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10-K
01-15-2014, 09:18
Going stoveless and need suggestions?

Check this out https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AtY4aZg7o84sdDdVckNJUW9FUXhlSGJKajNJTUJTM 0E&usp=sharing#gid=17

This is a google doc made public on the PCT 2014 Facebook group.

Note the tabs at the bottom of the spreadsheet to navigate through the list....

Praha4
01-15-2014, 09:35
great link,thanks for sharing. I went stoveless on my LT hike last Sept. It was a good experience and I learned to try some different trail foods and country store food. Started the hike with a large variety of Probars for each meal, also carried Honey Stinger 20gm. Protein Bars, beef jerky, dried apricots, Trader Joe's dark chocolate/espresso beans for caffeine fix, Mio Fit water flavoring, GU gels, macademia nuts and dark chocolate covered almonds.

By the end of the first week, I was pretty sick of Probars, except for the Oatmeal n' Raisin Probars .... those I had for breakfast almost the entire hike. By the time I got to Rutland, I started buying what looked good in Walmart or the country stores. Precooked bacon, Entermann's Cinnamon Donuts, Trail Mix, Starbucks Via Instant Iced Coffee packets, smoked cheese, soft tortillas and Starkist tuna packs (also the Starkist premixed tuna salad packs).

I never cooked the entire hike, no stove, no hot water. There were several days/nights toward the end that I wished I had a stove when the weather got wet/cold. Luckily I hiked the last week with Rockfish, who was kind enough to share some hot food with me a couple times. My lessons learned were I can go stoveless, but will tailor my food selections a bit more to add some more calories, fat and protein. For a longer hike like the PCT, I think having better food is essential. On an LT hike, I could survive on less food, but for several months on the trail a hiker needs to sustain himself. That link you posted has some good ideas.

magneto
01-15-2014, 09:56
Hey, that is awesome! I started doing the stoveless thing last year - it is very nice not to have to deal with cooking and cleaning. For winter climbing I still carry a stove - it is a survival item.

bigcranky
01-15-2014, 12:25
I've gone stoveless on my last two summer AT sections. It was fine, especially once my lovely wife told me about the Starbucks Iced Via packets, which make 500ml of slightly sweetened iced coffee in a water bottle. Gotta have my coffee in the morning... :)

George
01-15-2014, 15:25
my experience for no stove - unless you are going to walk more than 15 hours in a day, there is no time savings, you are just fiddling away the cooking time another way - and cooking time is often the most social activity at any camping/ stopping spot

the no cook food is heavier and more expensive, by more than the savings of food/ fuel/ stove weight or fuel cost

in the end for longer than overnight, I could find no advantage to no stove

pipsissewa
01-15-2014, 16:56
If you really don't want to carry a stove, fuel and pots, you can eat very well once you're over the "gotta have something hot" mental hurdle. You can soak instant oatmeal, ramen noodles, instant rice, potato flakes, dehydrated vegetables, instant coffee---the list goes on and on---in COLD water (treated first). It will all rehydrate EVENTUALLY, and taste just fine. Again, you just have to get over the need for "hot" food and there's no fiddling with pots, fires, etc. Just rehydrate it and eat it. There's no reason to limit yourself to power bars!

skinnbones
01-15-2014, 17:15
I plan to hike the AT Trail 2015 and I'm not taking a stove. I'm sure I'll glance at the "stovers" with envy.

10-K
01-15-2014, 17:24
my experience for no stove - unless you are going to walk more than 15 hours in a day, there is no time savings, you are just fiddling away the cooking time another way - and cooking time is often the most social activity at any camping/ stopping spot

the no cook food is heavier and more expensive, by more than the savings of food/ fuel/ stove weight or fuel cost

in the end for longer than overnight, I could find no advantage to no stove


Well sure... there are 24 hours in a day and they're going to pass no matter what you're doing. That's not the point though.

Not having to think about fuel, cooking, stoves, where's the water to cook and clean, etc. is something else you don't have to think about and the less I have to think about the better off I am. :)

squeezebox
01-15-2014, 17:26
When I'm eating bacon and eggs for breakfast, who is going to be envious, while you eat dry Ramen, now there's haut cuisine.

