Friday, June 1, 2012

Have You Ever...?

We've entered the ring, I think, of the biggest challenge we've faced so far: planning 6 months in advance. Ever played that party game where the players go around in the circle and eliminate others by asking "Have you ever _____?" The players that have done that thing are out. Now it's my turn.

Have you ever planned every possible detail of the next 6 months?
Have you ever bought food for the next 6 months and organized it meal by meal?

We've been grocery shopping for this trip for a while now. Jess posted some of the awesome recipes and resources that we'll be relying on to eliminate repetitive eating (as much as possible). But trying to buy food ahead of a 6 month span is expensive! We're certainly not buying everything now, we'll be relying on grocery stores and resupplies for most, but still. Also, since we've moved everything out of our house the food has moved in and absolutely covered the floors.

A small portion of what we've gathered so far, mainly snacks and breakfasts for the first month, or so. 
The other challenge of packing the food ahead of time, is how much should we be packing? Without being familiar with the area's grocery and general stores it's difficult to judge how much this stuff is going to cost. It's the shipping that's causing these questions. Our parents (with a huge ahead of time thank you!) have agreed to ship us mail drops that we're going to set up.

The question is, will it be cheaper to buy these things at a store like Costco or Sam's Club and then pay the additional price to have them shipped; or will it be cheaper just to buy them on the trail? I'm not sure that the answer to this question is anything more than a judgement call.

Next, we're starting our hike on what's arguably the most difficult part of the Appalachian Trail. Once we summit Mount Katahdin, we enter a section of the trail known as the 100 mile wilderness. This is the longest point on the trail that a hike will go without having access to a town/resupply point. Thankfully we've found an awesome place that will help us with this section. The Appalachian Trail Lodge ( is picking us up from the bus stop after we get off our plane in Maine, giving us a room for the night, breakfast in the morning, and delivering a resupply of food and fuel to us about halfway through the 100 mile wilderness section. All this for a very affordable price, too.

This has been probably the most fun part of planning, though, too. It is a very interesting and revealing thing to try and plan out 6 months of food meal by meal. To be able to truly see what I actually need to make it for 6 months comes with a lot of insight. Come to think of it, I could probably start one of those super popular weight loss programs this way: "Have those extra pounds to lose? Buy Andy's Ultimate Weight-Loss Plan and shed 'em before you get 'em! All you have to do is follow these two easy steps: Go grocery shopping once in the next six months, no matter what happens AND no tap water allowed! From this point on, you can only drink what you can find naturally and filter!"

Problem solved ;)


  1. We're leaving for Maine in 2 hours for our SOBO - good luck to you and hope to see you out there!

  2. We should have taken pics of your 100 mi wilderness food packing! We're so proud of you both. It takes courage and faith to do what you're doing, you've already started memories to last a lifetime. Love you!

  3. Old Guy in AustinJune 11, 2012 at 2:08 PM

    Hey you two, Sue just sent the link to this and I've read through all your posts - I'm almost as excited as you guys must be. I wish both of you the best and will look forward to your updates. Edward Abbey would be proud.