Dee-boyz

8/6 – Zero day in Dubois!  There are a few things you need to know about Dubois:
1) It’s pronounced Dee-boyz.
2) It’s the home of the Jackalope

Rolling Thunder and the Jackalope

3) By the afternoon when Stretch & Found arrived there were a baker’s dozen thru-hikers in town (also Kombucha, Hawkeye, Joker, Rock Steady, RT, Heaps, DnA, Lost, Mike with a Y, Rambler/Tok) … and for much of the time we were all gathered in one room!  Thankfully there was also a pool and (lukewarm) hot tub.
Rock Steady and Trail Food!

The next section was going to be a long one – 160 miles, including some alternate routes and bushwacks – so that meant lots of food and HEAVY packs.  But it was bound to be worth it…. coming up was the Wind River Range!

let the trail magic begin!

We head west Saturday! But if you head to the post office ASAP you just might be able to send some delectable goodies ahead of us on the trail at East Glacier.

Any and all food is greatly appreciated….. anything non-consumable will be donated to friendly park rangers.  Send mail via the US post office (you can’t pick up USP or Fed-Ex from a US post office) and address it to:

CDT Thru-Hikers Dan & Anna Pizzo
General Delivery
US Post Office
15 Blackfoot Ave
East Glacier Park, MT 59434-9700

Resupply!

Who else buys their food for the next 5 months ahead of time?

Sometimes I think we are totally nuts!

Anna and I are almost done packaging food that we will mail to 12 different locations just off the Continental Divide Trail for our thru hike attempt this summer.  Every week or so we will cross a road/hike on a side trail to a road to then hitch to a nearby town to resupply. That includes picking up these tasty packages, taking a shower and putting our feet up for a little break before heading back to the Rocky Mountains.  It’s quite surreal to seal a box of food and imagine opening it up 5 months later, somewhere in New Mexico.

So what does each box contain?

Lots of high calorie, freeze dried, dehydrated goodies including: carbs, veg, fruit, nuts, seeds, lots of granola/protein bars, candy bars, sweets, and sometimes an item or two of gear, etc.

Can you send us treats to add to the mix?

ABSOLUTELY!! We will soon post the addresses of post offices we will swing by and we will welcome a postcard (preferably one made of chocolate or sweets) anywhere along the way!

Dinner for 6 (months)

Looks just like the dehydrated hummus!

Looks just like the dehydrated hummus!

The problem with enjoying our free subscription to Food & Wine while planning our food for the PCT is we are going way to gourmet. Whereas many thru-hikers survive off Ramen noodles, beef jerky and candy bars for 6 months we have a vast array of nutritious and delicious foods. Carbs include four different types of noodles, bulgher wheat, and quinoa flakes… flavoured with teriyaki, pad thai, marinara, or garam marsala, among others. We have a selection of 10 different dried vegetables and the most amazing assortment of 15 some dried fruits. When on a long backpacking trip you want light, non-bulky high calorie foods that don’t need refrigeration and won’t get crushed or bruised easily. And if you’re cooking, quick one pot meals are ideal. All our dinners are instant – just add boiling water and wait 5 or 10 minutes.

Some thru-hikers buy most of their food at towns along the way, others (like us) prepare their food ahead of time and mail it to locations along the trail (resupply points). We’ll be mailing 27 boxes during our journey. Many of the small “towns” the PCT passes by have nothing more than a tiny (and often overpriced) general store & post office, so we decided to post food so we could save money, have more variety & backpack-friendly foods, spend less time hitchhiking to far-away towns to shop at unfamiliar shops & just in general have one less thing to worry about when on the trail. Which of course means that right now we’re stressing PLENTY about food.

We’ve been dehydrating everything imaginable non-stop for months now (peanut butter smelled amazing but didn’t dry out, hummus looks like parched dessert earth before we pulverize it, but tastes amazing), we’ve scoured the internet for the best deals on freeze-dried veggies & butter powder (Honeyville), plus filled countless shopping carts with bulk purchases from Costco & our fave Korean supermarcado Grand Mart.

I cannot begin to convey to you the complications & calculations involved in buying, preparing & packaging food for breakfast, lunch & dinner for 2 for 208 days. We have numerous Excel spreadsheets detailing all the food we’ve bought, what we’ve packaged, how many servings we need of how many ounces… ahh! It’s really frying my brain. We could fill an entire math textbook with word problems about PCT food packaging.

resupply

The scariest part is, all of our food calculations are based on estimates and assumptions….

Estimating we’ll go at a certain pace so it will take us 6 days to get to the next town and we’ll need 6 days of food. Hoping that our 4000 calorie diet will be adequate. And that we’ll be able to fit all our food into our bear bags during a long wilderness stretch in the High Sierras. Or that enough snow will have melted for us to enter the High Sierras almost a month before the day set by ultra light weight thru-hike guru Ray Jardine. But for now, I’m not going to think about snow. I’m just going to focus on distributing the 200 little mayo packets we bought into our resupply boxes.