Highs and Lows on the John Muir Trail, which won the Best Outdoor Book Award from the Outdoor Writers Association of California in 2016, is a lively account of one woman’s adventure on the John Muir Trail. It is a must-read for those who plan to hike the trail or anyone interested in the trail. Written in journal style, the author’s description of the majestic scenery, camaraderie of trail friends and challenges of the terrain are engaging and informative. Along the way hikers of all ages, but especially mature hikers, will see how she and her husband met challenges head-on, lightened their load, planned meals and managed daily logistics for more than three weeks on the trail. Written for those planning to hike the John Muir Trail, Sierra hiking veterans who want to relive the trail and armchair adventurers this is a story that brings the trail to life.
The Hungry Spork TRAIL RECIPES: Quick Gourmet Meals for the Backcountry (2019) is available in print and ebook. With more than 50 recipes, this book is a companion to the first Spork book, which focused on planning for a thru-hike, with an emphasis on recipes. You will find vegan and meat alternatives for most recipes and feedback from a fleet of backpacker trail testers is included. A guiding principle was to create delicious, varied meals with a minimum of additives using whole ingredients wherever possible. Dried ingredients can be home-dehydrated or purchased in freeze-dried form in most cases, depending on your style. Recipes are flexible and adaptable so if you have food allergies or preferences, many recipes can be modified to suit your needs. There are recipes from every major cuisine so it’s easy to have a lot of variety on a long thru-hike. Written by the author of “Highs and Lows on the John Muir Trail” and “The Hungry Spork: A Long Distance Hiker’s Guide to Meal Planning,” Inga Aksamit is a California-based backpacker who loves long trails and good food.
Can’t decide which Spork book to get? If you’re planning your first thru-hike and have questions about nutrition, equipment and planning, get the planning book, “A Long Distance Hiker’s Guide to Meal Planning.” It has a dozen recipes to get you started. If you already know the basics and just want to go straight to recipes, get the Trail Recipes book, “Trail Recipes: Quick Gourmet Meals for the Backcountry.” Perhaps you need both! See this write-up in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat: Kenwood backpacker writes cookbook for those who love good food in the great outdoors.
The Hungry Spork: A Long Distance Hiker’s Guide to Meal Planning (2017) is available on Amazon in print and e-book. If you’re going on a thru-hike, the daunting task of preparing food for a multi-week trek just got easier. Plan fast, wholesome, high energy meals with minimal additives and preservatives. The magic is that the prep work is done at home so these delicious meals can be brought to life on the trail with nothing more than a warm water soak.