View Full Version : How many days of food do you carry?

09-21-2005, 20:50
Hi. Im sure someone has already asked this question in some form or another, but I'll do it again. I know it really depends on where you are, and how much weight you want to carry. Im just curious to see what people actually carried for the most part on their AT hikes.

How many days worth of food do you usually carry on a thruHike, or how many days do you hike between food resupply points (post office, or Grocery store, etc).

>Thanks, im looking forward to everyones thoughts on the subject<

09-21-2005, 20:59
i carry 4 days supply i resupply every 80 to 100 miles on the AT,:cool: NEO

09-21-2005, 22:43
If I remember right, I never carried more than 4 days and a few snacks. Average was probably closer to 3.

09-21-2005, 22:47
On 7-to-10 day section hikes I typically carry 2-3.5 days of food, ideally no more than 4. As you said, there are some sections where you may need more, but if you can keep your pack light you can easily cover more miles between resupply points.

Sleepy the Arab
09-21-2005, 22:50
5 to 7. The longer I spend in the woods, the happier I am. Not to mention that towns are expensive.

09-21-2005, 23:14
I just changed my plans from every 3 days, to every 7, because of the costs of towns.

09-21-2005, 23:21
I just changed my plans from every 3 days, to every 7, because of the costs of towns.And you just added 6-8 pounds to your pack climbing out of your resupply town.

Seriously, you can resupply without having to stay in town if you have any sort of willpower. Set up camp a few miles outside of town, get to the grocery store and/or post office when they open, re-pack and head out again a few hours later. Frankly the biggest problem can be getting to and from town, which when combined with your time in town equates to lower on-trail daily mileage.

09-22-2005, 06:07
Usually four days - sometimes five. The most I ever carried during a long wild stretch was a week's worth.


09-22-2005, 08:13
3 days was my average, and we never carried more than 5 days worth that I can remember.


The Solemates
09-22-2005, 09:55
5-8 days was our average. went into town about once a week. we skipped many towns people often go into.

09-22-2005, 09:58
Shortest was 4 days, longest was 6 days. Worked out well at my pace. Always carried an "emergency" ramen noodle meal, just in case.


09-22-2005, 10:39
Average 5 days of food, I'd say for me. I hit more towns in the early part of the trail, but as time wore on and I got more and more into the trail, I spent longer in the woods. Even when I would go into towns by the end I'd hardly stay there for long. Just go in, buy lunch, buy food, leave.

But 5 days was a good amount for me.

09-22-2005, 10:47
For what it's worth, I resupplied 34 times in 142 days. Resupply varied from every other day (like Dalton to North Adams/Williamstown) to 8 days. It all depended on how close town was to the trail.

09-22-2005, 11:11
I just did a Sunday -> Sunday trip in CT/MA. I carried food for the whole thing from the start. This was my first hike since becoming vegan, so I wasn't sure what the food situation would be in town. My plan was to carry enough food to just get me by for that and to pick up food where I could along the way. Sort of worked. I had lunch in town or lodges three times and breakfast at Upper Goose (God bless those guys). I also had food left at the end, probably just about exactly what I would have needed if I hadn't stopped.

My starting pack weight was 34 lbs and finishing was 21. Not a bad experiment, but I'm going to try not to carry that much again. I'm still not really confident about towns, but I figure on a thru, I can do half town resupply, half mail-drops or something.

09-22-2005, 11:27
People used to carry many more days worth of food on a thru hike than they do now.

Carrying 6 or 8 pounds less for a few days is sure easier, and the stops might make for a better trip.

Then again they might not.

I can't help but wonder if the pack that a hiker selects before taking their first step on a thru effectively elliminates the option of less frequent resupply.

09-22-2005, 12:43
I can't help but wonder if the pack that a hiker selects before taking their first step on a thru effectively elliminates the option of less frequent resupply.===================================
That was definitely an issue for me in 2003. I switched to the GG Vapor Trail when I got to Pearisburg. That pack carries 28 lbs pretty well but get over 30 and it really starts to sag and get uncomfortable. After sending home all my cold weather stuff I was right at 25 - 26 lbs with 6 days of food. I could have pushed it a few days more but I opted for the 6 (or less) day re-supply intervals to keep the pack happy on my back. Fortunately there are a lot of re-supply options nowadays so it's not difficult living with that constraint. Besides ...that's about how often I really wanted a shower and town meal anyway.


10-23-2005, 16:16
Good to know. Thanks everyone

10-23-2005, 17:00
one more than needed

max patch
10-24-2005, 09:46
one more than needed

Freighttrain said EXACTLY what I was going to write.

That extra days worth of food gives you a lot of freedom and flexibility on your hike. Well worth the extra couple of pounds.