Beaver Meadow Falls 11-29-14

Started this 6 and a half mile trip with a temp of +5. Light winds and a Blue bird sky. We seem to always gravitate to these falls since they are so beautiful. We have been there 3 times this year. This time we were treated to Ice covered falls in which pieces of Ice would break off warming in the sun.

As for me, I learned a valuable lesson. Penny and I are always together no matter what. Well this day, thinking she was behind me I went another 50 yards to the falls and waited. Her not arriving soon after, I got concerned and headed back. I found her coming up a different way and covered in snow. She had slipped and landed on her backpack and had trouble getting up since I wasnt there. Lesson learned. No matter what, it is important to have your partner in sight at all times because that one time they will need you, you may not be there for them. That disturbed me and wont happen again. Overall a great day on the trail.

Please enjoy Pennys photos.

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Why You Should Hike With Diabetes

Since Im A Diabetic Hiker I Thought I should Share This With Other Diabetic Hikers

 

A Good Exercise for People with Diabetes

Hiking is an excellent way to lose weight and improve health. Losing weight can be particularly important for people with type 2 diabetes—and just getting out there to walk is an excellent first step in controlling your weight!

In December of 2001, the US Surgeon General called the increased rate of obesity in the US an epidemic. The report states that two thirds of us are overweight or obese, and that that number is increasing.

But think of this:  when hiking a comfortable 2 mph, a person weighing 150 pounds will burn 240 calories in one hour.

Hiking can also decrease cholesterol levels, a common cause of heart disease (which is a possible long-term complication of diabetes).

More specifically, it increases HDL, which is the good type of cholesterol.

Hiking can also help control or prevent hypertension. Research indicates that regular exercise such as walking lowers systolic and diastolic blood pressure by a mean of 10 mmHg.

More specifically, walking lowers plasma norepinephrine, which correlates with blood pressure improvement.

If that’s not enough to get you moving out into the hiking and walking world, there is information that this type of exercise can:

  • improve and maintain mental health
  • slow the aging process
  • prevent osteoporosis
  • improve the quality of the air we breathe by replacing short-distance motor-vehicle trips each day
  • prevent and control diabetes
  • improve arthritis
  • relieve back pain

The American Hiking Society shares facts from their beginners’ guide to hiking and walking which we are sharing with you. What are the benefits of walking 20 minutes at a moderate pace of 3miles per hour? Hiking with a 10 to 15-pound pack provides all the benefits of walking, but also increases calories burned by 10% to 15%.

So, read on and you’ll begin to see the benefits of hiking:

  • Burn extra calories
  • Promote fat loss and preserve lean body mass
  • Reduce the risk of heart disease
  • Increase alertness and memory
  • Increase energy levels throughout the day and enhance motor skills

Hiking allows you to experience the outdoors in a way that brings more wonder into your life:

  • You can share the environment with wildlife
  • You will learn about the flora and fauna of the area. There, I knew I’d get those two words in. Buy books that tell you about what you will see. Your hike will take on even more importance.
  • Take a historic or tourist walk, and learn what preceded your walking that morning.

It is possible to hike with a group, which is a great way to meet people.  Before you decide on a group, ask about the speed.

Walking is divided into three paces, strolling, which is 20 minutes per mile, brisk walking which is 15 minutes per mile, and aerobic walking which is 12 minutes per mile.

Hiking usually refers to extended walks in the natural world. In the past, this usually meant in the mountains or wilderness, but today, there are a growing number of trails near your home.

Before you go on that first hike, do the following:

  • Consult your physician.
  • Start out slowly and build up to 2 to 3 mile walks. Try extending your walking to weekend day hikes that include greater physical challenges.
  • After building up your confidence and experience on day hikes, try overnight backpacking.

