A lot of people have been asking me why I’m hiking the Arizona Trail this fall.
It’s a fair question, especially given how miserable I was all throughout my hike last year, and I should probably come up with a good, concise answer.
In the meantime though, when people ask me why I’m doing this hike, I tell them that I’m doing it for the snacks. Because really, no snacks are as delicious as the snacks one eats after a 20+ mile day of hiking. Is there anything better than sitting in the dirt, utterly worn out, and eating peanut-butter-filled pretzels while you watch the sun set over the mountains? Seriously, those will be the best fucking pretzels of your entire life, I assure you.
And with only a little over a week to go until I start my hike (ah!), I’ve been scrambling to finish packing up my resupply boxes. Below, you’ll find a breakdown of all the food that I’ll be eating for the next 6+ weeks. Feel free to take bets on which things I’ll get sick of first!
Real talk: Picky Bars are literally the only thing I didn’t get tired of eating on my hike last year. I ate 1-2 every day, and still wanted to eat them when I got home. So last week I walked into Picky HQ here in Bend and was like, “Yep, I’ll need 90 bars” because you best believe I’m bringing enough for two per day.
Disclaimer: I received a discount on my order, which is funny because of everything on this list Picky Bars are the one thing I’d pay double to be able to eat on trail. Shhh, don’t tell the Picky people.
Navitas Organics Superfood Bars
Can I be honest? 99% of the time I really don’t like energy bars that aren’t Picky Bars. I did a huge taste-test of different bars for this upcoming hike, and they were all just… not very good. The only ones that I liked enough to bring with me were these, mostly because they’re so different from Picky Bars that I’m not constantly comparing them. They’re sort of light and airy, and yet crunchy and filled with nutrient-dense ingredients. I’m trying not to have a dumpster fire diet on this hike, and I’m thrilled that I found these bars.
I am not bringing trail mix this year. Hiker blasphemy, I know. But the thought of it just sort of makes me want to throw up, so I’ve been searching for an alternative. Can we talk about these Cacao Hemp Almonds for a second? Because they are magic. I cannot stop eating them! I had to order more last week because I ate a bunch of the ones that were supposed to go in my resupply boxes. Oops? I’m also bringing the Coconut Hemp Pumpkin Seeds. Delicious nutrition forever!
Okay wait, I lied before when I said that Picky Bars were the only thing I didn’t get sick of on last year’s hike, because there was never a day when I didn’t want to drink my little chocolate Vega protein shake. They have a few kinds of protein powder, but I prefer the Chocolate Protein & Greens one. Just mix with water and you’re good to go.
I cannot overstate how much I craved fruit last year. Every day, no matter what, I fantasized about eating fruit. I was undecided about bringing dried fruit this time around, mostly because it’s expensive without being calorie-dense, but screw it, this is my fancy hiking food indulgence.
This is my only real culinary question mark. I love granola, and in an effort to bring food that I actually like and also try to pack in a bunch of nutrients wherever possible, I’ve made myself special little granola bags that contain a mix of Trader Joe’s granolas, Navitas Organics Chia Powder, flaxseed meal, dried coconut milk powder, and freeze-dried fruit. All I need to do is add water and I have a meal in a bag.
Will I wind up hating this? Will it be too messy? Will the coconut milk powder get weird and clumpy over time? I guess I’ll find out!
Nut Butter Sandwiches
I’ve really been enjoying this brand of nut butter, and love that it contains flax and probiotics as well. Bonus nutrients! Not to mention the nice little squeezy packages.
If I never again eat another tortilla with nut butter it will be too soon. I was only on trail for 26 days last year, but by the end of it I couldn’t even think about tortillas with nut butter. Bleck. So this year I’m trying something that’s still lightweight but is more bread-like.
I love salty, crunchy snacks. Will I still love them as much while hiking in the hot, dry desert? Hopefully! Here’s what I’m bringing:
Maya Kaimal Naan Chips
I never want to not be eating these. When I eat the first chip I already feel sad that at some point the bag will be empty.
Trader Joe’s Zesty Nacho Kale Chips
How do these only have an average rating of 3-stars?? They are 5-star all the way.
Weird Cold-Soaked Bean Dinner (Yum!)
This will be my second year without a stove, and I’m curious to see if I’ll want one the longer I’m out on trail. For now though, I have my screw-top container in which to cold-soak the following items, plus homemade taco seasoning and nutritional yeast.
Trader Joe’s Scandinavian Swimmers Gummy Candy
How are these so good? How how howwwwww. I’m also completely delighted by their unapologetic rip-off of the Swedish Fish branding.
I’m a little concerned about having a food bag that is entirely covered in melted chocolate, but let’s be honest, it’s worth the risk.
I’m also bringing S-Caps, which I’ve never used but have had recommended to me by three different people. Worth a shot!
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