• Aria Zoner

3 Effective Ways to Prevent Food Boredom

Are you tired of your food on trail? Are you looking for new ways to be creative with your resupply? Food boredom can set in when you have the same thing in every resupply box, or start to rely on the same things from every town. In this post, I present 3 Effective Ways to Prevent Food Boredom which I became aware of after doing my own food experiments while on long-distance hikes. Each of these journeys was a unique hike, and so was the way I approached how I was going to sustain them.

Becoming a Breatharian is not an effective way to prevent Food Boredom

Although there are literally thousands of flavors and combinations that can be made using these 3 ways of eating, this post is merely a primer and does not contain any recipes. This is simply an introduction to 3 ways of preparing or purchasing your food. But don’t let that deter you. For me, these 3 ways of eating has opened doors to new ingredients and new possibilities for my snacks; and I know they’ll do the same for you, but only if you’re willing to take the next step and seek out these types of food, or learn how to create them yourself.

The 3 Effective Ways to Prevent Food Boredom detailed below can be used independently or in unison. Nowadays, when I’m preparing for, or am out on a journey, I like to do a combination of all 3. With dinner on the mind, let’s get down to it.

3 Effective Ways to Prevent Food Boredom

Option 1: Dehydrated Meals

Quinoa Soup with rehydrated veggies and curry powder

In 2006, when I set out for my first summer on the PCT, I bought an Excalibur Dehydrator and pre-prepared my food for the entire trip, then, with great care placed it into 20 resupply boxes which I then picked up along the way.

For this style, I was mainly focused on eating combinations of lightweight dehydrated foods:

  • Homemade Granolas

  • Homemade Energy Bars

  • Homemade Fruit Leathers

  • Homemade Pasta, Rice, and Quinoa Dinners

Option 2: Dry Ingredients

Dried goji, mulberry, and strawberry with cashews and raw cacao nibs

In 2009, when I set out to hike across Utah on The Hayduke Trail, instead of dehydrating my meals I bought raw, whole ingredients and put them into separate baggies which I then put into recycled water bottles of various sizes which I then placed as remote caches, buried into the ground. After unburying them, I carried the food in the same container.

For this style, I was mainly focused on eating whole ingredients which I made into meals once I was out there:

  • Raw nuts & seeds

  • Dried berries & fruits

  • Nut butters & oils

  • Green protein & superfood shake mixes

  • Spices, raw grains & dried veggies for soups

Option 3: Fresh Produce

A healthy assortment of fresh veggies

This is undoubtedly my favorite way to eat if I had to choose. In 2009, I thru-hiked the Colorado Trail without pre-planning my food and with sending resupply boxes. Thanks to towns along the trail, for 3 meals a day I enjoyed fresh produce, and most nights, I had a 14’er for dessert. It was a sweet trip, to say the least!

For this style, I was mainly focused on eating raw and adequately spiced foods:

  • Fresh fruits & veggies

  • Wild-harvested berries & mushrooms

  • Salads & dressings

  • Smoothies & juices

Post trip review...

While each of these journeys was a success, I do believe that the way I approached my food for them had a great deal to do with it. After having eaten exclusively on each of these 3 styles for an extended amount of time, I’ll say again, nowadays I like to do a combination of all 3. And that’s not just during the same journey but during the same meal.

Here’s my rating overall for each option, based on my own experience and criteria:

Amount of work required:

  • Dehydrated Meals = *****

  • Dry Ingredients = **

  • Fresh Produce = *

Ability to be creative once on trail:

  • Dehydrated Meals = *

  • Dry Ingredients = *****

  • Fresh Produce = *****

Energy Levels/Quality of Sleep:

  • Dehydrated Meals = *****

  • Dry Ingredients = *****

  • Fresh Produce = *****

Overall Enjoyment:

  • Dehydrated Meals = ***

  • Dry Ingredients = ****

  • Fresh Produce = *****

Preventing food boredom...

Are you feeling bored with what you’re eating on-trail? Is it Raman and Snickers for dinner AGAIN?

If so, this sounds like a good time to do a food experiment!

Here’s how:

Try something new:

  • Homemade Lentil Chips

  • Orange Juice Infused Pear Slices

  • Dried Jackfruit

Use the same ingredient but in a different way:

  • Dried Apples in oatmeal

  • Baked Apples and spices

  • Fresh Apples with almond butter

Explore new possibilities:

  • Try soaking or sprouting raw nuts and seeds

  • Fast or do a juice cleanse

  • Try making Kimchi Chips

The secret sauce...

Between preparing and dehydrating your own meals, eating it as it’s presented by Mother Nature, or getting some well-crafted products from the store - you should have no problem staying ahead of food boredom; no matter how picky you are or how much effort you’re willing to put in.

Here's one snack I never get bored of...

Trail Fudge:

Almond butter, tahini, bee pollen, honey, black salt, cacao nibs, cacao powder, cinnamon.

Serve with:

  • Energy Bars

  • Dried Figs

  • Fresh Bananas

When it comes to Trail Fudge, there’s never any leftovers!

What keeps you ahead of food boredom? Comment below.


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