Hiking Basics

  • Keep breathing at a natural pace with your heart rate.
  • Maintain a good posture, with your lower back flat and pelvis tucked directly under your spine. This is not the time to walk like a runway model, nor the time to emulate a body builder.
  • If you plan a hike at a pace above strolling, it is important for your body temperature to rise gradually, so warm up at least 5 or 10 minutes before increasing your speed.
  • Stretch out after your walk, when your muscles are warm and flexible.
  • Walking with modified ski poles helps you reach your target heart rate at a slower walking speed.
  • Relax. Control, rather then tense, your muscle.
  • Take quick steps, not long strides, for the most natural stride.
  • To determine your target heart rate: Walk fast enough to notice your breathing, but not so fast you are out of breath or gasping. If conversing, you should pause regularly to breathe.
  • Avoid blisters by choosing a properly sized and fitted shoe. Also try wearing synthetic socks because they reduce friction and draw moisture away from the skin.  (Foot care is, as I’m sure you know, very important for people with diabetes.  If you have diabetic neuropathy that causes foot problems or foot pain, be extra cautious when hiking.)

Hiking Gear:  Shoe Considerations for Diabetics

We do hike, my friends and I, so I had to learn about buying hiking boots. Since I had diabetes, I had shoes fitted before we went because foot ulcers, blisters, etc., are something I want to avoid.

When you go to the store look for someone who can help you select boots that do the following:

  • Boots that have plenty of room for your toes, with a snug, comfortable heel.
  • Look for a shoe with solid support and good cushioning inside the shoe.
  • Look for a firm resistant heel counter outside the shoe.

If the person who is selling you the shoe doesn’t know anything about hiking boots, go to another store. When you try on boots, remember:

  • Choose boots 1/2 size bigger than your regular size.
  • Wear two pairs of socks for trying on boots and for hiking.
  • Look for boots with a thin polypropylene liner to keep your feet dry and use thick acrylic socks for warmth.

Hiking Gear:  Outwear

What you wear will depend on what the weather is.

  • In cold weather, dress your upper body in layers to keep warm and to prevent overheating; you can then take off layers as you heat up and store them in your backpack.
  • Buy one reliable jacket that is appropriate for the climate, then wear different layers based on the day’s weather.
  • Always take along a waterproof jacket and hat in your backpack just in case it rains or snows.

Hiking Gear:  Backpacks with Room for Diabetic Supplies

The right waist pack, daypack or backpack is essential.

Packs vary in size and fit: buy one that is suitable for the type of hike you’ll be doing.

Make sure you buy one that has room for your diabetic supplies as well as extra clothes, etc. I also make sure that my outer clothes have inside pockets for my smallest glucometer and chem strips as well as glucose tablets and carbo snacks.

(I also have one friend on the hike who knows how to treat low blood glucose events. It makes everyone have a better day to know that, just in case, the hike will be finished without having to get outside medical help.)

Before you go shopping, know that these packs come in many sizes and shapes. I tend to take what I need to pack and see how it feels ready for the trail.

For day trips you’ll need a backpack. These are worn on your back and have two shoulder straps, or can be the type that is simply held by the top handle. Important features for a daypack are:

  • A padded back and padded shoulder straps for comfort.
  • Durable, weatherproof fabric
  • Thermoplastic buckles, zippers etc, so rust is never a problem
  • Storm flaps over the zippers to keep contents dry, and the right number of compartments to suit your needs
  • One-piece body construction-no major seams to tear while on your hike

Internal and external frame packs are much larger than daypacks and are generally used for more serious hiking and overnight hiking when you need to carry a large load, including tents, sleeping bag, cooking equipment, etc.

What to Bring on the Hike

If hiking for one day, always take food, water, maps or trail guides and a compass.

Make sure someone has a first aid kit, pocket knife, matches, toilet paper, a flashlight, sunglasses, sunscreen, appropriate clothing for all weather.

As we shared before, pack medical supplies you need for your diabetes and other medical conditions.

Hiking Tips:  A Successful Hike with Diabetes

Research before you goon a hike. Get recommendations from friends or call the American Hiking Society for a list of local hiking groups you can join.

Don’t litter. Take a plastic bag for wrappers, empty bottles, etc. You’ll find trash cans along the way to get rid of these waste bags.

Make sure you take rest and snack breaks no mater how easy you think the hike is. Take food and water along. Diabetics may take fresh fruit, nuts, etc., as snacks as well as homemade peanut butter crackers, pretzels, etc.

