New toys! I recently purchased a 5-tray Exalibur dehydrator and the book “Lip Smackin’ Vegetarian Backpackin’” in anticipation of my 2015 PCT thru hike. No, neither I nor NoKey are vegetarian, but by purchasing this book, we have more meal options than just Lipton sides and Ramen noodles. Good nutrition is important on distance hikes because you’re really an athlete. You’re working your body hard up to 16 hours a day with very little rest time. Sure, you’ll take an occasional zero day, but any hiker knows that a zero just gives your body time to say “holy crap, I’m tired!” and you usually feel more sore after a day off!
When we were hiking the AT in 2012, I noticed that around 1000 miles in my body really started to feel awful. I wasn’t used to a diet high in processed food and quickly started feeling weak and tired most of the time. I did chew Flintstones vitamins before bed at night, but that only really helped me for a little while. NoKey started to experience the same “shutting down” around New Hampshire (around 1700 miles). For the PCT, we knew we wanted to do something different. Eating nutritious food does require a lot (I mean A LOT!) of prep work, but we’ll test recipes all summer throughout our 46er hiking to see what works and what doesn’t for us. Having the vegetarian option of the book, we have the ability to add more meats to any of the recipes, making our diets much more diverse. Again, anyone who has done any type of distance knows that eating the same foods over and over again really grates on you.
I’m hoping to test, review, and create recipes throughout the summer. Here’s to hoping the experiment is successful!