Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    09-23-2012
    Location
    Lubbock, TX
    Posts
    26
    Images
    2

    Default Calories burned-what you eat.

    My normal hike is 5-7 days. Eating doesn't seem to be the highest priority when we hike but I know from experience that how well I feed myself has an impact on how well I hike. The charts say you burn about 600 calories/hour hiking. That's 5-6000 calories/day. What does everybody eat to stay energized for 28-35 days?

  2. #2
    Garlic
    Join Date
    10-15-2008
    Location
    Golden CO
    Age
    62
    Posts
    5,404
    Images
    2

    Default

    From my experience, especially on the Colorado Trail (my first long hike, way back in 1990), if you try to carry 6000 calories a day you may be carrying way too much food and could be throwing a lot away wherever you can. On the trail, my typical diet is about 4500 calories or about two pounds per day at about 130 cal/oz. That's a good mix of fat and carbs for me. Fats are nuts and cheese, carbs are oats, bread and fruit, basically.

    There are many variables, as in how much you carry and how far you hike per day, as well as your metabolism, how you part your hair, the phase of the moon, etc.

    For me, 4500 calories is almost enough but not quite. I need to eat a lot of greasy diner food and ice cream at town stops to make up the difference. Remember hearing about Michael Phelps eating 12,000 calories a day during the Olympics? Picture something like that.

    Using that method on the AT, I only lost a few pounds in some difficult sections but put it back on again in some easier stretches, and finished basically the same weight as when I started.

    By the way, I feel the same way about eating on trail. It's not really my highest priority, though it's so important. Hard to explain that one. Hydration, hygiene, and rest are all just as important to me. Highest priority, of course, is keeping on the trail and having a good hike. Good luck out there.
    "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

  3. #3

    Default

    I'm sort a like garlic in my approach, I'm always in the deficit in calories burned vs. calories consumed. But I believe, in my case, that's the best way to go, if forces the body to become more efficient; even if I could, I would not want to take in the same calories as I burn, a controlled starving is actually an important part of my hike -- I guess you can sort of compare it to fasting.

    Also, to me, one of the best things of hiking is the hiker's appetite. I love that feeling.

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    01-16-2011
    Location
    On the trail
    Posts
    3,788
    Images
    3

    Default

    While you may be burning 600 calories per hour you can only replace 250-300 calories per hour by eating. I normally will eat 300 calories per hour hiked. Additionally for extended trips I will also add in a meal at days end consisting of about 1000 calories heavy on protein to aid in recovery. The deficit between what you burn and what you eat will be made up by fat burning.

    As far as what to eat, I have tested every form of carb known to man with little difference in energy level. I have done 40 mile days on chocolate donuts and Oreos so at least for me, it is nonsense that it has to be complex carbs or your energy will spike. Having said that, my carb of choice is Maltodextrin and I drank 80 lbs of it on my thru hike.

    This approach may not work for you. I generally will hike non stop from first light to last light with few if any breaks during the day. I generally will hike 30-40 mile days and my pace is about 3mph. Finally, my base weight is right around 8 lbs so I'm lugging a heavy pack. If you hike differently, which you likely do then your results will vary.

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    01-16-2011
    Location
    On the trail
    Posts
    3,788
    Images
    3

    Default

    Should be "not lugging" a heavy pack

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-31-2009
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Age
    41
    Posts
    4,276
    Images
    17

    Default

    I would love to be able to eat 6000 calories a day, but I can't. With my current meal plan, I can only eat 4500 calories a day. With slight modifications to my food, I might be able increase my consumption to a little over 5000 calories a day. Even with all that, I'll still lose around a pound every 3-4 days for a long time.

    I'm not going to tell you what to eat. We can offer examples and techniques, but you need to figure out from experience what you can tolerate eating a lot of every day.

    Quote Originally Posted by gg-man View Post
    Having said that, my carb of choice is Maltodextrin and I drank 80 lbs of it on my thru hike.
    That may technically be a complex carbohydrate, but the body responds to it like a simple carbohydrate. That's not to say you should stop using it. In a way we've both said that each person needs to do whatever it takes to work.

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    09-23-2012
    Location
    Lubbock, TX
    Posts
    26
    Images
    2

    Default

    Thanks for all the replys.

    My hiking has always been a controlled starvation too. Not such a big deal on a week or less. It's a relief that what I had in mind is close to the suggestions. Funny thing though is when I eat I enjoy eating well. I prepare most of my meals at home. It will only take a little tweaking to get to 4500 calories.

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    08-31-2011
    Location
    dresden, ohio
    Age
    39
    Posts
    215

    Default

    this had nothing to do with the CT but i thru hiked the LT this yea and started with 12-15 mpd. of course i was out of shape and for the first 5 days i had no appetite at all, i had to force myself to eat...i didn't want to eat anything i had...anyone else ever experienced this?

  9. #9
    Registered User
    Join Date
    04-17-2007
    Location
    Colorado
    Age
    43
    Posts
    299
    Journal Entries
    12

    Default

    i don't worry about what i eat when hiking. i just eat...a lot. candy bars, sugary anything, cheese, jerky or anything that is with in the weight limits of my food bag. it does not matter. eat. i had a well balanced plan for the first 1000 miles of my hike. the second 1000miles i said screw it and ate anything high in calories and fat. i noticed no performance dip at all.

  10. #10
    Some days, it's not worth chewing through the restraints.
    Join Date
    12-13-2004
    Location
    Essex, Vermont
    Age
    64
    Posts
    2,332

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by trapper View Post
    this had nothing to do with the CT but i thru hiked the LT this yea and started with 12-15 mpd. of course i was out of shape and for the first 5 days i had no appetite at all, i had to force myself to eat...i didn't want to eat anything i had...anyone else ever experienced this?
    I don't have to force myself, but it's not at all unusual to not be all that hungry - or not hungry at all - for a while. I plan on lighter dinners the first couple days at least. It takes a week for the hiker appetite to kick in for me, and then I'm home where I can stuff myself and gain back the pounds lost.

  11. #11
    Registered User
    Join Date
    09-23-2012
    Location
    Lubbock, TX
    Posts
    26
    Images
    2

    Default

    Let me explain why I originally ask. Most of my 5-7 day hikes have been in the Pecos Wilderness. Hike 8-10 miles, camp, fish, day hike, start over in a couple of days. I like eating well (good tasting) and always fix my meals at home to take on the trail. But to eat that many calories over 486 miles will take a new strategy. I really appreciate everyones comments.

  12. #12
    Registered User
    Join Date
    04-28-2004
    Location
    New Brunswick
    Age
    57
    Posts
    11,116

    Default

    When I am fat I put less fat in my diet and try to burn what is on me. When hiking I figure I can burn up to 1% of my body fat per day, which might be half my calories if I'm fat enough, and slow enough. As I lose more weight I have to eat more calories, and what I eat needs to contain more fat. So when I am fat I can get by on oatmeal and skim milk tea and lentil and veggie soups and such, and as I get thinner I can add more stuff like dried fruit and nuts and seeds, and the ultimate carrot at the end of the stick, BACON.

++ New Posts ++

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •