So originally I planned to get up to the Springer Mountain area today and start my hike tomorrow. That plan has somewhat changed. I've postponed leaving until I can finish the website that goes long with my study. It is very important to the study and I just can't leave it behind. This also helps me because I have more final planning to take care of for the trip, mainly my mail drops and food preparation.
How am I handling the food situation?
Well for one I'm purchasing most of my food in towns as a resupply. However there are times when getting into a town or having the necessary staples available is an issue on the trail as well. That's when mail drops become important. Someone back home has to take the responsibility to send food from time to time to a general delivery address at the post offices along the trail.
What kinds of foods will I carry?
Well the usual healthy stuff isn't always an option. Getting fresh fruits and veggies in town is great and probably will even be craved. I can possibly even carry enough for a day or two once I leave town. Bringing anything that will spoil is a bad idea. Canned goods are just too heavy. So what's left? Peanut butter, Nutella, dried goods, ramen noodles, stuffing mixes, potatoes... lots of carb heavy foods. The general rule of thumb has been to carry 2 pounds of food per day. That can get heavy since most foods may contain water. I've elected to use freezer bag meals, home made versions anyway. Put a package of stuffing, onion soup mix and butter buds into a zip lock freezer bag, then boil some water and add it to the freezer bag. The bag does not melt as it can handle the heat. This makes for a quick no mess dinner that can be spiced up or changed according to tastes. I can add foil packed chicken, tuna, salmon, dried beef, or anything else easy to carry out. The bulk of the dinner, the stuffing, can be anything that is instant or quick cooking too like egg noddles, minute rice, instant potatoes, and couscous. I also like some powered soups. For breakfast, instant oatmeal, grits or cold cereal with powdered milk. Snacks throughout the day include trail mix, nuts, dried fruits snacks, snickers, protein bars, pop-tarts, crackers and peanut butter, sliced pepperoni, and hard cheeses (wrapped in vinegar treated cheese cloth).
Water is very frequent on the trail right now but may be harder to find in the summer. I'll carry only what I need for the day for now. Once the summer hits I may bring an extra bottle. I'm going to filtering my water using cheese cloth and a bandanna. Then I'll put chlorine drops to kill anything lurking within.
Well I need to back to planning and my website. I post again just before I leave, probably March 5th.