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JBandStacy2014
12-03-2014, 02:43
JB and I are leaving soon and we have ran into an issue with lunch, of all things.

We have dinners and breakfast items packed for the first week, plus random snacks and some peanut butter.
However, we are both at a loss for what to do when the 12pm hunger rolls around...

Any suggestions that does not require us to stop and heat up water?

Ia wonder
12-03-2014, 02:48
Summer sausage and cheese? Not light but proteins and fat and tasty.

Siestita
12-03-2014, 04:23
If eat steadily, a little bit at each rest stop, so I usually don't experience any extraordinary "12 pm hunger". For me "lunch" is just a series of snacks.

I like to snack on fresh "bread" of some sort every day. Early in a trip that's sometimes a croissant or a fresh baked roll from the supermarket deli. Bagels last longer so I'll have them on later days. And, if I'm going to be out about for a full week, especially during warm weather, sometimes I'll substitute crackers for the "bread" for my last day or two on the trail.

To assemble a full day's lunch/snacks, I add to the "bread" some cheese, an ample fist full of trail mix, and a granola bar or two. If I want to increase the calorie count further (and also motivate hydration) I supplement the solid "lunch" by adding a bit of sugary powered drink mix into my water bottle. Currently I'm partial to lemonade and mango flavors.

peakbagger
12-03-2014, 06:28
I carried a bag of burrito wraps, a small container of nutella alternating with peanut butter, and for a break I would do a foil pack of tuna mixed with mayo from single serve packs. Along with that I carried a bag of beef or turkey jerky and fruit rolls ups. I would prepackage gatoraide powder in a separate bag and have one serving with lunch. Definitely not a balanced meal but quick and seemed to provide enough "fuel" until supper.

Lyle
12-03-2014, 07:20
I go along with lunch being just a slightly larger "snack". Usually add something like a couple of SlimJims (very light and dripping with grease). A chunk of summer sausage or cheese and a few crackers gives the emotional illusion of a "meal". Usually for me, lunch is just a longer break, hopefully at a water source where I can tank up for the afternoon and maybe take a nap.

Rocket Jones
12-03-2014, 07:23
Hiking through the winter, sometimes you're going to want to stop for a hot drink with lunch. That can be a real morale boost on a rough day. Lots of good suggestions above. Also consider olives, corn chips or Snickers. Avocado in a flour tortilla with a dash of hot sauce is tasty and full of good energy.

daddytwosticks
12-03-2014, 08:12
No official lunch. Mostly just snack throughout the day. I do have a breakfast and dinner. :)

Ken.davidson
12-03-2014, 08:35
I usually have a burrito with Brie, cheese, PB or Nutella. Fully agree with Rocket Jones about a warm meal or drink for a morale booster on a rough day. I do snack bars and candy bars at most breaks or while hiking.

garlic08
12-03-2014, 08:48
Just restating what's been said before, that when I'm hiking, "lunch" begins soon after "breakfast" and continues until right before "dinner."

One thing I enjoy about hiking is tossing the "mealtime" idea out the window. I eat something whenever I'm not hiking, at every break, and never get hungry (at least on the AT where it's pretty easy to carry enough groceries).

Coffee
12-03-2014, 09:02
I have a "meal" for breakfast and dinner but just eat snacks during the day like many others. I have found that stopping to eat a more formal "lunch" is often undesirable or impractical and eating every couple of hours during the day keeps my energy level up. I'm actually thinking of doing away with a cooked "breakfast" as well for my PCT thru hike. I'm going to experiment with hiking an hour or two before stopping for coffee and a non-cooked breakfast like a pop tart. I think that this will get me going earlier in the morning and help me get more miles covered in the cooler morning hours. I *might* add a real lunch on the PCT combined with a mid-day siesta in the desert. I'll have to adapt based on what seems to be working once I'm on the trail.

Ktaadn
12-03-2014, 10:00
It depends... If the weather is decent, I'll probably stop and have a tortillia, salami, and probably some sort of sweet snack. If it is really cold or raining or something like that and there isn't a good place to stop, I'll probably just have a quick snack, some water, and keep walking.

