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150 calories per ounce/28 oz per day
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Troy Ammons
(tammons) - F - MLife
150 calories per ounce/28 oz per day on 08/29/2009 15:35:43 MDT Print View

I know it is possible in some form but how about with a somewhat balanced diet without too much garbage, also considering, not much freeze dried, with most food bought out of a grocery or a store.

I thought I would ask. Is it possible to hit 150 calories per ounce on average, IE 28 oz of food per day = 4200. I might actually be able to survive on that on the AT if I stuff in the towns although I will probably still lose weight. I am 6-3 and 235. Should weigh 215-220.

2 oz of olive oil to whatever I am eating would add about 500 calories.
4 oz of nuts would = +- 700 depending
4 oz of peanutbutter = +- 650

That leaves me 18 oz for normal food and a bar or two etc that I would need to get another 2350 out of to hit 4200. Most of the grocery store type normal food I would carry comes in at about 100 calories per ounce which would equal 1800 so I am still short of my goal by about 350 per day.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: 150 calories per ounce/28 oz per day on 08/29/2009 16:13:35 MDT Print View

It's difficult to hit 150/ounce without doing a lot of fats, which many people don't handle well. Chips and the Chex mixes are around 140-150, but get boring after a while.

How many hours per day?
"Breathing hard" pace, or "Easy talking" pace?
How many days total?
How many days between towns, on average?

Zack Karas
( - MLife

Locale: Lake Tahoe
AT food on 08/29/2009 16:39:45 MDT Print View

Do you plan on doing a mix of PO and store resupplies? It's very hard to know what you can expect, especially in some of the smaller 'towns' you'll hit, so some PO visits make sense.

My experience is that no matter what you are eating, you'll get sick of it if you eat it often. I've contributed my fair share to hiker boxes with all the food I couldn't stomach anymore. Also, towards the middle to end of a thruhike, I gladly carry more weight if it means more overall nutrition (like real fruit and veggies, etc) and taste variety (anything in the store that catches my eye, craving, etc). The more flexible you are, the more fun you will have.

You'll lose weight. You're a big dude--I'm 5'10" 150lbs and I lose weight on 4200 calories a day. Greg asks good questions regarding daily mileage and pace--if you hike 20+ mpd then you'll be in town often and the food weight won't be as big of a factor. If you hike 10+ mpd, then it's a different story. In some places you can be in a town almost daily if you're willing to hitch in.

Troy Ammons
(tammons) - F - MLife
Re: AT food on 08/29/2009 17:23:04 MDT Print View

Probably PO and local but I have not decided yet.

I have never thru hiked anything and have only done a week or so at a time without a break or a move via auto, re-stock etc which is no big deal. I did take a 3mo trip hitching around the US in the 70's with some hiking mixed in, but thats a different type of traveling.

That was a long time ago though and I was super skinny back then. 165#. Working out with weights for 25 years and I have put on a lot of muscle.

Dont know on distance but probably the typical 15 mile days, some 10 if I get distracted and its not too far to the next resupply, some 20 if I feel like pushing it and the knees are doing good.

Not even really sure how far I will make it, older now so knees, and other aches etc but I want to give it a try. I have not been on the AT in about 20 years regular hiking.
I did take a three week car photography trip along the AT about 3 years ago with a 4x5 camera, 6x9 MF and 35mm SLR digital. Luggung that stuff around was interesting but got some nice images.

Been other places for a week or so here and there, colo, Oregon, Washington, New Mexico, Yellowstone.

I think hitting a town every 3-5 days to eat would be the plan, probably will try to hit a hotel every week or so. As long as I can eat a steak and potato every week or two, hamburger or a huge breakfast every now and then I think I can make it. Of course there is the rest of the time on the trail dreaming about the next steak dinner.

I figure I will lose weight, but thats okay. Probably should count on 2# of food per day, 10# for 5 days which is still not that bad.

My old way of starting a hike, or continuing after a resupply was to pack in a ton of food for the first night and eat it all and load up.

I have even packed in a T-Bone steak and potatoes at times. Not in bear country though. Then when going back into town eat a lot and pack in a ton more food for the first night, like maybe 4-5# for the 1st night.

I am probably going to need a bigger pack than I originally planned for.

My old Kelty internal alpine pack might take the trip. Its been around the entire US in the 70's and 80's a few times and its overdue for another trip. Rebuilding a lighter internal frame for it so we will see. Other than that I might have to buy an Osprey to handle more weight comfortably. With a 3# pack I can do it with 5 days of food, 2 qts of h20 somewhere between 26-30# which is still not that bad, but 20 would be better. 20# total less 10# food less 4# h20 would mean having a base weight of like 6# which wont happen unless I ditch a lot of gear and get a Cuben pack, and I am not sure a cuben pack would last an entire thru hike.

Edited by tammons on 08/29/2009 17:32:21 MDT.

Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
Re: 150 calories per ounce/28 oz per day on 08/29/2009 18:35:59 MDT Print View


If you goal is the most calories per ounce look at Dry - Ensure.

A 1/2 cup of Dry Ensure is 250 calories and weighs 2.23 ounces. I add a coffee scoop of Powder Carnation Breakfast Drink at 0.33 ounce and 32.5 more calories for a serving size of 282.5 calories and 2.56 ounces. To the dry mix add 6 to 8 ounces of water and drink. This is close to what you are looking for and is a balanced mix of all the vitamins and other stuff you need per day.

I have lived on the Ensure for over 4 years and it isn't really that bad.

I also use Hammer Perpetuem. It is 130 calories per 1.27 ounces.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: 150 calories per ounce/28 oz per day on 08/29/2009 19:34:56 MDT Print View

"A 1/2 cup of Dry Ensure is 250 calories and weighs 2.23 ounces"

My sharp-eyed wife notes that a Harvest PowerBar with 250 calories weighs 2.3 ounces.

I don't know about a steady diet of Ensure or PowerBars, but both are packing a lot of calories per ounce. Alternating them could give you a little variety in flavor, as well as a different 'mouth-feel'.

Bill- I know this won't work for you, but others might consider it.

Zack Karas
( - MLife

Locale: Lake Tahoe
High calorie bar on 08/29/2009 20:07:41 MDT Print View

I like Big Sur Bars. Original is 5 oz. and 678 calories = 135 calories an ounce. I usually have one for breakfast and sometimes one for dessert.

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
150 calories per ounce/28 oz per day on 08/29/2009 20:26:28 MDT Print View

These high-calorie items make GREAT on-trail snacks.

cashews = 170 cal/oz

Pringles (crushed = 160 cal/oz

Peanut M&Ms = 144 cal/oz

King size Payday or Snickers bar = 140 cal/oz

Olive oil is loaded with calories, but the flavor is hard to mask.

Edited by wandering_bob on 08/29/2009 20:29:58 MDT.