Packing Resupply Boxes
Leaving home and job aside, the hardest prep part of getting ready for the Continental Divide Trail is having an exceedingly limited sense of how long any section of the trail is going to take me to walk. Because of that conundrum, planning any mail drops takes awhile, and even then I’m not sure whether I’m even close to what I need.
I just keep making the best guess I can and throwing beans and rice or noodles into a box. Really, I worked a bit harder at it than that. Bags of dinners are set up for four days (beans and rice), three days (Thai noodles) or two days (curried couscous). Beans and rice has dried jalepenos, onions, kale, tomatoes, and Fritos with it. Thai noodles have soy sauce, sriracha sauce, peanut butter, dried vegetables, dried cherries, oil, and peanuts. The couscous contains curry, onion, and garlic powders along with oil and dried vegetables. The number of days in the meals was established by the retail packaging of the beans and noodles. I didn’t want to break that packaging apart, so I’m rolling with it. Couscous comes in a 16oz box and it can be broken apart anyway I want. Most of the time using 4, 3, and 2 I can hit the right number of dinners I’m guessing at for the resupply.
After I get the dinners set, I throw in three-day bags of oatmeal or Grapenuts. Whole powdered milk and dried cranberries round breakfast out. I like to start the day with a bar of some kind, so I’m not waiting around. Getting miles early in the day works best for me. Larabars are my favorite right now because they contain just a few ingredients. Eat one of those along with a Carnation instant breakfast, and I’m good to go for the first 90 minutes. If I’m eating oats, I’ll soak them along with the dried berries for an hour in a plastic peanut butter jar. Cold soaked oats with powdered whole milk are pretty good. Soaked oats without the milk are only pretty good when you’re really hungry.
Lunch is almost always a tortilla with peanut butter or humus. I like chips, trail mix, hard candy, cookies, pretzel pieces, and almost anything else for snacks. Just have to make it fir in the box. Seriously, though. How do I plan for a 120 mile walk without knowing much about the terrain or how my body is going to react to the miles? I’m not sure. Guess high and the pack is heavy. Guess low and I’ll be hungry coming into town.