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[pct-l] PCT Food Party



<fontfamily><param>Times</param>Hi PCTer's


</fontfamily>May is rapidly approaching, and many of you are facing the
daunting task

of packing the 100+ or so days of food needed for your summer
adventure.

I thought I'd share an idea that my partner (Panna Lossy) and I came up


with last year that made the meal planning both funner and better.  We


had a lot of friends that wanted both to see us before we left *and* 

wanted to help out with the trip, so we did the following.


1.  identify a set of friends that have some clue about hiking.  


2.  invite them all to a big party


3.  instruct them to come up with a meal that they like to eat while

    backpacking, and bring several (~5) copies of it to the party


4.  Buy party food and drinks for the party


5.  Have a big party.


Now, friends being friends and all, most (at least in our case) will
not 

be able to follow your simple instructions, so I'd recommend an

additional step.


6.  Buy a lot of random dried food suitable for hiking (some uncommon 

    suggestions to follow), and a lot of plastic bags.


What ended up happening at our party is that a *large* stack of food 

ended up on the dining table.  People took turns sitting around, 

grabbing more or less random things from the pile, and assembling 

dinners.  I worked out great.  We ended up with about 80 dinners.  No 

two were the same.  Many were bizzare.  Many crossed ethnic boundaries.
 

Only a few included corn pasta.  Some had little notes in them from 

friends.  Some had desserts.  Some were hard to figure out.  Some had

dried habeneros in them (danger).  Some were way too big or way too 

small -- we adjusted the starch amount in these.  


Anyway, we never got sick of any dinner food.  We made the rest of the


dinners ourselves, maybe 6 copies of 6 different dinners, but these
were 

well separated by the bizarre ones, so they never got monotonous.  I 

just wish we'd done the same for breakfast!


Here's some dinner ideas you might not have thought of that are very 

light and tasty--


curried mashed potatoes with baco-bits and dried onions


buckwheat soba with dried miso (kikkoman is best) and dried shitakes


rice noodles with dried coconut milk and red thai curry (or lemon
juice)


pasta with sun dried tomatoes, dried onions and walnuts


dried black olive and tomato paste pesto (I made this) on pasta


If you live somewhere with lots of asians, you can find lots of
uncommon 

dried foods in asian food marts.  We ate dried squid, scallops,
mussels.  


We always had a bottle of both olive oil and sesame oil-- seems heavy

until you remember its 9 kCals/gram.


We found a source of bulk dried vegies, which we added to everything.


Oh, yeah -- be careful what you send to the "warmer" post offices --
we

got some pretty nasty dry salami in Warner Springs!



Hope this helps somebody.  I'm ready to answer "foody" hiker 

questions, and questions about taking a dog.  Our dog made it,

except where it was very illegal.



As far as this years snowpack goes, I skiied off the roof of the

Echo Lake resort on Sunday -- this means there's still 10+ feet on

the ground! I'm planning on  backcountry skiing even after y'all

are at Kennedy Meadows 





Carl Mears

mears1@llnl.gov



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