Veggie Recipes

Aside from getting new gear as noted in the backpack post from a little while ago, the other thing I have been doing is trying some new recipes (reproduced below).  I must say the Carter Notch Coleslaw is excellent.  It dehydrates and rehydrates very well, weighs next to nothing and maintains a nice crispness.  I hope to prepare about 40 packs of this, which would be a treat a couple of times a week.  The other thing I tried is dehydrating some Brussel Sprouts.  This turned out OK, not great, so I might make 20 packs of these.  That is good for a once a week treat.  Gotta get my veggies!
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http://www.pcta.org/2013/trail-salad-recipes-12787/

Carter Notch Coleslaw

From Lipsmackin’ Vegetarian Backpackin’

Total weight: 7 ounces

Weight per serving: about 2 ounces

Total servings: 4

Ingredients:

At home:

  • 1⁄2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 11⁄2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard seed
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 (16-ounce) bag fresh coleslaw vegetable mix
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 1 cup chopped sweet onion
  • 1⁄2 cup chopped green pepper

Optional:

  • 1⁄4 teaspoon caraway seed
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon prepared horseradish

Preparation at Home:

Heat liquids, sugar, and spices, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Immediately remove from heat once the syrupy mixture reaches boiling. Combine the shredded vegetables in a heavy-duty plastic bag or bowl and cover with the hot syrup. Refrigerate, covered, for at least 8 hours, mixing at least once during the period. Drain, then spread the vegetable mixture thinly and evenly onto parchment-lined dehydrator trays. Dry, breaking up any lumps partway through the drying process. When ready, distribute the slaw mixture evenly between 4 ziplock quart-size freezer bags (about 2⁄3 cup each).

Preparation on the Trail:

  • 2⁄3 cup water per serving

To make 1 serving, add 2⁄3 cup of water to 1 bag of slaw. Allow to rehydrate for at least 30 minutes.

Option: Add the contents of a fast-food packet of vinegar for additional tang.

Ken Harbison

Rochester, New York

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http://rawmazing.com/recipe/brussels-chips/

Brussles Sprouts Chips

MAKES 5 CUPS

6 cups sliced brusseles sprouts (1/8th-thick)

1 cup cashews, soaked until soft, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup water

3 tablespoons organic maple syrup

3 tablespoons low-sodium tamari or coconut aminos

1/2 lemon, juice from

1 teaspoon chili flakes (omit if you don’t like heat)

Himalayan salt and pepper to taste

  1. Place sliced brussels sprouts in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Blend cashews, water, maple syrup, tamari and lemon juice in a high-speed blender until smooth.
  3. Pulse in chili flakes, salt and pepper.
  4. Pour over sliced brussels sprouts and toss to coat.
  5. Dehydrate at 145 degrees for 45 minutes then reduce heat to 115 and dehydrate for 24-48 hours. (This is still raw. The food temp never gets above 115 degrees in the first 45 minutes. It cuts dehydration time.)

Backpack

So, I think I am nuts.  I had my big three all picked out, wrote an article about it even.  But, yesterday I ordered a new backpack.  It comes with a 30 day trial period, so I will put it through its paces and see how I like it.  This was critical as it is a very different design approach to a backpack.  The background on this decision is that my current pack, a Jansport Carson, is beginning to show signs of wear.  It has been used on numerous weekend scout outings, four trips to Philmont, two trips to Isle Royale and tons of preparation hikes.  After a close inspection a while back I determined I that I don’t think it will make the 2,200 miles without breaking down on me.  So I decided to send my two other external frame packs from days gone by back to Jansport for repair or replacement.  My thought was that the repaired packs would be my backup in case of catastrophic failure.  Well, a couple days ago I got my replacement packs.  Two brand new internal frame Jansport packs.  I know I should not be disappointed, but I was.  They won’t work for me.  So the search for a new pack began in earnest.  I immediately thought Kelty, because back in the day you were either Jansport or Kelty.  Now that Jansport is out of the external frame market, I figured I would check into the dark side.  From there, I went literally all over the world looking at packs and I settled in on one made from a cottage industry supplier in Texas.

