PCT Food Review Part 2 – Mid Morning Snacks and Lunches

In our last post we reviewed our breakfast strategy and bars. In this post we dive into our mid-morning snacks, mid-morning drinks and lunch.

As a reminder, we actively sought out sponsors for our hike to help offset the higher cost of quality foods. Every company below with an * next to their name either gave us free food or a discount. While we remain grateful to these companies, their generosity has not influenced our comments.

Mid-morning snacks

Because 1 – 2 bars around 6am can only sustain a hiker for a little while, we usually stopped for a snack break around 10 am. Sometimes we ate cold oatmeal (soaked in advance to save time), other times we boiled water for hot oatmeal and once in a while we shoved handfuls of granola into our mouths.

GlutenFreeda instant oatsGlutenFreeda’s gluten free oatmeal* isn’t as sweet as most individually wrapped oatmeal packets on the market and were both hearty and flavorful. We appreciated the ease of individual servings which pack better into a bear can than a large ziplock filled with oatmeal.

Our favorite flavors were Apple Cinnamon with Flax, Banana Maple with Flax and Maple Raisin with Flax. GlutenFreeda instant oatmeal is especially good for people who are looking for certified gluten free oatmeal.

We had some bulk gluten free granola from Rainbow Grocery in San Francisco but most of our granola came from 18 Rabbits*. They have added more flavors to their lineup in recent months – all of which are all delicious! Our two favorites on trail were 1) Cherry, Chia and Vanilla and 2) Walnut, Flax and Cacao Nib.

18 Rabbits Granola18 Rabbits granola are not too sweet but sweet enough to make you want more. We discovered that while calorie rich and delicious, granola in general is very heavy. Often times we would eat this as a dessert the first night out of town to cut down on weight.

Mid-morning drinks

DoMatcha Matcha Green TeaWhen we didn’t have oatmeal but still wanted to stop and drink something warm, Laurie enjoyed hot chocolate and Andy drank DōMatcha Green Tea*.

Laurie LOVES hot chocolate almost as much as mac & cheese so this was always a nice treat for her. Sometimes she would make it a double and sit cooing about how wonderful life was.

Andy enjoyed his green tea, but not with the same enthusiasm as Laurie with her hot chocolate. He added coconut milk powder to his tea for extra flavor and calories. He enjoyed it very much until we encountered the heat of Northern California. The coconut milk fat leaked out of the little zip lock bags and covered his food bag and all its contents with grease. No Bueno.


For lunch we had:

Luke's CrackersWe especially liked Luke’s Crackers* for their taste and crunch when having tuna, salami or cheese. They have the right amount of salt and taste more like a chip than a cracker.

We looked forward to and got very excited when we found these crackers in our resupply boxes even if they were all crumbs!

Prather ranchOur favorite meat products by a country mile were the Prather Ranch Landjager and Beef Candy. We absolutely LOVED them! No matter where we hike next, we will be taking them with us.

The Landjager is a delicious German style meat stick that comes in a pack of 3. Andy usually devoured them in less than a minute while Laurie (trail name Saver for the first 1,000 miles of our hike) would save at least one stick to have with dinner. And she says she has no self control..

Prather Ranch Beef CandyThe Beef Candy is moist, sweet (but not overly so), savory and very tender. Beef Candy was the hardest thing for us to share on the trail. We both loved them very much and knew the other loved them too. And since we love each other we did share them – some of the time.

Prather Ranch also makes a Hot Beef Candy if you prefer a spicier beef jerky. Andy liked it and found it to be mildly spicy. As he put it, “It had just the right amount of kick.”

TankaTanka Power Packs – Initially these were great. They are hearty 4oz servings of buffalo meat in a vacuumed sealed bag. We liked the Orange Peel flavor best. The Slow Smoked Original and Spicy Pepper flavors have wild rice in them which offer a rather odd crunch, not to mention that they gets stuck in your teeth. But these were minor details once we got used to them.  (You can only purchase these direct from their website here. Other Tanka products are available on amazon and other retailers.)

The wonderful thing about Tanka is that these power packs provided variety to our diet filled with sweet bars. Laurie appreciated their meaty taste up through the Sierra, at which time she got tired of them (and Andy got tired of them by Oregon). Again, this may have been due to the fact that we didn’t have enough variety and burned ourselves out too quickly. Having said that, in Washington Andy started liking them again – especially the Orange Peel flavor.

liverbitesEpic bars – Similar to Tanka bars, these provided a nice variety to our sweet bar selection. Due to our late order of these bars, we didn’t start getting them in our boxes until Oregon and by that time we were wildly excited for something new and different.

We appreciated the variety of flavors and found Wild Boar to be our favorite. The Venison and Pulled Pork were too salty. Andy loved their Beef Liver Jerky too but Laurie could only handle 1-2 pieces max.

That’s it for this post, the next post will cover dinner and snacks. Stay tuned!

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6 thoughts on “PCT Food Review Part 2 – Mid Morning Snacks and Lunches

  1. Pingback: PCT Food Review – Part 3 – Snacks | Andy & Laurie Hike the PCT

  2. Pingback: PCT Food Review Part 4 – Dinner | Andy & Laurie Hike the PCT

  3. Pingback: PCT Food Review Part 5 – Bars, Bars and More Bars! | Andy & Laurie Hike the PCT

  4. I just received some Prather Ranch treats in the mail for sampling. The packaging seems to take up a lot of space and says product requires refrigeration after opening. Did you repackage these and how long can they safely last once opened–although it’s likely they’ll be eaten in one sitting, I imagine. Since we have to carry a bear can we have to minimize the packaging as much as possible.


    • Hi Charissa, we ate Prather products in the Sierra when carrying bear cans and didn’t have issues. We loved them so much we made space for them.
      And we ate them in one sitting, so we never worried about them going bad.
      We packed them in advance and even 4 months later, they were fine in our resupply boxes.


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