RED-DOG
12-03-2014, 10:38
Tortilla Wrap with some kind of meat product such as, Summer Sausage, Single serve Spam, Tuna Salad in the Foil Packets and cheedar cheese and roll it up like a burrito, with a snack like snickers bars, or the snickers Squares, A couple of weeks ago i discovered Garlic and Jalapeno Flavored Summer Sausage which is Awesome NO cooking Required

Connie
12-03-2014, 12:24
In addition to what everyone else has said, I like a small thermos, or narrow double-wall container, or, double-wall cup with lid for my "hot drink" without stopping to heat water.

I also very much like Indian cuisine. I especially like the mildly spicy garbanzo bean entree wrapped in a tortilla.

I find it is warming food.

During the day, I avoid salty or highly-sugered snacks, because I need flavored-water to wash it all down.

If I have to carry water, I don't want to have to deal with thuringer or summer sausage or baby bon bell cheese, or, my own recipe GORP. (Many creative GORP receipes, online.) if water is plentiful, I like those things. Oh, Gouda cheese in wax keeps, well.

All these snacks, however, is all that trash to carry out.

colorado_rob
12-03-2014, 13:10
If eat steadily, a little bit at each rest stop, so I usually don't experience any extraordinary "12 pm hunger". For me "lunch" is just a series of snacks.Same here, no "lunch" per se at all, I just like to graze all day long, keeping blood sugars up for the hiking effort. Everyone has different habits, of course, but I just never do the "lunch" thing on the trail (and rarely at home, actually). It IS nice sometime along the trail day, though, to eat something a bit more special, and the crackers/cheese/summer sausage thing works great.

burger
12-03-2014, 13:26
I think that thinking about "meals" on a long-distance hike is the wrong way to go about it. There are really only 2 considerations for how you should eat: 1) eat often enough that aren't getting weak or tired from lack of food (I would say eat often enough that you aren't getting hungry, but you will probably always be hungry once your hiker hunger works in, so that's not a reasonable goal). And 2) get a ****load of calories a day. I aim for 3,500 a day to start and over 4,000 once my mileage ramps up.

So, you should just figure out how much food you need to eat a day and how often you want to eat. Andrew Skurka eats sizable snacks every couple of hours all day http://andrewskurka.com/adventures/alaska-yukon-expedition/food-nutrition/ . Others eat just three meals. Personally, I do ~500 calories for breakfast, hike for 3-4 hours, then ~750 calories in snacks, 3-4 more hours of hiking, another ~750 cals of snacks, more hiking, and then a huge dinner. YMWV--mess around with different ways of eating and figure out what works for you.

jimmyjam
12-03-2014, 14:01
I eat all day when I hike. 2 breakfasts, snack on a downhill, lunch, 1 or 2 snacks while walking downhill, dinner and then hike another 2 or so usually followed by a camp snack.

2015 Lady Thru-Hiker
12-03-2014, 14:49
I eat all day when I hike. 2 breakfasts, snack on a downhill, lunch, 1 or 2 snacks while walking downhill, dinner and then hike another 2 or so usually followed by a camp snack.

Ah, second breakfast :) What about elevenses? Luncheon? Afternoon tea?

Seriously I like the idea of the downhill snack as a way to prepare for the uphill. I have found I cannot eat a lot at one time then comfortably hike so it looks like I'll be a snackoholic on the trail.

swisscross
12-03-2014, 16:17
Not a big breakfast eater.
After an early start I like taking a longish lunch break.
I am even considering carrying a Nano 7 so I can relax a little better mid day.
I have been known for taking a nap mid day too.
A 7oz hammock would be great for that.

As for lunch, I am hooked on chicken salad and crackers.

slbirdnerd
12-03-2014, 16:24
Pita pockets with PB and jelly in or on them. My PB is Smooth Operator packets (local grocery, Minimus.biz) and jelly is packets from McDonald's. Yes, it takes a few minutes to sit down and put them together/eat them, but I learned this is a good thing (break, rest feet, rest mind, nourishment...).

