39 days out
Food for the Pacific Crest Trail is a major thing, major. I have not personally experienced it but hiker-hunger is supposed to turn you into a food gobbling machine who can only think about ice cream and hamburgers. Apparently I can look forward to a lot of daydreaming about food so, I decided to take food, and my resupply, pretty seriously. Some hikers mail themselves all their food and get a resupply at every stop, while some only resupply at towns. Either way has it’s advantages and disadvantages. If you mail all your food you might get sick of what you mailed and that is not fun. If you only resupply in towns you may get stuck eating whatever is left over at gas stations, or having to hitchhike many miles out of your way for resupply. I am choosing a hybrid method, I will be mailing to specific spots where there are not good grocery stores or known resupply, or where resupply is prohibitively expensive. Towns which have services I will be just spending money there and doing my resupply as a I go. This way I have figured out I will be sending a total of about eight resupply boxes from the start and will create and mail more from the trail as needed.
In my resupplies I will be needing to put in shoes, I am going with the shoe that seems to be tried and true and everyone’s favorite, I also have been wearing a pair for a couple months now off and on and agree that the Brooks shoe, the Cascadia is awesome. I have purchased two pairs which I will be mailing myself every 500 miles of the trail.
Two resupplies will be for later parts of the trail. One to Ashland Oregon and another to Cascade Locks Oregon, each one will be mostly for sending maps and in each of these towns I will be making and sending out my resupply ahead. Oregon resupply from Ashland and then ones for Washington from Cascade locks. The reasoning behind this is that a lot can happen between then and now and I would not want to be stuck with food I won’t be sending out. I will be purchasing and mailing to myself more shoes at the Ashland point as well, as if I am injured or taken out with illness then I don’t want to have a pile of new shoes reminding me.
Notably the most important resupply for me will be the one I do at Kennedy Meadows. Kennedy Meadows is the entry point for the Sierra and where just about everyone mails their bear canister as some kind of canister is required going forward from this point for quite a while. K.M. is also where you start to need things like micro-spikes and/or an Ice axe. Personally, I see having sure footing as a better option than having an ice axe as an ice axe is for ‘self arrest’, or stopping yourself while sliding down snowy/icy inclines. Microspikes (link below) are for not sliding down in the first place.
I will be mailing myself stuff in a five gallon plastic bucket to Kennedy Meadows, which will also be acting as what is referred to as a ‘Bounce box’, as what I will be doing is sort of ‘bouncing’ this bucket, via the USPS, ahead of myself with various stuff in it (Later it will be useful to mail away my bear canister and other items I decide I don’t need) . The reason for it being in a plastic bucket is because cardboard boxes are not rodent proof (a problem in some smaller post offices where PCT hikers send lots of food) and it will not break down like a box will after repeated mailings and taping open and shut.
The Sierra is where mosquitoes rule, so I will need to bring a head-net for them, it is also where I should start packing some lightweight rain gear.
Amazon sells the bucket and the top separately. So here is what this resupply will look like. All images are links to Amazon where I bought them.
The BV500 Bear Canister will fit inside the bucket with room for other stuff along the side.
Inside the canister will be some of the following (I will be supplementing with others I purchase up in Oregon).
The mashed potatoes I picked three different ones, Loaded, Smoked bacon and four cheese. Additionally dried fruit and Parmesan cheese in each resupply for flavor and variety.
I also found these energy gels in Rei and of all of them, these were the ones missing and the clerk said they are awesome and people like them, so I will toss in three for each box.
The one thing here I am not getting on amazon is olive oil, I am going to have to try to find small bottles of olive oil as I go, or bounce it in my bounce box, in order to add calories to the food. It is hard to find olive oil in small bottles and it does not store well in plastic as the taste can get very bad.
Obviously I will be getting other things like nuts (“trail mix” is not my thing so I need to be creative here) and whatnot. Basically, I am going to get all my flat-rate boxes, sort all this stuff listed here into each and then go and pick up some things at the grocery store to round them out, crackers, string cheese, peanut butter and so forth. This list is what I am able to round up online without visually seeing and feeling the weight of it all to know how big the packages are and if they will fit right. This is about as good as I can do without being in a store.
Still so much to do and I really only have a few weeks to get this all wrapped up.