View Full Version : Average consumables weight?

12-27-2012, 13:33
Whats an average amount of weight of consumables. (food, water, fuel, toiletries) . This is for resupplying every3-6 days.

12-27-2012, 14:07
This is highly variable as it depends on what you like to eat, what kind of stove you use and how frequent the water sources are.

Figure 1 to 2 pounds of food per day.

I carry at most 40 oz of water at the start of the day. (2, 20 oz plastic soda bottles) During the summer and where water is less frequent, you will have to carry more.

Fuel: If you use a canister stove, the weight does not change much, as the fuel is a small percentage of the total weight of canister and burner. Alcohol stove typically uses 1 to 2 oz of fuel per day, depends on how much and what you cook.

Toiletries: Small tube of Toothpase lasts maybe a week or 10 days, 1/2 roll of TP a couple of weeks.

12-27-2012, 14:14
I know a lot of people talk about 1-1.5 pounds per day, but in my experience my own consumables run about 2 pounds per day, sometimes a little more. That includes food, of course, but also drink mixes (coffee, gatorade mix, iced tea mix, hot tea bags), toilet paper, and sometimes wet wipes.

I also run a little heavier on food, as I prefer to make my own rather than buy freeze-dried stuff. YMMV.

12-27-2012, 15:23
Denser foods have a higher calorie content and lower volume - but tend to weigh more. That means higher fat foods but be sure to get some carbs and protein too.

Water is based on availability. You can check your guide and see how far apart reliable water sources are and carry accordingly.

Also you can ask other hikers you pass about water but know that the info you get from hikers you pass is notoriously bad.

Don H
12-28-2012, 08:31
Agree, about 2 pounds of food per day for a thru-hiker, especially if you're resupply options are limited and you have to buy what's available.

12-28-2012, 15:56
Is this for the start of a trip or just a short trip? Or are you talking about a month on or later in a thru-hike? After you have hiker hunger, i.e., 2 - 4 weeks from start typically I think, THEN there's still some variance on how much food you'll opt to carry out of town after you have experience at this.
I don't tend to carry a stove anymore, but the opposite end of that equation is the person with a relatively inefficient alcohol stove that cooks (actually cooks, doesn't just heat water) three times a day. Quite a variance.
Water --- you didn't mention which trail(s) you contemplate, but that varies a great deal too. One thing I like about the AT is that one tends to carry less water weight overall than on western trails (my Northwest area being one exception).

If you can specify things more tightly you can come up with a meaningful rough estimate on a per-day basis. Without these multiple variables nailed down, the range of answers is too wide.

12-28-2012, 16:08
Just another data point on the food thing: 'Tis a very personal thing and dependent on your body, but after many long trips, I've pretty much dialed in to between 1.5 to 1.75 pounds of food a day, averaging 125-130 calories per ounce, including very lightweight packaging. The ~1.5 would be for summer, ~1.75 for winter. I weigh 180 pounds, and tend to not lose weight when I carry this food weight, even on big, extended outing mountain climbs.

Toiletries? Trivial, a couple ounces a week, TP and toothpaste total. Fuel? One 7.5 oz canister will last me a good week, making three pots of hot water a day. Water? I betcha I consume 5-6 liters a day, but only carry 1 or 1.5 at any given time.

12-28-2012, 20:11
Food, first 7 days = 1.75 lb/day max....days 7-14 = 2.00 lbs per day....after that = all you can find.
Water, on the AT, never carried more than 24 oz, did not have any issues but will carry 34 oz next outing.

12-30-2012, 01:02
Whats an average amount of weight of consumables. (food, water, fuel, toiletries) . This is for resupplying every3-6 days.

Food: figure 1.5-2 lbs per day. The longer you have been out, the more you will want to eat most likely.
Water: depends on time of yr. Figure about 4L per day though in moderate conditions, more in hot, maybe slightly less in cool.
water doesnt matter since constantly replenished. Ive used 2L in 5 miles before, and Ive hiked 10 miles without taking a sip, just depends on terrain and ambient temperature.
Fuel: A safe rule for boiling 2 cups of water with alcohol is 1 fl oz on a reasonably efficient setup. If you cook once per day, thats 1oz per day. If you do 1 cup coffee too, maybe 1.5 fl oz, if you do coffee twice, maybe 2 oz. Depends on you.
Toiletries: Almost nil, unless you include bug dope, then 1oz will last me about 6 days on legs/arms. Prefer not to use unless ticks are about.