People seemed to enjoy seeing all of the gear I carry, but that raises the question of what am I eating out here? One nice thing about buying food as I go is that I can accommodate my changing tastes and diet. The drawback is that it usually takes more time and thought than if I had a package mailed to me.
Initially on the trail, even after hiking so many miles, my body just wasn't that hungry. At times, I've had to force myself to finish meals because I knew I needed the calories. Now, I'm a bottomless pit that is in a semi-permanent state of hunger.
A friend, Northstar, once said that hiking the AT is really about the food. You buy a ton of processed food to get you to the next town where you can gorge yourself on food like the picture below (I finished this, along with sharing 2 rounds of onion rings and a plate of mozzarella sticks).
My meals do vary, but typically have been along the lines of...
Breakfast: a package of pop tarts (I like to get on the trail early so I don't fuss with a hot meal).
Mid morning snack: heavy protein bar, usually around 10am.
Lunch: tortilla with with peanut butter or tuna. Candy bar for dessert.
Afternoon snack: second protein bar (usually lighter) and a jolly rancher.
Dinner: I try to have variety. I'm a big fan of Mac and cheese with added powdered milk and bacon bits. Mashed potatoes with milk/bacon is also good. In the picture above you'll see a few Knorr meals (like rice-a-roni) which are okay. I also might do ramen with some tuna added.
Dessert: granola or another bar. I have Gatorade powder for when I did a big mileage day, too.
Even with all that, I've already lost 12 pounds and will likely lose around 25 total on my trip. For a thin guy, that's a lot to lose!