I backpacked the Winds from Big Sandy to Green River Lakes through the Cirque of the Towers and over Knapsack Col from July 20 to July 25. I joined a group of 4 CDT thru-hikers. I was able to keep up with them, although it was sometimes a bit much to have to walk by so many pretty places to make the miles. Some food-related things:
- One of the hikers makes yogurt out of Nido. At one point he bought some yogurt as a starter. Now he just reuses the plastic bag and whatever residue is the starter. He mixes the Nido and water in the bag and then sleeps with it at night. Pretty ingenious.
- Three out of 5 of us were on some kind of Paleo-ish diet. We all were the older ones. The two younger ones were on the peanut butter and pop-tart diet. We all were able to do the distance but while they were choking down pop-tarts and getting sick of them, we oldsters were eating great-tasting food we weren't sick of.
- I learned you can dehydrate kalamata olives. Really tasty!
- The thru-hikers were all no-cook. They'd start soaking lunch at breakfast, dinner at lunch etc. One had a 16oz jar instead of bags for rehydrating her meals. That seemed way more civilized to me.
Food I brought:
- beef heart jerky
- dehydrated orange and yellow sweet potatoes (so good!)
- homemade pemmican (hard to choke down by itself, fabulous in a soup or stew!)
- dehydrated canned chicken (really good!)
- homemade energy bars comprised of dried flattened banana bottom layer, almond butter and coconut and beef tallow filling and date and walnut top (very rich and actually hard to eat a whole piece.)
- coconut manna (used this as a soup base)
- curry spice pastes (intended to use with the coconut manna but I preferred the blander plain coconut so I didn't eat most of these.)
- macadamia nuts
- someone on the trail gave me a bag of bridge mix. (I enjoyed that a lot, especially after nearly killing myself on Knapsack Col.)
One in our group was a mushroom expert. We ate porcinis, agaricus and puffballs and identified a myriad of other mushrooms. Every night my stews were stuffed with mushrooms. Also wild dandelion greens and wild chives.
The Winds are amazing. They were worth the 40 hours I spent driving to and from.