10-K
01-15-2014, 17:52
I wouldn't be envious of your bacon and eggs. I'd be thinking how much I'd hate to be the one who had to clean the mess up and wash the greasy pot(s).

:)

ChinMusic
01-15-2014, 18:11
When I'm eating bacon and eggs for breakfast, who is going to be envious, while you eat dry Ramen, now there's haut cuisine.

I go stoveless and more often than not carry bacon, pre-cooked bacon. It's great. Don't miss the eggs. I had exactly ZERO Ramens on my entire thru.

Foresight
01-15-2014, 18:19
I plan to hike the AT Trail 2015 and I'm not taking a stove. I'm sure I'll glance at the "stovers" with envy.

I simply can't wrap my mind around being stoveless. No offense, mind you, it's just not within the realm of comprehension for me.

Slo-go'en
01-15-2014, 19:14
What will you eat?

A lot of bread, peanut butter and cheese I would think :)

Mags
01-15-2014, 19:57
When I'm eating bacon and eggs for breakfast, who is going to be envious, while you eat dry Ramen, now there's haut cuisine.

I suspect 10k will be up already, on the trail hiking and enjoying the wonderful early morning light. He won't be around to see you eat your eggs.

;)

kayak karl
01-15-2014, 20:08
......Spam :) ....

ChinMusic
01-15-2014, 20:12
I suspect 10k will be up already, on the trail hiking and enjoying the wonderful early morning light. He won't be around to see you eat your eggs.


I never saw anyone eat eggs on my thru hike but for the opposite reason. I was sleeping in...........

MuddyWaters
01-15-2014, 21:57
I have no problem going without stove. Its not much wt, just a little variety it adds to the day.
Most of my calories come from cold food, as probably do most of everyones. About 600 of my 3000-4000 per day are warmed up. Thats it.

What to eat? The same stuff you eat for non-cooked meals. It already makes up most of your daily intake anyway.

Food that needs cooking is actually toward the low end of cal/oz anyway. Usually in the 100-125 cal/oz range. Its not true that cold foods are" heavier". You can carry same calories for less weight with items like peanut butter, trail mix, pepperoni, snack foods.

A multi-time thru hiker I talked to at a shelter one evening was eating nothing for dinner but pringles potato chips with jelly on them.

Wise Old Owl
01-15-2014, 22:39
10-k - I store several articles on this from years ago on my hard drive... on my last hike I brought two UL stoves and really only got one hot meal in 5 days... 4 hard boiled Eggs with sea salt packets were awesome... Here is one article from the past


Erik the Black’s “All Junk Food” Performance Hiking Diet (http://www.eriktheblack.com/blog/junkfood-hiking-diet/) Erik the Black Pacific Crest Trail Articles (http://www.eriktheblack.com/blog/category/pacific-crest-trail-articles/) 2008-12-07
file:///C:\Users\Mark\AppData\Local\Temp\msohtmlclip1\01\c lip_image001.jpgWhat Foods Can I Eat For Maximum Performance On A Long Hike? If you’re planning an upcoming section hike or thru-hike on the Pacific Crest Trail this is probably a question you have been asking yourself.
And if you are like I was, the answers you have been getting are probably ALL WRONG!

Erik the Black in 2004
I come from a bodybuilding and fitness background, so I have always been conscious of the foods that I eat. I usually eat very “healthy” and have always equated natural foods with increased energy and performance.
When it came time to plan my thru-hiking menu I figured I would gain a “leg-up” on the competition by eating foods that were high in complex carbohydrates, low in simple sugars and saturated fats and high in protein.
Typical “performance foods” like these:


Granola
Oatmeal
Cliff Bars
GORP (”good ole raisins & peanuts”)
Dried Fruit
Beef Jerkey
Whole grains

