In an effort to try and eat a bit healthier and eliminate my on-trail gummy worm addiction, I’ll be sending out most of my food on this year’s PCT hike.
Day to day, my food has little variety and this worked fine on the AZT, and it works well at home. SweetPea and I have a pretty basic diet that really only changes up when we go out to eat. Regardless of how much variety I have had in previous hikes, I still crave town food. So…My trail diet is made up of food that is generally good for me, not too terribly processed (tuna, granola bars and crackers notwithstanding), and stuff I can eat over and over again. I am not a nutritionist, but have received advice from friends who are more educated in nutrition and have tried to follow their advice as I was practically able.
This meal plan had a decent amount of preparation. We dehydrated over 60 lbs of lean ground beef and food processed the equivalent of 40 jars of nut/seed butter. All of the loose nuts were bought in 16oz bags and then mixed together per section. The prep was certainly more work than purchasing everything in ready-to-go state, but certainly not as much work as SweetPea did for the AT hike in 2011 (which was almost completely home prepared).
Beardoh’s 2016 Pacific Crest Trail Daily Food
Amazing Grass Protein Superfood
Almonds, Pecans, Walnuts, Cashew, Raisans, Butterscotch Chips, Brazil Nut Mix
Trader Joes Big Dark Chocolate
Trader Joes Small Dark Chocolate (1/2 Trader Joes plain chocolate)
Tuna Packets (2)
Sunflower Seed/Almond/Coconut Oil Butter
Nabisco Rice Crackers or Aldi Gluten Free Cracker
Lara Bars (2)
Nature Valley Granola Bar
Squinchers Hydration Electrolytes
As hunger increases over the course of the hike, I can see myself adding in another tuna packet, possibly more crackers, or other bars….we’ll see.
We used the following:
Pretty simple and inexpensive dehydrator. It would take about 4.5 hours to dehydrate 3lbs ground beef.
Hi Mountaing Jerky Seasoning
This is my second time using this brand, and am pretty happy with (Thanks Purple and Carnivore).
Jerky Spot Sausage and Jerky Gun
Excellent tool. Easy to clean.
Foodsaver Vaccum Sealer
This does a decent job, not too much waste with the edges of bags.
We have an old Black and Decker that isn’t manufactured anymore. I have used a Vitamix when a food processor wasn’t available, but it is a poor substitute for a food processor for making nut or seed butter.
You will notice that there is nothing in this diet that needs cooking. This is intentional. We no longer carry a stove or cook food on trail. Things are a bit simpler this way, meals are less of a production, and we can just eat part of a dinner in the early eve, and hike a bit further, and finish off the last bit of dinner after finding a place a camp spot. By not cooking, we also enjoy the weight savings in our pack – no stove, no fuel, no cookpot, etc.. If we get the craving for warm food as we move down the trail, we can make that change at the time. The Amazing Grass was something new to me last year. I enjoyed having it each day and think of it as a great way to try and make up for the missed greens and vegetables that we do not get while out on the trail.
A couple extra notes:
Some of the food will stay in a freezer at our resupplier’s home (Beardoh’s Mom’s house). We label (destination) a gallon zip lock bag and toss in the jerky and nut butter. This is just an extra safe guard. I’ve had a couple friends who have had Jerky get mold while awaiting shipment over the course of a summer hike.