Here I am, three days into my 'fun' employment and I'm going stir crazy. Over the past few days, I've managed to spend several hundred dollars on pieces of gear we need for our hike and the beginning of our food budget. I've spent the better part of last night and this morning preparing our menu. Turns out sending yourself food is harder than I thought it would be!
On our AT thru hike and then working in the most remote part of Maine, we learned a very key piece of information for resupply - a good grocery store is really only a hitchhike away. Sure, it might not be in the guide book, but if someone is willing to pick up a smelly hitchhiker, they're probably willing to give you information and a ride to the nearest real store. Unfortunately, we also learned that sometimes these small town groceries just aren't going to cut it for trail food. I've planned to dehydrate meals for the first two of our three hikes. Even though the Benton MacKaye Trail is starting to get more popular, the fact of the matter is that it isn't as established as the AT yet and getting a hitch will probably be tougher. On the Finger Lakes Trail, especially the eastern portion, towns and stores are nearly nonexistent. Once we get to the Ithaca area we'll have an easier time getting resupply, but some of these places in rural New York have notations in the guidebook reading "skip the hitch, there's nothing here." (Seriously, it says that!)
For our resupply boxes, I've done the math allowing for three weeks on the BMT and five weeks on the FLT, a total of 8 weeks of meals - three meals a day plus two snacks. This means 56 breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and 112 snacks per person. This is overshooting a bit, which means we'll probably have extras we'll bounce back home, but that's okay! That means we'll have a bit of leftover for the more rural northern sections of the Long Trail. I've devised a meal plan that allows for 8 rotating meals, meaning we'll repeat each 7 times during the course of the summer. Not too shabby for hikers who are used to eating the same things over and over and over to the point of exhaustion!
Right now, the logistics include making conversions. Since I'm going to be cooking, dehydrating, and portioning our food, I have to make conversions as to not overbuy supplies. For example - one cup of dried rice equals approximately 3.5 cups cooked rice, which dehydrates down into 1.75 to 2 cups of rice depending on a few variables. Now, since the rice I bought comes in a 5 lb. bag, how much rice do I need for all of these meals...? Feels like high school math, right?! Since my head was starting to spin, I decided to take a quick break and write a blog post to update everyone on what we were planning. I'm going to do a post in the future with all our meals and how they look in a few weeks when all the cooking is done.
Have any of you done any dehydrating? I'd love to hear how it went, how many extra meals you ended up with, etc.