There is nothing wrong with being a Type A thru-hiker, as the Sierra Club pointed out this week. But, it is important to keep yourself in check and recognize when your OCD trip planning may have gone too far … hopefully before you waste too much time and money in the process. Fortunately, I had that realization this week. Since I am just over 3 months from departure, I started buying many of the groceries with longer shelf-lives: dehydrated fruits and veggies, freeze-dried meats, non-perishables, etc. What I realized quickly though, is that there is no point in trying to be perfect.
According to my baseline Hike Plan, some resupply boxes need 3 breakfasts, some need 5. Some need 4 dinners, some need 2. And we all know that plans on the trail will change. This planning was meant to make things easier, not to make it perfect, so trying to count pennies and portions will really just end up wasted effort and added stress.
Light bulb moment!
Since the Hike Plan breaks down sections in 4-5 day increments, the best resupply box plan is to have ALL boxes portioned out to 4 days of food. Some weeks I’ll have too much, some weeks too few. If I have extra, I’ll save it for the next week (or drop in a hiker box). If I need extra, I’ll pick up some supplemental items in town. This prep change is going to make it significantly easier and allow for more flexibility on the trail. So with that, let’s look at the Week 3 meals. Hello Neiman!
480 calories, 4.4 ounces, $1.53
Breakfast 3: Instant Grits. Mr. Tipton kept me from enjoying these Quaker Oats Instant Grits for far too long. Delicious, flavorful, and hearty when you add a couple condiments; in this case, 2 packets of bacon bits and honey. Supplemented with a Costco brand breakfast bar and 2 packs of Taster’s Choice Hazelnut Instant Coffee.
986 calories, 7.1 ounces, $2.92
Elevensies 3: PB Twix, Fruit Bar, Trail Mix. This week’s elevensy snacks are a Twix Bar (I show no favoritism to left nor right Twix), 1 cup of Trader Joes Trail Mix (any variety), and a Pressed by Kind Fruit Bar. Oddly, the PB Twix shelf-life (3 months) is significantly less than the standard Twix (9 months) … why are the PB ones so darn difficult for resupply packing in advance?? Oh well, I’ll buy in bulk the week before I depart.
538 calories, 14.0 ounces, $5.10
Lunch 3. BBQ Chicken Crackers. I’ll be honest, not sure how I feel about this. I planned these as tortilla wraps, but those are too perishable for pack-ahead. If I can find tortillas in town, I’ll swap out the 3 Sailor Pilot Crackers.
Drain drink 1 can of Swanson Chunk Chicken, pour over 2 packets of BBQ or Buffalo Sauce, sprinkle some Parmesan cheese, and you have what could be a good mid-day chicken snack. Paired with TJ dried pineapple rings for fun.
230 calories, 2.1 ounces, $1.50
Snack 3. Protein Plus PowerBar. I wish they still made the old-fashioned PowerBars that hurt to chew. They had this great wild berry flavor I loved. Nostalgia will get you nowhere, but and Protein Plus bars have way more calories anyway, so it’s a good way to still enjoy the power bar brand that started the energy bar movement.
1337 calories, 9.5 ounces, $9.57
Dinner 3. Walking Tacos Supreme. You ready for this homemade wonder? This homemade Walking Tacos recipe is a lovingly twist on the original from your youth. Boil up 1.5 cups water, add to FBC of 1/2 cup Refried Bean Flakes, 1 cup Freeze Dried Beef (or sub chicken), 1/2 cup Freeze Dried Cheese, and 2 tbsp Dehydrated Onion. After 10 minutes, mix in 2 tbsp taco seasoning and 1/2 ounce Olive Oil. Lastly, mix in 2 snack size bags of crushed Nacho Cheese Doritos chips. Mmm, Mmm, good.
120 calories, 1.2 ounces, $0.76
Treat 3. Twisted Fruit Ropes. Last but not least, a bit more fruit. Well, sort of fruit. Not sure ingredients include any actual fruit. Really, more sugar than fruit. It is fruit flavored at least. Regardless, these are fun to eat for a tasty treat. Target’s Simply Balanced Twisted Fruit Ropes round out the day’s meal.