15 comments on “Long Trail Food Planning

  1. I’m with you on the granola! Don’t think of myself as a hippie. But if eating granola makes me one, yummy.

  2. Amaze balls? That should be their new slogan 🙂 Yeah, they’re pretty fantastic. The Co-op here has them in bulk. I don’t think the ones I have now are going to make it to the trail with me.

  3. Normally, I go with oatmeal for hiking breakfasts, but sometimes it’s just too hot out even for that. This will be the first time I try the full-fat milk powder, and so far it tastes a whole lot better than that watery non-fat stuff. Hopefully I don’t get sick of the breakfasts by the end of the trail.

  4. Packing the right amount of food is always difficult. I seem to always carry some food back out. I guess that is better than not having enough food.

  5. if your not into powder milk try powdered soy milk i think it way better than non-fat powder milk.

  6. A pound a day is silly for anything but a short hike. A pound of pure carbohydrates, such as pasta or most freeze-dried food, has about 1800 calories. Things like nuts and dried fruit approach this level. Pure fats have more calories, but you can’t hike on butter and olive oil alone. In practice, with everything mixed in, I find that I average about the same 1800 calories per pound of hiking food. You will probably average about 150 calories per mile of hiking with a pack, a little more for mountainous areas and less for easy flat dirt, plus about 2000 calories base. So, if you do 20 mile days, that’s 5000 calories a day. I’ve done the Muir Trail on about 1 lb of food a day, carrying 50lb packs and 15 miles a day for 15 days, but I lost 20 lbs during that time — that’s more than a pound of fat a day! Unless you plan on burning fat stores, I’d plan on two pounds per day, maybe even a little more if you do big miles.

  7. for breakfast i often do cream of rice or cream of wheat. they’re very energy dense with complex carbohydrates that keep me fueled for hours. i portion 3 tbsp out into baggies with 1 tbsp dry whole milk, dry fruits, a bit of sugar and a dash of salt. it weighs very little and at mealtime it’s a quick and simple proposition of adding a cup of hot water. recommended

  8. Great article Guthook. Thank you for the tip on the Frontier Food dehy veggie mix, that looks like a great addition to our menu!

  9. Glad to be of help, LiteTrail! I’m back now, and I plan on writing a very detailed analysis of how the food planning went. The veggie mix is a great addition to meals, and even one ounce of the stuff can last through half a dozen meals. I had to be careful with it, though– too much dried stuff, even when rehydrated, does not sit well in the tummy.

  10. Uh… I think you misread something there. I said two pounds of food per day, not one. But yes, fat is much more calorie efficient. Things like macadamia nuts, brazil nuts, hazelnuts, and pecans are wicked high in fat, as well as other good things. I like to put a lot of those in my food plan.

  11. I have tried soy milk powder, and it mixes into soy milk quite nicely. For this trip, I have discovered the wonders of full-fat milk powder. Holy cow, it’s so much better than the non-fat stuff!

  12. Yeah, it looks like I did pretty well for this trip. I just got back yesterday, and I’m going to write up a detailed analysis of how the planning went. Keep an eye out…

  13. Ryan,

    Excellent post. I always wonder about the details that go
    into a hike like this and nothing is more important than food! The grocery
    method seems to make the most sense. I can only imagine if I had arranged mail
    drops for a bunch of food that I got sick of. By the way, your post made me
    very hungry!

  14. Haha. I didn’t mean to make you so hungry 🙂

    Groceries are definitely the way to go if you’re not picky and have the time. I’m determined to try the combo method in the future, but nothing is perfect. I did pretty well on the PCT with the grocery method. There were some places where that didn’t work out so well. Gas station resupply is pretty nasty.

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