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  1. #1
    Registered User Different Socks's Avatar
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    Default Eating only a certain item(s) on a thru hike?

    Has anyone actually met anybody that has actually eaten only one item or few while doing an entire thru hike?
    You hear of people that say they will(or did) attempt to subsist on only ramen or mashed potatoes, or any other similar thing, but has anybody actually done it and liked doing it?

  2. #2

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    I hiked with a thru-hiker in 1997 who ate mostly peanut butter by the spoonful, Hostess fried pies for breakfast, and Little Debbie Oatmeal Cakes. He lost less weight than most and seemed healthy and made it to Katahdin. He had the advantage of lacking senses of taste and smell, so food was just energy to him.

  3. #3

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    Lunch was the same thing every day. Bagel, cheddar cheese, peanut butter, jelly.

    Breakfast was 75% oatmeal, 20% cereal, 5% other. Supper was always changing.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by max patch View Post
    Lunch was the same thing every day. Bagel, cheddar cheese, peanut butter, jelly.

    Breakfast was 75% oatmeal, 20% cereal, 5% other. Supper was always changing.
    Interesting thread. Planning my next section with only a mix of Ova Easy egg crystals, Nido, instant grits, cheddar cheese powder, and chili powder for breakfast and dinner. Will carry raw almonds for lunch and snacks.
    I know your question was about thrus who have actually done something similar for the whole trail though. If I try it I'll let you know.

  5. #5

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    I belive most long distance hikers end up eating from a pretty limited menu. And then never want to eat that stuff again. I have a hard time with oatmeal and am getting really sick of mac n' cheese n' tuna. I'm gonna have to come up with a new menu for my next hike. Maybe go back to PB+J sandwiches. I never seem to tire of those...
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  6. #6
    Digger takethisbread's Avatar
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    warren doyle has hiked on mostly little Debbie brownies, at one time , so legend goes. dense calories, easy to get on AT


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    There was a thru hiker on the CDT in 2010 named Heaps who set a personal challenge to eat 1,000 pop tarts. He did it and claimed never to tire of them. It wasn't his only food; however, but he did hike a 100+ mile section on only Pop Tarts.

  8. #8
    Registered User sadlowskiadam's Avatar
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    Quite often thru hikers are limited to the limited resupply options they have, which are often gas stations or convenience stores. I pretty much ate the same meals for 5 months on my 2013 thru hike. My meals consisted of the following:
    Breakfast: poptarts or Hostess cake
    Morning snack: snickers or trailmix
    Lunch: peanut butter or salami sandwich and trailmix
    Afternoon snack: snickers or trailmix
    Dinner: ramen noodles or mashed potatoes, tuna packet, and slim jims
    Repeat for everyday on the trail for 5 months.

    Of course, most hikers appetites changes dramatically through the hike and changed their menus accordingly. Good luck on your hike,

    - Counselor

  9. #9
    ME => GA 19AT3 rickb's Avatar
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    I had sardines for lunch virtually every day during my hike.

    And I have not has a single one in the 30 years since. My wife recently discovered canned herring, and I can't even be in the same room when she opens it up.

  10. #10

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    I knew a lady, Nature, who had bought a lot of cases of frosted pop tarts, and arranged to have them mailed to her the whole way. When I met her in Monson to do the last week of the trail, she was so sick of pop tarts!

  11. #11
    Garlic
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    Quote Originally Posted by takethisbread View Post
    warren doyle has hiked on mostly little Debbie brownies, at one time , so legend goes. dense calories, easy to get on AT...
    I met Warren on my AT thru, and he told me he attempted the JMT with that diet plan and it didn't work out. At least that's my memory of our interesting conversation.

    I met an accomplished hiker on the PCT, a low-key Triple Crowner (he never told any one he'd completed all three trails), who ate one thing every day, every meal--a muesli he made with instant oats, walnuts, raisins, and Grape Nuts cereal. He carried a jar of peanut butter when he needed more fat. He influenced my move to stoveless hiking and I tried his diet for my hike through the Sierra Nevada, but I needed, or wanted, a just a little more variety.

    He also hiked all three trails without once ever staying under a roof. I couldn't do that, either.
    "Throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence." John Muir on expedition planning

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    In Andrew Skurka's book and blog he talks about his diet during his Alaska-Yukon trek:

    "After six months of eating the same stuff, my favorite food items during this trip were anything that contained chocolate. My least favorite items were anything that didn’t contain chocolate. Next time I go on a long trip, I’m only bringing chocolate, at least for breakfast, snacks, and desert. The sesame sticks, Bear Valley bars, peanut butter-filled pretzels, and summer sausage will not find a way into my pack."

    http://andrewskurka.com/2010/on-fini...eling-humbled/

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    Super Moderator Marta's Avatar
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    One fellow I know said he mostly ate peanut butter mixed with honey. He would arrive in town with an empty jar and resupply in a grocery store. He'd spoon some of the PB into the empty jar and mix with honey. He'd then add honey to the partial jar of PB and mix. In towns he ate heartily in restaurants. He also did neros in which he'd camp just outside of town and journey in for meals. I would classify him as not being much of a foodie--even when he's at home he doesn't do much cooking or spend much energy thinking about food. Quick and easy fuel is what he's interested in.
    If not NOW, then WHEN?

