Trail Nutrition


Several weeks into my thru-hike I became increasingly interested in the nutrition of my food

Some popular trail foods were high in starch and salt, such as Ramen noodles. One resource suggested potato buds and gravy. We could eat several Ramen and still feel hungry.

Those hikers who had purchased dehydrated trail meals were often hungry after a meal.

Gradually I developed my own Trail Nutrition which included:
Oatmeal in the Morning and
Quick Brown Rice for the evening stew

Also I constructed a dehydrator according to the schematic in The Hungry Hikers Guide to Good Cooking. It was a large box constructed of plywood, had shelves composed of metal drying racks, with a single lightbulb on the floor. There was no fan, only a amall open slot at the bottom of one wall. I tend to think it had a capacity exceeding today’s food dehydrators.

I dehydrated:
Strips of Beef, heavily seasoned and after removing all traces of fat which would eventually turn rancid. I used the biggest, cheapest cut, which may have been Round Roasts
Squid , which was my best discovery. I could buy large packages of whole frozen squid, which I sliced after cleaning them (removing the cuttlebone, etc.)

I also made Refried Beans, frying cans of beans with onions, garlic and hot sauce, them spreading on a cooking sheet in the oven until dry and crumbly

These components were combined to construct a big pot of my evening “slop” – beans and rice, beef and squid supplemented with spices, chipolte peppers and Dried Mushrooms . Occasionally I would add a treat from a recent supermarket visit such as salami, cheese and even oysters one evening.

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