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Post-hike rituals
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Ike Jutkowitz
(Ike) - M

Locale: Central Michigan
Post-hike rituals on 04/15/2011 09:03:21 MDT Print View

Backpacking is a great escape from the hassles of day-to-day life. But after a period of solitude, quiet, and self-paced living, it's not always easy to re-enter society. I've always had little rituals I do after each trip that make the transition more enjoyable. When I lived alone, it used to involve soaking away the trail grime while drinking a Guinness and listening to Miles Davis. Nowadays, my ritual is much simpler.

After the trip, I generally seek out a local diner for an awesome breakfast (what ever the time of day it may be). The rules are as follows:

1)While I may indulge in fast food in my haste to get to a trailhead, I will NEVER eat fast food after a trip. Even if starving, I will search the country roads to find a small mom and pop type establishment.

2) It should preferably be in the vicinity of the trail so I can continue to enjoy the "local" flavor.

3) Wood paneling is preferable. And while I'm not generally inclined towards hunting trophies in normal life, a few tastefully mounted ones match the decor of the place I'm looking for perfectly.

4) Eclectic, in decor or menu items, is a plus.

5) It should ideally have gruff (but friendly) waitresses that call you "hon"

Here are a couple of my favorites


Da Dawg House in Cadillac, MI
Those are hairy legs on the roof, sticking out of a faux dog house. This is my absolute favorite post-hike diner. Favorite meal is called "dog chow"- Hashbrowns, biscuits, sausage, and 2 eggs, piled high (in a dog bowl)and smothered in gravy.


In Munising, MI. Dog-themed places are not actually required, but these two were both exceptional.

What are your post-hike rituals?

Edited by Ike on 04/15/2011 09:05:31 MDT.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Post Hike Rituals on 04/15/2011 11:53:48 MDT Print View

For multiple-day hikes, I'll usually stock a clean change of clothes in the trunk of my car. So, a change of clothing -- then BEER and food. :)

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Post Hike Rituals on 04/15/2011 12:47:03 MDT Print View

For multiple-day hikes, I'll usually stock a clean change of clothes in the trunk of my car. So, a change of clothing -- then BEER and food. :)


Except I often skip the clothing change and go directly to BEER and food. Food is secondary to beer, so is therefore dependent upon what food is sold by the establishment serving beer. Cheeseburgers and fries are commonly available and preferred.

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
Post hike on 04/15/2011 13:04:40 MDT Print View

For multiple-day hikes, I'll usually stock a clean change of clothes in the trunk of my car. So, a change of clothing -- then BEER and food. :)


Except I often skip the clothing change and go directly to BEER and food. Food is secondary to beer, so is therefore dependent upon what food is sold by the establishment serving beer. Cheeseburgers and fries are commonly available and preferred.


A gallon jug of water stashed in the truck, and warmed by the sun, makes for a nice spit bath before the fresh clothes go on. Then it's down the hill for the food and a cold, frosty mug!

Antti Peltola
(anttipeltola) - F
Re Post-hike rituals on 04/15/2011 13:16:44 MDT Print View

I do the traditional Finnish post hike ritual: First I find nearest sauna and wash myself, then change the clean clothes. Then big plate of sautéed reindeer, mashed potatoes and a load of cranberries, preferably from some place where at least some of customers are truck drivers or locals.

I have added some non-traditional parts too: When I get home I do all gear maintenance quite fast. Then I take a beer and go sipping it to the room where I put my shelter/tent/tarp to dry up, just to get that last scent of the wilderness into my nose.

John Vance
(Servingko) - F

Locale: Intermountain West
Rituals on 04/15/2011 13:20:40 MDT Print View

I too, pack clean clothes and jugs of water in the trunk to clean up with, followed by a swim if there is a lake or river and the weather cooperates. Then it's off to find a local place for a REAL milkshake and a double bacon pastrami cheeseburger, although sometimes I pass on the cheeseburger and go for the milkshake and cheesecake.

Once home, I take care of equipment quickly as well, typically the washing machine is running within minutes and before I shave and take a shower.

