I am lounging under a tree at 1pm in the Mojave Desert, (We've found that it is a more ideal time for napping than for hiking in this heat.) and it occurs to me that I am hungry. Nevermind that I have probably consumed 1000+ calories already in the 2 hours I've been here. It has begun.
I've heard legend of the PCT Thru hiker appetite. By the time a friend of mine reached the middle of Oregon, she was ordering two entrees when in town to satiate the cravings of her 5'6" frame.
When we started, our miles per day was not much less than what is now, but something has signaled my metabolism to spike. When we were planning meals we knew our diets would accelerate to consumption of 4000 - 5000 calories a day per person.
We planned accordingly and created a modified version version of a homemade oatmeal online. The oatmeal originally weighed in at 220 calories per serving. After adding copious amounts of Nido (Vitamin rich, calorie dense powdered milk) and brown sugar to each serving and doubling the recipe we came up with a breakfast that easily pushed 600 calories.
When we first got to the trail we thought we had made a huge mistake. It was too much oatmeal! We would take 2 servings and split it between three people and even then it was hard to finish the last few bites.
Since mile 600, the individual packets are no longer "share size." We each rapidly devour our oatmeal without any problem. I know this is only the beginning, and I will keep you posted on any records shattered.
A quick side note: During our planning we found that we had to aim for 125 calories per ounce of food to make sure that our packs were not too heavy. I reached out to Nick at Gem down in Bend, OR. Nick had just the thing for us. Cinnamon Maca Nut Butter. Well over 125 calories per ounce and full of the fats, proteins, and sugars our bodies are craving. So far we have gone through 2 lbs of the stuff. Thanks to Nick and his team for a delicious and healthy source of calories!