Care Packages. There have been questions about to send or not to send. LauTrav send me a great link to a blog to look at an article about what to send/what not to send hikers who are thru-hiking. A link to the direct post is HERE . It’s written by Laura Lancaster for the MSR Team Blog. For anyone sending a care package, it’s a good read. Basically, the summary of LauTrav’s life is:
It’s important to remember that LauTrav spend a great deal of time thinking about what goes into their backpacks. They have to carry these packs day in and day out. Things that we might think are a necessity become things that are not when you are looking at weight and having to carry it miles. We might want to send a game, a book, or basic care items. Basically the message is that unless LauTrav request something specific, don’t send it!
What the blog article did talk about was food. Because hikers are burning so many more calories than they are accustom to (or we are accustom to), calorie rich foods are welcomed. They should be taking in 3500 calories/day – more on this later. The article shares how to get cookies/nummies there in decent shape. Believe it or not, it’s adding butter to the recipe! Who would have thought? Travis did specifically request that while adding more butter was great, go easy on the sugar. Keeping them from going stale? Ziploc’s and vacuum sealed packages, possibly Tupperware type containers.
Another thing to remember is that the package will be subjected to a small about of duress as it travels to LauTrav. It will be thrown around, smashed, stacked on, and left sitting in transit. Once it arrives at the destination of choice, it could be sitting there for a bit. Rodents are also a possibility. =( So be sure to read through the post as it will provide you a wealth of information.
Most important, the article stressed that we do not attempt surprise LauTrav with packages. If they don’t know they are coming it’s very very possible they will not get them. They will look for and ask for what they are expecting and your box could be left behind. =( An email or FB message will suffice. I found this picture on Google and thought it was amusing and a good, practical idea actually!! Maybe not the liquor store part, but you get the gist!
Don’t forget to add a personal note in the box or letter. Something uplifting. Something to celebrate their accomplishments. Something that shares the love.
I continued to do some additional research about nutrition on the trail. Another blog post mentioned that in the beginning of the hike, he consumed 3500 calories but by the end of the hike he was needing to eat 5000 to stave of weight loss! (Erik the Black’s Backpacking Blog). Erik also posted up his 5 day meal plan. Another site, Thur-Hiker shared some information about trail food and how to look at what you need for intake and how to plan what you take. I think it gives some good insight for those of us who’ve not explored thru-hiking.
I found another great blog post Trail Food from a seasoned thru-hiker, Lawton “Disco” Grinter, from the Section Hiker blog. Disco shares this qoute: Ray Jardine once said, “If our journeys degenerate into battles, in terms of lost energy and mental buoyancy, then I think those battles are usually won or lost in the grocery stores, rather than on the trails.” Disco share that it took him 4 thru-hikes to finally figure out the art of eating on the trail. He stated:
“The difference was that I had finally taken my own advice to heart: Don’t Skimp on Food! I carried 1.75 – 2 pounds of food per day on trail and I ate food like it was my job during the brief times I was in town. I also embraced a technique that professional backpacker Andrew Skurka calls the “caloric drip.” Instead of eating 3 meals spaced over many hours on a given day of hiking, I ate smaller portions every hour to hour and a half throughout the entire day. This not only kept my energy levels up, but also allowed me to hike 12-15 hours per day without bottoming out. I had always wondered how some hikers could routinely do 30 miles per day. The big secret . . . they ate a lot of food and ate it at frequent intervals. And all this time I thought they had been blessed with great genetics or were just super athletes. Turns out it’s all about food intake. Who would have known? ” (Lawton “Disco” Grinter – Trail Food).
This article was a fantastic article to read.
Then I looked for a recipe for the PB Monster Cookies:
- 1/2 cup (1 stick or 115g) salted butter, softened to room temperature*
- 1/2 cup (100g) packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup (50g) sugar
- 3/4 cup (185g) creamy peanut butter
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 and 1/4 cups (160g) all purpose flour (measured the correct way)
- 1/2 cup (40g) quick oats*
- 3/4 cup (150g) M&Ms (any size or variety)
- 1/2 cup (90g) semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
In a large bowl, using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars together on medium speed, about 3 minutes. Mix in the peanut butter, egg, and vanilla (in that order). Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Slowly mix in the baking soda and flour. Do not overmix. Fold in the quick oats, M&Ms, and chocolate chips. If the dough is very soft and unmanageable by hand, chill the dough for 30 minutes before rolling.
Rolls balls of dough, about 2 Tablespoons of dough per ball, onto prepared baking sheet. Press a few extra M&Ms on top for looks, if preferred. Bake for 9-10 minutes – do not bake past 10 minutes. The cookies will appear undone. I too mine out at 9 minutes, which is recommended. Slightly press down the baked cookies with the back of a spoon, since the cookies only slightly spread in the oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Cookies will firm up as they cool. Store cookies covered at room temperature for up to 1 week. Cookies freeze well.
*You may use unsalted butter in this recipe. If so, add 1/4 tsp salt with the flour.
*Please use quick oats in this recipe. You need the slightly finer texture from the quick oats in order to give the cookies a more uniform texture. Quick oats will act more as a binder in this recipe than whole oats would, since the consistency is more powdery and the oats are smaller in size.
Until next time
All images from Google Images