Probably the biggest challenge of hiking 220 miles nearly unsupported, is planning out the food. Have you ever planned, purchased, and prepared meals for 17+ days? Neither had I before this point. We will conceivably need 51 meals plus a lot of snacks. We are aiming at completing the JMT in 17 days so that means we need to average 12.94 miles per day. That is basically a half marathon every day so we will need lots of calorie-dense food to avoid bonking. We decided after calculating the cost of store bought camping meals to dehydrate and prepare our own food. This is no small undertaking. The first thing I did was research good food dehydrators and many a blogs recommended the Nesco Snackmaster Pro.
Pros – it works great, central fan dehydrates food evenly, trays all come apart and it is easy to clean
Cons – no timer or auto shut off means we have to monitor it. I guess we could have spent more money for that feature. The hole in the center and circular shape make it more difficult to work with. Oh and it doesn’t actually say Snackmaster on the top. I was super disappointed about that.
Next thing we purchased was a Food Saver – Game Saver Deluxe Plus (where do people come up with these names?). Haven’t gotten to use it yet; will soon when we pack up all our meals. In terms of what to actually dehydrate, we are following the recipes outlined in the “Backpacking Chef.” The recipes are simple, easy to follow, and look delicious.
So far we have dehydrated:
8 pounds of mixed vegetables
3 lbs of smoked ham
7 red bell peppers
2 lbs of peas
2 lbs of broccoli
5 lbs of potato vegetable bark
5 jars of tomato sauce