Six Pack of Peaks - Arizona
~ FOOD ~
While visiting my friend in LA this past spring (shout out to Kourtnei heyyyy), I spent a day hiking and I loved it out there! Ben also loves hiking and we have talked before about putting more time into it in the future. We have all these ideas of places to travel and hike, taller and harder peaks to climb, and various trips we want to take. On the flight home from LA, I was talking with an older woman beside me who said that she loves walking the trails in Sedona and said that there were some great areas if I was interested in hiking. I immediately texted Ben because, when I think of something I want to do, I usually have a tentative plan made by the end of the day. I suggested taking a big, week-long hiking trip in Arizona before school starts and we’re away from each other for a while. He’s very outdoorsy so he was immediately on board and already researching mountains we could climb. It gave us something to look forward to and plan this summer while getting our responsibilities out of the way. Ben found this Six Pack of Peaks Challenge online and it sounded exactly like what we were looking for. They have this challenge for many locations around the US and basically, there are six mountain trails set for each location and you complete them all within a certain time frame. Since we could only stay out there for a limited time, we did one each day but you can spread them out more if you live nearby. It’s $20-$60 depending on which package you choose and you receive badges and stickers, have access to a website where different hikers check in, are able to give personalized reviews, and able to connect with other people. We loved participating in the challenge and we're hoping to eventually complete each location. We drove out there so the trip was 10 days total and we had so much fun during those 10 days. I'm missing it already! I'll be sharing more about the trip in another blog post and on social media (@tiffanybopp).
Now that you have an idea of what's going on, I put together a list of the food we packed and ate throughout the trip. I really wanted us to have nutritious meals and snacks because Ben and I both agreed that we'd be very active so we wanted to feel our best. Along with nutrition, I also wanted portable, quick, and fairly inexpensive items to make it easier on us. Planning it all out ahead of time allowed us to save time and money during the trip.
4 AM wake up call!
The original plan was to wake up each morning and cook oatmeal on the propane stove before heading to each hike. I made up a little breakfast baggie for each of us for each morning prior to the trip. My baggies had oats, half collagen-half coffee protein powder, and pumpkin seeds. Ben’s baggies had the same ingredients with bigger portions (minus the collagen). Great idea in theory besides all the ziplock baggies used. This only lasted for two mornings, though, because the coffee protein powder tasted so bad to me (big tip…try all ingredients before packing them). I wouldn’t eat the oatmeal or I would just eat a couple of bites which didn’t give me enough energy for the hikes. Ben didn’t mind it but we didn’t feel like dragging out the stove for one person so we stopped by a grocery and I ate tuna and crackers and Ben ate a perfect bar for the rest of the mornings. We made it work and we enjoyed it so no biggie. The leftover baggies are going back with Ben to school so I’m glad they wont go to waste.
change of plans :)
I had never tried this brand of tuna before but I really liked it! It had simple ingredients and less mercury than other brands.
Each day, we packed the same food and ate in whatever order/time we felt for that particular day. Ben eats like a snake. He waits a long time and then eats all his food at once. I, on the other hand, am a snacker so I like eating bits at a time.
Food we packed:
Trader Joe’s fruit bar (apple strawberry/apple raspberry)
- Both were great! We liked the apple strawberry one a little better but they were both good sugar boosts for all the activity and the heat.
pink was our favorite
Trader Joe’s Chomps Jerky Sticks (beef/turkey) or Nick’s Sticks
- I LOVED the Chomps jerky sticks. Both turkey and beef were delicious and they were great sources of protein for us. I also loved the Nick’s sticks a lot! The Epic jerky was not a hit for Ben or me. We both got different flavors and neither of us were a fan. I love the mission of this brand and the ingredients in their products but, I have to be honest.
not our fave
Trader Joe’s Dried Mango
- I don’t usually eat dried fruit in my daily life because I prefer fresh fruit and dried fruit has a lot of sugar but I knew we’d need it for this trip. I found out why I don’t usually buy it….it’s addicting!!!! I forgot how amazing dried mango is. I could easily put away a package of them by myself but we just packed a handful of pieces each day and they were perfect for the heat. When I’m hot, I don’t like warm flavors but fruity flavors hit the spot! (These would be a great alternative to gummy candy.)
