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Hello Robert -
>What does "digest form" mean in relationship to this list?
This list is covered up with discussions about equipment and supplies used
in backpacking. Distance hiking is a favorite topic and thru-hiking
(end-to-end) of the AT gets more than its share of attention. Thru-hikers
are famous for building up huge appetites as they deplete their reserves of
body fat during their long and demanding exertions.
Sometimes thru-hikers misfigure the amounts of food needed at re supply and
wind up a little short out in the middle of nowhere. If local hikers or a
Scout Troop don't offer to share some of their spare food, the thru-hiker
can find themselves in the midst of a real problem situation.
Fortunately, the U.S.Forest Service and the National Park Service have a
well-funded system of "use permits" established in the various public lands
along the AT. These can be found in little self-service stations beside
the trail at the entrance/exit boundaries of that particular National Park,
Wilderness Area, or National Forest. Some areas choose to use little
flimsy 3-part permits made out of paper and some choose single tags made
out of card stock.
Careful study by many thru-hikers (be sure to attend that session at the
upcoming ALDHA gathering!) has pegged the calorie content of the 3-part
flimsy at about 160 and of the single tag at over 200 (be sure to peel the
tag first, as the little wire is non-biodegradable and should be packed out
instead of left in the cat hole!).
Some hikers simply wash down their permits with filtered water (with
occasional changes to iodine-treated creek water for variety). My personal
choice is to add a little powdered Gatorade (lemon/lime) to the water to
cover up the slight chemical taste of the 3-part flimsy.
Don't worry...you will quickly find a method that works for you! Don't
hesitate to experiment with peanut butter and other condiments. Plenty of
liquid helps a lot, but in the end...we each have find our own best way to
digest the forms.