Edited by Servingko on 04/15/2011 13:22:40 MDT.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Post-hike rituals on 04/15/2011 13:55:32 MDT Print View

Sandals on, and then off to find the first latte hut on the side of the road. You all can have yer beer, I wanna latte. Or a frappe. With tons of caffeine. Lots and lots.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Post-hike rituals on 04/15/2011 14:06:30 MDT Print View

I have been known to skip beer and cheeseburgers in favor of a Venti Caramel Frappacunio, but only when the trail head is close to home; where beer is available. Actually I am not a big beer drinker, but it tastes best after a trip.

No clean up for me, want to make sure the wife knows I have actually been hiking :)


Locale: Pacific Northwet
Re: Post Hike Rituals on 04/15/2011 14:12:36 MDT Print View

For multiple-day hikes, I'll usually stock a clean change of clothes in the trunk of my car. So, a change of clothing -- then BEER and food. :)


Except I usually stock a case of beer in a cold cooler in the car and drink that while driving around looking for a place with good food :)

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Post-hike rituals on 04/15/2011 15:08:38 MDT Print View

No clean up for me, want to make sure the wife knows I have actually been hiking :)"

And not on a weekend AT!!!!

Paul Magnanti
(PaulMags) - MLife

Locale: People's Republic of Boulder
Burger. Beer. It's Zen. on 04/15/2011 20:17:44 MDT Print View

My favorite post-outdoor ritual depends on the time of the year, the location, and time of the day (THe greasy spoon for breakfast is always good!)

Invariably, though, it leads to the American pub-grub classic: Burger and Beer

In Colorado, we are blessed with perhaps some of the best microbrews in the country [1] and accompanying pubs.

One place that I love to go back to time and time again is
Oskar Blues in Lyons. CO.

Whether it is coming back from an off-trail, all day affair in RMNP, carving turns in the deep powder or coming back from an excursion in the nearby mountains, Oskar Blues is the convenient place before heading back to Boulder.

And on this menu, one item in particular always calls to me: The Silo Burger.
This amazing burger is half-pound, topped by bacon and pulled-pork. Yes. That's right. That's a cow and two forms of pig. Topped with pepperjack cheese, doused with hot sauce and cooked medium rare. The juices flow and drip over the accompanying sweet potato fries.

And to wash it all down I drink a pint of Ten-Fiddy (10.5 abv!) that tastes like dark-velvet from the tap or a smoky and scrumptious Old Chub (Er..usually 2)

In Boulder, people hundreds or even thousands of dollars to achieve Zen enlightenment.

I have found it for $15 or so. If spending time in the backcountry and then having a burger with three different forms of meat, followed by a delicious beer, is not Zen enlightenment, than what the hell is ?!?!?

So that is my post-outdoor ritual. I eat food. I drink beer.

I'm a simple man. But supposedly the idea of Zen enlightenment is to be simple. I got it nailed...:D

[1] hear the Oregonians and Washington state people from over here! In the name of fairness, I am willing to make the sacrifice and compare the PNW brew-pubs to the CO brewpubs. I'll do a fact finding trip next year when the future Mrs. Mags and I spend some there. My research into PNW brewpubs will be thorough. I'm that kind of guy... :)

Matthew Zion
(mzion) - F

Locale: Boulder, CO
Re: Post Hike on 04/15/2011 21:36:01 MDT Print View

I have to agree with Mags, stopping by Oskar Blues after spending some time in RMNP is a must. Over all I think any post hike activity is typically food centric--crappy diner coffee and breakfast, pizza or burger and a beer.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"Post-hike rituals" on 04/15/2011 21:56:50 MDT Print View

Cheap suspect beer is usually haphazardly thrown into an ice-chest and loaded with excessive amounts of ice before hitting the trail- picking up beer on a whim in a town nearest the trail head at 8am after driving for 3 hours on little sleep usually results in poor beer decision making.

Hit the trail!

Return to trailhead- post-hike/pre-brewery 'Libation Celebration' begins out the back of vehicle- typically beer is borderline intolerable due to inappropriate temperature, my high beer standards are usually compromised after a few days on the trail.

After post-hike/pre-brewery beers have been consumed and mild effects worn off at the trailhead, proceed to the closest brewery.

Order pints and a green chile cheese burger with green chile smothered cheese fries until the scenario of sleeping in the car at a Wal-Mart parking lot due to questionably late arrival back at home becomes increasingly real.

Personally, I enjoy walking into a brewery in split shorts and a dirt tan around my ankles with the smell of smoke on me. In the case of my last trip, my pre-hike ritual didn't really differ much from the above post-hike routine with the exception of the green chile cheeseburger and fries... those can only be found in the "Land of Enchantment".

