Since this isn't quite the same as a backpacking or camping trip - I'll have plenty of opportunity to seek out local natural grocery stores & farm stands, plus I'll be staying with family and friends at least half of the nights on the road.
Clearly, bringing everything for 4 weeks would be impractical and unnecessary. So, then what do I need to bring? Here are the limitations & opportunities I identified:
- Space Limitations: while I can carry more stuff in my bicycle panniers, and in the stuff sacks that I will attach to the luggage rack. I'd rather bring tools & a spare tube than a gallon bag of bulky dried apples.
- Weight Limitations: are not the same as backpacking but still a consideration. I can pack liquids in stainless steel bottles that will be safer from crushing & heat than plastic that I took on the trail in April.
- Spoilage: same sort of issues as backpacking, but I will be traveling in much greater heat than Kauai in April. Temperatures across the Midwest & South are pretty insane right now (yes, I will be doing some parts of Texas in the dark/pre-dawn). That means no matter how tempting those farmstand peaches - just buy enough to eat by the end of the next rest stop or that evening because they will not travel.
- Coffee cone & filters, assam tea, mesh strainer & chai spices - it's always nicer to make your own hot beverages at camp in the moring.
- Pasta, couscous & quinoa - enough for several meals, easily replenished at the bulk section of a natural grocery store.
- Oatmeal, dried fruit (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, raisins, cantaloupe, persimmons) & granulated maple sugar - yes, it will be much easier to make oatmeal than to wait around for quinoa for breakfast.
- Dried veggies (squash, onions, peppers, tomatoes, porcini & shitake mushrooms, carrots, turnip, beet) - about 1 gallon bag of the dried veggies & fruit in their own wax paper bags.
- Road's End Organics gravy packets
- Fresh garlic
- Olive oil & Meyer lemon zest
- pasta & marinara: a small can of sauce along with my dried veggies & pasta makes a pretty good meal!
- mushroom & veggie gravy on mashed potatoes - maybe with seitan sausage or chunks from the store means I can have seitan for breakfast the next morning, too!
- veggie soup with udon noodles or pasta & bread
- roasted or veggies from local farm stand, cooked with my spices & olive oil - great sandwich fixings for lunch the next day
- "Special of the Day" - you never know what you'll find in local groceries and it is summer - I might end up with the sweetest corn, or giant peaches that I can grill over the fire at the campsite.