To recap: In Part One, we set our itinerary. In Part Two, we trained. In Part Three, we talked about packing. Today’s topic goes hand in hand with packing – food planning. My biggest question when we started to plan for Yosemite was “what do vegetarians/vegans do for food in the backcountry?” I prefer a plant-based diet when possible and was concerned about getting sufficient calories and protein while backpacking without recourse to usual calorie dense snacks like jerky and cheese. I ended up with a three meal, two snack plan that only had one meat-containing meal, and rationalized that there was no better excuse to eat all my favorite junk foods than hiking 8 miles a day.

For breakfast, we did Quaker Oatmeal packets and instant coffee, paired with Pop-Tarts.

Snack 1 of the day was a Clif bar or jerky. I found some vegan jerky that I really enjoyed.

For lunch, we did either summer sausage and wheat thins, or golden pea butter on tortillas. Lesson learned: more tortillas and golden pea butter! We always had Oreos as dessert for lunch.

Snack 2 of the day was jerky or a Clif bar.

Dinner varied. Brad really enjoys the Mountain House Chili Mac with Beef and Lasagna with Meat Sauce. I had Backpacker’s Pantry Red Beans & Rice, Katmandu Curry, and Pad Thai with Tofu, all of which were good. The Pad Thai was my favorite – fresher tasting than any other freeze dried meal I’d had, and with lots of vegetables.

Because we had to cram all our food and toiletries into the BearVault, I repackaged my Backpacker’s Pantry meals into freezer zip bag and kept only one envelope to use as a holder for the bag in case it leaked after we poured the hot water in. This worked well and the bags held up well.

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