Can we live without the cheese?

This weekend, I wrote a guest blog for my friends in WildernessU-Georgia, a student group which facilitates discussion around conservation and natural resource management and is a subsidiary of The Wilderness Society. The post was about the environmental benefits of being a vegetarian.

Photo courtesy of alexlomas/Flickr

It got me thinking about what Bettina and my diet will be like on the trail. Obviously, there are the jokes about hikers (“crunchy” people) eating Grape Nuts, dried apricots, and Cliff Bars all of the time, but I really wanted to find out what we can realistically plan on eating during the 30 days – how do we know if we are getting the right nutrients, now affordable will it be, can we maintain being vegetarian without endangering our health ….and answer to the question which is eating a hole in my stomach with worry….will we have to go without cheese?!

Photo courtesy of Rev Stan/Flickr

In short – No. Cheese is a main staple for many hikers for a few reasons (calcium intake must be monitored, it’s important to continue taking in fats along the trail, etc.). According to some very helpful discussion boards on the White Blaze website, I was able to find out from some seasoned through-hikers, that when the trail goes through a town, it’s important to consume foods that you can’t carry with you easily like diary products and high-protein foods. They recommend lots of spinach, cilantro, and water chestnuts but NO RAW PEASE (I’ll have to look into that one more…).

I was shocked to find out from one discussion that whereas an average person will consume 2000 calories in a day, hikers on long trips can expect to consume 4000-6000 per day…now that’s what I call livin’ the dream (must still lok into the how this affects digestion….Activa, here we come)!

2 Responses to “Can we live without the cheese?”
  1. I love cheese more than any other food, so this would be good news to me if I had the skills to be a long distance hiker! I’ve thought about it before, and I eat cheese in some form every single day.

  2. Rebecca Holton says:

    Life without cheese is not worth living.

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