Odd Man Out
12-03-2014, 18:16
PB and J for me to (but on a tortilla). I found on my hike this summer, I didn't feel like eating breakfast (just got up and hiked) so I often at my breakfast and lunch for lunch.

CarlZ993
12-03-2014, 18:53
No lunch per se. Just a bunch of snacks throughout the day. My snack lists typically include: fig newtons, peanut butter crackers, snickers bars (or similar; usually two of them), protein bar, trail mix, beef jerky, & occasionally some wheat thins. Each day's snack/lunch will barely fit in a 1-Liter food bag. I'll often include some sort of electrolyte drink - Gatorade or something similar. I usually run out of snack food around 3 pm or so.

While hiking along the AT (most of my hiking is out West), I'll never pass up some nearby food at a trail/road junction.

JBandStacy2014
12-03-2014, 18:56
These are all great ideas and have changed the way JB and I are looking at things.
Thank you!!

Malto
12-03-2014, 19:00
Peanut butter and jelly or honey on tortillas. I bought about a dozen variety of jelly, jam and preserves to give me variety but I ate it every day for 98 days without getting sick of it.

rocketsocks
12-03-2014, 19:11
I like the Chili Mac from "Mountain House" meals...and the Chicken Salad (just add cold water) is surprisingly good, and crunchy, not limp or wilty. As for "Backpackers Pantry" meals, I like the "Louisiana Red Beans and Rice, or Fettuccine Alpowderedcheese.

Sarcasm the elf
12-03-2014, 19:36
I never thought I'd say this, but I've grown to love eating a can of sardines with a handful of whole grain crackers for lunch. I especially enjoy it in the winter when the sardines are chilled enough that there is very little mess from the oil.
Otherwise I'm a fan of peanut butter and anything, and also of burritos. If you don't mind the weight, consider carrying a couple pieces of fruit or vegatibles as well, I'm a fan of having an apple or banana a day as long as i'm not going too far between resupplies.

RADHiker
12-03-2014, 21:35
Bagel with cheese and sundries tomatoes.....sometimes I add sliced pepperoni or dried meat. might as well be a gourmet meal. Yum!

MuddyWaters
12-03-2014, 22:25
Lunch is anything that goes in a tortilla. That includes chocolate, jelly , tuna, peanut butter, trail mix, fritos, pepperoni, bacon, cheese, etc.

Basically the same stuff you eat all the time, but in a tortilla.

Btw, when the temp is below freezing, not all of these things will work.

Dogwood
12-04-2014, 00:39
I too have entirely discarded the concept of set meal times when hiking and largely the idea of meals, particularly b-fast and lunch. Trail eating is largely about bites/snacks/half a handful of something/etc and larger bites/snacks while not having to stop to eat. Drinking water is also largely done on the go. At the core of my daily trail diet I eat at least four trail/sports/nutritional bars in a wide variety each day w/ at least 120 cals/oz and Ziplocs/packages of two other items(trail mixes, dried coconut, nuts, dried fruit, jerky, cookies, nut/seed butters, macaroons, etc). Sometimes I do include carrying snacks that may need a little prep like reconstituting dry hummus w/ EVOO to be eaten with something like Kashi crackers and hard cheese or mixing in a nut butter spread onto crackers w/ some fresh/dried fruit, etc. I sometimes carry a hemp sprouting bag as well to add some fresh nutritious sprouted seeds into a trail diet mixing them into the above. Hiking throughout all four seasons in a very good variety of different locations on all my overnight hikes I've stopped to heat up a lunch perhaps 15-20 times total.

I aim for a trail diet with high amounts of minimally processed slow burning complex carbs low in sugar/no added sugar w/ high fiber content, very moderate protein, and high "good fat" content and eat largely using the "drip method" (constant grazing) to not sharply spike my blood sugar level and keep me satiated. Drinking fresh water regularly also helps with being satiated.

