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[pct-l] Re: pct-l-digest V1 #335

At 12:00 AM 12/24/97 -0600, you wrote:
>pct-l-digest       Wednesday, December 24 1997       Volume 01 : Number 335
>In this issue:
>    [pct-l] Corn Pasta and stuff
>    [pct-l] Query on how much food
>    [pct-l] Re: pct-l-digest V1 #334
>    [pct-l] Sasha's questions
>    [pct-l] resupply
>Date: Tue, 23 Dec 1997 07:22:17 -0800 (PST)
>From: Andy Strickland <andyman@efn.org>
>Subject: [pct-l] Corn Pasta and stuff
>Did somebody say corn pasta?
>Now I know that I have come full cycle on this list as I remember a long
>thread about it when I joined this list last year about this time. Before I
>did the PCT I thought that a few of Ray Jardine's ideas were fairly
>eccentric so here are some comments after hiking it.
>ITINERARIES: These alone are worth the price of the book. They are
>amazingly accurate for planning your days between points and therefore
>amount of meals. In the end I was only one day off my projected end time
>using his book as a basis. I recommend taking more time than you think
>necessary to really enjoy this trip.
>HOME MADE BACKPACK. Several hikers were fairly miserable with theirs until
>they switched. However the lightweight concept IS primary. Buy a medium
>sized internal of the lowest possible weight. I carried a  Dana Terraplane
>Overkill the whole way at about eight pounds. I could have saved about six
>pounds here!
>FOOTWARE. Being from the old school I went out and bought some Raichle
>Montanas for the trip. At the last minute I thought the better of it and
>bought Lowa Tempest lows which are heavy duty sneakers basically.
>Eventually I settled into plain old running shoes. I will say that Ray had
>it right on this point, running shoes are what will work best if you have
>normally strong ankles.
>UMBRELLA: Didn't take one, and never felt the need for one either, although
>I wished I had taken a wide brimmed hat as the tips of my ears got fairly
>sunburned with just a baseball hat.
>TARP: I think a tarp is a great idea up until Kennedy Meadows. A tent will
>make all the difference with the mosquitos encountered from then on. One
>that is mostly netting is ideal.
>CORN PASTA: Ray spends a whole chapter or more on the stuff. I didn't send
>any to myself, but along the way I actually grew to love the stuff. I could
>always pick up as much as I wanted out of any Hiker Box so maybe I'm an
>exception. I can guarantee that there are big holes filled with it all
>along the trail. I don't think it's really any better than any other kind
>of pasta and it is certainly not wonder food.
>My other main dinner staples were dried pinto beans, black beans, split
>pea, chili, potatoes, and parmesan cheese. (I hated the chili after
>awhile.) Basically I would throw in a handful of corn pasta into a quart
>pot of water and when it boiled it was done and I added the other
>ingredients in various amounts until I had a rib sticking dinner.  You'll
>be happier to have more variety than this but do not waste money on
>"designer" food. Actually the food planning and preparation is far and away
>the most complicated logistical aspect but nothing will seem as important
>once you are miles from a "town stop".
>Overall I think that Ray's book is a must read for anyone contemplating the
>PCT or other long distance hikes for that matter. But remember that
>everyone has a different style of hiking. Everything in it isn't going to
>work for everybody all the time.
>			Andyman
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>Date: Mon, 22 Dec 1997 16:39:33 -0600
>From: lpmcduff@juno.com (Larry P McDuff)
>Subject: [pct-l] Query on how much food
>We figure a pound and a half per person per day for the maildrops and add
>extra junk food from small stores if needed.  I also read labels to try
>for a high calorie-per-ounce ratio.  Foods with high fat content like
>cheese and peanut butter are good.
>Larry McDuff
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>Date: Tue, 23 Dec 1997 09:27:07 -0800
>From: Dave Gomberg <gomberg@wcf.com>
>Subject: [pct-l] Re: pct-l-digest V1 #334
>At 12:00 AM 12/23/1997 -0600, you wrote:
>> Having 
>>just finished Jardine's book, I'm dashing out and buying one to modify. 
>The Sharper Image has a super lightweight (7 0z) for $20.