Here is the website:

http://www.neotrekk.com/index.html

What I like about it is that it is an external frame.  I don’t care what anyone says, but a good external frame supports the weight better than an internal frame.  The only time an internal frame makes good sense to me is when you are going ultralight with a base weight (everything except food and water) under 20 pounds (preferably under 15 pounds), because then you would rarely be carrying weights of 25-30 pounds.  With minimal weight any two shoulder straps and weight belt would do, so the internal frame packs work well in that environment.  Although I care about weight I am not an ultralight packer.

I like the three barrels.  This compartmentalizes my gear, which is what I have with my Jansport Carson backpack through two main compartments, two large side pockets, and tent and sleeping bag attached at the top and bottom.  I like that there are no zippers and that the barrels are waterproof (huge plus).  I like that the hip belt stays on throughout the day and you simply pop the pack off and on.  This could help with the lower back pain that sometimes develops after a practice hike.  The belt may act like those that weight lifters wear and support the lower back better than the traditional belt on a pack.  I like that with a simple adjustment my umbrella will attach to the pack and I won’t have to carry it.  If I had to carry the umbrella I would not be bringing it.  As an aside, I want to try the umbrella as anytime I wear rain gear I end up sweating so much that I am soaking wet anyway, so the rain gear is kinda useless for me.   From what I read, hikers who have umbrellas love them.   We shall see.

What I am not crazy about is that I don’t have smaller side pockets.  This may not be a big loss, but I am used to them and I do/did find them handy.  I am not crazy about the front pack for carrying water bottles and other stuff.  It looks like it hangs down in front too much.  I like to be unobstructed in front.  I think.  That being said, I do like a front pack.  I have always used one in some fashion, be it a fanny pack or what I currently have now from http://www.ribzwear.com/.  I rarely use them for water, but instead for snacks, a bandana or two, TP, sunglasses, and other small things I would like to get to throughout the day.  I am going to try his front pack, but I suspect I’ll likely stick with my own if I am honest.

I also don’t like that I don’t have a place for my water bladder.  I used to never use one, but once I did it makes a huge difference.  A water bladder typically holds two or more liters of water and has a tube with a bite valve on the end that you can attach near your head for easy access to water throughout the hiking day.  I’ll see what I can figure out there.  Finally, I am bit concerned about weight shifting with the three barrels.  It appears they only attach to the frame at two points, so it seems to me that they may flop around a bit if not packed right.  I am fairly certain I am wrong in that assessment however, as it is based on pictures only at this point.

Pack ships next Monday.  Then I’ll have 30 days to figure this out.

-Seven

Google Chromebook

So, this morning I am testing out my new Chromebook.  I bought the Acer Chromebook 11 which came with 100 gig of Google Drive storage for free. Total cost is less than $200. The purpose of the Chromebook is going to be to put it in a bounce box and every few weeks use it to upload all my photos and video to Google Drive.  A bounce box is a box that you mail to yourself.  On the trail this can be very helpful as you can bounce box to yourself down the trail computers, charging cables, a set of clean town clothes, etc…  This way you have some stuff you may need, or want, but you don’t have to carry it with you all the time.  So the point is you determine where you will be in a week or two weeks or more and then mail the box to that location with instructions to:

“Hold for thru-hiker, Scott Edwards.  Expected arrival date of xx-xx-xxxx.  Phone number xxx-xxx-xxxx.”  

Once I get the bounce box, I’ll need a wifi connection and then I’ll be able to upload all my pictures, notes, etc.  I’ll also be able to update the blog if I have not done so.  Then at home, if space becomes an issue, Leslie could download them to our hard drive at home.  If not, we will just leave them on google drive until I get back and can sort and organize them.   Also, if I am craving a certain album or book that I did not previously load on my memory cards, I can have Leslie load them up to google drive and I can then download them to my memory cards.  🙂  Right now I use dropbox quite a bit and this might be my first step to moving everything to Google Drive.  

I uploaded 321 pictures from my camera this morning, a ton from my phone and it was simple.  Plug and play as it were.  I still have over 115 gigs of space available.  (Previous to the Chromebook purchase I apparently had 17 gig of storage on Google Drive and there were a few files there) I think this is going to work perfectly….well if I can now figure out how to post this.  The one thing I have noted already that I do not like about the Chromebook is that it appears to not have a delete key, only a backspace.  I did not realize how much I use the delete key in my typing.  Ah well, if that is the worst thing…..