Controversial, to some it may be, but I'll still mention it. I aim for a diet, especially a trail food wt conscious diet, that avoids MSG as MSG is an excitotoxin that interferes with hormones that tell the brain we are full. I find this harder to accomplish when adopting an entirely buy as I go trail food resupply approach. MSG is included in a bewildering number of foods on U.S. grocery store shelves, especially highly processed foods, under a bewildering variety of names even IF it is listed.

Demeter
12-04-2014, 14:02
reconstituting dry hummus w/ EVOO



+1 on the hummus. I make my own flax crackers and enjoy this on the trail. This and other trail salads can be made with cold water.

Another idea is to add hot water to a ziploc of couscous or quinoa at breakfast (double bag it to prevent leakage) and eat at lunch as a cold salad.

kf1wv
12-25-2014, 07:46
Lunch is an actual meal? LOL. For me, "lunch" for me starts soon after a simple breakfast and lasts on and off until end-of-day recovery cocoa/soup that precedes a hot dinner. All-day "fuel" intake is what you should always be striving for -- for all-day energy.

Wise Old Owl
12-25-2014, 09:01
bagels (cream cheese)
Pita bread
Logan Bread
granola bars
candy bars Mars - Snickers
dried fruit
GORP (nuts, M&M's raisins, yogurt peanuts, crackers, dried fruit, etc)
Pringles
crackers (the dense kinds at health food stores)
Wheat Thins
Cheeses (string cheese, blocks of mozzarella, etc)
Tuna (sold in pouches now) I prefer salmon - less dry
lunch meat
. Hard boiled eggs/ with sea salt packet
. jerkys pemmican
. Summer sausage (eg Landsjager) (80 cal/oz)


NO SLIM JIMS FOR ME.:)

fiddlehead
12-25-2014, 11:11
Lots of choices.
Mix it up a bit.
Some ideas: bologna and bread with mustard
Tortilla with rehydrated pinto or black beans (I make my own, easy and lightweight) (I've seen people put even Jolly ranchers inside tortilla wraps!)
Salami or pepperoni with crackers
If I'm quite hungry and want a big lunch, I carry a Ramen or 2 and cook one up.
Then there's the old standby: Pnut butter and crackers or cheese and crackers.
Or Snickers.
I always have some salty snacks too. Goldfish, potato chips, pretzels, etc.
And dried fruit (my vitamins) (again, I dry my own, and not too dry. leave em rubbery)

In France, we almost always bought baguettes and carried them, spreading goat cheese or salami chunks on there. (hard to get good cheese in many stores in the US though)

DavidNH
12-25-2014, 11:53
for lunch you should never stop and heat water. Consider.. summer sausage, cheddar cheese, GORP (and variations thereof) snickers bars, milky way bars. Lunch is usually, for most hikers, more of a stop briefly and snack deal than a stop for long time to eat lots of food.

Lyle
12-25-2014, 12:35
Didn't notice if anyone mentioned Cup-a-Soup. Very light, quick, cheap, and gives a moral boost when you want something hot at lunch. Just add it to your other snacks and it's a "meal".

Great when you get into camp late, cold and miserable too - a quick "pick-me-up" before you actually cook dinner. Carry enough to offer to friends/strangers on a miserable day and you will make some fast buddies.

Lyle
12-25-2014, 12:37
for lunch you should never stop and heat water.

Why, on earth, would you say that?

Depends entirely on the day, the hiker, and the situation.

MuddyWaters
12-25-2014, 12:45
Why, on earth, would you say that?

Depends entirely on the day, the hiker, and the situation.

Most long distance hikers on a long trail wont take the time to heat water and rehydrate food for lunch. Its time consuming and requires carrying more fuel.
Nothing wrong with it, simply depends on goals.

Connie
12-25-2014, 12:52
I only stop midday, if excessive heat. I drink fluids.

I have little appetite in excessive heat, so I relax, look around my surroundings, nap.

I do not stop for lunch in other circumstances. I have a tortilla "wrap" around an entree. I drink liquids, only stopping briefly.

I have snacks without stopping. I like small snickers bars. I drink more liquids.

If actually hungry, I have sausage, or, only a small wedge of cheese. I drink more liquids.

It is my experience, I need less food overall if I have more liquids.

