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Hayduke - Pacific Crest Trail Journal - 2011

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Kevin "Bushwhacker" Cook
Begins: Apr 24, 2011
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Tue, Jan 11th, 2011
Start: home
End: home

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 464
Journal Visits: 22,343
Guestbook Views: 1,219
Guestbook Entrys: 35

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Pacific Crest Trail Map

Getting anxious

I looked at the calendar. As of today, I start hiking at the border of Mexico in 99 days. Yikes!

Knowing how close it is, my biggest concern right now is food. I think I have a sound strategy lined up. I'll be mailing much, or most, of my food to myself. I plan to buy some items along the way also such as tortilla chips, cookies and other snacks that won't store or ship well. I might buy things like pasta on the way too, but I'm leaning toward buying in bulk at home. This will let me save a little money since shipping from {location removed to maintain anonymity for now} won't be too expensive. It will also make town stops easier as I won't have to spend a lot of time repackaging things. I'll vacuum seal meal sized portions of everything before I leave. This will make it easier for me and my wife who is mailing my supplies. I'm still debating this issue though. I also wan to help support the small towns along the trail.

I'll for sure be mailing some food no matter what. Some hikers think the inconvenience of having to time your arrival with the PO's schedule makes buying along the way easier. Maybe I'll change my mind, but I just don't think that will be an issue for me.

Some of you might be wondering what I'll eat on the trail. For breakfast I usually eat some oatmeal and have 1 or 2 cups of coffee. I'm like Hayduke. I need my chemicals! Lunch is usually a soup. I really like the Thai Kitchen brand, but ramens are bigger. Dinner will vary. I, like most hikers, will eat things like Mac n cheese, rice and beans, Lipton/Knorr sides, mashed potato flakes, etc. This is how I have always eaten in the backcountry. Many thru hikers try to avoid cooking. Some don't cook at all. My way has worked for me for a long time, so I see no need to make changes. The strongest arguments against cooking so much are fuel and time. I use an alcohol stove and a cozy, fuel weight isn't much. I like hot meals, so it's worth it to me. The time involved is an issue though. Dinner isn't a problem, but the other meals can be. On the mornings I need to get out of camp quickly, I may skip the oatmeal, but this man doesn't hike without coffee! If I'm boiling water for coffee though, I might as well make some oatmeal too. I don't think saving time is really an issue at lunch either. I usually take one longer break each day, so why not cook? Many hikers will think I'm crazy, but I plan to cook 3 times a day.

Are you thinking my menu sounds unappetizing? That's why the mail drops are so important. Some of my trail dinners will be things I make myself. I have been drying my homemade chili. It rehydrates beautifully. In town I'll buy some tortilla chips and it will be like eating at home. I'm going to bring some chicken stew and make dumpling on the trail too! Just because you're in the wilderness is no reason not to eat well. I'll be sending myself dried fruit (bananas, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, apples, etc) for the oatmeal. Those ramens at lunch will be enhanced with dried carrot, celery, tomatoes, onions, peppers, etc. Both lunch and dinner will be made more nutritious by adding dried chicken, tuna, and salmon. The last few years, I've been taking the bags of meat into the backcountry. They really make meals more satisfying, but they are heavy. I've learned that I can dry the canned meat, and it work great! My homemade jerky is also delicious. I'll be sending myself generous supplies of beef, chicken, turkey, and salmon (If I can learn how to do this one) jerkies. Yum!

So that's my plan for food. I'll be mailing food AND buying along the way. I think it will work well. I just need to find a few more dinner recipes I like. The dehydrator will be running almost continuously until April I'm sure!

Misspellings and typos brought to you by iPhone.

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A Short Walk Of 2665 Miles.

"The indoor life is the next best thing to premature burial." ~Edward Abbey


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