>- --
>Dave Gomberg				gomberg@wcf.com
>FormMaestro					http://www.wcf.com
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>Date: Tue, 23 Dec 1997 15:46:17 -0600
>From: charliethorpe@worldnet.att.net (Charlie Thorpe)
>Subject: [pct-l] Sasha's questions
>Hello Sasha -
>First - congratulations on having the gumption to challenge yourself with a
>thru-hike!  I also wanted to do one (AT) about your age, but I dithered
>around for almost thirty more years before I got off my duff and started
>moving down the trail <g>.
>I have enjoyed reading the many excellent answers to your good question.
>The temptation for all of us who have thru-hiked is to try to help you by
>passing on all the "lessons learned" from our own trail experience.  The
>problem, of course, is that we all wound up "hiking our own hike"...for our
>experience to be of genuine 100% use to you, you would have to hike OUR
>hike...not yours!
>You chose an excellent example of this when you selected food to start
>with.  There are HUGE differences in the way that various (successful!)
>thru-hikers have approached the food/resupply challenge.  Some try to
>figure out everything beforehand and either mail ahead or cache all
>resupply items before they walk the first foot of trail.  Others do fine by
>totally winging it...they buy (or yogi<g>) all resupply needs as they hike.
>The large majority of thru-hikers that I have met fit somewhere inside
>this rather wide range of resupply styles.
>If we look at the two resupply extremes given above, a couple of obvious
>trade-offs jump out at us:
>if we do everything beforehand we get wonderful economies of scale ($!) and
>are left free to enjoy our hike with minimal resupply concerns...BUT...we
>are locked in - we don't get to take advantage of all those things that we
>will be learning from our own trail experiences (and from all those neat
>folks we meet on the trail!);
>if we decide to wait and resupply as we hike, we gain a lot of "surface"
>flexibility...BUT...we quickly learn how dependent we are on how
>well-stocked those trail-side stores might (or might NOT) be (grab a road
>map that shows the PCT and notice the size of most of the towns that the
>trail goes near <f>).
>I remember a couple of AT thru-hikers (southbounders, '93) who chose to use
>the above two extremes:
>Trailhead and his trail partner drove to Atlanta and bought all the food
>(and beer) that they thought they would be needing for their entire hike.
>They got a bunch of 5-gal plastic buckets and a shovel and drove north
>along the AT, burying resupply "kits" at various road crossings along the
>way.  They arrived at Millinocket in Maine (nearest town to the northern
>terminus of the AT), sold the car and the shovel, and started hiking south.
>Trailhead's partner quit fairly quickly, but Trailhead stuck with it.  I
>slowly caught up to him in Virginia and was loving it...I was getting his
>delightful register entries (go Peace Frog!) AND all the left-over food
>(and beer!) from his two-people resupply buckets <VBG>.
>Annasauras Rex did the opposite - she got out of the Peace Corps, dropped
>by her parent's house to pick up her backpacking gear, and started down the
>trail.  She was living off of her dinky Peace Corps end-of-assignment
>"bonus" and was a serious vegetarian, to boot.  As far as I know, she
>survived on hiker-box left-overs and Kraft Macaroni and Cheese.  It sure
>didn't slow her down any - we did 18 miles one LONG day in new snow (damp,
>ankle to knee-deep)...she broke trail almost the whole way and STILL walked
>off and left me <g>!
>We decided to use one of the "in-between" resupply techniques.  We
>purchased (in bulk) all the meats and veggies that we thought we would be
>needing for our entire PCT hike.  We cooked, dehydrated, bagged, and froze
>up some 350 meal's worth of individual meats/veggies that could be
>mixed/matched with bulk carbos (noodles, dehydrated hashbrowns, rice, and
>grits).  We guessed on quantities that we would be needing in our early
>resupply boxes and planned to adjust on the fly as we became trail hard and
>the weather/conditions changed.
>BTW, I have (or have had <g>) most of the books mentioned so far during
>this thread.  The reference I have found to be most helpful in this subject
>area is: The NOLS Cookery (Stackpole Books, 1-800-READ-NOW).
>My wife was kind enough to join our trip by being the partner who did the
>mail resupply.  Whenever I called from a town stop I would tell her how
>many days worth of resupply we guessed we would need to pick up at the NEXT
>town stop.  She would crank that number of days into our handy-dandy
>much-modified highly-individualized resupply algorithm...and then would
>pick the appropriate items from the freezer, box it up, toss in whimsical
>spirit-boosters, and mail it off to us.  Most of the time the box got to
>the resupply point before we did (we always took a week or more between
>town stops)...a couple of times it didn't and we hitched to a good grocery
>store to stock up (anybody remember what the Unibomber did to airmail
>coming into California in '95 <f>?).
