Food N Hydration

Food and Hydration.  It is important to survival. It is even more important to Geocaching. It can mean the difference between a fun time and a rather dull and whining filled outing. We have been asked at events by local cachers how we cache, and my reply is always that we bring along food. They always seem a little confused when I mention food because it is often the afterthought of planning for geocaching. It is a major part of ours and here is why. Without food and water, if you are stuck in the woods or desert overnight you will be miserable.


Pasta Dinner

Pasta Dinner

Without food we will not have the energy to go and grab the caches we like to get. The ones that require a little physical effort. Your body requires energy to go walking and hiking and it also requires replenishment during and after some foot travel. We like to fuel up the night before a big caching day with the traditional pasta dinner. Spaghetti, ravioli, or some spinach lasagna. We have friends that are big bike riders and they are always talking of the benefits of pasta and rice before big competitions. They say it gives them the extra fuel they need to perform and walking and hiking are no different. You have to have fuel in the tank.

Breakfast Jack

Breakfast Jack


If we are leaving from home for a big day we like to stop and grab Breakfast Jacks from Jack in the Box for breakfast. It is easy food to eat while driving. If you get extra it can sometimes be kept and eaten for lunch. Throw in some fries and a drink and we are already rolling and down the road by 6:30 munching our way to the first planned cache. If your a FTF hound eating and rolling is always a plus.

If we are camping we always take Pop-Tarts along. They are always found inexpensively at BigLots. The boxes can be thrown out and the packages can be placed in ZipLocs (also found at BigLots for cheap) for smaller storage. The best part is we don’t have to build a fire for Pop-Tarts. We can just eat them in the car with some milk or a soda on the way to the first cache of the day. We sometimes throw in some fruit as well. Usually whatever is on sale at the market closest to where we are camping.


Trail Mix

Trail Mix

For snacks on the trail we do enjoy the granola bars. They fit in the pack easily and you just open them up and they make a nice little rest stop on the trail. You sit and talk and eat your granola bar, check the map, have some water and after five minutes you are up and rolling again.

We like to take bananas and apples as well. The lowly banana has its own packaging and the remnants can be tossed in the woods and not brought back. Apples as well can be eaten and the cores tossed. The only down side of an apple is the sticky hands. No littering here just adding to the nutrients of the desert or forest with one toss.

Don’t forget the Gorp (Good Ole Raisins and Peanuts) or Trail Mix. We like this at times as well. Except here in AZ you have to watch for the mixes with M&M’s in them. They have a tenancy to melt in your pack and make a horrible mess. We like the types with more dried fruit in them as they don’t melt and give us the same amount of sugar boost.


PB&J Sandwich

PB&J Sandwich

We tend to take good old PB&J for lunch. It has quick sugar, slower sugar and protein to slow it all down. It tends to get mushy and gross at times but we are usually so hungry after humping up and down a couple of hills that it doesn’t matter. PB&J tends to do well whether it is hot or cold and we are used to it. We sometimes add a salty snack like some of those sourdough pretzels. Something with a bit of salt helps us to drink more water and replace some of the salt we have already lost through sweat.

Dried Fruit

Dried Fruit


For the drive home we usually have some dried fruit. Apricots, figs, cherries, or pineapple. We have a local farmers market down the street who package up their own dried fruit. This dried fruit gives us a burst of sugar when we are beat down from the day and need to finish our trip back to Hkrs Central or Hkr Basecamp. A bigger plus is that you don’t have to worry about this fruit becoming bruised or mushed. We keep it light on the trip home so that we have some room for dinner when we do make it back to Hkr Central.

Here in AZ we live in a very dry environment, whether you are in the deserts or the forest you are dry. Your body loses water very quickly and before you even realize it your in trouble. We like to stay hydrated. Water is our main hydration. We usually take the CamelBak with 3L of water when full. We also take along two more Nalgene bottles which are 1L a piece full of water. In addition to this we keep 1gal of water in the Pot_Bellied pig at all times.



We also carry an ice chest in the Pot_Bellied Pig. This ice chest has some frozen ice packs and some cold Lemon/Lime Gatorade as well as some Buttermilk. I hear you already, buttermilk? Well it is one of the quickest ways to get rid of heat cramps for me anyway. You drink a quart or so and just relax and due to the fact that buttermilk has so much sodium and potassium, as well as calcium you are quickly replenished and ready to go.

That is how we tend to take care of food and hydration on the trail or the road. We hope this helps you come up with your own ideas on how to be prepared for long caching days, or the possible car trouble in the outback.

Until next time.

Mark & Johnny
The Flag_Mtn_Hkrs

Just Cache It!!


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