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: PS: If you are hiking near Rainier on 04/15/2011 21:59:40 MDT Print View

If you are ever in the Rainier area and coming down Hwy 410 from Chinook Pass or the Sunrise Area stop in the tiny village of Greenwater at Wapiti woolies ( - not only do they sell tons of gear but they have a great coffee bar. Across the street is the Naches Tavern, a well known dive popular with bikers but known for its cold beer and greasy fries.
Coming down from Nisqually entrance (Paradise/Longmire) Copper Creek Inn is good for burgers and beer (or lattes - hah!)

Justin Nelson
(jnelson871) - MLife

Locale: CA Bay Area
Re: Post-hike rituals on 04/15/2011 22:13:06 MDT Print View

For me it is stopping at my favorite local pub E.J. Phair Brewing Company for a pint and the biggest burger they can grill up. While it is not near a trail it has the wood paneling, gruff waitress and awesome menu. Nothing better then celebrating a successful trip and only having a short drive home.

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
Post Hike Rituals on 04/15/2011 22:25:59 MDT Print View

Change of clothes in car then (In N Out Burger) Double-Double Animal Style with a chocolate milkshake why I am pondering what gear worked and what gear did not work on the trip every time.

Justin Nelson
(jnelson871) - MLife

Locale: CA Bay Area
Re: Post Hike Rituals on 04/15/2011 22:30:04 MDT Print View

Throw in a Lager and it's perfect!

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Post Hike Rituals on 04/15/2011 23:01:12 MDT Print View

Throw in a Lager and it's perfect!


I keep a stocked cooler in the car.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Post-hike rituals on 04/16/2011 00:04:51 MDT Print View

Ok, this thread hit a home run.

1. Ike, my first big hike with my fiancee ended with a meal at the Dog Patch. We hiked the entire Pictured Rocks from Grand Marais to Munising, then capped it off with a beer and burger.

2. Paul, as I'm reading this thread, I'm drinking Dale's Pale Ale, which is, of course, from the Oskar Blues Brewery.

Edited by T.L. on 04/16/2011 00:05:26 MDT.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Post-hike rituals on 04/16/2011 00:08:42 MDT Print View

Ken, what's the make and model of your car? And license number?

Larry Dyer
(veriest1) - F

Locale: Texas
Not a drinker so... on 04/16/2011 00:22:03 MDT Print View

Good food and an aimless drive in the general direction of home (often not intentional) to let everything soak back in. Somewhere in there I find some decent coffee.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Post-hike rituals on 04/16/2011 07:52:32 MDT Print View

91 Vanagon Travis. Help yourself. I always bring enough to share.

Alex H
(abhitt) - MLife

Locale: southern appalachians or desert SW
Re: Post-hike rituals on 04/16/2011 15:48:57 MDT Print View

Clean clothes (at least the underwear) and then good local pizza and micro brew beer before the drive home. If out west then I would be like Eugene and substitute anything with green chile!

Paul Magnanti
(PaulMags) - MLife

Locale: People's Republic of Boulder
Beer post trail on 04/16/2011 17:17:45 MDT Print View

I forget that the Mag Way sometimes has a cooler of beer waiting...


If you see a blue pick-up that is plastered with hiking stickers, there is agood chance that there is a cooler in there with some yummy brews. I like the variety pack from Left Hand Brewery myself. (Milk stout...nectar of the gods..) The above photo also has Oskar Blues in it it too...

I also take enough to share. :)

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Post-hike rituals on 04/16/2011 17:35:10 MDT Print View

This whole thread has started me thinking again. I needed to get into training for backpack season, so I had to down a cold one today. First one in months. I have a long way to go to get ready.

One time about ten years ago, I was coming down the Mount Whitney Trail. I still had a quart of water left in case I got really thirsty, but I knew that I was getting close to the bottom. Instead of stopping to drink the water, I just kept rolling downhill. As I reached the bottom of the trail, there were two good ol' boys sitting on the tailgate of their truck directly across the road, and they had a couple of cold ones in hand. They saw me finish the hike, and they had questions about the trail since they were going up in the morning, so they invited me over and thrust a cold one into my hand. I could not refuse it or else it wouldn't be polite. So, despite being as thirsty for water as I was, I started sipping the cold one as the two guys hit me with their questions. After a few minutes, I was only about a quarter of the way done on that cold one, and my lips were already going numb. The alcohol was being absorbed directly into my dry mouth tissues. Yikes. So, I finished their questions, jumped into my car, and drove off down the hill. Once I got out of sight, I had to pour the rest of the beer out or else I would not be fit to drive eight hours to get home. I know that is a sacrilege to pour out cold beer, and I have repented now.