Seven

Interesting Links

Yesterday I noted that that post would likely be my last until I hit the trail.  Well, today I finished reading a website that has a lot of great information for thru-hikers, some of which I would agree with, some which I don’t, but I wanted to save the link for the future.  I could bookmark it and there it is for me.  I thought perhaps some of you might be interested in some of the stuff I read about the trail as well, so I am going to post that link here and the main reason why I found it particularly interesting.  From time to time I will update this post with other links and the reasons why they were worthy of saving.

-Seven

http://www.gallifrey.org/ATTOC.html

This article is fairly old, so many of the links contained within the article are dead.  One particular line from the article stood out to me.  I have heard a variation of this before, from Clark King, another thru-hiker. Clark told me that the people who make it are usually stubborn.  The quote from the article is:

Luck will be with those who feel they have something to prove, those who are stubborn, and those who are eager for challenge and adventure.”

I think that is true in life as well.  In many cases you make your own luck.


http://blissfulhiking.blogspot.com/2013/04/observations-of-two-week-appalachian.html

Interesting article from 2013 about, well, basic common sense more than anything.  I suspect I am going to be thankful that I am starting later than the “bubble” of everyone from March 1 to April 15.  Hopefully by the time I catch up to them most of the people that are described in the blog post above have quit the trail and headed home.  First rule of Leave No Trace?  Plan Ahead and Prepare.


A very interesting article about food choices vs weight.  Also has a concluding note that I think is very important.

“Carrying things based on a formula or primarily nutrition can be detrimental psychologically. Managing your brain, your health, your emotions is a balancing act.” – Digger

All of this talk about calculations, weight, calories and nutrition is of no use if you’re not willing to consume whatever is in your pack. If pop-tarts, tortillas and Skittles make you happy, then by all means pack those items. Food plays a huge part in daily life on and off the trail.

Bring on the Oreos!  WOO!

The Ugly Truth About Pop-Tarts!

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This is a post I wanted to write, but I see Andrew Skurka has beaten me to it.  I may end up writing something about this anyway.  However, for now, I just finished reading his and it does hit the mark.  It is amazing to me how many newly minted backpackers there are (it seems that a lot of people decide for their first backpacking trip to thru hike the AT, I could be wrong, but from reading facebook groups, blogs and other things…it appears that way) that are being told light light light.  Nothing wrong with light, in fact it is something we all strive for, however, at least initially on the AT (first 30 to 45 days) you will not be hiking sun up to sun down and will have hours in camp.  I believe it is important to make those hours comfortable as well.  I know many start heavier due to winter gear and then ship that home and go light once the weather warms up.  If cost were no object, it might be smart to start a bit heavier and enjoy the camping piece of the trip and then once you get your trail legs, swap out your kit for a lightweight kit, new pack, tent, everything.  Maybe even go stoveless for that portion of the hike and then as you get to Maine and the hours shorten, bugs get worse, swap out a second time for a heavier setup.  Anyway, here are Andrews comments on this.

What inspires you to backpack? The hiking, the camping, or both?


Been meaning to put together a listing of Thru-Hiker terms in one area so people have a place to look if something is unknown.  Much like internet acronyms, thru-hikers have their own language.  As usual with these ideas, I was not the first to think of it and this dictionary is pretty good.

AT Thru-Hiker Dictionary

Random Thoughts 2

Last of the generally sporadic updates!

From this point forward, they will be very sporadic, if at all.  It is entirely possible that I don’t post anything until I actually hit the trail at this point.  We will see.  So rambling thoughts about what I have been up to, what I am about to be up to and having Tom Petty perform a concert in honor of my hitting the trail.

The holidays were insane.  Leslie and I had something going on virtually every single day.  It was a fantastic time.  We saw family, family and more family, some old friends and kept up some traditions.  We cooked and ate a lot of really really good food, helped to train a celebrity chef in the making (go Connor!), spent two nights seeing Lucinda Williams in concert, and finally I spent a full day just packing up 100 days of meal replacement and vitamins, which I am calling my daily nutrition bomb!

