Food and Mail Drops
- Pre addressed film envelope
- Scrub Pad
- Camp Suds (soap)
- AA Batteries (4)
- Half roll toilet paper
- Tide action tabs (4 tabs)
- First Aid Supplies
- Ibuprofen (20)
- Mole Skin
- Goldbond Powder
- Antiseptic Towelettes (2)
- Antiseptic Ointment (2 single use packs)
- Band aids (4)
- Burn Jell
- Mallox (10)
Hot Cider Mix (2) [removed in warmer months]
- Cup A Soup - Cream of Chicken (2)
- Gatorade (6 quarts worth)
- Chicken Gravy Mix
- Mushroom Gravy Mix
- Dry Milk (1 qt)
- Instant Oatmeal - various flavors (14 packs) [replaced by 8 Nutri-grain Bars in warmer months]
- Instant Breakfast - pre mixed with dry milk (1 serving)
- Chocolate pudding - pre mixed with dry milk (1 serving)
Mashed Potatoes (makes 2 cups) [see notes]
- Mac and cheese (1 box)
- Spaghetti (1/2 lb)
- Parmesan cheese
- Pepperoni (3 oz)
- Dehydrated mushrooms (1/2 cup)
- Dehydrated tomato sauce (8 oz can)
- Rice (1 cup)
- Freeze Dried Beef (1 oz)
- Dehydrated Apples (1 cup)
- Gorp (1 lb)
- Chicken (3.25 oz)
- Tuna (3oz)
- Stove Top Stuffing (1 cup dry)
- Ramen Noodles (4 packs)
- Lipton Noodles and Sauce - Beef flavor
- Nutri-Grain Bars (8 various flavors)
- Backpackers pantry Chocolate Survival Bars (2)
- Power Bar
My favorite meal by far was the Spaghetti, Dehydrated Mushrooms, Dehydrated Tomato sause and the parmesan cheese. I dehydrated the mushrooms and sause myself. The sause makes a leather which could be rehydrated with some of the water used to boil the spaghetti. I will admit I bought a dehydrator from the infomercial, but the cost and time it took at home to dehydrate everything was MORE THAN WORTH IT! I made other hikers drool every time I had this meal on the trail.
My second favorite meal was using the Stove Top Stuffing, Chicken Gravy Mix and a can (or envelope) of chicken. Cook the stove top stuffing with a little extra water, after removing from the heat, add the gravy mix and the chicken. Let sit for a little while then eat. Very satisfying after hiking all day.
Lipton Noodles and Sause or Rice and Sause are GREAT for backpacking. I sometimes added freeze dried beef and the dyhydrated mushrooms to the Beef Flavored Noodles and Sause.
When making the Mac and Cheese, I added a can (or envelope) of tuna. Made for a good meal.
I learned I hated Mashed Potatoes. I tried everything I could think of but to no avail.
The rice was used with the Mushroom Gravy and freeze dried beef or with the chicken and chicken gravy. I also used it with the Cup A Soup and chicken. Overall the most flexable staple I carried.
Ramen Noodles can be used with almost anything. I used it as noodles and as a soup. It comes in handy when you just need something hot and fast (like when you have been hiking in the rain all day).
The chocolate pudding was pre mixed with dried milk and placed in a zip lock. To make it, I just added water to the zip lock and kneaded it in the bag. Worked well but was a little messy.
For lunch I would usually get by with whatever I could buy locally. Sometimes it was crakers and canned cheeze, sometimes peanut butter and sometimes just more cereal bars. I also liked Little Debbie PB and J's. But I never had problems buying stuff for lunch even at the worst little store along the trail. Also those crackers and cheeze packs make for a good lunch.
As I stated, I did exchange the Instant Oatmeal with more breakfast bars when the weather warmed up. I did apprieciate having a HOT breakfast after a cold night, but it did slow me down in the morning since I had to heat water.
Poptarts - you probably noticed I don't use them. That is a personal choice, but I think I was the only hiker who didn't have poptarts in his food sack.
The Pre-address envelopes allowed me to send my exposed film home. This had the added benifit of letting people back home to see some of what I was doing.
I also suggest you put extra zip locks in the mail drop. This will prevent you from having to buy a full box in town when you have to replace warn ziplocks in your pack, or if you buy something that needs a bag.
Sometimes, I did run out of Ibuprofen and TP. But it was rare and somehow I managed (usualy by the grace of another hiker).
Tide action tabs work great for laundry in trail towns. I put them in the mail drops so I wouldn't have to buy the soap (I sometimes got to a laundramat that was out of soap on my first chunk hike). It is also wise to have quarters in your mail drop as well (saves having to get change!
In each mail drop I also had all the maps for the upcoming sections. I also used the film envelope to mail back maps (which I marked with my progress - again letting the people back home what I was up to).