Edited by --B.G.-- on 04/16/2011 17:36:35 MDT.

te - wa
(mikeinfhaz) - F

Locale: Phoenix
Re: Beer post trail on 04/16/2011 17:43:21 MDT Print View

mmm beer.

now that many brewers offer cans, its hard not to pack them in with me. last time out i carried 4 cans of San Tan brewings (local, chandler az) HOPSHOCK. worth every ounce. Dales is ok too, but i reaallly like the bite of those grapefruity, piney (even if unbalanced) hops of the IPA.
that's when its time to get another SKA brewing's MODUS HOPERANDI. a local place Four Peaks started doing their Sunbru and Kiltlifter in cans, the day they can the tasty HOPKNOT could be soon?
a short list of canned beers that i have had the pleasure, i think worth carrying:
Prescott Amber (az)
Ska Modus Hoperandi
San Tan Hopshock
Dales Pale ale
not real big on Scotch ale, but Ol Chub and Kiltlifter are fine for colder months.
Harpoon IPA
Niumbus A-1 (az)

want to try: Surly Abrasive

Randy Nelson
(rlnunix) - F - M

Locale: Rockies
Beer on 04/16/2011 17:57:33 MDT Print View

+1 to the Modus Hoperandi

And if you like MH but think Dale's is only OK, try Oscar Blues Gubna. An Imperial IPA that comes in a can. Fantastic! And 10% ABV so great bang for the weight (not the buck as it's pricey). And there's even a Blazing Saddles tribute on the back of the can. On short trips I always bring a MH and a Gubna along. Well worth the weight. Although maybe not the look my dog gives me like "Why is my pack so heavy?".

I also throw some in a ice chest with a frozen gallon of water. That lasts quite a while. And extras for people I meet on the trail or at the TH. It's always good to share.

Martha S.
(kitfox) - F
post-hike rituals on 04/16/2011 18:05:10 MDT Print View

1. Soak in a hotspring if available -- ahhhhhh
2. Clean(ish) clothes
3. Greasy spoon breakfast with hiking buds -- cuss and discuss the trip.
4. Drive home -- multiple lattes
5. Arrive home. Kiss hubby. Several times
6. Hot bath, shave legs, moisturize, etc. = remind myself that I'm a girl
7. Day after -- clean gear, repack gear -- ready for the next trip!

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: post-hike rituals on 04/16/2011 18:38:05 MDT Print View

In N Out
shower at home
wife time

Alex H
(abhitt) - MLife

Locale: southern appalachians or desert SW
Re: Re: Beer post trail on 04/16/2011 19:02:46 MDT Print View

"a short list of canned beers that i have had the pleasure, i think worth carrying:
Prescott Amber (az)
Ska Modus Hoperandi
San Tan Hopshock
Dales Pale ale
not real big on Scotch ale, but Ol Chub and Kiltlifter are fine for colder months.
Harpoon IPA
Niumbus A-1 (az)

want to try: Surly Abrasive"

Old Speckled Hen in a can is mighty fine too!

old speckled hen

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Beer post trail on 04/16/2011 19:13:18 MDT Print View

Model Especial makes it my pack quite often. 24oz means there is enough to share. And hey, it's imported.

Robert Burke
(coastiebob) - MLife

Locale: Wishing I was Backpacking
Pancakes on 04/16/2011 19:25:19 MDT Print View

All I can think of is pancakes. With lots of syrup from pretty much anyplace that will serve them to me. I am not too picky as long as they are not the pancakes you get from the toaster. Those are hard and much more like frisbees than pancakes.

te - wa
(mikeinfhaz) - F

Locale: Phoenix
Re: Re: Beer post trail on 04/16/2011 19:28:44 MDT Print View

"there's even a Blazing Saddles tribute on the back of the can"

found on the new "where all the white women at?" pale ale..!

