View Full Version : Please Tell Me How You Ate(I applaud your vigilance)

Pappa Green Jeans
02-08-2005, 18:05
What Did You Eat Mostly. How Did You Add To Your Experience? Do You Have Any Suggestions For A Fisrt Time Thru-hiker? I Will Be In Very Good Physical Condition. I Am Also Going To Mail Myself Protien Where I Can. I Appreciate Any Suggestions Very Much. What Stove Did You Use?

i am not asking for you to tell me what to do, i have my own gear lists and general ideas; I just would like to hear what experienced hikers use. I really appriciate it.

02-08-2005, 18:09
Please Tell Me How You Ate Thru-hikers Care to rephrase that?? ;)

02-08-2005, 18:10
I don't know about anyone else, but I never ate a thru hiker. What do they taste like?

Pappa Green Jeans
02-08-2005, 18:12
No. But I Will Add Proper Punctuation.

Please Tell Me How You Ate, Thru-hikers.

02-08-2005, 18:15
Too skinny. I preferred to eat the folks in town.

02-08-2005, 18:18
No. But I Will Add Proper Punctuation.

Please Tell Me How You Ate, Thru-hikers.==============================
Well ...now that we got the whole eating thru-hikers thing straightened out !!

For one, I ate a lot and frequently. Don't fool yourself into thinking you can sustain your body on 3 trail meals a day. Plan on carrying pleny of snacks to keep your energy up.

I used an alcohol stove (Trangia) and cooked every night. Sometimes, based on the layout of my days mileage I would make a hot meal for lunch and then just graze for dinner. In the colder months I would boil up an extra cup of water and make some spiced tea before crawling into my fart sack for the night. Breakfast for me was cold with an occasional cup of coffee or hot Tang.


02-08-2005, 20:08
not having to light up a stove (I preferred the speed of a butane stove) for breakfast or lunch was very nice. And I snacked all day, too. Before I left town I'd prepare a ziplock bag of snacks for every day I would be out, then after breakfast I'd just put one in my pocket and eat off that. Nuts were often the most filling thing to eat.
Cereal and powdered milk was good for breakfast, especially to get some calcium in my diet.

Varying the food was also nice, like bringing Pringles one week or M&M's another.

Your protein idea is great. I always tried to carry 4 or 5 protein shake packets with me, and on days I was lagging they helped tremendously. Plus mine had a vitamin supplement, and being in liquid form it hit my system real fast. It was just hard to clean my Nalgene afterward. Scoop up some sand and gravel when you rinse it and it will help.

Jack Tarlin
02-08-2005, 20:09
Green Jeans:

If you look at the Forums Index, you'll see a section called "Cooking and Food" that has over 200 threads dealing with this subject, with a lot of good food ideas, suggestions, recipes, etc.

02-08-2005, 21:40
I started a typical day with a pack of Poptarts. After about two hours of hiking I would snack on gorp made of peanuts, cranberries and M&Ms. I would snack on that every hour until lunchtime when I would have either a bigger portion of gorp or a slab of cheese or some cheese combos or peanut butter on some form of bread. I would snack every hour in the afternoon on an energy bar, usually Balance Bars if I could find them. (Thunderstorms usually came in the afternoon and bars were easier to carry and eat in the rain than gorp.) Supper would be either ramen or totelini with either tuna or peanut butter and perhaps dried soup mix for vegetables.

At each resupply I would get a pound or so of liverwurst or pastrami or some other fresh meat that keeps well to pig out on for the first day to boost my protein intake. At the Hanover Food Coop in NH I bought enough Bear Valley and Cliff bars for lunch for the rest of the hike and mailed them forward as needed.

During the middle three months of my hike I ate everything raw. In the beginning two months or so and the last month I cooked with a Pocket Rocket stove.

03-04-2005, 13:49
Develop a love for lipton sides. Flavored rice and noodles isn't much of a meal - I highly recommend carrying packet-style tuna and chicken and beef jerky to throw in to make a real meal. Don't bother with freeze-dried meals (i.e. Mountain House) unless you have money to burn. Even those that are supposed to feed 2 leave a thru-hiker feeling like he hasn't eaten yet. Bagels, cheese, and pre-packaged deli slices make a great lunch. There's so much preservatives that an unopened pack of deli meat will last a matter of weeks unrefridgerated. Kinda scary. Breakfast: oatmeal is usually preferable to dry cereal with powdered milk, though if you like to get going quickly or are hiking in warmer weather you won't want to bother heating water. Snacks: anything you can get your hands on. You'll crave candy bars so carry a lot. Fig newtons are pretty dense but heavy and crush easily. Pack light and eat well in towns.

For a stove 70-90% of thru-hikers I met used homemade alcohol stoves, especially by the end. My whisperlite lasted me the whole way and only failed once. I prefer the reliability and flexbility to the weight savings, though if I did it again I would seriously consider trying the alcohol stove.

Have an awesome trip :)

03-04-2005, 14:27
Here's (mostly) what I ate:


03-04-2005, 14:37
Well, it's from my jaunt on the Colorado Trail this summer, but this pie chart is sure to get a few laughs:



03-04-2005, 14:41
I ate mostly Annies on my hike and will again this summer. They are ver tasty and pack more energy then a liptons by far for me. One of other favorite is fig newtons with peanut butter.. yum ! you can also put mms or choc. chips on top too...cliff and luna bars worked great for me as far as energy... not as many candy bars for me these days.

03-06-2005, 02:02
Mags, Being a Doc, I found your pie chart provoking a thought for a question about your calorie intake on your hike. It would be interesting to know the breakdown of your food into protein/carbohydrate/fat categories. At 5000 cal per day, did you still lose weight?

03-06-2005, 13:59
Sorry Doc, I did not think to break down into fat/carbs/proteins. :) To be honest, I thought of that, but just keeping track of the calories was too hard!

We all know snickers. My gorp had lots of nuts in it. And the meals in town almost always had a burger in it.

All in all, I think my thru-hiker diet was pretty average: lots of crappie yet high-energy food!

5000 calories a day is about average for a thru-hiker on most of the trails. Plus, I was hiking 23 MPD/avg at altitude. My caloric expenditure was such that I still lost about 10 lbs!

03-06-2005, 15:01
I ate quick cooking oatmeal for breakfast (not instant) with brown sugar and raisins, a lot of coffee, hot chocolate and other liquids.

Lunches were pita bread, peanut butter, and often some apricot jam I cooked up at breakfast (dried apricots, a bit of water and brown sugar.)

Snacks were gorp (mixed nuts, granola cereal, raisins and other dried fruits and M&Ms) AND sNICKER BARS.

Suppers were mostly a home assembled imitation Lipton dinners. Ingredients varied, but best were regular rice, quick cooking brown rice, regular macaroni, bouillon cubes, basil and hot pepper flakes and water. (two parts water for each part of dried stuff.) I added slugs of oil or liquid margarine, hard cheese, dried beef, canned tuna, Lipton tomato soup and whatever else seemed appropriate at the time. Powdered skim milk is cheap and good protein.

I hit the ayce salad bars and consumed pizza and steak when in town (about every six days.)

Cooking was all on a wood-burning Zip Stove.

There are more convenient ways to eat on the trail than mine, but non as inexpensive. GEneric oatmeal costs about a dollar a pound, rice around 60 cents, (quick cooking brown is more, but also has more nutrition and cooks much faster, like 10 minutes) Macaroni and other pastas as low as 40 cents a pound.

Liptons and similar convenience stuff costs from four to ten times more per pound. The nutrition and cooking time is the same. The extra bucks just make it unnecessary to think.