Make sure you know safety rules of the trial. If you choose not to use a trail and are walking along roads where there are no sidewalks, always walk facing oncoming traffic, no matter the time of day.

Our last section is just for those of us with diabetes.

Remember to stop for water so you don’t get dehydrated. Talk to your health care team about any items you might overlook that they think you may need. It’s their job to know, and no bad surprises on a hike are a good thing.

Make sure you’re in good shape and that you know how to stretch before you begin the hike. Make sure there is one person who knows about diabetes and insulin reactions or low blood sugars if you are prone to them whether you have type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes.

Now go for it. You know you want to try it, and you know your friends or the hiking club await you.

 

up north

What To Say About A Bog In A Blog

Decided to stay local this week and check out the 4 mile out and back, Bog Meadow Brook Nature Trail and what are great little stroll it was.

Located in the town of Wilton on Rt. 29, the trail runs along what used to be the old Saratoga Railroad bed. The Railroad ended operations in 1957 and was turned into a trail in 1993. Running flat and straight for 2 miles its a very nice afternoon walk. Some of the exposed ties that are still left can be ankle turners but just pay attention and its all good.

The day started out cloudy with temps in the upper 20s but an hour or so down the trail we were treated to clearing and blue skies. The trail runs along the main bog for almost half a mile with a nice beaver dam and lots of tracks in the mud next to it. There are 2 main look outs on the trail but the one farthest from the trail head is the best and most remote. We took a half our break there to enjoy the beauty of the area, share in some uplifting conversation, and take in the blue skies and warming temps. As we headed back the clouds came back and it got abit windy and cooler with the impending storm that was coming that evening. Along the way we saw many different birds, who were very chatty, all feasting on wild grapes that grow along the trail. It was a nice way to spend 4 hours on a relaxing, lazy Sunday. We hope you enjoy the Photos.

 

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Helpful Gear List

For Day Hikes and Extended Trips.
Section 1, Day Hikes, Summer:
Day pack.
Water bottles, Hydration system.
Sturdy boots. Goretex preferred.
Rain Gear.
First Aid kit.
Two pair socks.
Insect Repellent.
Map & Compass.
Non Cotton Clothing.
Flashlight or Head lamp.
Bandanas
Sweater for the summits.
Sun Block and Chapstick.
Toilet paper.
Sunglasses.
Water proof matches.
Knife.
Food. Bring enough.
Change of clothes. Leave in car.
Brimmed hat or baseball cap.
Trekking poles.
Water filter.
Duct tape.
Whistle
Section 2, Extended Trips, Summer:
All of section 1.
Backpack, 3500 cubic in. or more.
Tent.
Sleeping bag and pad.
Stuff sacks.
Nylon cord. 50 ft.
Plastic bags.
Stove, fuel.
Mess kit.
Spoon, fork and knife.
Insulated mug.
Cook pot.
Extra clothing.
Watch or clock.
Three candles.
Small towel.
Toilet articles, toothbrush.
Note book and pencil.
Two pair of lash straps.
Moleskin, foot care.
Larger First Aid kit.
For Cold Weather Trips:
Sections 1 and 2 Plus.
Gaiters.
Upper body insulation, 3 layers.
Lower body insulation , 2 layers.
Parka.
Shell, wind pants
Hat, face mask, scarf.
Wool pants.
Crampons . Instep or full.
Ski goggles.
Non cotton clothing. Cotton Kills.
Gloves or mittens.
Black water bottles, insulated.
Hot drinks.
Fatty foods. Cheese, chocolate, etc.
Snowshoes.
Spare parts for stove and water filter.
Insulated Gortex boots.
X- Country ski’s.
Emergency Space blanket.
Of course you won’t take all this gear with you
on each trip. Much depends on your party, the
weather and the area you are hiking. This is just
a general list to work from. With time you will know
what fits your needs best, Oh I almost forgot ,
remember the coffee.
Check out your local sporting goods store
or the links on the gear page for all the new gear that
is coming out. There are some really cool space
age gear out there and remember, its about function
not style.
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Baker Mt. 11-8-14

This was our first Saranac 6. Its a short hike of 2 miles out and back but with the view from just below the summit Its sooo worth it.

