have a few prep-hikes planned to get outside. Hello Neiman!
But that’s weeks away, so today I share the meal plan for Week 4:
Breakfast 4: Buns and Rings. I only have one friend that ever did this hike, and in chatting with him early on he mentioned that breakfast was pretty much Honey Buns every day. I don’t think I could eat them that often, but a week here or there paired with pears (pun intended) is doable. This week’s coffee is 100% Columbian flavored, whatever that means.
Elevensies 4: Pure Bar, Fruit Bar, Trail Mix. I found these at Target years ago and liked them as an alternative to Snickers bars after a workout. If you’ve never tried one, I highly recommend the Chocolate Peanut Caramel Bar. Another serving of Trader Joe’s trail mix and a Dried Fruit Bar. Did you know these are gluten-free? Me either. Who cares? Apparently, enough people for TJ to put it on the wrapper…
Lunch 4: PB Banana Snack. This is another lunch that would be better with tortillas if I can find them in town. These sailor pilot crackers are fantastic for calorie/weight ratios, but they are very dry in certain combinations. This is one of those times. Spread on a couple Justin’s Honey Peanut Butter and sprinkle with dried banana chips for a down-right delicious sandwich. Genius even, if I dare say so myself. Elvis Presley ain’t got nothing on me.
Snack 4: Granola Bar. Remember when you were a little kid and your dad would take you on camping trips? Those are some of your best memories, right? Right. And why? Besides those adventures at a young age set you up for a lifetime of passion for the outdoors. (Thanks Dad). And for me, I can attribute most of those memories back to the food we ate along the way – roasting Hot Dogs at a state park campsite, eating cheese and crackers overlooking a mountain glacier, picking thimbleberries along Lake Superior … and snacking on Nature Valley Granola Bars on every hike to get there. These felt like a staple to my outdoor childhood, and for good reason. Tasty, sweet, and packed with good energy. Dry as hell though, this will be a day of much water consumption.
Dinner 4: Pesto Chicken Pasta. This was a meal I found at trailcooking.com that caught my eye in prepping this trip. I wanted to find a “pasta” meal that wasn’t smothered in dehydrated tomato or cheese powder, and this looked intriguing. I altered it slightly after a taste test – to be honest, it’s not the most flavorful, but the ease of cooking is nice. Cook one packet of ramen and 1/2 cup freeze-dried chicken, setting aside the water for tea or broth drink after done. Mix with 2 tbsp dried basil, 1 tbsp garlic powder, 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, 1/4 cup pine nuts, olive oil and a couple parmesan cheese packets. Voila, pesto chicken pasta! Be careful not to overcook the ramen or you’ll get a mushy mess.
Treat 4: Fig Newtons and Pretzels. This is a pretty heavy dessert, but the pesto chicken ramen isn’t a very filling dinner. Time to eat more dry things. Yum. Snyder’s flavored pretzels and Fig Newton bars it is. *RANT MOMENT* Remember those great Fig Newton ads from the 80s? A Fig Newton is not a cookie, it’s fruit and cake! Yeah, well why don’t you sell FRUIT flavored versions in individual packs?? You have Triple Berry and Strawberry, not to mention the old Raspberry and Apricot that never made it to the 21st century, in large packages … but want them individually? Fig. That’s it, just fig. Who even LIKES fig, Nabisco? WHO?!