1. Buy - Buy all food in towns along the trail.
2. Mail - Send packages to yourself along the trail with enough food to get you to the next
3. Hybrid - Use mail drops and buy food in towns along the trail.
Since I don't eat meat it would be hard for me to rely on stores along the route for all my food, so I am leaning toward the hybrid route. I will send full mail drops to towns that do not have a significant market, and those towns that do, I will send a mail drop that has breakfast and dinner and then buy lunch items in the markets.
Now, what do we eat? For basic breakfasts we are planning on protein bars, oatmeal, and cold cereal. For lunch we are planning on eating fresher items that do not require any cooking. These meals could include tortillas, bagels, cheese, avocados, crackers, peanut butter, and fresh fruit & vegetables. Dinner will be a more significant meal including pasta, rice, couscous, and tuna & salmon packets. Of course, there will be snacks (granola bars, nuts, dried fruit, candy bars, etc) and after dinner hot drinks such as tea and hot chocolate.
All these meals and food need thought and planning. At first I was planning on relying on Quaker instant oatmeal packets for breakfast and Knorr Noodles/Rice & Sauce packages for dinner. But, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that these pre-packaged food items would be OK to eat once in a while, but would get pretty unhealthy if we ate it every day for 6 months. Wouldn't it be better if I put together my own oatmeal and noodle/rice & sauce meals using healthier ingredients with less salt and preservatives. So here I am trying to figure out how to do this. After a trip to a health food store and Trader Joe's this is what I bought to experiment with:
For dinner I am also going to try playing with quick cook pasta and all natural cheese sauce mixes instead of the kraft macaroni and cheese junk. I also bought Simply Organic dressings and sauces to play with and see how they mix with rice, pasta, and tuna/salmon. One of the more interesting items I found is Ova Easy Egg Crystals. I will try this as another possible protein source, maybe eggs an egg and refried bean burrito?
Bottom line is that I have to get started working with these ingredients and testing them out for the trip, or else I will wind up going the easy but unhealthy route of ramen noodles and Kraft macaroni and cheese. I better get going!