Started out with temps in the mid 20s and overcast. As we climbed the snow cover increased and so did the ice on the trail. We figured to leave the Micro- Spikes in the car but could have used them on the decent. Spent 45 min shooting photos and talking to other hikers and began the decent. As the temps rose to above freezing the trail got abit muddy. Penny lost it a couple time but as always fell with grace and no injuries. She is a tough and true hiker. We have both never seen the view of the High Peaks from this location so that was a big treat along with a Nepal Prayer flag on the summit. Back at the car at 11:30 and decided to eat our Mountainhouse lunch ( Got to love the Jetboil) at my camp in Sabattis and give Penny the chance to see the 8,500 acres I share. Decided to spend the nite in beautiful Lake Placid, walk around town and enjoy a wonderful meal.

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About The ADK

Adirondack Statistics

Adirondack State Park – 6 Million Acres
Adirondack Forest Preserve – 2.3 Million Acres
8,000 Sq. miles of mountains
2,000 miles of foot trails
240 lean-tos
35 campsites
200 lakes at least a square mile area
There are over 2,000 high peak mountains
There are over 40 high peak mountains over 4,000 feet
The highest peak is Mount Marcy at 5,344 feet
There are over 50 species of animals
Over 220 Birds Over 30 species of reptiles and amphibians
66 species of fish
Over 2,300 lakes and ponds
1,500 miles of rivers
30,000 miles of brooks and streams
Hiking in the Adirondack Region

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. – The Adirondack region of New York boasts over 2,000 miles of hiking trails, leading to beautiful lakes, rivers and mountain summits. It is the largest hiking trail system in the nation, providing visitors with great access to the Adirondack wilderness.

There are numerous access points for hiking along the region’s scenic byways. The trailheads are clearly marked by signs along the road, while the various roadside lots provide ample parking, allowing hikers to stop their car and begin their adventure.

The Adirondack region includes the 6 million-acre Adirondack Park, surrounding countryside and the western shore of Lake Champlain. The region is well-known for its mountains, with 42 peaks over 4,000 feet in height, enticing travelers from all over the world.

Hikers in the Adirondack region will discover trails suited to all abilities and interests. There are hundreds of easy hikes to small mountains with incredible views suitable for families with children. Those intent on finding solitude may spend a week backpacking in the wilderness; while hikers who are hoping for a real challenge may climb the region’s High Peaks.

The High Peaks region presents endless possibilities for hiking enthusiasts. One hundred of the region’s mountains are higher than 3,000 feet. Mount Marcy is the highest peak in New York at over 5,300 feet, with several different routes to the summit, making it a very popular destination for hikers.

Many area hikers prefer Algonquin Peak, the other Adirondack peak over 5,000 feet. This is a challenging climb with views of the High Peaks at the summit. Cascade and Porter both measure just over 4,000 feet. These are the easiest High Peaks hikes and they provide very rewarding views for the effort. They are also very popular hikes; so don’t expect to be alone.

The Adirondacks are most famous for the High Peaks, but the area offers so much more. Few hikers are aware that there are over 2 million additional acres that have trails, lakes and mountains to explore in areas that are much less crowded than the High Peaks region. The southern and western Adirondacks are areas that has been somewhat forgotten by hikers who often head directly for the High Peaks. As a result, the trails in these areas are free of other hikers; in fact, hikers in these regions may never encounter another person during their outing. Suitable for beginners, the smaller mountains and easy trails in the area provide opportunities for families and less experienced day hikers. Although the mountains are much smaller, wonderful views of the High Peaks can be found from the summits.

One of the most interesting and perhaps least known features of the Adirondack region is the 133-mile continuous wilderness footpath, the Northville – Placid Trail. The trail connects the Adirondack foothills in the south with the High Peaks region to the north. Lakes, ponds and streams are met at every turn as the trail passes along valleys, ridges and mountaintops. The trail runs in a north-south direction and the degree of ascent is not difficult for a hiker in moderately good condition. An average hiker with backcountry experience should plan on about 8-11 days to make the trip, though the trail could be traveled in sections by hikers on overnight trips.

