[pct-l] Cannister stove for thru-hik

Scott Williams baidarker at gmail.com
Mon May 27 01:02:09 CDT 2013

Check out the policy on meat and animal products as I've had them
confiscated when I've gone through customs coming home from Europe in the
past.  Two weeks ago I came back from France and on the customs form it
asked us to declare any meat or animal products.  So check it out before
you go to a lot of trouble drying meat, only to have it confiscated.  Dried
veggies shouldn't be a problem, but maybe someone on the list knows more
about this than I do.  I lost some great sausage a few years back, only to
see it thrown in the garbage by the customs agent.


On Sun, May 26, 2013 at 7:13 PM, Simon Deleersnyder <
simon.deleersnyder at gmail.com> wrote:

> Wow thanks all, such great advice from experienced hikers. This is gold!
> I'm planning a thru-hike next year, so I have still time to dehydrate my
> food. I did some "research" on that past couple of hours and I'm starting
> to really like the idea and am considering buying a cheap dehydrator. It'll
> take a lot of time preparing everything but I'm willing to do that.
> I'm indeed pretty worried about the costs of shipping from Europe to the
> USA. But on the other hand I really don't want all the hassle of preparing
> food for the upcoming sections on zero days in town. If only I lived in the
> USA :)
> Another possible problem: does anyone know whether such a package (that
> you address to yourself) can get stuck in customs? And if it did, who would
> pay the customs charges? Because there is no way the post office I'd send
> it to would do that since they don't really care whether the package
> arrives or not. I'm thinking that it can't be stuck in customs because I'm
> currently following a blog of an Australian thru-hiker who sends herself
> packages and she doesn't seem to have problems with it. Not sure though..
> On Mon, May 27, 2013 at 3:36 AM, Scott Williams <baidarker at gmail.com>wrote:
>> Hey Simon,
>> I've always found the Mountain House meals just way too skimpy in serving
>> size for me.  At first they're OK, but as the "hiker hunger" sets in, they
>> are woefully inadequate.  Diane's list of ideas is a great place to start
>> in creating meals, whether beforehand or as you go.  (I'm keeping this one
>> Diane.)  I'm not sure whether you were leaving this year or next, but
>> drying your own food for a thru hike takes months of prep in my experience
>> and it may be too late for this season unless you're going Sobo.
>> When I hiked the PCT I had not planned on a thru hike.  When I discovered
>> that I simply couldn't leave trail, I ended up buying food on the fly and
>> mailing it from the bigger towns to the places I knew wouldn't have good
>> resupply.  Yogi's Town guide was invaluable for this.  Smiles, a Swiss
>> friend did the same thing on the PCT and is planning on doing the same this
>> year on her Sobo CDT hike.  It is simply too difficult and expensive to
>> mail food from Europe.
>> On the PCT I found myself eating pretty poorly because of my own choices.
>>  The meals were huge, eventually based around two boxes of mac and cheese
>> per sitting (8 servings) or Lipton sides.  Lunches and breakfasts were
>> crackers, cheese, sausage, candy bars and any other high calorie crap I
>> could easily buy.  I supplemented with wild edibles, but figure I was
>> pretty malnourished by the end of the hike.
>> When I hiked the CDT last year, I'd changed my diet significantly and
>> wasn't eating processed foods anymore.  I spent months drying tons of
>> veggies and high quality meats, learned to make yogurt on trail from
>> powdered Nido for my soaked, rolled breakfast grains, nuts and dried fruit,
>> and sprouted beans and other seeds on trail to have fresh veggies.  My
>> lunches and dinners were based on instant brown rice or instant mashed
>> potatoes and lots of the veggies, meats and fruit I'd dried beforehand,
>> with many different spices and flavorings.  None of this required cooking
>> as I went stoveless on this hike.  But, this took months of planning,
>> drying and prepping to pull off.  At least for me.  But the results were
>> tremendous.  I always had great meals with so much more of the nutritious
>> stuff than you get in Mountain House or any other store bought camping
>> meals.  As my speed increased on trail, I had too much being sent and
>> started leaving meals in hiker boxes and got a regular following of folks
>> who went for them over anything else in the box.  Needless to say, on the
>> CDT I felt much stronger and healthier on this diet for 5 months than I had
>> with my daily junk food fix on the PCT.
>> If you do use a stove, Diane is right about not needing to simmer just
>> about anything.  Make a pot cozy out of mylar insulation and mailing tape
>> (weighs nothing) or simply wrap your boiling hot pot in clothing and wait
>> 15 or 20 minutes.  Regular brown rice or whole kernel grains may need more,
>> but pasta and any "instant" or "quick" cooking product rehydrates and cooks
>> just fine by being set aside in some insulation.
>> I'd find a basic starch you like, maybe a few and try to get that dried
