Saturday, January 18, 2014

More Food and Fire

I met with my friends a couple of days ago and we had a fun, three hour yack. Food, scheduling and how many miles to schlep in each section…on the way to Canada. Once we were done it became clear to me that I needed to get on the food thing or I'd end up eating commercial foods purchased for vast sums of money. So I made my first, of many, trips to Costco…

The current plan is to cook up lots of foods, dehydrate them and pack them into individual meals. I've begun the Turkey Spaghetti, Mac and Cheese with Pork and will soon begin the dehydration of canned chili from Trader Joe's - I can't make it any better. I have some 90 bags of breakfast begun but need to spice them up…oatmeal needs help. I finally tried to make yogurt last night in the manner of my friend Shroomer and I'll be darned if it didn't work! It wasn't as firm as commercial yogurt but it was good enough and tasted fine. I just put a table spoon of plain non-fat yogurt in that baggie, added 1/4 cup of Nido (full fat powered milk) and one cup of water, put it in that black bag for about 18 hours and in the morning, yogurt. Who knew?

The drought. It is getting very scary around here in California. 2013 was the driest year on record in my home state and it appears, though things could still change, that 2014 will be more of the same. Because of fire danger, and knowing I'll be having to schlep many liters of water on any given day, I'm about 90% sure I'll be going stove less for the greater part of the hike. At least through California and who knows beyond that. I prefer to heat my dinners but what with having to carry the extra weight, and having to find fuel canisters in trail towns, I think I'm gonna give it a go. 90% sure. Once I get to Washington I can have my simple alcohol stove sent to me and be able to heat water for a more palatable food experience, as I won't be carrying as much water by then. Plus, it is likely that by then I might be into Fall and may be dealing with cold and rain. It is prudent to be able to heat water, if only for safety's sake.

BTW, if there are people out there reading this blog who aren't familiar with our climate out here in the West and you think you can bring your high humidity habits with you from home, think again. Please, please do not light campfires for any reason, in any situation other than in extreme hypothermia. I'm gonna guess that fires of any sort will be banned this year, throughout California and possibly Oregon as well so there will be no excuse or possibility for confusion. I hate to be a hard ass but I will not be polite if necessary. No fires, period.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


Who knew that socks would be such an important factor for hikers? For many years I've been wearing nylon Silver Toe socks, purchased at Sears. Six socks for 10 bucks. For me this has been a good deal and in all that time, no (fiction) blisters. Most people like some kind of blend sock: wool, polyester, whatever, but I love my nylon socks from Sears. However, they are no longer to be found! There are lots of blend socks but no nylon socks. So today I got some 98% polyester, 2% spandex socks to try out... Six pair for $3.99. - crazy, but if they work, I'm a happy hiker.