Peanut butter and jelly sandwich made with Dave's killer bread from Costco, an Organic MaraNatha nut butter packet (almond/peanut), chia seeds, and a jelly packet from a free hotel breakfast.
- We were originally putting the chia seeds in our oatmeal but since we stopped making the oatmeal, we put it on our sandwiches and it made them better for some reason. I think because we didn’t have a ton of peanut butter and jelly, it absorbed some liquid and made the sandwiches less bread-y. The nut butter packets were portable and easy! Looking back now, we could have just brought a jar of nut butter since we packed them each night but these worked fine. Next time, I’d go for a brand with just the nuts as the ingredients instead of the added palm oil and sugar. I love this bread so it was delicious and the jelly was free so can’t complain.
accidentally ate my sandwich into the shape of a mountain :)
chia seeds! great source of fiber for the trip
Costco’s —- grain-free granola
- We didn’t eat the granola much on the hikes because it had a warm cinnamon flavor which isn’t the best when you’re hot and sweaty but we ate it in the car and sometimes after dinner. I think it would be great with some yogurt! It’s got lots of nuts and seeds and the ingredients are simple! It worked out great to get in some healthy fats. Definitely recommend.
I usually ate my fruit bar on the way up, sandwich at the top, and jerky afterwards. I snacked on the mango throughout for quick energy. The hiking food was all portable, easy, energizing, and filling for us so it all worked out great!
For dinner, we used the propane stove to cook pasta each night. We used Costco’s Organic Garofalo pasta, Costco’s Premium Organic Paesana Tomato & Basil pasta sauce, parmesan, and nutritional yeast. This combo was the best!! I loved the pasta and the sauce, the parmesan added flavor and some salt to replenish from sweating, and the nutritional yeast added flavor, protein, and vitamins. I would definitely plan this dinner for future hiking trips as well.
the set up :) the sun was shining and there was a nice breeze
we loved this sauce!! definitely buying again
this pasta was yummy! this would be a great option if you and/or your family prefers white pasta over whole wheat. we chose white because we were getting fiber from other food and we didn't want to overdo it, especially since we were hiking.
the Costco pack of pasta also came with 3 different types which was fun
We had two 1-gallon jugs of water that we bought from a gas station. We used these for the road trip as well as post-hikes and cooking to save money and not waste as much plastic.
We ate tons of seaweed because I love it plus it was a great replenishment of salt from sweating all day.
We got some ice cream twice and it was delicious!!!!! This is where balance and ditching food fears comes into play. I made sure to pack healthy, nutritious meals and snacks for the trip so that we’d feel our best but I also made sure not to let restrictions creep in. Ice cream is good and we love it!! So, we planned out a couple nights to enjoy it.
Kombucha! happy gut health
Sprouts organic dark chocolate...my love for chocolate runs deep! We had this while watching a movie one night.
If you like kettle chips, check these out. Ben found this on the ride back! Ingredients: potatoes, avocado oil, and pink Himalayan salt. What more do you need?
we bought this cleaning brush at TjMaxx for a couple of dollars to keep in our hiking bin
if you're thinking I wash my dishes with listerine...that'd be super weird but no worries, I don't. This is dish soap in a reused bottle! I definitely recommend keeping a few little bottles like these for traveling
First big hiking trip, complete! You better believe I have a whole list, and many details, already in the works for more hiking trips....but for now, school, life, and saving money is on the dock. There are a few minor changes I would make for next time but overall, the food and the trip as a whole went so smoothly. I couldn't be more happy with how it turned out! I'll always cherish the time Ben and I spent with one another on those six mountains, and each moment in between. Being away from one another is hard but it makes every moment we get to spend together that much more special.
more to come,