- Aria Zoner
The 5-Day Resupply Box
Hello, my name is Aria Zoner. On my quest to discover new vistas, I travel across rugged mountain ranges and vast landscapes, covering long-distances, either by biking or hiking. Along the way, I often need to replenish my food supplies. To do this, I typically have 5 different options to choose from.
5 Ways to Fuel Adventure - Nutritionally Speaking
If I’m fortunate enough to be in a natural harvest zone during the right time of year or season I might be able to forage a meal directly from the trailside, however, as a general rule - wild foods are not always available and therefore, should only be considered as a bonus snack.
Wherever there’s roads, there’s gas stations. And many of these stations have convenience stores attached to them. These places are littered across the US. But surprisingly, despite their appearance of fully stocked shelves, they provide very little when it comes to food that's actually healthy for you.
3. Grocery Stores:
In this department, better luck would normally be found at grocery stores and roadside markets; but sadly, these are all-too-often void of fresh fruits and vegetables, and are instead, cluttered with empty calorie processed “foods” that are boxed-up in colorful packages - which in reality are designed to make record profits, not record-setting adventurers.
Dining-in at roadside restaurants is also a good option for getting a solid meal, and possibly some food to-go as well. But as I sit and look at the menus of restaurants in the US today, it seems that all of the Mom & Pop ones - who would serve home-cooked meals and regional specials - have been plowed under and replaced by mega chain stores and local looking sub-franchises – which serve only irradiated and enzymatically devoid food products. Again, their business model is designed for generating a profit. Not the consumers health. While the marketing at these places is colorful, the nutritional profile of what they're serving, is anything but.
When it comes to fueling our adventures, are health and enjoyment during it is ultimately up to us. This is where this final option comes in handy the most.
5. Resupply Boxes:
My 5th and most frequently used option to resupply my food while traveling long-distances in the US is done so with the assistance of the United States Postal Service. With their help, I’m able to send myself boxes which contain the proper resupplies that I need to continue forward on my path, feeling satiated and nourished. Thanks to their service, and my local natural food store’s bulk food department, I’m able to travel almost anywhere that I want, and eat both exotic and homemade foods in abundance while I’m there.
So now that you know my secret is to eating Organic while out on an extended adventure, let’s put one together.
The 5 Day Resupply Box
My resupply boxes usually range from 3-10 days’ worth of supplies. Overall, 5 days seems to be the most common number so that’s what we’re going to do here.
To begin making a 5 Day Resupply Box, simply grab a box. I like to use a medium-sized Flat Rate box. You’ll also need pair of scissors and a roll of packing tape. After assembling the bottom, it’s time to start packing!
The following ingredients mentioned are by no means exclusive, however, the foods I’ll be using for this resupply have been selected not only because of their packability, availability, and affordability but also their rich flavor, combination potentials, and overall health benefits. We’ll get to the exact numbers of these things later, but for now, let’s get ready to eat!
I like to start my day with oatmeal. Oats are one of the top centurion foods of all time but are often ridiculed by people. What many people are misunderstanding about oats is that they are a medium for the spice. They are like a boat, in a sense, and its purpose is to carry things. In our case it’s going to be a combination of things, beginning with the spices. Cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, and clove plus a dash of sea salt. Next I put in a few dried apples, chopping them first, then add a small handful of raisins, blueberries, and cranberries. For boxes that will be picked up within the month I pre-grind my flax and add-it-in but for distant boxes I use chia seeds instead.
When it’s time to prepare these oats I like to add-in a teaspoon of coconut or olive oil and also pieces of whole dried banana. I like the soft and pliable kind and tend to stay away from dried banana chips, which is what most people are familiar with.
This meal is my foundation for a day of adventure and on top of it I can stack more nutrient dense foods. Although the oat gets all the health credits, I submit that the real secret in its ability to promote longevity is actually found in what it’s eaten with. Real oatmeal is a symbiotic relationship, not a lone ingredient.
When lunchtime rolls around, the real snacking begins. In this bag I have placed all of the top nuts and seeds of the world. For each of the 5 days, I have a few of each of these ingredients. In this way I can either graze on a wide mixture of things or isolate each one into separate days altogether. This particular bag has sunflower and pumpkin seeds which have been soaked and then dehydrated. These are called sprouted seeds and is the preferred way to eat seeds. When it comes to nuts I like almonds, cashews, pistachios, walnuts, pinenuts, and brazil nuts. With these I go raw. To complete the mix, I add a handful of roasted peanuts.
