View Full Version : Food For 11 days

08-29-2003, 13:23
Hey gang.

I'm getting my first maildrop box ready. It is supposed to supply me for 11 days with no supplemental food. I know there are lots of anti- maildrop folks on the forum and people who are adamant about buying most, if not all, food on the trail. However, I really am just trying to get a rough figure as to whether my food list will cover 11 days ok. We can have a separate maildrop vs. supply-on-trail thread some other time. So, here's my food list:


Too much? Too little? Just right?

Thanks for any input to this question. I'm trying to guage it so that I can begin making the rest of my maildrops.

08-29-2003, 14:26
That seems like a lot of food, maybe cut back on the dinners some? Perhaps someone with more skill can shed light. It just seems like a lot to carry 21lbs of food. There must be shortcuts.

08-29-2003, 14:29
You really don't want to carry 11 days of food unless you absolutely have to. I can't think of any streach of trail that forces you do carry that much. We carried 7 days through the smokey, and that was too much, and we regretted it (originally I wanted to do the smokeys without going into town for astetic reasons).

So, why 11 days?

We aimed at no more than 5 days of food between drops. This is pretty much optimal as it keeps you out of towns but your pack isn't backbreaking. You are going to over twice that.

Gravity Man

08-29-2003, 15:13
Well, i'm starting at Flagg Mtn. Alabama. Although i've got maps of the Pinhoti trail and DeLorme maps I've heard that several sections are not well maintained on the way from Flagg, AL to Springer Mtn. Also, I'll be doing it in late fall early winter. So, for the 400 miles from Flagg AL to Springer I plan to carry more food than usual once I get on the AT proper where I know the trail is well marked and i won't get lost. I've heard roughly 2 lbs of food per day, which is roughly what my current amount measures out to.

08-29-2003, 16:38
I always use maildrops for re supply as the foods that I want are never available on the trail..

dion ..I think a more important question is ..Have you ever been on a 11 day hike before????

08-29-2003, 17:37
Not knowing anything about you, this looks like a recipe for failure. 11 days of food, with the correct 2 lbs per day is 22 lbs. Since your food is so heavy, my guess is that your base weight is not below 25 lbs. Your looking at 50 lbs BEFORE water. Add in 2 qts of water, and you have yourself a whopping 60 lbs pack or so.

Not only is the question "Have you ever done an 11 day trip before" but did you do it with a 60 lb pack.

People do it, (I know a guy here at work what just won't listen to a word I say, and once a year he goes on a long excursion carry this pack weight. He does train every day with his backpack by walking to work and back, as well as one day a weekend doing 3000 ft vertical change. He is in VERY good shape!) but I doubt that they enjoy it.

Maybe your incredible stubborn, or experienced, but it sure sounds like you are setting yourself up to not make it to Maine...

Just calling it like I see it...

Gravity Man

08-29-2003, 17:47
Just looked at your gear list. 45 lbs minumum weight without food or water. That's well over 70 lbs with this food.

I hate being a nay-sayer, but I am pretty certain I wouldn't make it 11 days with that load. What are you planning for miles?

I think you need to open up to some of the ideas on this website. If you want suggestion, you can't rail against them...

Let us know if you want some help with the gear list and resupply options...

Gravity Man

08-29-2003, 18:03
Not only couldn't I carry that much weight anymore..I WOULD NOT want ..

SGT Rock
08-30-2003, 00:34
I did a 10 day trip on th Pinhoti without re-supply, it was winter, and before I started going light, so my start weight was around 65 as I recall. I went from north to south when the trail was only 105 miles long, and the first day was really only a 1/4 day. You can do it if you plan your mileage in proportion to your load. 1/4 day was like 4 miles, the next was 8, then 10 for a couple of days, then 12's. My highest milage day was about 15-18 miles because I hit the end of the trail and walked for miles looking for a phone. My exit plan was bad but finally got a hitch into Talledega at the southern trail head where I should have sat anyway.

So you can do it.

09-01-2003, 14:57
The list is not enough for 11 days. You have more like 7-8 days of food. Of course, it depends on how much you will hike per day. What you have is probably sufficient for 10 miles a day, but you'll be a bit hungry. Sitting around alot during the day seems to breed hunger, even if the body doesn't need the calories. You probably won't lose too much weight over the course of the 11 days with what you have. I would carry more, mostly because I dislike being hungry.

If you want to prevent hunger, I would add another 6 Snickers Bars and 5 Cliff Bars, 12 Cheese and Cracker packets, 12 individual packets of nuts (look in any gas station). Too bad it is a mail drop, though. I'd also add 1 lb of cheese. I'd also add something for desert. Mrs. Fields cookies are nice and they come individually wrapped. 2 of them per day is a good ration and adds 360 or so calories.

If you are going to hike more like 15-18 miles a day, you'll want to double up your dinners.

A few tips for longer hikes (i.e, greater than a week). If you average around 10 miles a day, 2 lbs of food is usually enough. If you go up to 15-20, you'll want more like 2.5 lbs. Once you get above 20 miles per day (consistently), you start approaching 3 lbs of food a day. You don't want to know how heavy my food bag was when I entered the Sierra Nevada for a 175 mile resupply stretch.

09-01-2003, 16:53
Originally posted by chris
If you go up to 15-20, you'll want more like 2.5 lbs. Once you get above 20 miles per day (consistently), you start approaching 3 lbs of food a day. You don't want to know how heavy my food bag was when I entered the Sierra Nevada for a 175 mile resupply stretch. Give us a "sample menu" when you were doing 25+ miles per day.

09-10-2003, 20:48
As long as we are on the subject of food, Has anyone tried the surplus/knockoffs of the military's MREs? I have seen them on the internet as full meals (which I wouldnt want) and as individual entrees. If bought by the case the price isn't too prohibitive and I was thinking it would be a change from the ramen, lipton noodle, rice and mac and cheese rut.

Blue Jay
09-11-2003, 07:45
The knockoffs are very good. I've heard they are made by the same company as the "real" ones. The entray is heavy however. I just use one or two as an emergency food. When you come into camp sooo tired you are sleeping as you put up your tent (a very valuable skill). You can suck one down in seconds. Also could be life saver against hypothermia.

09-11-2003, 09:10
I had a respectable beef raviloi knockoff in the Grand Canyon. It was pretty good, as beef ravioli goes. No chemical heat, though. I thought the genuine article had a chemical heating system. I couldn't imagine carrying them on a thru hike, though.