How to live out of these packs for a whole week in a dynamic climate? It's been a fun puzzle to work on, and I'm not sure I've even come close to solving it. But today I gathered nearly all of the pieces of the solution I've come up with so far, shoved it in my pack (it's a fairly loose fit. Shouldn't be too complicated to repack when I'm shelled) and took it out for a run.
The crux of the problem has been food. Seven days requires a lot of food. Based of my memory of the first week of the Tour Divide, I'm fairly certain that my calorie intake will remain on the deficit side no matter what I bring, so I'm planning on about 2,500 calories a day. That number will put me in fat-burning mode, so I'd like a fair percentage to be carbs, which have half the calorie density of fat. I have extremely limited space for food, plus I have to make sure the food is something I will actually be able to force myself to consume. My solution is an assortment of dehydrated breakfasts and dinners, with bars for the daytime. The bars include Clif Builder Bars, Luna Bars, fruit bars, and granola bars. I'm supplementing the bag-food and bar diet with a plastic jar each of peanut butter and strawberry preserves. When I was riding the Tour Divide, one of my favorite foods was crunchy Nature Valley granola bars dipped in peanut butter. The strawberry preserves will serve the function of a sugar shot when I need it the most, in the most calorie-dense and portable form possible (like a big jar of energy gels, and so much cheaper.) Really, you can't get a more calorie-dense yet palatable package of carbs, fats, and proteins than good ol' PB&J.
At least it will give me an excuse to run slowly for the next month. I do enjoy slow running.