At the end of almost every backpacking trip, the cravings begin. These cravings vary from trip to trip, but usually include fresh salads, fruit, breads, dairy and meats. While freeze-dried and dehydrated food can taste good on a chilly backcountry evening, nothing beats a fresh burger, pizza or crunchy salad.
So, when the “what I’ll eat when I get home” conversation runs through your head, keep your appetite in mind.
Remember your mother telling you that your eyes are bigger than your stomach? This couldn’t be more true then at the end of a backpacking trip. While you are constantly eating as you move through the hills and forests, it’s almost impossible to put as much food in your body as you are burning up (on one trip I was burning close to 3,800 calories a day)! This leads to a condition that I playfully call “Itty-Bitty Backpacker Belly or IBBB”.
The typical symptom of my fictitious malady is as follows: you sit down to a large post-trip meal knowing full well you can eat the whole thing. After several bites, you are flabbergasted that there is only enough belly room for half of the entree. IBBB often sneaks up on you, and you never know you have it until the first brush with a succulent plate of fresh home-cooked cuisine.
But don’t fret! With time, IBBB goes away and your hearty appetite returns to serve you well for barbecues, buffets and family dinners.
Should you decide your first post-trip meal is restaurant- worthy, do yourself a favor and order small quantities. Doing so will ensure you have some room for a bite or two of a chocolate sundae for desert. Your itty-bitty backpacker belly will be grateful.
happy trails, hinterland hikers!