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    I plan on eating alot of Ramen lol

  15. #15
    Registered User Different Socks's Avatar
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    Pardon me for asking, but why do so many of you believe and have actually said that the variety of food is limited when doing a thru hike?
    The stores in many of the trail towns have a wide selection to choose from, so other than the fact they may immensely enjoy eating those certain foods, why would a person subject themselves to eating the same thing every day, for every meal?
    I have read and heard about what Andrew Skurka ate on his long hikes, and I can tell you that on my next long hike that will last about 16 months and almost 10,000 miles, I will definitely not the eat the same foods week after week, much less day after day. Variety in the diet is easy and cheap and accesible.

  16. #16
    Digger takethisbread's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Different Socks View Post
    Pardon me for asking, but why do so many of you believe and have actually said that the variety of food is limited when doing a thru hike?
    The stores in many of the trail towns have a wide selection to choose from, so other than the fact they may immensely enjoy eating those certain foods, why would a person subject themselves to eating the same thing every day, for every meal?
    I have read and heard about what Andrew Skurka ate on his long hikes, and I can tell you that on my next long hike that will last about 16 months and almost 10,000 miles, I will definitely not the eat the same foods week after week, much less day after day. Variety in the diet is easy and cheap and accesible.
    personal experience tells me that many ressupply points particularly in the southern section of the AT is pretty limited. I have found the NOC, Fontana, standing bear in particular were very tough choices , understandably so. in Maine the last couple ressupply spots , White House and the abol store aren't great. there are many others that aren't great, it's all about your expecting more than convenience store type choices . I suggest reading Baltimore Jacks ressupply post if you are going to hike on the AT. my limited experience on the PCT is that ressupply can be even more limited. I don't ship food to myself generally but if I did the PCT I most definitely would. ressupply needs are relative to your pace . fast hikers need less shaky ressupply . I'm slow


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  17. #17

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    It took me about 4000 miles to figure out that I need some Variety in my Hiking Diet, so my diet varies from resupply to resupply, on my 2012 thru i didn't touch ramen Noodles or peanut Butter or Oatmeal, theirs way too much of a selection to limit yourself to the same food every single day.

  18. #18
    Registered User Different Socks's Avatar
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    On my 16 month hike I will do all food drops for the entire hike, supplemented by foods purchased at places along the way.
    So far I've got beans, a doz different veggies, 7 different kinds of meats, noodles, quinoa, couscous, rice, pasta, soups, stews, potatoes, ramen and other things. And that is just dinners.
    There must be alot of people out there that really don't know what they are doing when it comes to feeding themselves or have a very limited cash flow.

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    I knew one guy that claims he ate a bike.

  20. #20

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    I do basically the same diet every day. Breakfast: bagel with peanut butter, 500ish calories. Lunch/allday food: raisins, peanuts, m&ms (some sort of trail mix basically, definitely doesn't have to be name brand m&ms) 800-1,000ish calories a day. Dinner: Knorrs noodles/bulk pasta/rice/couscous with some sort of protein, be it TVP, pouch of chicken (the canned stuff basically sold in a pouch), beef jerky, pouch of spam. Then some instant mashed potatoes if i'm still hungry after that. And then some more peanut butter if i'm still hungry after that. 1,000-to 1,500 calories for dinner.

    I also sometimes throw in some snickers bars for during the day, and weird asian noodle packages (not ramen, or at least not the crappy ramen), falafel mix, biscuit mix, string cheese, pepperoni.

    I've done springer to damascus and i had no problem finding the food mentioned above, I didn't bother stopping at Fontana or Standing Bear. Well I stopped at Standing Bear and ate a microwaved sandwich, but I didn't resupply there. The NOC wasn't great admittedly but I remember it having enough of what I needed, it was just expensive. Like resupplying at Mountain Crossings. I think I went all the way through to Gatlinburg from the NOC. Actually bought a few snacks at the Marina thing before the Fontana dam shelter. And now I remember I was given a bunch of mountain house from a hiker's mail drop that I had meant, they decided they were getting off the trail and gave me and a friend a bunch of freeze dried dinners. So that's like cheating I guess.

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