Edited by mikeinfhaz on 04/16/2011 19:52:58 MDT.

Karl Myers
(kmyers1234) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Post-hike rituals on 04/16/2011 19:30:28 MDT Print View

Phone call to dad to tell him i made it down usually followed by endless reminiscences of his "golden years" in the hills, this conversation lasts anywhere from 10 seconds to a couple hours.

Directly following the phone call I find the nearest store and buy a snickers bar and a bottle of one of the following:

1) Hop Czar Imperial IPA
2) Ninkasi Total Domination IPA
3) Alaskan Amber
4) Midnight Sun Sockeye Red IPA
5) Deschutes Twilight Summer Ale

Nothing however beats gettin home and curling up on the couch with my blood hound Hank and watchin a movie

Kent C.
(kent) - M

Locale: High Sierra
Post-hike rituals on 04/16/2011 20:23:08 MDT Print View

Enjoyable thread, Ike; good idea!

Definitely a 'hospital bath' Immediately upon reaching the car, and a change of clothes. Then,

Lots of soda! Refills all the way home! I drink plain water at home, but several days of the back country fires-up my sweet tooth. Before hitting the trail, like many, I prepare a cooler with ice (and soda), then hide it completely from our notorious Sierra black bears (especially Yosemite!).

Years ago, a trip into Sequoia meant a big, fat, juicy double cheese burger, double fries, and a chocolate shake (from Fudrucker's in Fresno)! Now, it's a belly-buster size burrito from a place in Modesto, after coming out of Yosemite.

After pizza and root beer a several years ago, it's been: anything & Root Beer ever since. So good after a hike.

Once home, even if it's 2 am, a LONG, HOT shower. All the way 'til the water heater's got nothing left.

My wife will ask about the trip, and I, still amp'ed, proceed to tell her more than she really wants to know. (She's quite understanding about this part!)

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Post-hike rituals on 04/16/2011 20:35:42 MDT Print View

Change into clean clothes stashed in the car, then usually find a Sheetz for hot greasy sandwiches and pop. Occasionally stop at some restaurant instead - Cracker Barrel is a favorite. When I finally get home I most always unpack right away, shake out/hang my gear, wash my cooking stuff and wash my clothes, regardless of what time it is, and then shower.

Allan Peretz
(alibi) - F

Locale: The Ozarks
"Creamslush Treat" and a Burger on 04/17/2011 06:06:08 MDT Print View

On the way back home from my favorite "go to" day hike (the Butterfield Hiking Trail, AR), there are really only two choices available- Sonic and McDonalds. I always go to Sonic and get a Lime "Creamslush Treat" (essentially an icee with softserve ice cream mixed in) and a Sonic Cheeseburger.

I finish the burger there and drink the Creamslush on the drive. Somehow, the slush always lasts exactly long enough for me to get home, and keeps me in bliss the entire way!

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: "Creamslush Treat" and a Burger on 04/17/2011 07:14:34 MDT Print View

Allan, we are just starting to get some Sonic Burgers in Northern California. Tried one out the other day......NICE!

For post hike burgers the list would be in order
1. In N Out
2. 5 Guys
3. Sonic

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Re: "Creamslush Treat" and a Burger on 04/17/2011 07:45:44 MDT Print View

At Quincey's in Damascus, VA last year at the end of a section hike on the AT.

Thick juicy Smokehouse Burger with all the trimmings and a couple of Hornsbys Hard apple ciders.

Then came desert.

An apple crepe that covered half of a full size dinner plate. The other half was covered by vanilla ice cream drizzled with a caramel sauce.

There were no leftovers. :-)

If you are going through Damascus do not pass Quincey's without stopping in to eat.

BTW they cater to hikers. We got into town late directly from the trail. We dropped our packs at the car and immediately walked right in and sat down to a good meal.

This was followed by a short walk across the street to Dave's Place, a hiker hostel, for a shower and a good night's sleep before starting the drive home the next day.

Party On,


Jack Marler
(JackNewman) - F

Locale: Mississippi River Valley
Post-Hike on 04/17/2011 08:51:11 MDT Print View

When I got out of the Bob Marshall I was faced with a 30 hour drive home and had not actually decided what route to take. I wiped down and changed clothing, got a cold PowerAde from the cooler that I had in the van and drove to the first place that sold sub-sandwiches. (Exxon station in Choteau)
Fresh hot coffee, PowerAde and the occasional sub, was my practice on the way home

Hk Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
RE:Post-hike rituals on 04/18/2011 19:03:02 MDT Print View

Cold beer if the company is good.

