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Feb
25

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When people learn that I’m a long distance backpacker one of the first questions they ask is, “What do you eat?”.  OR, “Do you hunt for your food?”.  OR, “How do you carry enough food for six months?”.  I always laugh to myself when I’ve received that last one. (BTW, I hitch in and out of town every 3-7 days to a grocery store/gas station to resupply … and no, I don’t hunt)

So here is my list of what I normally take …. Tweet me if you’d like to learn more specifics and I’ll do a follow-up post.

[Example]
Hiking leg between resupplies: 76 miles 
Note:  Leave town at 2pm on Day One
Expected hiking time for 76 miles:

  • Day one: 10 miles (need snacks and dinner)
  • Day two: 21 miles (need snacks, breakfast, lunch, dinner)
  • Day three: 18 miles (need snacks, breakfast, lunch, dinner)
  • Day four: 22 miles (need snacks, breakfast, lunch, dinner)
  • Day five: 5 miles (need snacks, breakfast)

Total food needed: 4 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 4 dinners, 3 full days and 2 half days worth of snacks = 4 days worth of snacks

Breakfast:  [option 1] four bagels with cream cheese.  [option 2] four muffins.  [option 3] box of poptarts [Option 4] box of donuts
 

Lunch: [option 1] three bagels, pepperoni/cheese, fritos. [option 2] 3 peta bread or wraps, humus, cheese, pepperoni, pretzels [option 3] three bagels and peanut butter, hard crackers.
 

Dinner: There is quite a lot of options.  Day one I’ll bring a hoagie or burger or hotdogs out from town.  That takes care of one dinner, leaving 3 more days.  I will bring three dinners plus 2 ramon noodles in order to add some calories to the pasta meals.  Normally bring out any of the following:  Mac/Cheese, Lipton Noodles (not the Alfredo – Yuk!), Suddenly salad, and powdered Idaho potatoes.
 

Snacks:  Like dinners, there is a lot of variety. You’ll need three full days worth and two half day worth of snacks.  Frito’s are great because there are only three ingredients (corn, oil (fat), salt).  Plus they don’t crumble very easily like chips do.  Other stuff might include, granola bars, candy bars (put in a spring to harden on hot days – but don’t open it first!), nuts, double stuff/mint stuff Oreos (Bree LTCs favorite!), gram crackers, dried fruits, etc.  Basically you can take anything out that won’t spoil.  Be mindful of how much you like to snack during the day and at night.  Normally I have four snacks a day – which equals 16 individual snacks.  If you over do it, you can eat more at night … if you under do it, then you’ll be low on energy and hungry.  
 

Adding to meals:  It’s hard to find a lot of variety when you’re trying to keep your backpack weight down, but here are a few things you can do to add to meals: 1. nuts, 2. put peanut butter in  your Asian Lipton noodles, 3.  add foil pack tuna to meals, 4. add bacon bits, 5. add butter to dinners, 6. powdered milk in dinners 7. Tabasco, salt, pepper, other spices
 

Final thought:  Always read up on the section you’re about to hike.  If there is a state park that has a snack bar or a resturunt .2 miles down the road that you’ll hit around lunch time on day three – then you’ll need at least one lunch and a few snacks less.  This is also an opportunity to resupply if you’re low on food.  Be mindful though that this can make your hike more pricey.

I hope this helps!  

Please post a comment if you have additional ideas!

Posted: February 25, 2010 at 8:55 am

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  • Michael Kalloz says:

    If you skip the snacks….can you just pack some beer?!? Is that a good idea?!?! lol

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  • Marc Kalloz says:

    Murph – I’m already bringing a pepsi can stove, so I don’t need a microwave. Moreover, I can “heat up” anything a microwave can over my stove and in my pot. haha, I’m just that awesome!

    Mike – What makes you think I can’t carry both snacks and beer? Because I will. HAHAHAH!!!!

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  • Alex says:

    best day of eating ever! bagel with cream cheese, bagel with cream cheese, oreos, and then a hoagie for lunch. man…i may do that right here in my own home and not even have to do the whole trail thing!

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    • Alex says:

      oops, that should be “then a hoagie for dinner.” clearly the first bagel is breakfast, second bagel is lunch.

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    • Jordy Pickel says:

      Alex, you should also try out his “this is my last day on the trail before I resupply” diet: Pop Tart, Pop Tart, crushed granola bar, Pop Tart, and then 12 McDonald’s cheesburgers!

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    Murph

    February 25th

    Wouldn’t packing a battery powered microwave allow for a lot more options?

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    Michael Kalloz

    February 25th

    If you skip the snacks….can you just pack some beer?!? Is that a good idea?!?! lol

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

     
       

    February 25th

    Murph – I’m already bringing a pepsi can stove, so I don’t need a microwave. Moreover, I can “heat up” anything a microwave can over my stove and in my pot. haha, I’m just that awesome!

    Mike – What makes you think I can’t carry both snacks and beer? Because I will. HAHAHAH!!!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

     
       
    Alex

    February 25th

    best day of eating ever! bagel with cream cheese, bagel with cream cheese, oreos, and then a hoagie for lunch. man…i may do that right here in my own home and not even have to do the whole trail thing!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

     
       
    Alex

    February 25th

    oops, that should be “then a hoagie for dinner.” clearly the first bagel is breakfast, second bagel is lunch.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

     
       
    Jordy Pickel

    February 26th

    Alex, you should also try out his “this is my last day on the trail before I resupply” diet: Pop Tart, Pop Tart, crushed granola bar, Pop Tart, and then 12 McDonald’s cheesburgers!

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