BZZZZT!! Wrong! Try Again… For the first 265 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail, while I was following my “health food” diet, I was completely lethargic, light-headed and basically felt like **** all the time. At the end of every day I would collapse into my sleeping bag and sleep for 12 hours or more before I could drag myself up and onto the trail again.
It wasn’t just lack of calories, although that was part of it. Many of the foods I was eating were very calorie-dense, such as GORP, and I was eating a LOT. But the high nutritional value of the foods I chose was actually working against me.
Complex carbohydrates and foods that are high in nutrients are released very slowly into the bloodstream and require a lot of WORK for your body to process. This is why they are such great foods for moderate daily activity and in our semi-sedentary everyday lives. And this is why they make such bad hiking foods.
Strenuous Exercise Inhibits Digestion After you eat your body needs to pump blood to your stomach in order to aid digestion. But when you are hiking your cardiovascular system is being stressed to the max and blood is being pumped rapidly throughout your entire body, causing digestion to take a back seat to everything else. I learned very quickly that you can’t hike all day and digest food all day too.
The “Holy Trifecta”: Fat, Sugar, Calories The very best hiking foods, it turns out, are foods that require a minimum of effort for your body to process that can be “dumped into your bloodstream” quickly and pack a massive payload of instant calories. That’s right, the “red-headed-stepchildren” of all foods: HIGHLY PROCESSED “JUNK” FOODS!
It’s a Bird!, It’s a Plane!, It’s Junkfood Man! As soon as I made this discovery I switched to a 100% junkfood diet and my PERFORMANCE ROCKETED RIGHT THROUGH THE ROOF! I became a lean, mean, hiking machine almost overnight. For 2,000 miles I ate nothing but straight junk every day, and every day I grew stronger and more energized. There were very few hikers who could keep the pace with me when I fired up the jets!
file:///C:\Users\Mark\AppData\Local\Temp\msohtmlclip1\01\c lip_image002.jpg
Erik the Black & Dirt Diva on the PCT
One of my hiking partners was Dirt Diva (http://trailgirl.blogspot.com/), a world-class ultra-marathoner. She had worn out many a hiking partner before we met up. After all, she’s an incredible endurance athlete who is is used to RUNNING 100 mile trail races.
But she couldn’t keep up with me file:///C:\Users\Mark\AppData\Local\Temp\msohtmlclip1\01\c lip_image003.gifI would blast out of camp in the morning, leaving her in a cloud of dust. Then pause for a leisurely break five miles down the trail while she caught up. But in typical “tortoise & the hare” fashion I would soon see her pink dreadlocks bopping up over the horizon and I knew that playtime was over.
She would show up, stretch, have a sip of water, rest for two minutes, and then she’d be like “Allright, are you ready to go yet!” I won’t lie folks, she gave me a helluva workout and I was just barely able to keep the pace with her over the long haul file:///C:\Users\Mark\AppData\Local\Temp\msohtmlclip1\01\c lip_image003.gifWhenever I would meet other hikers in town they would say things like: “I heard you are hiking with Dirt Diva. That’s brutal!” But it was no problem, thanks to my Scientifically-Proven, Results-Guaranteed-Or-Your-Money-Back, Hollywood, Celebrity, Miracle Junkfood Diet!
The Diet Meal #1 (Breakfast)

2-3 Cups Sugary Kid’s Cereal (I like Capn’ Crunch because it doesn’t get squished) or Hostess Brand Pastry (Honey Bun, Donettes, Apple/Cherry/Lemon Pie)
1 Quart Powdered Milk*
Coffee or Hot Chocolate (with powdered milk mixed in)
1 Quart Water

*When it comes to powdered milk, the fatter the better. Nestle Nido is great, because it is the powdered equivalent of whole milk. Unfortunately it is very hard to find on the West Coast. Milk Man brand is the 2nd best with 2% fat. Carnation is junk. It has no fat at all and tastes like urinal water (not that I would know :P).
Meal #2 (Second Breakfast)

1 King-Size Candy Bar (Snickers, Butterfinger) or 1 Cup Candy (Peanut MMs, Mike & Ike)
1 Quart Water (flavored with Koolaid, Crystal Light, Tang, Capri Sun Packets)

Meal #3 (Brunch)

2 White Flour Tortillas
2 String Cheese Sticks
4 Ounces Salami
1 Quart Water (flavored with Koolaid, Crystal Light, Tang, Capri Sun Packets)

Meal #4 (”Elevenses”)

2 Cups Crackers, Chips or Cookies (Cheezits, Wheat Thins, Pringles, Cheetos, Vanilla Wafers, Grandmas Cookies)
1 Quart Water (flavored with Koolaid, Crystal Light, Tang, Capri Sun Packets)

