the first, most obvious detail about hiking the pacific crest trail is that it is highly debatable.
how big of a pack do i need? 70L? 60L? 48L? tent or tarp? hiking boots or trail runners? ok, trail runners, but do i go with the brooks cascadia 6, 7, 8 or 9? umbrella? wait, who hikes with an umbrella? synthetic or down? stove or stoveless? thermarest z-lite or neoair xlite? lightweight, ultralight or superultralight?
it’s dizzying really, and there’s still the issue of food, a topic that can suck you into hours of googling, forum reading and general head scratching trying to get a handle on how to keep your body and mind going for 2600 miles.
so, inspired by “comedians in cars getting coffee,” here’s some maths, in the form of a homemade larabar recipe, to provide a little certainty in all your planning. everything else is debatable.
homemade pecan pie larabars
-2.5 cups pitted dates, sliced in half
-0.5 cups raw, unsalted almonds
-1.5 cups pecans
-0.25 tablespoons cinnamon
-0.25 tablespoons nutmeg
-2 pinches o’salt
-soak dates in warm water for 5-10 minutes, maybe longer if you’ve got dried dates. you want them to be pretty moist. drain excess water.
-in a food processor, blend up the almonds and pecans to the consistency of a handful of small, crushed pebbles from a creek bottom. if you don’t know what this looks/feels like, put your hiking shoes on, find a creek and go learn.
-toss in the drained dates, spices and salt.
-line a baking pan with a little olive oil or coconut oil. toss in the mixture and fill the pan to the edges, pressing into place with your fingers to the thickness you prefer.
-blend the mixture until it begins to clump up on the sides. this shouldn’t take long. the mixture just needs to be thick enough to mold in the pan without coming apart.
(hint: larger pan = thinner bars; smaller pan = thicker bars)
-pop the pan in the ‘fridge for 30 minutes to firm up, and then cut into bars.
these are great with coffee or as a daily snack, but i recommend putting one in your pack, filling up a water bottle and getting out for a hike. enjoy with a beautiful view!
these will definitely make it into my food drops!