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  1. #1

    Default What do you figure for food weight?

    A difficult question perhaps, given changes in seasons and personal tastes in food, but I am curious as to what folks are considering as an average food weight figuring a 5 day resupply. What are you using for condiments and spices that stay with you through resupply?

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    I've settled on about 2 pounds of food per day and try to get as close to 4,000 calories as possible for any hike over a few days in length. I've found that if I try to get by on fewer than 3,500 calories, I end up suffering more than I would if I just hauled the additional weight. The only "condiment" that I might carry more than needed between resupplies is olive oil. I usually carry an 8 ounce container but olive oil usually comes in 17 ounce containers and is pretty expensive. So I might end up carrying two 8 ounce bottles of olive oil rather than one, although I have sometimes given away excess olive oil.

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    Registered User rtfi's Avatar
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    I carry about 12 pounds for 7 days, or about 1.7 per day. That would be 8.5 pounds for 5 days.
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    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
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    No condiments, small little container of salt/black pepper for spices, right at an average of 1.75 pounds of food per day on the trail at an average of 125-130 calories/ounce including packaging. this amounts to 3600-4000 calories per day, enough to keep me going without any significant weight loss or hunger, a small enough deficit to make up easily in town stops.

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    I'm currently drying some Trinidad Devil peppers. They will come with, and maybe some sent every once and a while, & tabascos.
    My local grocery has a selection of spices in little 1"x1" plastic screw tops, can't be more than 1/2 oz at most. I hope I can find such things along the trail, inc. chopped dried garlic and onions. 3-4 oz of spices makes for a happier life on the trail. Life is too short to eat bad food.

  6. #6

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    for a 5 day resupply my food bag will weigh between 8-10lbs when it comes to food i don't skimp, if it looks good and i want it i carry it. In the winter i might carry a little more since my warm weather diet differs from my cold weather diet. but it also depends on the type of food you carry such as Ramen Noodles weigh less than a pasta side.

    Condiments.
    Black pepper.
    salt.
    small bottle of tabasco sauce this usually lasts 5 days ( if i can keep others out of it ).
    single packs of Mustard ( you find these at Taco-Bell )
    dried Mushrooms ( most Grocery stores carrry this ).
    onions ( i will pick up two medium sized at each resupply ).
    Olive Oil ( the smallest bottle i can find ).
    Cinnamon ( a very small container ).

    what i would suggest you do is take a trip to your local grocery store and buy what you think 5 days of food is with Breakfast, lunch, Dinners, snacks, condiments and the add ins such as summer sausage, pepperoni slices. put it in your food bag and weigh it.
    Good Luck and happy hiking.

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    On my thru hike I was carrying between 3 to 4 lbs of food, 6000-8000 calories, per day. But I was also doing high mile days so a five day carry would have covered 150 miles.

  8. #8

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    I concur with Red-Dog and Colorado-Bob on the lbs. per day. I'm usually at 1.6 per day, although occasionally I'll need a little more.

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    Keeping it simple, for a 5 day food supply, wt is between 1.25lbs(20 oz) and 1.7lbs(27 oz). Much gets factored into this but generally the greater number of days food I carry the more anal I get about the daily food wt. The majority of my hikes I largely attempt to schedule resupplying every 3-6 days adjusting several things accordingly. Supplementing, when able, can very much bridge those very low gram weenie food day wts.

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    Registered User lonehiker's Avatar
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    1.25 - 1.50# a day. No condiments.
    Lonehiker

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    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
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    5 days on the trail means, for me, 4 full days plus lunch and snacks for the 5th day -- so, about 9 pounds or so of food. I'll be eating breakfast on the first day in town, same with dinner on the last day.

    Of course there are things that I carry for more than one section on a longer hike -- condiments, drink mixes, that sort of thing. No big deal, really.
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    Great feedback, thanks.

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    Registered User Siestita's Avatar
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    "What are you using for condiments and spices that stay with you through resupply?"

    Olive oil is a "major food group" for me, not a condiment. But, I typically pack it for more than single week, for the reasons that Coffee mentioned previously. And, I've carried with me a multi-week supply of NIDO, tasty and calorie intense instant whole milk powder. It's available at Krogers and Walmart supermarkets
    here in central Kentucky, sold beside other "Hispanic" food items. But at some resupply locations there may be not be powdered milk of any kind available, or (for me nearly as bad) no NIDO.

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    Registered User Siestita's Avatar
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    "A difficult question perhaps, given changes in seasons and personal tastes in food..."

    Obviously, one 'personal taste' that varies is willingness to carry foods that are tasty but contain significant amounts of water or fiber, neither of which boosts calorie counts. Red Dog picks up two onions at each resupply. Some of of us snack extensively on fresh (translate that moisture laden) 'read items, (deli bread, rolls, bagels, tortillas, etc.) fully realizing that crackers, (more fat and less water) produce more calories per ounce. And, I've been known to start a hike carrying an orange in my pocket.

    My point is not to disparage "heavier than necessary" food choices such those mentioned above. HYOH and EYOM! ("Enjoy your own menu.") But, our personal deviations from gram weenie convention probably vary somewhat from one resupply to the next, skewing our food weight totals.

    Lately I've been leaving all of the onions and oranges at home. But I consume fresh breads on the trail, instead of crackers, and I also eat a foil pack of tuna, salmon, or chicken every day or two. Beside tasting good, the contents of those 'heavy' foil packets provide protein for muscle maintenance. My food now usually weighs 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 lbs. for each complete day of backpacking that I do. Your mileage may, and probably will, vary cnsiderably.

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    Garlic
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    Pretty much everyone above agrees on the two pounds per day average.

    But Malto brings up a good point:

    Quote Originally Posted by Malto View Post
    On my thru hike I was carrying between 3 to 4 lbs of food, 6000-8000 calories, per day. But I was also doing high mile days so a five day carry would have covered 150 miles.
    How far are you hiking over those five days? So I developed a different math for myself. I carry one pound for every ten miles to the next resupply and that works out fine for those long days. On the CDT, I would routinely hike 100 miles in two nights out, three long days. Six pounds of food wasn't going to hack it!
    "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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    Digger takethisbread's Avatar
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    I try to keep my daily weight to about 1.5lbs to 2lbs but I don't think about it ever and don't plan it. I buy what I like and deal with it. It's intuitive. I don't cook so it might add a few ounces


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    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garlic08 View Post
    Pretty much everyone above agrees on the two pounds per day average.
    Looking through this thread, and remembering older ones, I'd say the average is well less than 2 pounds.

  18. #18

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    It's all in your personal preference, carry what you want to carry eat what you want to eat period.

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    Registered User swjohnsey's Avatar
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    Two pounds of food/day will get you 3,200 calories if you are careful.

  20. #20
    LT '79; AT '73-'14 in sections; Donating Member Kerosene's Avatar
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    For a hike lasting less than a week, I will average about 1.5 pounds per day as my appetite tends to be suppressed.

    Beyond a week that average increases to about 1.7 pounds per day. I thought it would increase further in the third week of my recent section hike, but it actually didn't increase very much until Day 20.
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