The Adirondack Regional Tourism Council can provide information about hiking in the region. For a copy of Adirondack Great Walks and Day Hikes, contact the Adirondack Regional Tourism Council at 800-487-6867, or visit http://www.Adirondacks.org.

Basic Rules for Hiking and Camping in the Adirondack region

The rules associated with using Department of Environmental Conservation managed public lands in New York state for recreational purposes are relatively simple and straightforward:

·Hiking and backcountry camping are allowed on Forest Preserve lands in the Adirondack Park;
·Generally, camping is prohibited on Unique Areas, Wildlife Management Areas and other categories of state land;
·Hiking is generally permitted anywhere but special requirements apply to mountain biking and horseback riding;
·Camping is prohibited within 150 feet of roads, trails, lakes, ponds, streams or other bodies of water;
·Lean-tos are available in many areas on a first come first served basis. Lean-tos cannot be used exclusively and must be shared with other campers;
·Carry out what you carry in. Practice “leave no trace” camping;
·Removing plants, rocks, fossils or artifacts from state land without a permit is illegal.

Hiking Resources

Park-Wide Emergency Dispatch
518-891-0235

Department of Environmental Conservation
Ray Brook, NY 12977
518-897-1200

The High Peaks Region is the territory of the “46ers” – a loosely organized club of those who’ve climbed the 46 highest Adirondack peaks. You don’t join the Forty-Sixers, you become one by climbing these peaks. Your climbs must be reported to the Adirondack Forty-Sixer Historian.

The Office of the Historian
Adirondack Forty-Sixers
P.O. Box 9046
Schenectady, NY 12309-0046

The 46 Adirondack High Peaks
Ranking in Height Elevation
(feet)
Difficulty
1-7
Ascent of Climb Length of Round Trip Typical HikeTime
Mt. Marcy 5344′ 5 3166′ 14.8 miles 10 hours
Algonquin Peak 5114′ 5 2936′ 9.6 miles 9 hours
Mt. Haystack 4960′ 7 3570′ 17.8 miles 12 hours
Mt. Skylight 4926′ 7 4265′ 17.9 miles 15 hours
Whiteface Mtn. 4867′ 4 2535′ 5 miles 6.5 hours
Dix Mtn. 4857′ 5 2800′ 13.2 miles 10 hours
Gray Peak 4840′ 7 4178′ 16 miles 14 hours
Iroquois Peak 4840′ 6 3250′ 11.6 miles 8.5 hours
Basin Mtn. 4827′ 6 3650′ 16.5 miles 11 hours
Gothics 4736′ 5 4070′ 10 miles 9 hours
Mt. Colden 4714′ 5 2850 15.2 miles 10 hours
Giant Mtn. 4627′ 4 3050′ 6 miles 7.5 hours
Nippletop 4620′ 5 4050′ 12.6 miles 10 hours
Santanoni Peak 4607′ 5 2860′ 11.4 miles 10 hours
Mt. Redfield 4606′ 7 3225′ 17.5 miles 14 hours
Wright Peak 4580′ 4 2400′ 7 miles 7 hours
Saddleback Mtn. 4515′ 5 2990′ 13.4 miles 10 hours
Panther Peak 4442′ 6 3762′ 17.6 miles 13.5 hours
Tabletop Mtn. 4427′ 5 3660′ 15.2 miles 13 hours
Rocky Peak Ridge 4420′ 6 4500′ 13.4 miles 11 hours
Macomb Mtn. 4405′ 5 2344′ 8.4 miles 8 hours
Armstrong Mtn. 4400′ 5 3734′ 12.7 miles 11 hours
Hough Peak 4400′ 6 3200′ 13.7 miles 11 hours
Seward Mtn. 4361′ 7 3490′ 16 miles 17 hours
Mt. Marshall 4360′ 6 2575′ 14 miles 11 hours
Allen Mtn. 4340′ 7 2540′ 16.2 miles 13 hours
Big Slide Mtn. 4240′ 4 2800′ 9.4 miles 8 hours
Esther Mtn. 4240′ 4 3020′ 9.4 miles 7.5 Hours
Upper Wolfjaw 4185′ 5 3619′ 12.7 miles 11 hours
Lower Wolfjaw 4175′ 4 2825′ 8.7 miles 8 hours
Street Mtn. 4166′ 6 2115′ 8.8 miles 9.5 hours
Phelps Mtn. 4161′ 5 3394′ 10 miles 9 hours
Mt. Donaldson 4140′ 7 3490′ 17 miles 17 hours
Seymour Mtn. 4120′ 6 2370′ 14 miles 11 hours
Sawteeth 4100′ 4 2975′ 11.8 miles 9 hours
Cascade Mtn. 4098′ 2 1940′ 4.8 miles 5 hours
South Dix 4060′ 6 3050′ 11.5 miles 12 hours
Porter Mtn. 4059′ 3 2700′ 7.6 miles 5.5 hours
Mt. Colvin 4057′ 4 2130′ 10.8 miles 10 hours
Mt. Emmons 4040′ 7 3490′ 18 miles 18 hours
Dial Mtn. 4020′ 5 3450′ 10 miles 9 hours
East Dix 4012′ 6 3002′ 12.5 miles 12 hours
Blake 3960′ 4 3270′ 13.6 miles 12 hours
Cliff Mtn. 3960′ 6 2160′ 17.2 miles 12 hours
Nye Mtn. 3895′ 6 1844′ 7.5 miles 8.5 hours
Couchsachraga Peak 3820′ 6 3140′ 15 miles 12 hours
Of the 46 peaks in the Adirondacks determined
to be 4000ft.or more above sea level by the United States
Geological Survey at the turn of the century, 21 of them lack
trails. Though many of them have rough paths beaten down
by climbers, these herd paths are not marked.
Climbing the peaks without maintained trails calls for
leadership skills by folks who are experienced in map reading
and use of the compass and who posses a feeling for route
finding in forested mountain terrain. The trailess peaks are
as follows:
1.Seymour
2.Seward
3.Donaldson
4.Emmons
5.Santanoni
6.Panther
7.Couchsachraga
8.MacNaughton
9.TableTop
10.Street
11.Nye
12.Esther
13.Macomb
14.South Dix
15.East Dix
16.Hough
17.Marshall
18.Gray
19.Redfield
20.Cliff
21.Allen

