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Wait Up - Continental Divide Trail Journal - 2016

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Wait Up
State: Minnesota
Country: United States
Begins: Jun 22, 2016
Direction: Southbound

Daily Summary
Date: Tue, May 24th, 2016

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 533
Journal Visits: 6,557
Guestbook Views: 29
Guestbook Entrys: 1

Continental Divide Trail Map

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The most magical of fruits

Meal Preparation

I am about halfway through assembling all my meals. I rely on mailing my supply of food. As a result, I spend a lot of pre-hike time dehydrating foods, testing recipes, making the meals, and assembling them.

Usually I have a "normal" diet. However, when I am on the trail, I want to avoid the number of processed foods and preservatives. I have no scientific basis for this. It is simply that I don't understand how it can be good for me to daily ingest chemicals that are designed to halt/alter a biological process. As a result, I want to skip buying my food at convenience stores along the trail and likewise avoid the freeze dried offerings available. Now, I am not a radical about this by any measure. Indeed, Snickers bars play a key role in both my daily meals as well as my motivation.

I have experimented with dehydrating meat, but do not like the results. The only one that seems to work is canned white chicken. It is pressure cooked in the can and almost entirely fat free. When flaked and dehydrated it yields a product that tastes like chicken and seems like it will last a long time. Plus it rehydrates easily.

With my meal planning I am trying to achieve three goals:

1) Quickly rehydrates without cooking (target 10 minutes with boiled water);

2) provides good nutrition with high caloric density (OK that may be two goals in one....); and

3) has enough variety to prevent or, at least, defer meal-fatigue

As a result, I am typically combining legumes with seeds and grains to achieve complete proteins. As an example, for my chili mac, I use whole grain orzo pasta that has been cooked and dehydrated and add this to dehydrated cooked beans. Throw in some chili powder, a little dehydrated onion/ garlic, a tablespoon of sour cream powder, and some dehydrated salsa and I have a meal ready to rehydrate. After the boiling water is added at camp, I will pour in some extra virgin olive oil. I will post some recipes on my blog site (, but in my dinner rotation I am having Bean+ Fritos, a thai curry dish, chicken dinner, asian noodles, spicy lentils, and Quintils (quinoa and lentils). This was a little more involved than I anticipated, particulalry making sure I was getting complete proteins plus enough caloric density.

I package these meals in zip-top mylar bags. I insert an oxygen absorber, seal them, and then heat seal them. I used a vendor called PackFresh USA that supplies all the material. I am hoping the quality surpasses that of normal plastic zip top bags one buys in grocery stores.

I do not normally eat breakfast, but will on this trip. I am generally using rolled oats/spelt/wheat with cinnamon, nuts, and dehydrated whole milk soaked overnight so I can eat it while walking.

Snacks will be a combination of the aforementioned Snickers bars, PROBARS, and homemade bars my wife will make and ship during my journey. I am not a big fan of stopping for lunch. In my experience those old rule of physics about bodies in motion /at rest seem to hold true.

Well, the dehydrator is waiting for its next round.

Entry 2 of 36
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CDT Southbound 2016

The Continental Divide Trail is a national scenic trail that runs from Mexico to Canada via New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana. This unfinished trail can potentially span up to 3,100 miles. Learn more:


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