>Our adjustments were often those of quantity (more, More, MORE!) as the
>weather got colder.  Some were changes in taste (we wound up eating a LOT
>more dehydrated salsa and garlic powder than we first expected <g>) and
>some changes were made because we noticed that some foods didn't seem to be
>giving us the energy we needed...we completely dropped noodles (wheat) and
>potatoes (dehydrated hashbrowns) in favor of rice and grits (MUCH better
>than that ghastly corn pasta <VBG>).  Some of the changes were related to
>the time of year (started eating hot instead of cold cereal for b'fast when
>below freezing) and some were sheer pleasure (hot coffee to go with the hot
>cereal <g>).
>Most of the changes were made after a fair amount of personal observation
>made during months of hiking.  We paid a lot of attention to "cravings"
>that popped up...on the theory that a craving represents our body trying to
>tell us something.  My trail partner (Tony, one of my sons) and I had
>remarkably similar cravings and we were willing to experiment a little to
>help identify what might satisfy each craving as we became aware of it.
>We solved a VERY strong dairy craving (Ben and Jerry's!) by quadrupling the
>amount of powdered milk we put in our cold cereal packets.  An early "juicy
>fat-dripping" meat craving (AT) went completely away when we picked up a
>magic trail recipe from a Dutch hiker (Marcell Dijkmann a.k.a. "Noname").
>We modified his super-goop recipe (1/3, 1/3, 1/3) to become: 2/5 chunky
>peanut butter, 2/5 honey, 1/5 Parkay liquid margarine.  We craved that
>mixture so strongly on the PCT that we would carry it into our town-stop
>b'fast restaurant to put on our flapjacks!  Interestingly, my craving for
>it went completely away as my body settled down after the hike....I
>introduced it to my Scouts after the hike and they disliked it so much that
>they called it "J.O.B." (Junk On Bread!).
>So...I guess that I have taken up all this bandwith to say exactly what
>others have said so well: stay flexible!
>In fact, I would go one step farther...try to do your pre-hike prep in such
>a way that you will be able to take full advantage of the MANY kinds of
>personal changes that are the byproduct of a successful thru-hike.
>Hmmmm...I might even suggest that these changes are how you decide if a
>thru-hike IS successful or not <VBG>!
>- - Charlie II  AT(MeGa'93)
>              PCT(Mex@Can'95)
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>Date: Tue, 23 Dec 1997 20:24:49 -0800 (PST)
>From: bturner@enaila.nidlink.com
>Subject: [pct-l] resupply
>Having completed the PCT this past season I have some insights from which I 
>think others may benfit.  Instead of sending out some 25+ resupply parcels
>on resupplying along the way and sending parcels ahead when convienient.  The 
>easiest/convenient places to resupply on the trail are at Idyllwild, Big Bear, 
>Wrightwood, Tehachapi, Tahoe, Burney (not Burney Falls!), Dunsmuir, Etna, 
>Ashland, Cascade Locks.  From Idyllwild to Tehachapi I wouldn't bother with a 
>mailed parcel, unless its supplies you wouldn't expect to find in town.
All of 
>these towns have large grocery stores with good selctions.  
>We found ourselves captive a couple times where we had to wait or slow down or 
>hustle like heck to make post office hours.  By buying your food at the larger 
>towns you can save some time, vary your diet, and save $ on postage.  Even 
>buying in town and mailing your food ahead may be cheaper than sending the
>parcels from your home state - unless you do live in California.  For most of 
>Oregon and Washinton there isn't any good alternative except to mail parcels.  
>At Steven' Pass consider heading west to Leavenworth, easy to catch a ride,
>almost anything you may need is available.  When we got to Skykomish , after 3 
>days of rain, there wasn't even a laundromat- we went all the way to Salton. 
>Another pleasant surprise was at Etna.  We caught a ride with the first car
>came by, stayed in a brand new motel for $30, had a great meal, did laundry, 
>bought groceries, and caught a ride back to the trail the next morning!
>Many of the places listed in the PCT handbook, except for the above mentioned, 
>aren't of any value for resupply, they tend to be very limited in stock and
>How do some of you other thru hikers feel about this?
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>End of pct-l-digest V1 #335
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Marsha DeCaires

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