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[pct-l] Buy and Mail resupply

Can someone who's done this maybe comment on some of the meals you were
able to buy along the trail? If a grocery store is well packed, then
you have a good selection. OTOH, if you're behind a lot of hikers then
you may wind up with little to choose from. Also, the dinners I'm
preparing are for a single pot with boil-only (alcohol stove). If I
need to re-think this (for simmering) and bring along my Snow Peak then
I'd like to know beforhand.

Here's what I'd like to know:

1.) What types of meals were you able to concoct with a "well stocked" 
2.) What type of meals were you able to concoct with a "poorly stocked" 

Jim - we followed a similar plan to Weathercarrot's - mostly buy as you go 
in California and buy in one town to ship to smaller towns up north.  We did 
the one pot meal thing too - your basic liptons/rice a roni type meal.  You 
generally don't have to actually simmer for ten minutes, just use a bit more 
water, bring it to a good boil, turn off, cover and let it sit for ten 
minutes or so. It steams cooked. If we had dried vegies (friends sometimes 
shipped them to us) we put those in for flavor and nutrition. Sometimes 
dinner was a bit chewy, but never inedible. Cooking for two, I would mix up 
various kinds of liptons to vary the flavor, or take one liptons and add 
plain rice or pasta to bulk it up.  The main difference between stores with 
limited resupply and those with good resupply was the number of different 
kinds of a food available.  For example, a good store might have 20-30 
different kinds of noodles and rice, while a poorly stocked store would have 
3-10. (Always Mac n cheese and plain rice and macaroni, but anything beyond 
that was uncertain.) Most of the limited stores had a few kinds of Liptons 
as well as the basics. You can get very tired of parmesan pasta, but it is 
edible.  A good store had bagles and english muffins, a poor store had white 
bread.  A good store would have fresh baked goods, a poor one would have 
poptarts.  Everybody carries cereal, poptarts, candy, cookies, raisins, etc. 
You won't starve - but your diet may get a bit boring. Which is why you tell 
your friends - send food!  We had friends send exotic dried fruit and 
veggies and sauces that made our meals much more interesting than they would 
have been otherwise, but we would have been all right without the extras.  
Sometimes we would buy extra in the big towns and put them in the drift box 
to spread out the goodies - like certain Liptons we liked, or sauce mixes, 
or extra goodies from friends who tended to send too much.  The main foods 
we bought in bulk and put in our drift box were tea, dried milk, and coffee 
-- plus things like Advil and bandaids.

The only places that I disagree with what WC and others have said are Warner 
Springs and Red's Meadows. We were early in the season and several missing 
food boxes (4 that week, out of about 20) meant the gas station at Warner 
Springs was out of everything but white rice. Fortunately our box was there. 
At Red's Meadows we were early and they hadn't stocked the store yet. We 
were very hard put to find anything to take with us.  For the rest, WC's 
description was a good one of what to expect.  If you can live on plain rice 
and pasta, then you could resupply entirely along the trail. If you like a 
little variety, you can do the buy some mail some routine, but if you feel 
you need a healthy and more varied diet, then do the dehydrate at home and 
mail routine. It just isn't necessary if you're not picky.  But as WC said, 
sometimes the shop as you go routine can be a bit pricy. There were places 
where Liptons sold for $1.50 or more, and candy bars were $1 each. But since 
you don't have postage, it probably evens out.

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