Meal #5 (Lunch)

6 Inch Deli Sub Sandwich*
1 King-Size Candy Bar (Snickers, Butterfinger) or 1 Cup Candy (Peanut MMs, Mike & Ike)
1 Quart Water (flavored with Koolaid, Crystal Light, Tang, Capri Sun Packets)

*Yes, I packed subway sandwiches that I would buy in town from a deli or make and individually wrap in saran wrap and a ziplock baggy. They will keep for days or even weeks as long as you choose a semi-cured meat (salami, pastrami, ham, etc.) and no condiments or vegetables or anything moist. So basically just extra meat, extra cheese and bread. Open it up and pour some olive oil in there before you eat it. These are delicious and it tastes like a real lunch, not “trail lunch”!
Meal #6 (”Afternoon Tea”)

1 King-Size Candy Bar (Snickers, Butterfinger) or 1 Cup Candy (Peanut MMs, Mike & Ike)
1 Quart Water (flavored with Koolaid, Crystal Light, Tang, Capri Sun Packets)

Meal #7 (Dinner)

2 White Flour Tortillas
Peanut Butter & Jelly
1 Quart Water (flavored with Koolaid, Crystal Light, Tang, Capri Sun Packets)

Meal #8 (Supper)

1 Box/Package Dehydrated Dinner (Mac & Cheese, Lipton’s Rice or Pasta, Cous Cous, Stuffing)
1 Foil Packet Tuna or Chicken
1 ounce Olive Oil
1 Quart Water (flavored with Koolaid, Crystal Light, Tang, Capri Sun Packets)

file:///C:\Users\Mark\AppData\Local\Temp\msohtmlclip1\01\c lip_image004.jpgMeal #9 (Dessert)

Hot chocolate (with powdered milk mixed in)
Ibuprofen Cocktail

How Much Did All This Food Weigh? Well, it certainly didn’t weigh “a pound a day”. That’s a myth. Maybe if you are a 98 lb cheerleader or a 60 year old grandma you might be able to survive on those sort of rations. But I’m 6′, 200lbs (well I was when I started) and often hiked 25-30 miles a day so I needed 6,000+ calories just to keep from drying up and blowing away.

Erik the Black in Washington
As you can see from this picture, taken in Washington after 2,000 miles, it was a constant battle to keep up with the caloric needs of hiking 25+ miles a day. At this point I’d lost over 30 lbs, but I was still feeling like a million bucks!
I carried about 2-3lbs of food per day. But it was ABSOLUTELY WORTH IT! I would have carried more if I could but I didn’t have any more space in my pack. Although I did pack a 15lb watermelon out of town once. I’ll tell that story another time file:///C:\Users\Mark\AppData\Local\Temp\msohtmlclip1\01\c lip_image003.gif
The extra energy I got from eating eclipsed the added food weight, no contest. I felt so good that I didn’t even feel the weight. I had pretty lightweight gear (about 12lb base weight) which I think is absolutely crucial because it gives you the flexibility to carry “luxury” items that will make your hike more enjoyable, like: extra food, books, mp3 players, and of course watermelons.
Next week I will write about The Five Most Over-Rated Pieces of Hiking Gear You Think You Will Need, But You Won’t!
Post Your Comments and Opinions About “Trail Food” Below!

Happy Trails!
file:///C:\Users\Mark\AppData\Local\Temp\msohtmlclip1\01\c lip_image006.gif
Erik the Black

New! Ultra Light Pacific Crest Trail Maps & Guide Book (http://www.pctatlas.com/)
Address: http://www.eriktheblack.com/blog/junkfood-hiking-diet/

12 comments

Erik the Black (http://www.pctatlas.com) @ 2008-12-08 08:31 (http://www.eriktheblack.com/blog/junkfood-hiking-diet/#comment-30#comment-30)

file:///C:\Users\Mark\AppData\Local\Temp\msohtmlclip1\01\c lip_image007.jpg
It turns out I’m not the only one to reap the benefits of the “junk food trail diet”. Check out these world class athletes who could also shut down a small 7-11 with their extreme eating habits:
14x Olympic gold medalist swimmer Michael Phelps, who eats 12,000 calories per day, starting with fried egg sandwiches and chocolate pancakes and ending with a whole pizza.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7562840.stm

