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  1. #1
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    Default Food and re-supply questions

    Hey all! I'm back with more questions as my wife and I prepare for our first through-hike on the CT.

    First, how many and which resupply options might be best for us? We are planning on completing the trail in 35 days (33 hiking days, 2 rest days). Initially, I thought re-supplying 4 times (I was thinking maybe Brec, Princeton Hot Springs, Monarch Spur, and ???) might be about right, but that could make the packs a bit full and heavy due to carrying up to 7-8 days of food right after a re-supply. I thought maybe it would be worth carrying more food to avoid having to use valuable time and energy to get off trail more often. What is common for CT hikers to do when it comes to frequency of re-supplies? I'm wide open to advice on resupply plans!

    Second, what kinds of food are good for through hiking? I like granola and powdered milk for breakfast or oatmeal, naan or flatbread with PB or other nut butter for lunch, and quick and easy Mountain House or similar meals for dinner. I feel pretty good about the breakfast and dinner, but are there other foods for lunch that are more packable you guys like?

    Also, should I mail food ahead for our re-supply or can I expect to find what I need quickly and easily in the stores? Maybe some of both? Having never done this before, I'd like to not worry too much about getting surprised by a box of spoiled food or a store that only sells cantaloupes or some nonsense like that!

  2. #2

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    I suggest you peruse this excellent thread about resupply options: http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/show...esupply-points

    Best of luck on your planning and your hike.

    You're aware of the blowdowns closing portions of Segment 12?

  3. #3

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    Check out Mags' online guide, too. It has a good section on resupplying.

    http://www.pmags.com/colorado-trail-...Colorado Trail

  4. #4
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    Thanks guys. All excellent info there. Anyone have a good advice on food? What do you typically bring?

  5. #5

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    I'm thruhiking this summer, too. Here are some of my snacks and meals:

    Carnation Instant Breakfast + Nido (full cream milk powder)
    cashews, almonds, pistachios
    baked beans (dehydrated)
    refried beans (dehydrated)
    cornbread stuffing (boxed mix)
    rice pilaf (boxed mix)
    Knorr Pasta sides (various flavors)
    cheese & crackers (the individual servings with the little red plastic spreading stick)
    fruit leather
    Thai noodles with dehydrated broccoli and scallions
    Miso soup
    Jolly Ranchers hard candies (original flavors)
    Green tea
    Chamomile tea + honey sticks
    Tang
    spices (black pepper, paprika, lemon pepper, rosemary, dried cilantro)

    Fresh items I get from a grocery store for resupply include apples, cheddar cheese, bagels and tortillas.

  6. #6
    Registered User q-tip's Avatar
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    You might want to rethink your schedule. Walking 500 miles with 2 rest days is virtually undoable. You might be in real trouble if this is your plan. After my experience on a 1,000 mi. walk on the AT, one does get worn down on thru-hikes, especially at altitude. And by the way, what's the hurry. IMO....

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by q-tip View Post
    You might want to rethink your schedule. Walking 500 miles with 2 rest days is virtually undoable. You might be in real trouble if this is your plan. After my experience on a 1,000 mi. walk on the AT, one does get worn down on thru-hikes, especially at altitude. And by the way, what's the hurry. IMO....
    Actually, I thruhiked with only 2 zero days. We also had 3 nero days of about 5 miles each, one of which involved a long side trip into Creede to resupply.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by q-tip View Post
    You might want to rethink your schedule. Walking 500 miles with 2 rest days is virtually undoable. You might be in real trouble if this is your plan. After my experience on a 1,000 mi. walk on the AT, one does get worn down on thru-hikes, especially at altitude. And by the way, what's the hurry. IMO....
    I disagree a little bit here. 35 days is a totally reasonable and do-able time frame.

    My last thru-hike of the trail took 29 days with no rest days, and we installed 200 trail markers as we hiked so we were carrying some extras weight. 29 days is actually a fairly leisurely pace compared to a lot of hikers. Dave n Julie are young (way younger than me) and live at altitude already so there shouldn't be any big acclimation issues.

    IMO, the key is to go as light as possible, camp strategically, and always start hiking early. Whenever practical, camp just before a big climb to get over the top early before the weather goes south. If you start at 7AM you will usually have 10 miles by noon, which is generally when the clouds start becoming organized. Then you have 8 hours of daylight left and if you only get six more miles before dark, you are on pace to do the entire trail in 30 days. 16 miles is a fairly easy average to maintain. With your 35 day time frame, you will have 5 extra days for re-supply, rest, or whatever.
    Last edited by bearcreek; 06-19-2012 at 23:02.

  9. #9
    Registered User q-tip's Avatar
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    I am humbled.......

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by bearcreek View Post
    ...IMO, the key is to go as light as possible, camp strategically, and always start hiking early. Whenever practical, camp just before a big climb to get over the top early before the weather goes south. If you start at 7AM you will usually have 10 miles by noon, which is generally when the clouds start becoming organized. Then you have 8 hours of daylight left and if you only get six more miles before dark, you are on pace to do the entire trail in 30 days. 16 miles is a fairly easy average to maintain. With your 35 day time frame, you will have 5 extra days for re-supply, rest, or whatever.
    This is very sound advice. If you're the late sleeper type, I would suggest that's one habit you really want to change when hiking the CT - take advantage of that morning sunshine! We rose at 5 every day and were usually on the trail a few minutes after 6. And for the most part, we were usually able to camp before long climbs to the passes. Sometimes that meant we quit for the day about 2:30 but as Bear Creek said, on such days we usually covered 13-16 or more miles by then.
    Last edited by Cookerhiker; 06-20-2012 at 16:22.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cookerhiker View Post
    We rose at 5 every day
    Was there enough daylight to get going? It's my plan to be hiking at about 5:30 but I hate packing up in the dark, I always leave something behind.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by heavyfoot View Post
    Was there enough daylight to get going? It's my plan to be hiking at about 5:30 but I hate packing up in the dark, I always leave something behind.
    I noticed from the other thread that you're starting "late July." We started July 24 which is kinda late and were able to arise at 5 and leave by 6 for about 3 weeks with each day progressively entailing more minutes of darkness. In that first week, it was light enough for a 5:30 start so I would estimate that you'll have a week, maybe 10 days where you can attain your 5:30 AM start with most of your packing in sufficient daylight. It depends on how fast you are in the morning - stuffing sleeping bag, taking down your shelter, do you eat much breakfast etc. etc.

    A 10 mpd pace will take you 7 weeks so you'll have to adjust your 5:30 goal at some point. I would also suggest adjusting your pace depending on water sources and your proximity to high elevation passes. For the former, you'll probably have to hike longer days in Segments 16-19 and the last part of 26 through most of 27. Especially with a late July start, you really need to plan your water usage and refills very carefully. Our hike followed a very wet/snowy winter whereas your hike follows a dry one.

    Best of luck to you.

  13. #13

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    Great info, thanks, Cookerhiker!

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