Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Maybe Yummy Food...

It's important to state that I will be working up an appetite that will require 3-4,000 calories(female based average) a day, after which I will still be hungry. My main three food types that I have found to be critical for hiking are Fats, Proteins, and Carbs. Fats help keep your joints loosened, because as you hike longer your ligaments will get worn down; the extra fat helps keep them moving with ease. Proteins help keep your muscles from being eaten away as well as providing your body with enough energy. Carbs are great fillers and good basic items your body can digest and store. Although some may find this gross, it does relate to food, ... what you eat MUST come out sooner or later. Hiking to a point where 3-6,000 calories(gender based) means your body is extremely active and will be unable to both hike your daily mileage goal and digest complex meals. Either the digestion or mileage will have to take precedence which brings me to my generalized hiker groups... young, old, and ultralight. Younger thru-hikers tend to eat large amounts of junk food, swear on snickers, and carry deflated bags of potato chips. Large amounts of simple carbs and gallons of sugar are easily digested and give them the boost of energy they are use to, it also... allows them to meet their mileage goals. Older hiker's need to pay extreme amounts of attention to their body as it is no longer in that amazing 20-30 year old bounce-back age, not to mention their mileage average is lower than a younger individual. Hence they spend large amounts of time compiling food data within excel sheets, spend countless dollars on expensive ready mixes and meals with high vitamin and mineral content, and mentally try to avoid the hiking aspect as a side affect that shows their trail nerves. The third group is the ultra-light hiker who owns a dehydrator and will attempt to hike "stove less" by relying on bars and cold, re-hydrate foods(usually beans).
I am a young 20-30 year old hiker that plans to bounce around the trail. I have tried to account for protein, fat and carbs. using easy to find cheap foods while avoiding the junk food I do not eat on a regular basis(indulging once a month).

Both oatmeal and mashed potatoes are easy to buy in bulk, prepare, store, and mail. I will make different flavored bags for each food drop. I will be buying oatmeal by the cylinder, food processing it, adding sugar, dried milk, and wheat germ. Right now my flavor ideas for oatmeal are: blueberries, strawberries, cinnamon and raisin, almond, apple, brown sugar, and pecan. With the mashed potatoes my base with contain sea salt and butter buds. My flavor ideas are: italian, spicy, cheese, chicken bullion, beef bullion, gravy, dehydrated cream of mushroom packet, and bacon. With the mashed potatoes I will probably be adding a packet of tuna for added protein every few nights. Included in my food box will be a protein shake mix for everyday, as well as an array of other drinkable items: dried milk, tea, hot chocolate, coffee, and apple cider to be dispersed among the boxes. My snacks will be a variety of gorp, granola, energy bars, candy bars, chips, and fresh produce. The gorp, granola, and energy bars will be planned ahead of time, the candy bars, chips, and fresh produce will be bought on a craving to craving basis. Lunch will also be bought on a craving basis in town, but will mostly consist of peanut butter and tortillas, tuna and cheese, pepperoni/summer sausage and crackers, and/or fresh produce. My goal: if the town consists of a post office and a gas station I can get by on peanut butter and a bag of bread, and if town has a giant supermarket I won't be spending in excess of $20.
Also included in my food box are my daily multi-vitamins, vitamin B supplements, calcium chews, maybe flax oil.

Another key item to consider is there is only so much space available in my backpack, so much weight or extra packaging I am comfortable carrying, and so much time I am comfortable waiting for my food to finish cooking. (jsyk: this rules out cans of soup.)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Plan

Itinerary Time!!
Leave Atlanta by plane around 11am on April 15th.
Arrive in San Diego.(3:30)
Meet fellow hiker, G.J., and my first trail angels ever!
Pick up last minute trail needs... Peanut butter and Tortillas.(post flight)
Arrive at the PCT trail head at near Campo, CA(6:30am)
Take picture...grab two rocks....and take a picture.
Begin Trail - resupply locations are as follow:

