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Pack good choices for a day on the trail

March 05, 2003|by KEVIN CLAPP

If you are thinking of taking a day-long hike but don't know what food to pack, Waynesboro, Pa., Scoutmaster Mike Medevich says to think light and think portable.

Do not, he says, think ooey, gooey sandwich.

Easily crushed and not at all appetizing when smushed beyond recognition, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches may taste great at home but don't translate well to a backpack.

Instead, Medevich says, pack snack foods that can provide instant boosts of energy. He suggests trail mixes of peanuts, raisins, pretzels or small chocolate candies or fresh fruit.

"What you want to do is snack constantly and not really eat one meal," he says. "What you're doing is constantly fueling your body."

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The idea is to graze throughout the day to provide the body with the energy needed to tackle the 10- or 20-mile hike on the horizon.

Also, avoid packing a lot of cans and bottles, if for no other reason than what goes on the trail must come back. Littering, after all, is against the rules. So, Medevich's hikers will pack powdered drink mixes requiring only a little water to provide needed thirst quenching.

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