Legend tells us that as long as hikers have been around, there has been "hiker hunger," a voracious appetite that comes with many miles on the trail. Doing a 5-month hike can mean a lot of planning and structuring your itinerary around food supply and resupply. (Not to mention, it is consistently the main topic of conversation between hikers.)
Some hikers have planned out every meal ahead of time. They have prepared all of their food and have it stockpiled at home; they then have it shipped to them along the way as needed, in the form of "mail drops." Other people get on the trail without having anything planned out. They get off the trail in towns and buy the next few days' worth of food at local groceries. We're following a plan somewhere in between these two extremes.
Before we left Atlanta, we were baking, dehydrating and cooking up a storm. We planned to send about one third of our food to us along the way, so we had a lot of breakfasts, lunches, dinners and trail mixes to assemble. We made: protein bars, breads, crackers, sweet and spicy gorp, spaghetti sauce, curry packets, brownies, cookies, granola, and dried fruit and vegetables. When it gets close to the time for a mail drop, we send Mrs. Ezor our "shopping list" of items to be included in our next drop, and she sends all that food along. It's there waiting for us in the next town, and we get homemade food for 4-5 days! It was definitely worth all the hard work and effort beforehand, and we're very grateful to the helping hands at home that get it to us each time.
When we walk through a town and don't have a mail drop coming, we go to the grocery and pick out each meal and everyday's snacks. We're still trying to find a balance between having extra food to eat, if we are still hungry at the end of the day (Zack!), and having the right amount so that we're not carrying excess weight in our packs. Unfortunately, we aren't able to carry much in the way of fresh fruits and vegetables (our favorites) because they're far too heavy, but we've found instant rice and pasta dinners, whole grain toaster pastries, tortillas + cheese/peanut butter and granola bars do the trick for now.
We have an alcohol-powered stove that weighs a whopping 2 ounces. It only has one heat setting, so everything we cook is cooked on high. And we've only got one pot, so all of our suppers have to fit into it.
Meals in Town
When we spend a day or just an afternoon in town, (we've been told) it's very important to eat out. That's an assignment we take very seriously! We like to load up on veggies and anything fresh when we're in town, both to fulfill our cravings and to get those items back into our diets.
Overall, we feel well-fed. We're keeping a list of foods we miss so that we can fill up on those when we're in town, and each night we try to mix things up a little (hot sauce is a plus).