Having received a few questions regarding food on the trail i thought id write briefly about it. First of all let me just say that in no way is the food I will be eating on the trail healthy, its not, far from it. Im going to highlight the main considerations and elaborate on each briefly, they are:
How many calories does the item provide?
Hikers burn up to 6000 calories during a day of hiking, multiply that by potentially 180 days on the trail, that’s A LOT of calories. I’m not going to calculate exactly what i need to eat each day to get the calories in, i’m just going to prioritize high calorie foods and make sure I’m eating plenty of them. If i’m losing weight and feeling low on energy I’ll take that as a sign to eat more.
How much does It weigh?
Weight in general is a huge consideration on the trail and food is heavy, fresh fruit and vegetables are full of water and thus heavy, they also provide very little calories relative to their weight, they wont have much of a place in my pack but I will try to eat my fill whilst in a town.
When selecting my food ill aim to get the highest calories for the least amount of weight, think peanut butter, olive oil and nuts and seeds.
How easy is it prepare?
Fresh fish over the fire, scrambled eggs for breakfast and sauteed vegetables sounds great but in reality that kind of cooking is time consuming, messy and labor intensive. Great for a weekend hike, not so much for a thru hike.
Quick and easy is the idea.
Boil water and dump in the food to rehydrate.
Unscrew the Nutella and grab your spoon.
Rip open the wrapper and chow down.
You get the idea.
Will it still be edible after being in a backpack for four days in hot summer temperatures?
I’ll be entering a town or visiting a gas station to resupply every four to five days. Therefore some of the food I’m carrying will need to be able to last that long without refrigeration and with high temperature variations. When leaving a town ill bring some fresh fruit and possibly some restaurant leftovers and eat them within the first 24 hours, minimizing the chance of spoilage and also the amount of time that heavier food is carried.
Other things to note
I’ll be taking a daily multivitamin as well as cod liver oil and glucosamine sulphate to help with the ol’ knees!
I’ll be using protein shakes to help with recovery
When in towns I’ll be eating as much real, healthy food as possible.
An average days food on the trail:
Breakfast – Porridge with powdered milk, fruits and nuts added and an instant coffee.
Snack 1 – Two “bars” ie Granola bars, Snickers, Energy bars etc
Snack 2 – Two large tortillas spread with Peanut butter and/or Nutella
Snack 3 – Large handful of trail mix (nuts, seeds, dried fruit. chocolate chips)
Snack 4 – Protein shake made in water bottle when arriving into camp
Dinner – Two packages of dehydrated noodles, one pouch of tuna and a dash of olive oil for extra calories
Please remember this is just an example of one days food, i’ll add in as much variety as possible.
If you have any questions or suggestions please leave a comment.
Thanks for reading
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