If there's a long ride home, maybe getting under a faucet/in a hotspring/nearby stream .. or checking out one of those proprietors with showers for hikers (like right outside Canyonlands N.P. ).

Jason Cravens

Locale: Cumberland Plateau
BBQ on 04/19/2011 14:53:16 MDT Print View

My friends and I seek out Southern BBQ after every hike if we can. The more of a mom and pop shop the better. Nothing like getting elbow deep in BBQ sauce after a long trip!

scri bbles
(scribbles) - F

Locale: Atlanta, GA
Re: RE:Post-hike rituals on 04/22/2011 10:10:07 MDT Print View

A giant greasy meal that varies depending on mood, a strong drink, and trying to convince my girlfriend to rate my stink on a scale of 1-10 while she pushes me into the shower...

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Mexican food on 04/22/2011 19:20:13 MDT Print View

I like Mexican food after a big hike.

deanna gaither
(deannag) - F

Locale: NorCal Sierra Foothills
After Desolation Destination on 04/24/2011 00:22:29 MDT Print View

After backpacking in Desolation Wilderness, leaving the Eagle Falls Trailhead - change into flip flops & I head STRAIGHT for The Burger Lounge in South Lake Tahoe on hwy89. Black & Blue burger (blackened spices and blue cheese smear) with garlic fries and a soda!

While the burger is cooking, go clean my face and legs in the bathroom, after using a real commode!

Then home to a hot bath to decompress and savor the last moments before life as usual resumes. (ie; work)

Edited by deannag on 04/24/2011 00:28:19 MDT.

deanna gaither
(deannag) - F

Locale: NorCal Sierra Foothills
Re: Re: Post-hike rituals on 04/24/2011 00:23:46 MDT Print View

Bwahahaha about the AT.

Edited by deannag on 04/24/2011 00:30:23 MDT.

William Johnson
Post Hike Victuals on 04/24/2011 00:29:11 MDT Print View

We love a tasty salad bar after a hike. Fresh fruits, veggies, salad dressings, and all.

Konrad .
(Konrad1013) - MLife
food on 04/24/2011 01:32:34 MDT Print View

Piper, you make me miss santa barbara and socal. Decent Mexican food is unheard of over here. I have fond memories of Freebirds, Super Cucas, The Cantina...sigh. Albeit, they were all in Isla Vista, which I have no desire to return to. But man, I liked Cantina's breakfast burritos so much that the one time I got food poisoning from them, I still went back the next day.

These days, I'm all about carboloading with a Mickey D's McGriddle on the way to the trail, and scoping out a local mom/pop BBQ joint on the way back home. Nothing like starting a hike with a McBrick in your gut.

While, I'm normally pretty messy/unorganized when it comes to everyday living, I'm adamant about cleaning my gear the minute I get home. Down bags and quilts get aired out, trekking poles taken apart to wipe out moisture, shoes/boots go into the bathtub for some toothbrush cleaning, tents are repitched for airing out and wiping down, water bottles rinsed, food cozy washed, etc etc. At least I have my priorities straight right?

Edited by Konrad1013 on 04/24/2011 15:10:08 MDT.

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: food on 04/24/2011 18:18:05 MDT Print View

We always like to go to La Salsa, Super Cucas on Micheltorena or Mexican Fresh on the Mesa. I think La Salsa is gone now. Mexican food is perfect after a hike. You got your salt, carbs and protein for recovery. Add a beer and you've got something for hydration and to take the edge off any pain from bushwhacking overgrown Los Padres trails.

Oddly while hiking the PCT I never craved Mexican food. I craved pancake sandwiches. Now that I'm back home in Alta California, Mexican hits the spot.

Nico .
(NickB) - MLife

Locale: Los Padres National Forest
Post-hike rituals on 04/03/2013 10:11:13 MDT Print View

Rinse off with the 5 gallon jug of water I left in my truck, throw on some fresh clothes and then find the nearest hole in the wall taco shop.

