So, last year I did about 350 miles on the PCT starting in Agua Dulce. This is the section I plan to skip this year. I had 4 re-supply points. Two of them I shipped food ahead and two I bought in town. This year I plan to go 100% buy in town. Some reasons:
- The logistics of planning 5 months of food, purchasing, preparing, packaging and having someone mail the packages.
- I found my tastes changed over the month I was out. I did not want the stuff I had sent. Buying allows you to modify your meals as your tastes change.
- I learned (from other hikers) that you don’t need those expensive freeze-dried camp meals. Knorr sides, mac-and-cheese, idaho potatoes all work just fine.
- Buying as you go is more expensive but unlike the majority of hikers, money isn’t a major concern for me.
For most of the trail it is fairly easy to get decent trail food in the trail towns. The exception is near the end but I will deal with that when I get there.
The other issue is town arrival days. I modified my plan to ensure that I would arrive in town during the week – stores tend to be closed in small towns on Sunday.
Also there are a couple of online trail resupply services (zerodayresupply.com and sonorapassresupply.com) that allow you to shop online and they will box it up and send it to you care of a trail town post office. I may use these guys a couple times just to try them.
Foods That Work
- Laughing Cow cheese wedges. Don’t need to be refrigerated. Easily last a week.
- Mac-n-Cheese bowl. Last forever and you end up with a bowl! Useful for scooping water out of “creeks”.
- Knorr side dishes. All of them.
- Idaho Potatoes instant potatoes.
- Hard salami. Lasts forever – just scrape off the white stuff.
- Tortillas. I love bread but it doesn’t last and doesn’t pack. Tortillas last a week easy and pack up small.
- Peanut Butter. I did get tired of it last time. But it’s hard to beat for calories/weight.
- Breakfast bars/energy bars. They get old fast though.
- Nuts – any kind really. they last a while and are great for snacking. Ditto with raisons.
- Coffee. Starbucks vias. Yes!
- Gatorade powder. Not every day but after long/hot stretches. Also makes warm water taste better.
- Oatmeal….NOT! Okay those oatmeal packs work okay BUT – stuff turns to concrete and requires lots of water to clean. Water is precious (often). You don’t have a 1/2L to spare for cleaning.
- Nothing fresh. Apples last longest but they are calorie-poor. Decent cheese spoils in a day or so. Basically all the stuff I normally eat. No Arugula!!!!
Typical Food Day
Breakfast: Coffee/couple of breakfast bars.
Lunch: Cooked meal. Knorr side or mac-n-cheese. With a tortilla if I can spare it.
Dinner: Tortilla/peanut butter. Or Tortilla and some salami.
Snacks: Couple of energy bars. Maybe some gorp.