Sectionmi/dayft/dayDistance (mi)Elev. Gain (ft)DaysArrival

Campo (start)4-16-10

Campo to Warner Springs20.31648110.689855.54-21-10

Warner Springs to Cabazon18.92253101.4120715.44-27-10

Cabazon to Wrightwood18.92274153.9185378.25-06-10

Wrightwood to Agua Dulce19.0222589.0104284.75-11-10

Agua Dulce to Tehachapi19.12178100.2114275.25-17-10

Tehachapi to Kennedy Meadows19.12163141.9160457.45-25-10

Kennedy Meadows to Independence17.5286887.4142875.05-30-10

Independence to Red's Meadow17.52903116.3193256.76-06-10

Red's Meadow to Sonora Pass17.92692112.5168766.36-13-10

Sonora Pass to Soda Spr. / Pooh Corner19.22129136.9151717.16-21-10

Soda Spr. / Pooh Corner to Belden19.42056133.1141266.96-28-10

Belden to Burney Falls State Park20.11752134.3117326.77-05-10

Burney Falls State Park to Castella19.7190382.980004.27-10-10

Castella to Etna19.2214299.8111445.27-16-10

Etna to Ashland19.02222121.3141876.47-23-10

Ashland to Crater Lake Post Office19.81858105.498835.37-29-10

Crater Lake Post Office to Elk Lake Resort20.41608125.799176.28-04-10

Elk Lake Resort to Government Camp19.71905143.8139007.38-12-10

Government Camp to Trout Lake18.52465137.2183307.48-20-10

Trout Lake to Snoqualime Pass19.42065163.8174778.58-29-10

Snoqualime Pass to Skykomish17.1307674.5134204.49-03-10

Skykomish to Stehekin17.3296397.8167205.69-09-10

Stehekin to Manning Park18.1260088.8127234.99-14-10

This is based on walking 3 miles/hour for 8 hours a day, while taking a half day off between rest stops. This gives me a little less mileage a day, but less zero days. I think this is reasonable because if I hike farther two days I will be able to have a full zero day. Thus giving me more flexibility as well as allowing me to make decisions as the terrain affects me.

If ever you want to add something into my mail package please email me so I can you get you in touch with my amazing mum. She will be mailing my food packages out. Yes food is next on my blog it list!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Gidget

I'm not sure how many of my readers or followers know this, but to let you know sooner rather than later... Gidget is a combination of two words: Girl and Midget.  I am fairly height challenged and try to make the most of my 5'2" reach by being stubborn, carrying a step stool in my car, and refusing the help of those kinder and taller individuals.  When I was fifteen my mum told me that regardless of how tall I would be as an adult I would always make up for my height with personality, so even if I didn't hit the dreamt of 5' 7"...I would be amazing.  I suppose that mentality stayed with me.  

I should also give credit to the movie: Gidget, holler's for a terrific 1950's? chick-flick.  The smart, independent clueless character that keeps trying to be one of the surfer guys... and (I feel) succeeds in being a favorite of the group.

The Disclaimer you were waiting for....
I'm not sure how this blog will be structured, or how well I will do at keeping on topic(obviously not well because I'm drifting in this post).  I have a lot of ideas, gear talk, and stories of conversations I want to add right now...but  I'm holding back because I know that the more mature my discussions become the better you'll enjoy reading them.  I so wish to include my thoughts on working in the adult world - the transition between school and work, but I know much of what I feel, notice, and write could be found unrealistic, or overly humorous(possibly cynical) for massive sharing so I'll keep it to myself and say more than I should.  Work is an opportunity I deeply enjoy and hope to never take for granted.  The people I work with are good, strong, ethical, and kind people who want to do the best job they can which makes working with them addicting.  Although construction is ever changing, full of surprise, and always more complicated than it should, it is an amazing industry that demands hard-work, persistence, attention to detail, and most of all teamwork.  Without an honest Superintendent, a demanding Assistant Project Manager, or a detail oriented Project Manager the job could easily fall to pieces and be a battle for that Certificate of Occupancy.  Although my co-workers have known of my trip for a few months now, since I have begun working full-time I've become far more fond of them than I expected not to mention much more involved in my position and tasks.  The worst part of my day is hearing, "you'll need to tell me how you do this because you'll be gone in two months" it sounds alien and horrific each time I hear it.   The day before my trip will be FAR harder than I had originally anticipated.