Many of us have figured out what works for our hiking, but newcomers are often baffled on how to start. Hence the often repeated question of "What's for Lunch?".
The difficulties arise due to wildly broad range of requirements for our hikes. Hikes can be short or long, slow or fast, sea level or mountains, etc.
The Goal: How to identify a constant caloric intake, over say 12 hours, with an appealing mix of taste, texture, sweet, salty, etc. and recognize what drives those choices.
Breakfast and Dinners are a little more obvious and 'relaxed' than Lunches/Snacks, but are critical to the day's foundation as well as maintaining a nutritional balance. Since Lunches seem to be the big challenge, and also influence what 'compensation' needs to happen with Breakfast and Dinner, let's start with Lunch.
One approach is to begin with a "Top Down" view, starting with basic factors, and then working down to specific food suggestions.
This doesn't preclude jumping in with your favorite Lunch, but it would be helpful if you frame in within the developed context. Others will understand where you a coming from, and they can evaluate your suggestions against their needs.
As a Starting Example –
Some Considerations are
2) Level of Effort
3) Day and Duration of the Trip
Defining the Considerations -
1) Elevation – Effects are highly subjective, so understanding Your response is critical
2) Level of effort affect the mix of carbohydrates and fats -
Casual: "Walking, Talking, Stopping and Looking" (Only occasionally breathing hard) 50/50
Quick: "Threshold Minus 20 Beats" (enough reserve to kick it up for 30 minutes) 70/30
Race: "Threshold Minus 10 Beats" (always on the edge) 95/5
3a) Day and Duration of he Trip, in Casual or Quick Mode, affect calories required.
Under 3 days – the calorie cushion supplements your intake
From 3 to 7 days – the body starts to demand more
From 7 days on – intake must match effort, to avoid weight loss and constant hunger
3b) In Race mode, calories must start high and stay high. (You're running a deficit to start with, so keeping up is paramount.)
How to get it done impacts decisions on "packaging and prep"
Banquet – you'll take the time to have an interesting lunch
Stuffer – you eat on the trail, or stop only briefly
Drinker – you don't have the time or jaw strength to chew the required number of calories
So, "What's for Lunch?"
Food Favorites and Suggestions – Depending on the above:
Casual – Bagels PB&J, Hummus,
Quick – Bars, Gorp, Chips, Chex, Super Spackle….
Race – Olive Oil, Hammer Gel, and Perpetuum, (and attention to protein)
Specifically, Lunch for me: 10 Day Trip, Mountains, Quick Pace, Quick Eating. On a 2 hour interval, PowerBar (PB) Oatmeal, PB Apple/Cinnamon, PB Peanutbutter, Chex Bold Party Mix, PB Chocolate, Lays Potato chips gives me 1600 calories. Breakfast and Dinner add ~1500 calories. I am running a calorie deficit throughout the trip, but not feeling hungry. On the first 3 days I usually have a bar or snack left over, on the next 3 days I eat them all, and on the last 3 days, I have a bar at 2 am. I mix in other PowerBars, alternate Chex Party mix with "Gardettos", and alternate Lays plain chips with flavors, so each day is a little different.
Breakfast and Dinner sections will be added as time and energy, or other contributors, allow.
All of this is open to suggestions on structure, definitions, etc.
I would like to place the result in the Wiki (about which I know nothing, so help would be appreciated).
Worthwhile, or to grandois?
Comments, Contributions, Criticisms…