No Retreat, No Surrender T-29

If you have yet to notice, this blog abounds with Springsteen lyrics, anecdotes, and other references. Just as Bruce’s concerts and music have punctuated my life for the past 32 years, my heartache and triumph on the trail this year will assuredly bring his poetry to mind. Meeting him this last October in Seattle while he was promoting his autobiography ‘Born to Run’ was electric. The raw honesty and personal introspection found in his book helped provide encouragement for this blog.

So when it came time to figure out a distinguishing mark for my resupply boxes, I did not have to reach far for inspiration. Because so many people attempt to thru hike the PCT every year (maybe as many as 2500 will start this month and next) the towns and post offices along the way get inundated with Priority Mail flat rate boxes full of food and equipment. Locating your boxes amid the onslaught makes baggage claim at a busy airport seem trivial. My solution was to 3D print a handy stencil adapted from Annie Leibowitz’s iconic photograph and et voila:

Not only am I sure to locate my boxes but I bet I also discover more than a few fellow fans with their own stories to tell. Talk about sustenance.

I expect I will need 30 or so resupply boxes each packed full of food and other supplies. The goal is to get the most palatable calories in with the least amount of weight. The humble almond turns out to be the hero of all trail food packing 170 calories per ounce. I have devised  what I hope to be a sufficiently varied menu consisting of:

  • Vegetarian chili with Just Veggies
  • Dehydrated pinto beans
  • Red beans and rice
  • Ramen with smoked salmon
  • Triscuits and peanut butter
  • Fritos
  • Mixed fruit and nuts
  • Peanut M&Ms
  • Snickers and Paydays
  • Pro Meal Bars
  • Instant oatmeal
  • Starbucks Via
  • EmergenC
  • Veggie and ahi jerky
  • Tuna in oil

The target is about 4000 calories per day with each day’s supply weighing about 2 pounds. Here’s what a 3 day resupply box looks like packing almost 12,000 calories:

It was quite a bit of work to repackage Costco size bulk into more manageable sizes. 25 pounds of M&Ms anyone? 30 pounds of mixed almonds, cashews, peanuts, pecans, and pistachios?

I have my Mom lined up as my resupply angel at home ready to send these boxes where and when needed. Thanks in advance Momma!

” I will provide for you and I’ll stand by your side. You’ll need a good companion now for this part of the ride”

-Land of Hope and Dreams, Bruce Springsteen


4 Replies to “No Retreat, No Surrender T-29”

  1. Wow, this is incredible and I love the use of Bruce to identify your boxes. So clever! I’m so excited for you and look forward to following you along the way.

    Bright Blessings!


    1. Looks awesome but alas, I would need to learn how to sew too. Lots of people use Tyvek housewrap to make ultralight clothes, shelters, ground sheets, hitchhiking signs… 😁


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