Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘food’

Awesome Outdoor Films

When we can’t be out hiking, we enjoy watching nature-themed films. Here are four favorites we’ve seen in the past few weeks:

Chasing IceChasing Ice
James Balog’s photography captures the beauty of ice, but it’s his time lapse photos of glaciers that are truly eye-opening. His dedication amidst knee pain and equipment issues is inspiring.
goodeatsGood Eats: Whithering Bites
Alton Brown explains his simple, practical approach to food dehydration. Dehydrating your own food is a great way to make healthy backpacking food without any extra preservatives or sweeteners. As always, Alton includes some science, history, and a large helping of goofiness.
High Sierra: A Journey on the John Muir TrailHigh Sierra: A Journey on the John Muir Trail
Follow a group of high school students as they set out to hike the JMT. They aren’t so excited at first, but the splendor of the trail converts them. A fun watch with plenty of eye candy.
Rivers and TidesRivers and Tides
This documentary about Andy Goldsworthy is a meditation on the impermanence of nature and the beauty of natural forms. Goldsworthy is one of our favorite artists and his work has influenced Shutterbug’s photography.

Backpacking Food Galore!

Shutterbug adding to a food resupply box

Filling a long line of resupply boxes

On our Appalachian Trail thru hike, we’ll sometimes buy food at stores near the trail, and other times pick up a food box which we prepared prior to the hike. Organizing and creating food resupply boxes is time consuming, but we love the result: better tasting and more nutritious trail food. For vegetarians like us this is especially true, since vegetarian food is harder to find in tiny trail towns. Mailing food boxes also enables us to stay away from larger towns and remain in the wilderness. There’s nothing like the calm that extended time in the wild brings.

The first step in preparing food boxes is to create a meal plan. This has been an iterative process for us over the years. Incredibly, after hiking 2600 miles in 2012, we still love most of our backpacking food menu.  We made a few small changes for the Appalachian Trail and have updated our list of favorite backpacking foods accordingly. You can view the list at any time by clicking the “Food” tab above.

Read more

Gear Review: Ultralight Backpacking Kitchen


Here are our thoughts (and a demo video!) about the cooking gear we used while thru hiking the 2,660-mile Pacific Crest Trail.

Aluminum can stove

Stove and windscreen/pot stand = Trail Designs Classic Caldera Ti-Tri cooking system 2.5 oz. This incredibly light stove is made from an aluminum can. It burns denatured alcohol, available at any hardware store, or HEET, a gas-line antifreeze commonly found at gas stations. We found these fuels at almost every town we visited on the PCT.

The thin titanium windscreen is custom-sized to hold our Evernew pot, forming a wide stable base. The windscreen also optimizes airflow, increasing the the stove’s fuel efficiency.

While hiking, we packed the stove in the pot for protection. We stored the windscreen wrapped around the fuel bottle, secured with a rubber band. The stove got slightly crunched one day from packing too much food around it in the pot, but it still worked fine. Overall the Caldera system preformed flawlessly during the entire trip.

Read more

Food Resupply Boxes

Fortunately we will not need to carry five months of food on our backs as we hike the Pacific Crest Trail. Instead we will resupply every few days at a town, post office, or small business which holds packages for hikers. This approach required a great deal of planning and preparation, which was by turns exciting and monotonous.

Chris tests out a powdered drink mix

On the advice of many previous thru hikers, we are striving for variety in our trail diet. Thus, while planning, we taste tested numerous meal options. Drawing on our knowledge of thru hike nutrition, and in conjunction with our food planning math spreadsheets, we created a massive grocery list. We have just updated our Food page with many details about our food choices. You can access the page by clicking the “Food” link at the top of our blog.

Although we were organized before heading to the grocery store, we still spent several hours in the bulk food section. Shopping for variety while purchasing a large quantity of food takes time. It was exhilarating to see our extensive planning turn into piles of food in a shopping cart. We were surprised to realize how much food we will eat over the next five months. That really hit home when we saw all the food in one place.

Read more

Food Sponsors

Many thanks to our food sponsors, who are providing us with sustenance on our Pacific Crest Trail thru-hike. Please support these companies, because they produce some of the best-tasting, healthiest, and most ethically-produced backpacking foods available.

Simple Squares

Simple Squares are organic, gluten-free snack bars made with 6 simple ingredients. Their herb and spice flavors are unique and very tasty. A number of flavors are available. Try their new Cinnamon Clove bars. We dig them!
www.simplesquares.com
Receive 20% off with coupon code: PCT

Outdoor Herbivore makes delicious one-pot dried meals. All their products are vegetarian, low sodium, and almost all ingredients are certified organic, from US farms. www.outdoorherbivore.com

Read more

Food Planning Math

Planning food for five months is challenging. We don’t want to be hungry, but we don’t to lug around a lot of extra food either. Because we’ll be mailing ourselves food, we need to calculate ahead of time exactly how much food to put in each box. This could make for a difficult shopping trip. Luckily, math is on our side.

Read more

Food: Mail or Buy?

When we tell people about our PCT hike, they often ask how we will handle the food aspect of the trip. Fortunately, we won’t have to carry 5 months of food all at once. Instead we will replenish our food supplies periodically, either by buying food from grocery stores near the trail, or shipping ourselves packages to post offices convenient to the trail. Both options have pros and cons.

Read more

Thru-Hike Nutrition

Preparing food for a five month journey is daunting. The photo below was taken while preparing for a one month trek in the Australian outback with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). Looks kind of intimidating, right? NOLS made our meal decisions for us — we just had to repackage the food. Prior to our PCT thru-hike, we have a lot more decisions to make and work to do. We need to figure out when we will mail food boxes to local post offices (vs. buying food from a local grocery store), what food we want to eat (best nutrition, taste, and cost), and how much of each item to bring. Once we have those questions answered we will embark on a massive grocery trip. And finally, we will repackage items into smaller containers, and fill shipping boxes with our meals.

I’ve decided to tackle the food planning challenge bit by bit. Here I’ll discuss thru-hiker nutrition.

Anna (with short hair!) surveying a month's worth of backpacking food for her trek in Australia

When backpacking, as with any exercise, you burn more calories than when you are sedentary, so you need to consume additional calories to maintain a high energy level and keep a neutral weight. Reading the NOLS Cookery book and various websites, I determined that 4,000 calories per person per day is about right for our daily hiking mileage, temperature ranges, and trip duration.

Read more

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,475 other followers