Below is a sample of the food preparation tasks I have performed. This was the most time consuming task, but a fundamental component in making this walk as efficient as possible.
In an effort to reduce the weight of carry, almost all food items were dehydrated. This decreased my pack weight significantly, and increased the number of days worth of food I can carry at one time. Dehydrating food and the creation of road/trail ready meals is a creative exercise; however, after some browsing of the inter-web and a little trial and error, some very light meals were created for a relatively low price.
If you have enough time and ask enough questions, a decent food dehydrator can be had for a reasonable price. For example: my dehydrator was purchased for a relatively low price after peppering the sales associate with questions, and asking if this item is expected to go on sale in the near future. After some humming and hawing, the sales associate presented me with a card for an upcoming sale in a couple of weeks. After a short period of time, I purchased the dehydrator for a great price! Although this is a large dehydrator, it was the perfect size for all my dehydrating needs.
12 Tray Food Dehydrator and Tray (apple slices)
Dehydrated Food Items
Below are a number of dehydrated food items, including, but not limited to Beef Chilli, Ham, Oatmeal Bark (blended oatmeal, raisin, almond, cinnamon, and maple syrup), Peppers, and Mixed Vegetables. Other dehydrated items included: Yam, Corn, Chicken (canned), Turkey (canned), Orange slices, Mushrooms, etc.
Staple Food Items
To balance between cost, effort, and reality; a majority of the dehydrated food items were combined with store bought staples. Some of these staple items included: instant rice, pastas, textured vegetable protein (TVP), raisins, almonds, and instant oatmeal.
Spices and Additives
Even though I am living small, it doesn’t mean I have to eat small! After looking around, some spice mixes and additives were used, which made these meals quite respectable. Items such as coconut milk powder, taco seasoning mix, or even simple items like powdered milk, add that extra richness and caloric input!
Hot and Cold(ish) Drinks
Personally, it is nice to take a break and have a tea, instant coffee, hot chocolate, or drink once in a while, since I have no schedule. I packaged about 10 days worth of instant drinks into a sealable plastic bag. My vice is tea and coffee, so I ensured a good quantity was packed!
After trying out each meal and mulling over the taste, texture, and ease of re-hydration; the winning meals were duplicated and packaged in sealable plastic bags. All meals were stored outside in plastic totes, my car carrier, or in the freezer. A week or so before my departure day, all meals were combined to create packages of 10 or so days worth of meals that will be shipped to me along my route.
It is worth noting that rice meals like Zataran’s and Uncle Ben’s Rice meals are relatively weighty, so I only pack 1 or 2 of those meals in with each 10 day meal pack.
After all the meal packets were packed into 12″ x 10″ x 10″ boxes, they will be shipped to me a predetermined locations using Canada Post’s FlexDelivery service. The total weight of 10 days worth of food is between 13.8 lbs to 14.2 lbs, which fits nicely into an old compression sack for hanging.