“Planning Predicts Performance”

I heard the title of today’s post while watching the TV show Survivor, and it is true. I thought I was fully prepared for my hike. And in my mind, I was. But physically, no, I wasn’t. Nor did I really know what I needed to do and pack. Like I said yesterday, I read a lot of books and online blogs from other hikers and they all gave me ideas, but none really replicated the act of hiking.

So, my planning really did predict my performance. And that does not really disappoint me. This was a huge learning experience, and I will be better prepared in the future. As I said yesterday, this was a victory, because it has made me stronger and more capable the next time I try this. (A failure would be deciding that trying it in the first place was wrong and never trying it again.)

So, a few lessons learned for the next attempt (and as my friend Charles K. pointed out on LoseIt, there WILL be a next attempt):
1.  More water. If the first quarter of the trail is representative of the rest, water is a precious commodity and not easily found while on that trail.

2.  Smaller evening meals (or none at all) and more snacks. Exhaustion overpowers hunger. Food that is ready to eat is more important than food which requires cooking. 

3.  Big breakfasts are good. (The one thing that I did right.)

4.  Test the meals BEFORE you hike. Don’t just assume that because they look good on paper they will taste good on your plate.

This is one of the breakfasts that I would have had today if I was in the field. Scrambled eggs with bacon and cheese. (Of course, it wouldn’t be served on this plate with fresh chives as garnish.)  Looks pretty good. The recipe I found called for 6 dried eggs, some bacon, cheese and 1/2 cup hot water, then stir and eat.

        But this recipe taught me:

        4.1)  “Dried egg” is not the same as “dried cooked egg.”  I bought “dried egg”, and when that is rehydrated with hot water, it becomes “raw egg”.  Ugh.

        4.2)  Raw scrambled egg is disgusting and requires a microwave or other heat t finish cooking.

        4.3)  The amount of water needed to fully rehydrate dried raw eggs is more than is required for dried cooked eggs.  These eggs were dry! Imaging eating a hard boiled egg yolk–just the yolk–and these eggs were drier. Ozzy ate a small piece and started retching because they were too dry to swallow. (And when a dog retches after eating something, that should say a lot about the food.)

5.  Loganbread is delicious, on or off the trail. That is a snack that I will continue to make. I will post the recipe soon. It is HIGH carb and moderately high fiber and fat, but a great energy snack.

6.  I think next time I will go without a tent and just bring my tarp. In nice weather, I will just sleep on it and if the weather become inclement, I will roll it over me. But I will test this theory sometime this summer, in my backyard, to see if it is feasible before I implement this plan.

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