Eating Well On The Trail

 

 

 

Eat what you like to eat at home

If you love mashed potatoes, have them! If you love spaghetti and tomato sauce, have that. Most of what we eat at home can be replicated in some form while camping. It all comes down to weight and prep time. If you want to be completely gourmet, and don’t mind a heavy pack (it’s worth it on a 2-3 day trip) bring fresh veggies, real cheese, and desserts. If you’re going to be out for a long time and can’t afford the weight, go with dehydrated and freeze-dried meals.

Think cooking basics

Onions, garlic, and fresh ginger will last several days on the trail. Bring a spice kit. Fresh ground pepper makes all the difference! Bring parmesan/romano cheese and olive oil — you can work wonders with pasta, cheese, spices, and olive oil. Add nuts to (almost) any meal for extra crunch and protein. Add packaged tuna, salmon, and canned chicken for protein and flavor. Use your leftover cooking water for hot drinks.

Look for favorite grocery brands

Fantastic Foods®, Spice Hunter®, and Near East® have great food selections. Check your local health food store and the natural foods aisle at your grocery store. Make a note of the food brands you like and don’t like.

Plan ahead

Be sure you bring enough food. Take into consideration where you’re going, for how long you’re traveling, and who you are traveling with. Remember that not everyone likes the same food. If you’re cooking for a group, find out what they absolutely won’t eat, before you hit the trail—especially important with kids.

Dehydrate your own camp food

If you’re bored with backpacker meals and can’t carry fresh ingredients, get a dehydrator. The instructions are easy to follow and the results are surprisingly good. (I bought a dehydrator last year and used it to make “spaghetti leather” and dried veggies.)