The daily nutrition bomb has several components.  It has a meal replacement, which generally has protein, veggies, probiotics, vitamins, and fiber.  The main one I used was LIVfit Superfood Blend, which blended well in my shaker and did not taste hideous (which is about as high a bar you can have when dealing with meal replacement mixes).  The other one I used, since I had two cans of it, was Vitacost Earthblends Whole Food Shake.  This one is close to hideous, but since I had two cans, I’ll choke it down.  The one I did not use was the Vega One All In One Nutritional Shake.  Thankfully I did not have extra as I was able to purchase sample packs.  Gross.  The next component is an additional scoop of protein powder.  I got mine from Life Extension Foundation.  Then a Comprehensive Nutrient Pack, also from Life Extension Foundation.  (http://www.lifeextension.com/Vitamins-Supplements/item02098/Comprehensive-Nutrient-Packs-ADVANCED)  This pack is great, not only covering the essential vitamins and a health booster but also omega 3 oils, CoQ10 and curcumin.  Finally, two more components to help my body recover from the daily grind, extended release magnesium and l-glutamine capsules.  I have put together 100 of these packs, which is designed to be 5 times per week for 20 weeks on the trail.  I am going to put together 40 individual vitamin only packs as well for the other 2 days per week.  The thought there is that at least a couple days per week I will either eat in town or be at a resupply location where I will bring real honest food with me.  These nutrition bombs are around 160 calories, weigh on average about 2.2 ounces per bomb and when vacuum sealed are quite small.  Hopefully they will help with recovery after each day.

Another thing I did over the Christmas break was to replace my phone.  I ditched my LG 4 and upgraded to an LG v20.  I thought long and hard about going to the iPhone 7, but given that my background is Android, I decided to not poke that bear.  The reason I am doing this now is that I need to get up to speed with the applications for the trail and camera control.  I can have my GoPro4 Silver attached to my pack above my head and control it with my phone.  It is pretty slick.  I also have downloaded several location, information and weather type apps.  The last thing I downloaded which should be very cool, is an application called Hikerbot which is a crowd sourced app where users update information as they come across it.  If enough use this, it should be very helpful on the trail with respect to water availability, campsites, shelters, and other activities along the trail.  You can apparently also share location data with other hikers that you meet along the trail.  I understand that there is an amazing “telephone line” up and down the trail in terms of information exchange (kinda like the old tin cans with the string in between them I think), and I would think that applications such as Hikerbot will completely revolutionize the exchange of information up and down the trail.

On the physical training front, I recently read an article, and I cannot find it again or I would link it here and give them proper credit, which suggested a training program to get ready for a thru hike.  It was quite simple and frankly makes a certain amount of intuitive sense.  It is a twelve week program and it is broken down into two week sections.  The first two weeks you would hike for 3 miles on three days (such as Monday, Wednesday and Friday) and then 5 miles on one day (either Saturday or Sunday).  The next two weeks you increase the three days to 4 miles and the one day to 7 miles, keeping up with that one mile and two mile increase.  By the end you are hiking 8 miles on the three days and 15 miles on the one day.  I am already well beyond the 3 miles, but think I will attempt to do this as it is not overly time consuming.  I am doing it with a pack weight of between 35 and 40 pounds.  I am going to do Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, with Sunday for the long day.  I am still playing racquetball for an hour on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Finally, I will be working on the details of my food drops so that Leslie’s job is hopefully relatively easy.  For now it is all going into the chest freezer for safekeeping.  Eventually I will setup a staging area for Leslie and we will lay it out in the manner which makes the most sense to her.

Oh, I almost forgot, Tom Petty is going on tour this year, calling it his 40th anniversary tour (even though it is year 41 for him).  He heard about my hike starting late April and scheduled a date in Atlanta on April 27th to celebrate the start of my hike!  Leslie and I will be attending that show, then staying at Amicalola Falls State Park the night of the 28th and I’ll hit the trail sometime the morning of the 29th.  Hopefully I’ll have the capability to post some video of those first few steps towards Maine.  The 100 day countdown is coming up pretty quick now on January 19th.

Seven

PS – For those of you who have not (which is basically all of you except Leslie), you can sign up as a member of this blog and you will then get updates anytime I post something new or update an old post.  The way to do that is to scroll down to the META category on the right side of the page and click on register.  Since Leslie and I are the only “members” of this blog, I thought I would mention that that is a good way to make sure you do not miss something.