No shortage of authentic, good Mexican food in CA.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Mind your own business
Re: Post-hike rituals on 04/03/2013 10:15:18 MDT Print View

No Ocd here, I just look after my kit before I start drinking beer :-)

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Post-hike rituals on 04/03/2013 12:21:51 MDT Print View

I get a burger after every trip. Sometimes it's the only motivation I have to hike out.

Elliott Wolin
(ewolin) - MLife

Locale: Hampton Roads, Virginia
Post-hike rituals on 04/03/2013 13:17:08 MDT Print View

I never eat them otherwise, but after a hike longer than say 4-5 days I can't resist a bacon-cheeseburger. I must not get enough fats while backpacking. We're now planning to bring olive oil with us in the backcountry to help with this (thanks to Sarah K for the idea).

Stu Pendious
(Beeen) - MLife

Locale: California
Baby wipe bath on 04/03/2013 14:04:23 MDT Print View

Typically I change my shoes and socks, mix up an Emergen-C, toss my gear in the car and start it up right away and make a beeline for the nearest bathroom. Once there, I head in with a pocket full of flush-able baby wipes and clean up the best I can. I like to drive for at least an hour towards home, while the girlfriend Yelp's for Mexican restaurants in the area with a decent margarita. If we find one, we pig out on chips & salsa and make loose plans for our next trip, and I bore her with ideas about what weight I think we can shave off our gear.

Cesar Valdez
(PrimeZombie) - F

Locale: Scandinavia
No car for me on 04/03/2013 16:22:42 MDT Print View

I feel like I am the only one that relies on public transportation nearly all the time around here. So no car trunk goodies for me. Usually it's get go bus or train stop that will get me back home. Sometimes at these stops, mostly in small towns in Sweden or Norway, there are small coffee shops or hot dog/burger joints, where I will usually get a hot cup of coffee and a bar of chocolate to enjoy as I unintentionally make villagers uncomfortable on several different levels. There ain't exactly that many 6ft Chicanos in Scandinavia, and even fewer (if any?) that end up in tiny, woodsy towns with a pleasantly grizzled look and strange clothing, backpack, and smell. On the bus/train I will read the free newspaper to catch up with current events.

The coffee and chocolate bar, if I can get it, is just a warm up. When I get back to dense civilization, I literally eat whatever I want at the time at places I know and like. Most of the time it's Max Burger for a big burger, onion rings, soda (one of the few times I drink soda too is post-hike), and then a milkshake or soft serve ice cream. Or authentic Thai place for some chicken pad Thai--because Sweden has excellent and plentiful Thai places (with real Thai people cooking), obviously. Yes, I'm serious, and no I don't really know the full extent as to why.

When I get home greet the family, hot shower, and I too like to then immediately put most of my gear away.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Mind your own business
Re: No car for me on 04/03/2013 17:49:11 MDT Print View

I just realised there are two post hike threads going on :-)

Hk Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Re: Re: No car for me on 04/03/2013 18:13:26 MDT Print View

I just realised there are two post hike threads going on :-)

Got resurrected from 2 years ago. I'd love to go with no car but in the American desert or Rockies, a vehicle is usually the only option for those with a job to return to. A post-hike brewski is a perk, however, and a splash in a cold stream and/or hot spring is pretty refreshing around here. Also usually any company starts talking about future trips on the way back.

That said, some club trips I've been on some individuals were a little out there on the return drive, .... threatening waiters with a pistol-whipping because their order wasn't right, forgetting keys and having to cram into the back of a pickup truck after a hike (at 75 MPH, no one can smell your funk though), and a whole host of other issues, mostly mental. Some people you just can't take anywhere.

Edited by hknewman on 04/03/2013 18:14:14 MDT.

James Castleberry
Public transit on 04/03/2013 18:53:32 MDT Print View

I use it whenever possible. Yosemite and SEKI are both served well. I consider the $7.50, 2.5 hour shuttle from Visalia to Lodgepole to be one of the all-time great bargains in the backpacking world. The only thing is, every time I ride it, I meet seniors who got 1/2 price ($3.75) tickets.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Mind your own business
Re: Public transit on 04/03/2013 18:55:39 MDT Print View

If I tried to get public transport in Michigan I would be in deep crap.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Post-hike rituals on 04/03/2013 23:36:52 MDT Print View

The same is true in the Pacific Northwest. Excellent public transit in the big cities, but little or none to outlying trailheads. What little exists is very inconvenient, requiring many transfers. Basically, if you want to get outside urban areas, an automobile is essential equipment.