To sweeten things up I make an antioxidant rich berry bag. This one has dried strawberries, cherries, blueberries, cranberries, and currents. To complement these berries, I also have a bag of dried coconut flakes, and raw cacao nibs.
On-trail, I may choose to make a fruit wrap with them by using some stuff from the next snack sack - the tropical fruit bag - which includes a healthy serving of dates, figs, mango, papaya, persimmons, and pineapple.
This feast though, has only begun. Because when the fruit bag’s out, it’s time to break out the fudge too. Wrapped up in tape - inside of this old hummus container - is a homemade blend of almond butter, chai spices, bee pollan and honey, salt and cacao powder. This delicious staple is enjoyed with many of the fruits and is one of my favorite food combos of the day.
When the dinner bell rings, it’s salad that gets served first. Hearty organic greens used to be difficult to send ahead but with the emergence of Kale Chips on the scene, this is no longer an issue. Kale chips are easy to prepare at home if you have time and a dehydrator or can be purchased in tasty and conveniently portioned bags at your neighborhood health food store.
By the time salad is done, so is the soup. For this mission, I’m having quinoa, but you could just as easily use a combination of other things like rice, corn pasta, or orzo. Again, the magic is not in the grain, but what you put with the grain. In this bag I have 3 kinds of seaweed and 6 kinds of mushrooms! I’ve also added a mixture of traditional Ayurvedic herbs which help with inflammation and digestion. Lucky for me these herbs prefer to be consumed in warm, oily broth broth. On that note, in the box, I’ve packed my olive oil in a small bottle that I originally got as a product sample. Throughout the year, I save little bags and bottles that I come across – just for these occasions. Another bag has sun dried tomatoes.
When the day is done, I like to end it by rehydrating. Here, I like to turn my water into a tasty beverage. An on-trail smoothie even, thanks to my resupply box. Today, I’ve got 2 different kinds of drink mixes. 1 is a chocolate and protein green superfood mix, which I usually have with lunch, and the other is a methylation mix which makes for a great nightcap. This one has beet, vanilla, and maca powder – plus Zeolites and a pinch of sea salt.
A few last things I add to the resupply box are algae-based omega oil supplements, bonus foods and snacks to enjoy immediately upon opening the box, and my own chemical-free TP. On the more popular trails, this final and extra courteous step can save trail angles and customers of local businesses from having the experience of sitting down to an empty roll.
The Final Step:
Once everything has been gathered and sealed, I give one last look at it to make sure that I’ve included the whole spectrum. Meaning a food of every color and from every part of the plant. Snacking in this way I know that my diet is holistic, which is the best way to approach nutrition.
With no room to spare, this load fits perfectly in the medium Flat Rate box. When closing it up, I always make sure to tape the side flaps too which will keep any ants, spiders, or dust mites out while it’s sitting in the post office waiting for me.
To keep my package on hold, and not accidently returned to sender, I place a noticeable label on it which states that I’m a long-distance hiker. I also hand-write an ETA on it but intentionally mark it at least a week ahead of when I actually expect to get there.
Once you make one resupply box, you can just repeat the process, switching up the ingredients as you go, and soon enough – you’ll have yourself lined up to enjoy a few months solid, out on the trail or on the road.
When all is complete, mail your packages just before departing for the trip or have a buddy send them to you as you go if it’s really going to be a few months. In special cases, I’ll even mail food to myself inside of a bear can. I’ll send this directly to the place where I’ll begin needing it.
The best part about the resupply box is, I just grab it and go – then I’m off into the wilderness and back to having more fun.
As you prepare, don’t forget, not all resupply boxes are created equal. By eating organic, you not only ensure your own success of the trip and longevity of your life, but help to support a healthy planet as well with your consumer dollars.
The 5 Day Resupply Box:
$40 for supplies = $8/day (@2016 prices)
Overall weight: 1.76 lbs/day
Until next time, this is Aria Zoner – inviting you to go big but snack bigger!