In yesterday’s post, I wrote that my upcoming trip is a bit different than other trips I’ve done since I went on the AIP. I’ve done backcountry trips where all my food is dehydrated, and car camping trips where I make at-home food and bring a cooler. For this trip we’re flying to Utah, renting a car, and driving a couple hours south through Moab to land in a remote area for climbing.

Since we’re car camping, I want to make the best of being able to bring along fresh foods, but since we’re flying in, I can’t make fresh food and bring it in a cooler. Checking frozen stuff on the flight isn’t an option – our climbing gear will take up our weight allotment and some!


So, it’s going to be a hybrid food situation. This is sort-of an experiment. I’ve created a menu that includes fresh food and dehydrated meals. When I land in Moab, if I come across good AIP options to replace the dried meals, I’ll go with the fresh and save the dried meals for another time. But knowing I’ll have them along gives me a sense of security.

For certain meals, I’m planning on dried meals anyhow, because I know I’ll want to “just add water” and eat before I collapse into my sleeping bag. Indian Creek is whole-body climbing, and after a day there you feel like you’ve just wrestled a grizzly bear. And won. But it’s a sweet kind of exhaustion.

Research your options

I know Moab pretty well, having spent lots of time in the area in the 25 years I lived next door in Colorado. With that said, if you don’t know the area you’re headed to, research and plan for your AIP resources ahead of time:

  • Make calls to find out if you can access important items.
  • You might even place a special order for something ahead of time to make sure it’s in stock when you arrive.
  • You can ship some staple foods ahead to a General Delivery address, as long as they are not temperature-dependent.

A stop in Moab on the way

Our priorities in Moab before we head out to Indian Creek: cooler, ice, food, water.

Moab has multiple grocery options – two big markets and a small locally owned heath food store called Moonflower Co-op. I’ve called ahead to Moonflower and City Market to ask if they carry specific items – if they didn’t have them, I’d bring them on the plane since they are key for my menu. But saving that weight suits me fine.

We’ll hit Moonflower first, for some specialty items not available at City Market in town. Then we’ll hit the big market for cooler, ice, and a few food items. Fingers crossed for ripe plantains; they said they carry them! But I’m bringing plenty of dried plantain chips just in case. I’m kind-of lost on any trip without my plantains!

Free filtered water!

Finally, next door is the climbing Gearheads Outdoor Store for… water! The owners of the shop believe everyone on Earth should have access to clean, free water, so for years they have provided a big sink with free, unlimited, filtered water for anyone who wants to bring in their own jugs. Isn’t that great? I’m sure it brings them plenty of business too, and why not? I buy something from them when I get water there. We have to haul all our water out to Indian Creek, so it’s a blessing to find filtered water.

The hybrid trip menu

Below is the basic menu from my spreadsheet, with some notes inserted for you. Below it are lists of what kind of prep is going on. In my next post I’ll share more about the spreadsheet I use, and how I organize my head around it. Without it, I spin in circles and waste a ton of time!

menu spreadsheet

Items dehydrated ahead of time

Snacks prepped at home and tossed in the cooler when we arrive
(I’ll freeze these before we leave – the coconut oil gets soft at hot temperatures)

Items mixed dry at home and cooked at camp

Assorted extras to bring on the plane

Buy in Moab

Non-AIP to buy in Moab
(I’ve tested fine for these)

Check out my post about my menu planning spreadsheet and how it helps me keep my head together when planning food for a multi-day trip.