Wise Old Owl
01-15-2014, 23:25
Quick Energy-packed
Brick Chocolate Fudge Bar or Nuttella Mint Cake Gorp bars - Snickers In late summer use Hershey Kisses – less chance of melt Hard ball Candy Cliff energy bars. Tootsie Rolls Frito's (can start a fire)
Quick Foods
walnuts, cashews Seeds/nuts
Peanut butter
Block Cheese & String Cheese ind wrapped
Boxes of raisins.
Nido – not nonfat mik
Idahoan instant mashed potatoes
Fig newtons,
Wheat Thins & Cabot Cheese blocks (knife)
Beans/legumes
Jerky/sausage
Dried fish
Summer Sausage or Landsjager
Pepperoni / Salami – Long shelf life
Pemmican
Retort Tuna/chicken / Mayo Packs on Rye.
Retort Spam
Instant Breakfast Drink or Protein Drink
Olive oil
Hard Boild Eggs with Salt packets
Apples/Oranges (small)
Focaccia Bread with Vegetables

HIGH CARBOHYDRATE
Pudding mix (fix ahead with Nido and needs a bowl and cold mountain Stream)
Cereals
Home style Baked cookies/breads
Crackers/chips
Granola bars/PopTarts
Flour/baking mix
Dried vegetables
Plain bagel And other hard breads
PopTart
Cliff energy bar.
Tortilla's
Cracklin' Oat Bran
Natr. Valley G’ola
Pringles / Saltines
Granola bar (Many Flavors)
Pretzels
Fig bars
Graham crackers
Dried at the store
*Dried apples
*Prunes
*Dried apricots
*Dried figs
*Fruit leather
+Pemmican
Yogurt covered Rasins

Flavored Water
Gatorade powder
Propel Singles
Crystal Light
Korean Ginsing & Turbinado sugar
Instant Tea / Sugar packets
Instant Coffee & Creamer done cold
herbal and fruit teas apple cider drink








Summer: 1 pound food/day, carbs and protien, little fat, to lose weight.
Spring/Fall: 2 pound/day, mostly carbs, some protien, little fat.
Winter: same as Spring/Fall, plus an extra pound of 50/50 fat/carbs.

My Spring/Summer/Fall food is stuff like:
Milk, Honey, Tea, Citrus, Oatmeal, Raisins, Dates, Almonds, Beef Jerky.

My extra winter food is stuff like:
Fudge
Salami
Fruit and Nuts - More nuts than in Spring/Summer/Fall
Bacon and Scones - Fat to make the scones, scones to soak up more fat
Chocolate Chips and Raisins - They pack well together
Olive Oil and Honey - Simple way to pack extra emergency food
Fruitcake - it's like eating condensed everything, and it WORKS!! (Plus there are plenty of people who'll give them away free at Christmas time!! )


Home-roasted pecans (or walnuts). Spread pecans on a cookie sheet, drizzle butter on 'em, season according to taste (I like hickory salt), and roast @350 until they start to turn a darker brown.

Peanut Butter
Real Butter (add to cooked meals)
Nutella
homemade high-cal baked goods (scones, cookies, etc...top with butter, peanut butter, or nutella

Namtrag
01-15-2014, 23:28
A guy that goes on trips with us brings these old El Paso pre cooked Mexican meals, soft tacos with the meat in a pouch, etc.

Wise Old Owl
01-15-2014, 23:32
my experience for no stove - unless you are going to walk more than 15 hours in a day, there is no time savings, you are just fiddling away the cooking time another way - and cooking time is often the most social activity at any camping/ stopping spot

the no cook food is heavier and more expensive, by more than the savings of food/ fuel/ stove weight or fuel cost

in the end for longer than overnight, I could find no advantage to no stove

George welcome to WB - you are right... there isn't an advantage gram wise... Honest 10-k and myself have been around the block.. but he asked for the list... I just spent a 1/2 hour digging it back up from my hard drive library. I did not learn this a long time ago - but he asked for it. Sometimes we have to figure out the post or request and just do the right thing...hope that helps. You need a mix of no cook and cook to do the AT.