If cold, I have a "thermos" of soup. I may have melted cheese tortilla wedges, I prepared ahead at breakfast. In addition, I drink liquids.

I no longer carry candy, or, gorp. I like small snickers bars only. I would rather add only honey-pears, or, white chocolate dipped apricots. It only takes one, seldom two, to satisfy the desire for a special sweet treat, resulting in drinking more liquids.

I would rather have a more substantial entree at breakfast and at supper, than have no breakfast and only a light supper.

Dogwood
12-26-2014, 12:29
Check out bulk food bins in grocery stores. Whole Foods, Earthfare, healthfood stores have many trail snack options but even some more mainstream grocery stores like Krogers, Publix, etc have bulk bins. What's nice about bulk bins is you can buy a very small amt to sample and since you're not paying for the convenience of prepackaging you might save some money AND packaging. Crystalized ginger, sesame sticks, dates/date logs sprinkled with coconut, energy squares(resemble mini brownies), pumpkin seeds(shelled), sunflower seeds(shelled), dried mango are but a few of the selections. I also like Newman's Own or Justin's Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups or the occasional piece of high quality dark chocolate(not common U.S. chocolate). If your teeth can handle it Trader Joes has many trail food snack options. I like their Dried flattened banana, dried mango. Check out Seaweed snacks. They can be added to dinners or eaten as melt in your mouth snacks. Definitely repackage these to save volume. Sometimes, I'll do something unordinary like eat dried(baked) DIY kale chips(so easy to make at a fraction of the prepackaged cost), dried(baked) DIY Snap Peas(another easy one to make yourself) or dried spiced chicpeas. I make these without a dehydrator by slow baking at a low temp in the oven.

Here's what you should take from all of these options folks are giving. If you wander the grocery store, really any grocery store, and shop with some imagination the options are basically limitless.

Furlough
12-26-2014, 12:44
I never thought I'd say this, but I've grown to love eating a can of sardines with a handful of whole grain crackers for lunch. I especially enjoy it in the winter when the sardines are chilled enough that there is very little mess from the oil.
Otherwise I'm a fan of peanut butter and anything, and also of burritos. If you don't mind the weight, consider carrying a couple pieces of fruit or vegatibles as well, I'm a fan of having an apple or banana a day as long as i'm not going too far between resupplies.

I am with you STE IRT the sardines. I also like the smoked oysters with crackers for lunch. Have also added the smoked oysters to stove top stuffing for a dinner meal.

Furlough

Lyle
12-26-2014, 12:47
Most long distance hikers on a long trail wont take the time to heat water and rehydrate food for lunch. Its time consuming and requires carrying more fuel.
Nothing wrong with it, simply depends on goals.

Fine to say most won't, but to say "never heat water..." is plain silly. I've hiked long distance, I've sometimes heated water and cooked at lunch, many folks I know have done so as well.

Furlough
12-26-2014, 12:53
When it is cold out I'll opt for something hot for lunch sometimes. I like to make a very soupy ramen noddles concotion for lunch. And of course anytime their is hot water coffee is certainly an option.

Furlough

Coffee
12-26-2014, 12:54
On the JMT I sent myself packages and thought that I would be willing to take more time for lunch than I turned out to want. So I had little packages of dried hummus along with olive oil. I would mix the oil, hummus and water and combined that with a couple of tortillas to make lunch. But even that was a bit more effort than I wanted while on the trail. However, I definitely recommend hummus for anyone who is willing to take a bit more time. Very light for the calories provided due to the olive oil which I had anyway for dinners.

She
12-26-2014, 22:22
I am with you STE IRT the sardines. I also like the smoked oysters with crackers for lunch. Have also added the smoked oysters to stove top stuffing for a dinner meal.

Furlough

I'm so glad someone mentioned this (sorry for thread drift!) I love kippers, but confess I was worried about the yummy 'after-aroma' attracting the attention of hungry critters; maybe it would only attract other hikers, lol! Do you only do this close to when you're heading off trail to pack out your trash for instance?

Inquiring Omega-3 lovers want to know...TIA.