I usually stop at a McDonald's on the way home. That's because the Pacific NW places now carry Tillamook ice cream, so I can get my favorite, a chocolate chip mint cone.

When backpacking with the grandkids, though, the essential stop on the way home is any pizza parlor. The eldest, now just about to turn 13, could read "PIZZA" by the time he was 4!

Edited by hikinggranny on 04/03/2013 23:42:34 MDT.

Martin RJ Carpenter
(MartinCarpenter) - F
More No Cars on 04/04/2013 03:58:35 MDT Print View

No car here either but of course England is an awfully small, densly populated, place! Also convenient history of industry in many of the hill areas leading to some quite useful surviving railway lines. So you can do an awful lot of day walks by public transport. Longer trips very easy.

Scotland seems sparsely populated enough that you'd really need either a car or a tent/longer trips.

Chris .
(cwb) - F

Locale: Los Angeles
post hike on 04/04/2013 16:56:28 MDT Print View

No real traditions but I did stop in the small town at the bottom of San Gorgonio last week and the FFA was holding a breakfast in the town hall. It was pretty cool, the food was great and the small town atmosphere was hard to beat.

Jason G
(JasonG) - F

Locale: iceberg lake
beer on 04/04/2013 19:51:12 MDT Print View

+1 one on fresh clothes, beer, snacks, wash etc

but when coming out of the eastern sierra always gotta make a stop at Schat's bakery in bishop and the Whoa nellie deli in Lee Vining

Edward Z
(Fuzz) - MLife

Locale: Sunny San Diego
Ridiculous pub by my house on 04/06/2013 20:16:05 MDT Print View

I'm lucky enough to have a bar a mike from home that shares a wall with a very upscale prime and gourmet market. They have a ground sirloin burger 1/2 lb with bacon and cheddar on any day with homemade chips for 2.99$. They have 25 microbrews on tap. And it's a couple blocks away! So for $10 I get a prime burger with 2 pints. Just enough to roll home to the shower.... Helluva deal.

Great thread Ike

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Mind your own business
Re: Ridiculous pub by my house on 04/07/2013 06:12:14 MDT Print View

I would love a decent pub near my house I could walk to as in my town buses and taxis are as rare
As honest politicians.

Steofan The Apostate
(simaulius) - F

Locale: Bohemian Alps
Post-hike rituals on 04/07/2013 10:05:48 MDT Print View

My last stop before hitting the shower at home is at HF Crave. Free-range, grass fed Nebraska beef. Not a pub, just bugers, sodas and a few bottled beers. Lift off the top bun and put your nose right down inside... breath in slowly .... mmmmm, no wonder why they call this "The Beef State".

Adam Rothermich
(aroth87) - F

Locale: Missouri Ozarks
Re: Post hike rituals on 04/07/2013 10:48:32 MDT Print View

There's been a recent shift in my post-hike ritual. I used to like to find a diner and get hashbrowns (covered, if possible) and biscuits and gravy and cover it all with hot sauce and wash it down with a Coke. But now that my wife and I have been out of college for a few years we're yearning for some of the food we grew accustomed to while there. Fortunately I do most of my hiking around where we went to college (Rolla, MO) and the past few times I've stopped at Pizza Inn for the buffet and then went to Slice of Pie to pick up some treats to bring back home. A half slice of pie will set you back almost $4 but it much weigh a half-pound. Some of my favorites are the oreo cheesecake and the Dutch Apple pie with cinnamon sauce. It pairs well with Wild Turkey :D. My wife like to get the french silk or one of the myriad other cream pies. Just thinking about it makes me hungry, good thing I'm going down there again this weekend!


Ike Jutkowitz
(Ike) - M

Locale: Central Michigan
Mmmm on 04/07/2013 13:43:02 MDT Print View

Hashbrowns, biscuits, and gravy is still my favorite post hike meal. I like to get a side of sausage and 2-3 eggs over easy thrown on top. This sort of food orgy usually attracts attention from weight conscious onlookers.

rOg w
(rOg_w) - F

Locale: rogwilmers.wordpress
deleted on 04/07/2013 13:57:19 MDT Print View


Edited by rOg_w on 06/17/2013 20:12:52 MDT.