We’ve all seen them. The long range hiker who has turned into a “calorie monster,” so obsessed with consuming calories, that nutrition isn’t a consideration.
They can be seen emptying overstuffed food bags full of cosmic brownies, honey buns, pop tarts, candy bars and other over-processed sugar laden garbage. Which to the body is pure shit. The idea that calories are the only nutritional need a hiker has is baloney. If calories, and calories alone, were all that mattered, why not use Jack Daniels as a calorie source? It has a fuck-ton of calories.
Do you think your body will perform at a high level using Jack Daniels as a staple of your diet? Then why would one believe that fueling up on processed sugar will do them any good?
Now let me clarify one point: I am certainly looking forward to savoring, guilt-free, some of the food on the trail that I normally avoid. Extra slices of pizza, Big Macs, kettle chips, nachos, and fried chicken. And don’t get caught behind me on the trail after a town with a Chipotle.
So this is not a pitch to “go vegan,” or a diatribe about the evils of ramen noodles. This is just how I plan to give my body what it needs to perform at a high level over 2,200 miles.
So getting complex carbohydrates, protein, and fat is essential. I’m now in the process of dehydrating food for my thru-hike, and here’s a list of what’s on the menu so far.
Using cuts of top round, marinated in soy sauce, BBQ sauce, brown sugar, and fresh pineapple, I coat the strips of beef with teriyaki sauce and honey, sprinkle some coarse ground pepper, and dehydrate at 160 degrees for a couple hours, then finish at 130 degrees for 3 or 4 hours.
Spicy Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya
Logan’s Andouille Sausage, 100+ count shrimp, lots of cayenne pepper. Mmmmmm.
My Spicy Jambalaya after it has been re-hydrated
Spicy Shrimp, Andouille Sausage, and Black Bean Bow-Tie Pasta
I use whole grain pasta, and lots of cayenne pepper, of course.
Beef and Bean Chili Mac
My wife’s awesome, and very simple beef and bean and bean chili, with Tobasco.
Chorizo and Black Bean Penne with Cilantro
Again, whole grain pasta, and did I mention lots of cayenne pepper?
Soon I will adding these to the dehydrating cycle as well:
Chicken Marsala with Rice – I will talk about how to make chicken that rehydrates well.
Fish, Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo & Rice – Fuck yeah!
Traditional Red Beans and Rice with Smoked Ham Hocks
“Chili Style” Red Beans and Rice – Lots of cumin and chili powder