For the past two months, I’ve been spending every weekend and some nights of the week cutting veggies into very small pieces and on rotating drying trays. I prepared and dried 54 lunches and 60 dinners. John even tried drying his daily juice. I really wish I had a camera ready to capture his face when he tried to swallow him before immediately dumping him down the drain.
I know everyone says mail drops shouldn’t be done, and I actually agree with them. But I’m here anyway with over 100 meals. Here are the 6 reasons why I make mail drops.
Being a vegetarian
John and I are vegetarians with occasional vegan exceptions (I’m from a part of Maryland located on the Chesapeake Bay, if I stop eating lobster, my family might disown me). As we age, it is very important to eat high-quality protein. For me on the trail that means quinoa and tempeh. (I’ve tried drying the tofu a few times – it was either a rubbery texture or a sponge each time.)
I know it’s trendy, but John’s psoriasis works better with less gluten. This equals less pasta and tortillas, which are hiking staples. And yes, we can use cornflakes, but have you ever tried a cold one? They manage to be chewy and brittle at the same time.
Real food for lunch
I really want to focus on shifting the carb balance to lunch and protein to dinner. I want to fuel my afternoon picnic with easily digestible carbs and protein at night to promote muscle recovery. It’s a theory I’m trying, we’ll see how it goes. Plus, no one likes burping tuna fish when hiking. I almost never eat a sandwich at home, so why should I go on the road?
Having experience (in a good way)
I’ve taken a trip through before. I know how to eat on the road. These are also a variety of meals that I make for dinner, so I know we won’t tire of them. We might already be looking forward to them at this point because preparing meals for dehydration has really hampered preparing meals for dinner.
Having experience (not in a good way)
You learned your lesson last time. When we raised the CT in 2018, we shipped all of our food. John gets an industry discount when buying in bulk, so it made sense. After a taste test of all the bars, he settled on two flavors from Kate’s Bars. If no one tells you, the first part of the trail leaving Denver in the summer may be hot. The heat is very different from the moist, sticky, melting heat of the East Coast. John ate one of Kate’s mentioned bars while feeling a little nauseous on that stretch. He could never digest another person and she ate all the rest of Kate’s bars. Also, all the reheatable “salads” you prepared last time have been discarded. It is better to add more vegetables to our meals. I forgot my own rule “if you don’t eat it/love it at home – you won’t magically love it on the road”.
I have tried to incorporate zero waste into my life for many years. The first book I bought was “Zero Waste Home” by Pia Johnson when owning a Nook tablet was a big deal. I’m not perfect at it by any means, but I try to make the choice of little or no waste when I can. Considering vacuum-sealed plastic bags, alien bags, and freeze-dried meals, I wanted to do better. Our food bags are 100% compostable, even in landfills. (A full post on our other zero-waste options is coming soon)
The current plan is to ship John’s breakfast, lunches, dinners, chocolates, and drinks (coffee, electrolytes,
smoothie mix). Then in town we’ll buy snacks and sweets for those times we really want things like combo and Milanese cookies.
I know you think I forgot breakfast for me. Please indicate above where I said coffee.
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