Adventuring in Grocery Stores

Beaverton, Oregon, USA — April 16, 2012

List in hand. Checked twice. Off I went to the grocery store and shopping for trail food.

I’m bringing my first four days of food with me to the trail head. Then I’ll be picking up five days of food boxed up and shipped ahead to Mt. Laguna, CA. And another five days of food shipped ahead to Warner Springs, CA. After that I’ll be buying my food from grocery stores in trail towns along the way.

I’d made up these great recipes and a meal plan to get me 4500 calories per day. My shopping challenge was to not only buy 14 days of trail food to start with, but to also buy from the type of stores I’d find in trail towns. This meant no Internet orders, no Trader Joe’s, no Costco, no Whole Foods. Sure, I could find some gourmet foods and deals there, but it doesn’t make sense to me to make up meals that I won’t be able to prepare again down the trail.

My shopping options included a Thriftway a mile away, a Safeway one and a half miles away, and a Fred Meyer three miles away. So I shouldered the pack and set out. I ended up trekking to all of them.

Nice training hikes and lessons on grocery store trail food options. Out were freeze dried oranges, dried corn, dried tomatoes, dehydrated beans, yogurt powder, and such. Just not readily available.

So I tweaked my recipes and substituted ingredients. Nice substitutions included dried cheese soup mix and dried bean soup mixes. Then measured out everything into freezer bags, and packed and mailed my boxes.

Unfortunately, my test kitchen for these changes will be on trail. Hope they taste good.

Brett on the PCT!

Thanks for reading. Do you shop at grocery stores for your trail food? Any tips and what to buy? Let us know about this or any other thoughts you had on this post in the comments section below.

Happy trails!

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