Thoughts on food

Day 16 (118)

Miles: 24.9

Mileage: 2442.2

They say hikers carry their fears. If you fear storms, you carry heavy rain gear and extra clothes. If you fear running out of water (like Richard) you carry an endless supply of water purification and never have less than a liter of clean water on you at all times.

If you’re like me, you fear running out of food. Without consciously over packing my food, I always seem to carry at least 1,000 calories more than I ever eat.

Last year, that meant my pack going into the sierras was painfully heavy when we tried to pack for 10 days of food.

I think my tendency toward bringing extra food comes from my beginning in endurance exercise. In high school, I started biking long distances, but always with planned stops for food.

Then in college I trained for my first marathon, skipping the parts of the training literature that talk about eating while exercising. The result was a series of annoying bonks, where my energy level hit a wall and I was useless.

It’s something that I still have to work at and probably why I over pack food. Bonking in the backcountry is no good.

For this leg we have 71 miles over nearly three days. I put a lot of thought into how much food I packed because despite the danger of bonking, I am sick of carrying an unnecessarily heavy pack.

I brought only what I honestly think I will eat. Yesterday, I did well. I ate everything I allotted for the day and was quite full after dinner.

Today, I didn’t eat two of the snacks I’d allotted. Still quite full after dinner. We’ll see how tomorrow goes.

Looking down on Spectacle Lake.
Looking down on Spectacle Lake.
Richard smiles.
Richard smiles.
Our camp with a view of hanging glaciers.
Our camp with a view of hanging glaciers.

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