The camp breakfast is the easy meal

Start with hot drinks (tea, cocoa, instant coffee, flavored coffees, hot cider, etc.). Instant oatmeal or cream of wheat with a handful of dried fruit and/or granola is enough to get you started. Granola adds crunch, dried fruit adds flavor and sweetness. Add some dried milk to your cereal for protein. Not everyone likes oatmeal, so try couscous (cooks in just 5 minutes) or instant rice, then add milk, cinnamon, and sugar for a yummy morning meal.

Lunch on the trail starts when breakfast ends

Lunch is a fun meal because you have so many options. Vary your food selections and don’t let yourself lose interest in this important energy-boosting meal. Some hints:

Granola Bars – Fruit-filled bars, yogurt-covered bars, cereal bars, chocolate-covered bars. Check both the natural foods section and cereal aisle of your grocery store.

Energy Bars – Lots more calories and protein in these than in granola bars, and some are almost a whole meal. Check your grocery store, health food store, and outdoor shops like Eastern Mountain Sports. Find a couple favorites, stock up, and carry extras!

Snacks – Dried fruit, mixed-salted nuts, GORP, pretzels, cookies, goldfish. You want things that are sweet and/or salty, and not so delicate that they will get crushed in your pack. Fresh or canned fruit can also work well (depending on your hike and load).

Cheese – On day trips, bring your favorite soft cheese (cheddar or gouda), but don’t count on those for day three of a backpacking trip. Very hard, dry cheeses like parmesan or romano will last several days without refrigeration. You can also bring mozzarella string cheese or cheese sticks (each piece is wrapped separately).

Peanut Butter – It even comes in a tube! Spread on tortillas, bagels, biscuits, and more. You can also get jelly in a tube.

Meats – Carry salami, pepperoni, and summer sausage (highly processed and don’t need refrigeration) in smaller packaged sections, and try to finish them at one time so the rest doesn’t spoil. Prepackaged tuna or salmon is also convenient.

Breads – The options are endless. Some of my favorites are French bread, tortillas, bagels, pita bread, and tea biscuits. Eat bulky items (bagels) or delicate items (French bread, scones) on your first days out.

Start with a dinner appetizer

A first course takes off the hunger edge while you prepare the main meal. Think black bean dip, hummus, or cheese with pita bread, crackers, or tortillas. Ramen noodles or Cup-O-Soup makes a light starter for those cooler days. For something a bit more lively, try pesto/cheese or black bean/cheese quesadillas.

Dinner is down time

Dinner can be as simple as “backpacker meals” where you just add boiling water, or as involved as sautéed fresh veggies, couscous with feta cheese, and a dessert of fresh-baked carrot cake! Whatever your concoction, kick back and enjoy your evening. Here are some nutritious, energy-packed favorites:

Pasta with dehydrated spaghetti sauceDehydrate spaghetti sauce at home, and rehydrate the sauce on the trail with boiling water. Tastes just like the real thing. Add dehydrated or freeze-dried veggies for more nutrition, color, texture.

Couscous or rice w/mushrooms, sundried tomatoes & pine nuts

Black bean soup w/rice, salsa & cheeseIf you use dehydrated beans and salsa, this can be lightweight. I have used canned beans and salsa (very heavy and you have trash to carry out), but it tasted great on a rainy night!

Couscous w/sautéed veggies & cheeseOn the first day of a trip, I like to have fresh veggies like red and green peppers, zucchini, onions, and garlic sautéed in olive oil. Mix with couscous and feta cheese. Sprinkle with pine nuts.

Instant mashed potatoes w/ veggies, meat, or cheeseBuy instant mashed potatoes, add dehydrated veggies, cut in meat or cheese for protein

Lipton noodles or rice w/veggiesAdd dehydrated or fresh veggies to any of your favorite noodle/rice dinners, and add a protein if needed.

Vegetarian chiliAll-in-one delicious with your favorite beans, onions, peppers, spices.

Don’t leave out dessert

Cookies, chocolate bars, brownies, instant pudding, no-bake cheesecake. Hot chocolate, flavored coffee, or hot tea. If you have a backpacker oven, make brownies, carrot cake, and other treats. Or sample some delicious prepackaged freeze-dried camping desserts.