My Favorite Part of Thru-Hiking Isn’t the Food

This morning I arrived in the town of Wrightwood, where the people have been great to us so far. We got a ride into town with a trail runner named Chris who is training for a 100-mile race. He moved all of his training fuel he recently purchased at Costco (chocolate milk, pop, bars, etc.) from the back seat to the trunk so we could fit in his car. When he dropped us off he gave us some money for breakfast, which was beyond sweet of him.

I am 26 days and approximately 370 miles into my hike, and my hunger is significantly greater than it is in my off-trail life. However, I have yet to experience the sensation of being consumed by thoughts of food throughout the day. It sounds like this is common for other hikers, though.

Because I am hypoglycemic and have to eat every couple of hours throughout the day, I usually view eating as a way of acquiring calories so I can continue hiking. I certainly enjoy eating, but not nearly as much as flying along the trail in the morning or early evening, making progress on a big climb, experiencing a sunrise or sunset, or getting into my sleeping quilt after a good day. I have enjoyed town food, but have liked walking around town, going to the library, and eating bagged salad on a park picnic table just as much, if not more.

Crusing along yesterday afternoon on a beautiful soft trail of soil and pine needles.

There were so many wildflowers near the trail as we climbed yesterday.

Verdict on Cold-Soaking

I started the trail stoveless, which means no cooking on the trail. I decided that going stoveless would make life simpler for the desert section – it would require less effort and I could eat my cold-soaked dinner as soon as I got to camp in the evenings.

I was slightly nervous about how I would like it at first, but it turns out that I love it. Here’s a little summary of what I’ve been eating on a daily basis.


Usually museli and/or oatmeal with milk powder, nuts, and peanut butter that I soak the night before.

Hmm. Bob’s Red Mill muesli has been one of my faves. So good.


I usually have something on or in tortillas or bagels, plus some snacks.

Bagels are a great platform for more calories!

Lunch wrap with cheese and Chex mix. Could benefit from something that’s not brown or yellow.


I usually have a minimum of two bars and a protein cookie between breakfast and lunch. Ridiculous, I know!

Those cookies are delicious and stay with you for quite a while!

I should lay off the Nutella. Too much sugar at once is not a good idea!

I have also been having a green powder drink every day or two, plus eating veggies in town whenever possible.


I usually start soaking my dinner around 2 p.m. so it’s ready to eat by around 5 or 6. Some of my favorite dinners have been couscous, rice, and/or dehydrated black beans. I am completely tired of soaking Knorr Rice Sides, although I really liked them at first.

Pine nut couscous with sundried tomatoes.

In conclusion, I am happy as a clam to be stoveless at the moment. Will I pick up a stove for the Sierra? I will make that call at a later time.

Everything else has been going well and I am feeling strong. My feet are toughening up and it feels great to do 20-mile days back to back without being too sore in the morning. I am stoked to continue making my way through the desert.

Canadian Treasure says “let’s keep it rolling!”

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Comments 4

  • Brewerbob : May 25th

    Nice!! Note to self: add Chinese soup take out container to mess fit. I hate cleaning out the cook pot.

    And I need to give cold soaking a try. I’ve not done that (yet). I need to work more on non-cook meals (lunches mainly) as a whole. Cheeses sausages, peanut butter, … etc. I have some understanding of them; just need to do them more.

  • SoloLimo : May 27th

    Hi Taylor, I am enjoying reading your blog, perhaps I will see you at Crater Lake, OR at the famous PCT stopover ‘The Mazama Camper Store’ which is in the Mazama Camper Village maybe a mile from the where the PCT crosses Highway 62 – anyway, I work at Crater Lake so if I see you I will say ‘Hello Taylor!’ – have a beautiful hike through the Sierra Mountains! Happy Cold Eating! PS: Are you eating vegetarian during your hike?

    • Taylor Weixl : May 28th

      Thanks, I’m glad you are enjoying it! Also yes, I am eating vegetarian on my hike. I’m taking B12 on the trail and eating lots of nuts, so far so good!

  • JBO : Jun 1st

    Where oh where do you get the idea for Chex mix and cheese in a wrap?! Looks strange… but delicious! I’m intrigued.


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