Tell you what - help me add to the list!

MuddyWaters
01-16-2014, 00:28
You can add to the list until the whole supermarket is on there.
Much of it isnt as calorie-dense as a long distance hiker needs.

10-K
01-16-2014, 09:06
Speaking of stoveless... when I hauled a stove I only used esbit.

Did you know... Amazon has an "Esbit Store".

http://www.amazon.com/b/ref=sr_1_1_acs_h_1i_3027737011&node=3027737011?ie=UTF8&qid=1389877537&sr=8-1-acs

Lucy Lulu
01-16-2014, 09:44
I went totally dehydrated and cooked my first time on the AT. I then went over to the PCT and the winds initially drove me nuts. Plus everything was just so dry. I started going long stretches without my stove and found things were much simpler, and I did not have to worry about water at the end of every day (a bigger issue on the PCT/CDT). By the time I was back on the AT this year for a long section, I was completely stove less. I don't miss cooking, the hot foods, or the lower calories in cooked meals. I always take a working lighter or matches with me though, for emergency purposes. I doubt I will go back to cooking, but I never say never.

10-K
01-16-2014, 10:35
.......................

Airman
01-16-2014, 11:13
Everyone does their own thing, but for me, never had the need of carrying heavy volume cookers. The little stove with fuel pills works for me. I'm not going to do any big time cooking, just heat my water for hot food. Light, takes no space and works well.

Airman
01-16-2014, 11:25
Thanks 10K for the esbit store. Found my newest update cooker.

1azarus
01-16-2014, 11:53
I suspect 10k will be up already, on the trail hiking and enjoying the wonderful early morning light. He won't be around to see you eat your eggs.

;)

actually, it will still be dark for at least an hour.

10-K
01-16-2014, 13:03
actually, it will still be dark for at least an hour.

You know what I like best about hiking before dawn? The sunrises.

I have seen some incredible sunrises I would have surely missed if I had been in my tent asleep. Or even awake, sitting around cooking.. :)

Sara
01-16-2014, 17:54
When I leave for my hike in April I'm just going to take an Esbit stove since I don't cook hot food every day on the trail. Thanks for the meal ideas!

The hot food mentality reminded me of a past experience with a Vietnamese exchange student. His host family packed sandwiches each day for his lunch at our work placement. He could not fathom the idea of eating cold/warm food for lunch so he would heat up the sandwich in the microwave. It was soggy but it suited his temperature needs!

RockDoc
01-20-2014, 22:27
The guys I met ate little besides snickers bars, and were asking everyone what the hours were for the next Pizza Hut AYCE buffet.
It's the "feast and famine" approach.

Dogwood
01-20-2014, 22:42
You know what I like best about hiking before dawn? The sunrises.

I have seen some incredible sunrises I would have surely missed if I had been in my tent asleep. Or even awake, sitting around cooking.. :)

On the PCT, you'll also enjoy cooler Mojave Desert temps in the pre dawn hiking hrs. That can be a very effective hiking strategy in hot temps. Maybe, take a couple hrs off in the early afternoon and then pick it back up and hike until well after sunset. That's what I did when the day time highs were 95*+. Did quite va bit of PCT night hiking. Just watch where you step, stay on route, and have a decent night hiking headlamp.

Wise Old Owl
01-20-2014, 23:13
You can add to the list until the whole supermarket is on there.
Much of it isnt as calorie-dense as a long distance hiker needs.


When I leave for my hike in April I'm just going to take an Esbit stove since I don't cook hot food every day on the trail. Thanks for the meal ideas!

Your welcome... I think... Esbit is awful though the sardine smell gets into the food.

The hot food mentality reminded me of a past experience with a Vietnamese exchange student. His host family packed sandwiches each day for his lunch at our work placement. He could not fathom the idea of eating cold/warm food for lunch so he would heat up the sandwich in the microwave. It was soggy but it suited his temperature needs!
Interesting. Esbit is not the answer.

eblanche
01-22-2014, 17:27
I've hiked stoveless on the LT and used mostly salami meats and tuna packets. It was okay but I now use a stove all the time.

Obiwan
01-05-2017, 18:34
Twinkies....lots of Twinkies

Seriously, you can eat most of the same stuff but it will not be warm