Stoveless: What I Ate in the 100-Mile Wilderness

This article originally appeared on The Trek, which you can read here.

6:40 a.m. I wake up to the smell of bacon and coffee here at Shaw’s Hiker Hostel in Monson, ME, and it’s like smelling bacon for the first time: pure bliss. I just spent seven days in the wild and hot food already feels like a luxury. I plan to go stoveless on my thru-hike for simple efficiency reasons: I like to eat when I’m hungry and as soon as possible.

Yesterday I exited the 100-Mile Wilderness going southbound on the Appalachian Trail and I’ve officially broken a personal hiking record for the longest stretch of backpacking. Highlights from the first 114.5 miles include swimming every day, a sunrise hike up to White Cap Mountain, watching a moose graze across Mountain View Pond (mile 65.9), and feeling like I belong exactly where I am and doing exactly what I’m doing. As an added bonus, I might have just joined a pretty rad trail family.

Sunrise on Whitecap Mountain, Maine

Sunrise on Whitecap Mountain, Maine

Now that I’m in town and considering my next resupply until Caratunk, ME, I think back to what I ate in the 100-Mile Wilderness. The guidebooks tell you to pack ten days worth of food and prepare for as many days. Unless you plan a food drop, carrying your food is the only option since there are no resupply points. All considered, I decided to carry my entire eight-day food supply for the duration of the wilderness. I expected to spend eight days in the wilderness and happily finished in seven days. Here’s what I ate:

Breakfast: One Land of Lakes Cocoa Classics and one or two Cliff bars / or one cold soak oats

Second breakfast: One to two Cliff bars and trail mix

Afternoon snack: A few bites of jerky and a cheese

Dinner: Flour tortilla with a salmon packet, one to two cheeses, sriracha mustard

Post-dinner nibbles: Trail mix or kettle chips


Grocery List

Eight salmon/yellowfin tuna packets

Cliff bars: Seven Chocolate Peanut Butter Nut Butters; one Peanut Butter Banana; one White Chocolate Macadamia

Two Pomegranate Blueberry Pistachio Kind Bars

Four Land o’ Lakes Cocoa Classics Mix

Six Bel Gioioso Fontina Cheeses

Three Frigo Cheese Heads Gouda

One Laughing Cow Creamy Smoked Gouda (eight wedges)

One-half avocado (thanks Bubbles!! xoxo)

One Gourmet Power Up Antioxidant Mix trail mix

One Lunchable: turkey, cheddar, crackers, Reese’s, capri sun (this was my Katahdin summit snack)

Three bags beef jerky

One bag of Lay’s Kettle Cooked chips (half eaten by the time I got to the 100-Mile Wilderness!)

One pack Mission flour tortillas (ten count)

Two one-quart size bags of trail mix:

–tropical: whole almonds, sliced almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, dried pineapple, banana chips, dried papaya, dried cranberries, raisins

–sweet: whole almonds, sliced almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, white chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, raisins

Two cold soak oats breakfast/snacks:

–gluten free quick cook oats, goat milk powder, peanut powder, chia seed, hemp seed, flax seed, cinnamon, dried cranberries

Pack it in and pack it out: food trash from the 100-Mile Wilderness

Pack it in and pack it out: food trash from the 100-Mile Wilderness

Please note: I purchased a roast beef and cheese sandwich, a packet of six powdered doughnuts, and a Baxter Brewery beer + two more Baxter beers courtesy of NOBO Bolt at the Abol Bridge Campground and store (at mile 15.4 into the wilderness). Thanks and congrats, buddy.

Bon appétit and happy trails!

Signing off until Caratunk,