Resupply, Food, and Final Gear Changes

One month to go, and it’s getting down to the little details. So far, the most common questions I get from people about my thru-hike pertain to food. Here’s my attempt at clearing that up.

Isaac and I have decided to conquer resupply mostly by just purchasing food in the towns near the trail, but we’re going to send mail drops to a few locations. I began researching the best place to send these packages, but quickly found that most of the research had already been done for me here. Thanks, Zach! These resupply locations are supposedly ideal because of high prices, lack of selection or a little bit of both.

Resupply Boxes

We started making resupply boxes and decided to send ourselves some dehydrated food in vacuum-sealed bags. We ended up having a few fun nights mixing dehydrated veggies and meat (tofu, for me) with spices to create our own fun concoctions.

Our first attempt at a meal – it tasted about like it looks.

End results worked out better.

Soon we’ll start putting together boxes and we’ll address them and leave them with my mom to be sent when the time comes. Right now, it looks like we’ll prep five or six boxes. We’ll also have extra gear and clothing with them, to be packed and sent with the food when we need it.

Food

One interesting aspect of prepping resupply boxes is that one needs to take into account the amount of calories you’ll actually need. By the time I receive my first box at NOC, I’ll probably need to be eating three to four thousand calories a day. That is a lot of food, y’all.

Right now, a typical day of my food during a backpacking trip looks something like this:

This day would go something like this –

  • Breakfast: two packets of blueberry oatmeal, which I’d likely have with a cup of tea. Then I’d put some Mio or a nuun tablet in my water bottle and be good to go.
  • Lunch/Snacks: Hot Nuts, trail mix, fruit snacks, etc. All fair game for snacking. I love snacks! Then tuna for lunch, and maybe a protein bar of some sort until I get sick of them.
  • Dinner: After setting up camp I’d make a rice side, likely to share with Isaac. I’d probably start rehydrating a dehydrated meal before setting up camp, and throw it on the stove to heat it up before eating.

To total my calories for this day, I’ll make a few assumptions. I’m guessing the dehydrated meal will be about 250 calories, since it’s really just veggies and meat. I’m also assuming that I’ll eat the entire rice side, though truthfully that’s a stretch for me. Anyways, this only gives me 2,735 calories for the day.

To add more calories to my day I’d probably just add more snacks, because more snacks = happy Pheebs. The best snacks have high fat & carb content, because they give you a burst of energy from the carbs but keep you full due to the fat. Peanut butter, other nuts, coconut flakes, and even less healthy foods like Cheese-Its and Cheetos are great filler snacks.

Last Minute Gear Changes

Since my post about the bear vault last month, Isaac and I have had a change of heart. As of right now, we are planning to start the trail without bear canisters. We managed to squeeze in enough hikes recently to conclude that they’re uncomfortable on our backs. That was enough of a drawback to call for a re-evaluation, and we’ve decided to just bring bear bags instead.

Isaac ordered a bear bagging kit from Zpacks, and I’m using an Ursack Almighty. We’ll store our food in Opsacks, which are leak and odor-proof. Hopefully that will help keep bears away efficiently.

Other gear changes are just little details. I am trying to decide if I need a pack liner, as Isaac insists it will be necessary. Our ULA Epic packs are totally waterproof, so I’m skeptical. Isaac ordered a dyneema pack liner, but I’m just gonna wing it with a compactor bag if I need to.

Recently I bought a new sleeping pad, as I discovered that the Klymit Static V that I finally settled on just was not comfortable or warm enough for me. After some research I decided to make the (rather steep) investment into a Nemo Tensor, and I’m very happy with the decision. The pad weighs about 16 oz. and it is extremely comfortable, but the real deal-sealer for me was that it came with a pump sack. Blowing my pad all the way up is a struggle for me, so that was a huge plus.

All in all, my base weight is just below 15 pounds. I’m super proud of that. Here is a link to my lighterpack list, if you’d like to check it out. Enjoy!

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Comments 2

  • Stephen : Mar 3rd

    It is ironic that most people don’t count on enough food a day but take too much food per time between resupplies.

    One thing you can do is add olive oil or butter and salt to meals to improve the calories.

    Reply
  • Ginna Bird : Mar 3rd

    I’ll be ready with plenty calories at the flip flop point!
    It sounds like you follow a vegetarian diet. Just let me know if there are any allergies food preferences. We stay gluten free (our youngest son has Celiac disease). That means all baked goods will be freshly made by me.
    We can’t wait to hear about your experiences on the trail!

    Reply

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