>> at stores and then spend a bit more weight on packaged chicken or tuna to
>> up your protein quality and always buy more pizza in town than you can eat
>> as it and many other things store great for a day or two. Live off the
>> stores in trail towns, many do.  Just make sure to mail ahead to places
>> that only have a convenience mart or you'll be stuck with real junk for a
>> few days.  Even then, it's just a few days and won't stop a dedicated thru
>> hiker.  Potato chips are great for dinner when there's nothing else around.
>> Have a great time,
>> Shroomer
>> On Sun, May 26, 2013 at 2:49 PM, Diane Soini <dianesoini at gmail.com>wrote:
>>> It doesn't really matter what most people do. You do have more
>>> choices than you think and can choose what you want to do. Most
>>> people eat really poorly (I did too) and eat a lot of top ramen,
>>> instant potatoes, Lipton pasta sides, poptarts and stuff like that.
>>> 1. You can carry some fresh food with you. Certain fruits and
>>> vegetables carry well for a day or two depending on how hot it is. I
>>> carried an onion, broccoli and chard torn up and stored in a bag with
>>> a little water at various times.
>>> 2. You can cook regular pasta noodles without simmering. Just use the
>>> pot cozy method. I have not tried rice but I imagine white rice might
>>> work since it's edible in about 15-20 minutes normally. Red lentils,
>>> available in Asian markets, might work since they cook way faster
>>> than regular lentils. Potatoes cut up small might work. Experiment at
>>> home. For sauces, some people dehydrate marinara sauce into a
>>> leather. You can purchase Alfredo sauce powder and other similar
>>> sauces in the same aisle where they keep taco seasoning. Rice stick
>>> noodles cook in 3 minutes and you can make hobo Pad Thai with peanut
>>> butter mixed with soy sauce.
>>> 3. Lately I have been dehydrating cooked and raw vegetables and
>>> cooked meat for use on the trail. I mix them all together in random
>>> combinations. I rehydrate in a plastic peanut butter jar for a few
>>> hours and eat it cold with tons of the most gourmet real olive oil I
>>> can find. Ingredients include
>>> - Dehydrated cooked and mashed sweet potatoes and yams
>>> - Dehydrated slow-cooked chicken, pork or beef that is in a shredded
>>> consistency
>>> - Dehydrated baked chicken breast cut in chunks (stays kinda chewy
>>> when rehydrated but I like it.)
>>> - Dehydrated cooked beets, rutabaga, celery root
>>> - Dehydrated raw carrots, kale, chard, zucchini, tomatoes, beet greens
>>> 4. A friend of mine ate a lot of quinoa. I guess it cooks pretty
>>> quickly. I might try quinoa sometime. There is instant quinoa but I
>>> think it tastes rancid.
>>> 5. Polenta cooks fast. I don't really like it so I don't use it. Oats
>>> cook fast. You don't even have to cook them, you can just soak them
>>> over night and eat them cold in the morning.
>>> 6. You can purchase freeze-dried fruits and vegetables from various
>>> companies online. There are a lot of quality freeze-dried products
>>> that are way better than Mountain House.
>>> 7. Fresh hard cheeses carry well. Cream cheese carries pretty well,
>>> too. As do regular cheeses, although the warmer the weather the more
>>> of an oily mess they become.
>>> 8. Tuna, salmon, spam and sometimes chicken breasts come in foil
>>> packets. Tortillas carry well. Peanut butter. I've carried a loaf of
>>> bread, peanut butter and jelly. The bread did not get smashed up.
>>> Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were probably the least satiating
>>> food I've ever brought though, maybe second least after Danish pastries.
>>> 9. Instant pudding with instant Nido powdered milk makes a great
>>> snack. Carnation instant breakfast or protein shakes are other
>>> options. People trade Starbucks via packets like money and cigarettes
>>> on the trail to mix in their shakes.
>>> 10. Avocados travel well and are probably the most amazingly
>>> delicious thing you can eat on the trail.
>>> More and more people just shop as they go rather than prepare
>>> everything in advance. There's a market approximately every 2-5 days
>>> on the trail until after about Crater Lake. Then the markets are
>>> further apart.
>>> Good news is you can mix and match all these things and make up your
>>> own ideas. It does not have to be all one method, and probably
>>> shouldn't be in case it turns out your planned food is no longer
>>> appealing out there.
>>> On May 26, 2013, at 2:15 PM, Simon Deleersnyder wrote:
>>> > Thanks all for your advice!
>>> > I'm rethinking my plan of going with a cannister stove. Think I'll
>>> > pick up
>>> > a Caldera Cone and go with that. I didn't like the fact that I had
>>> > to eat
>>> > dehydrated food but seems like I'll have to :-) Just doesn't seem as
>>> > nutritious and tasty as normal food but maybe that's just me..
>>> >
>>> > One other question: do most people cook their food at home, then
>>> > dehydrate
>>> > it and send it to themselves on the trail, or do most people just
>>> > buy those
>>> > Mountain House type ready to eat packages? Or another option that I've
>>> > looked over? :)
>>> >
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