A funny thing starts happening on the trail where food is concerned. Every hiker goes through it at one point or another. It is called, hiker hunger. What is it you ask? Well, for me it first started in the middle of the night. I had eaten breakfast, second breakfast, lunch, second lunch and supper. Seems adequate to us hikers, and for those not hiking, it may seem excessive. That M&M we first dropped on the trail and didn’t pick up, is now found along the trail dropped by another hiker, and we pick it up and easy it. It seems that all day long we think of food. At night we dream of food. In camp we have fantasies about food we will eat once we get to town. If we have left over food on the trail, (we usually don’t) someone is sure to consume whatever it is when offered.
One evening we were at Over-Mountain Shelter, a boy scout troop had passed us and were set up when we arrived. We were in the process of coming when a young scout walked up to his fellow about friends with a whole package of oreos. You would have thought he had gold the way we were acting. Whatever Works, Lambo and myself couldn’t stop looking at that package. Finally, I got my courage up and asked the about who owned the cookies and if they would be willing to sell 3 cookies for fifty cents a piece. He didn’t even hesitate in telling me, “No, I’m going to need them after supper.” The 3 of us were very disappointed. It was about ten minute later when the scout came to me and opened his package up and told me, “You can have just one.” He then did the same to Lambo and Whatever Works. I asked him if he wanted the $1.50, but he said, “No, that’s okay.” Lambo ate his right away. Whatever Works was shortly after and I saved mine for after supper. Those were the best cookies we ever had.
We can hardly wait to get to a town to gorge ourselves with real food. Not that our trail food is fake, it’s just not that appealing when you eat the same thing for months on end. I have been eating oatmeal every morning for breakfast. I even added it to my beans and rice the other night because I had put to much water and didn’t want to waste fuel boiling it out. Then I have tuna or peanut butter every lunch. I’m really getting tired of the lunches. Supper had a little bit more variety, but not much. I eat soups that I doctor up with chicken and veggies, spaghetti I add veggies also, and last but not least beans and rice. Sometimes, I also have mashed potatoes that I’ve added veggies to. You get the picture.
So, when I get to town I just want to gorge myself with fresh veggies, fruit and meat. Oh and also a great cup of coffee.
The problem with this is that my stomach isn’t used to this type of diet and can’t always handle it. I know I’m in trouble when the old stomach starts to grumble and bubble. Have you ever tried to unsnap a backpack waist belt, chest strap, throw off the pack, open the pack, search for the tp you thought was right at the top and discovered it wasn’t, and then hi-tail it to the woods all before the shit hits the fan. It isn’t a pleasant experience. Trust me, it’s happened twice.
I now watch what I eat in town. Plus I have a good supply of Imodium and anti- diarrhea tablets close at hand. Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
3 thoughts on “Hiker Hunger…It’s For Real”
Hi Jill, This is Kathy from the Discovery Center. I have been thinking about you and praying for good health. I love your blog and I am interested in what you are doing. Keep us posted. Stay safe!!
Really enjoy your post. Remember the time about halfway thru Papa Al was waiting for Philco at a road crossing. Sat by a tree, looked down saw about a dozen M&M on the ground and ate everyone. Five second doesn’t count on the trail. You are doing great, keep heading North.
I loved this whole post 😂