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List what you eat per day. Weight/calories? Type of hiking?
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Nick Larsen
(stingray4540) - F

Locale: South Bay
List what you eat per day. Weight/calories? Type of hiking? on 11/08/2011 06:26:07 MST Print View

Ok, so I've seen the whole 1.5lbs of food per person per day, etc. But, I would like to see your daily food list by item, weight and calories. I'll post an example at the end.

I'm trying to build my ideal packing list, item by item in a spreadsheet, so I can see what exactly I will be carrying after a few new items are purchased. However, I have gotten a little stuck when it comes to food. Our last 3 day trip it looks like we were only eating at most 1550 calories/day. (two instant oatmeals/breakfast, PROBAR/lunch, mountain house 2serving/dinner, about 1/2 cup trailmix/snack) Other than doubling the trail mix I don't see how I could have eaten more. Had to choke down my MH dinner as 2servings is A LOT.

For my pack list I've doubled my trailmix and added an ounce of olive oil to my breakfast and dinner(Gonna have to try before the next trip, see if I can handle it...) and this is what I get for a 3 day trip with 2 people:

**BREAKFAST(2 instant oatmeal w/1oz olive oil) = 10.5oz(2days x 2people); 520cal.(per person)

**LUNCH(ProBar) = 18oz(3days x 2people); 390cal.(per person)

**SNACK(5oz trailmix) = 30oz(3days x 2people); 850cal.(per person)

**DINNER(2serving MH per person w/1oz Oil) = 23oz(2days x 2people); 800cal.(per person)

That comes out to 2560cal. per person, per day at a total weight of 5.1 lb.

According to the 1.5lb. per person, per day standard, I should be taking a total weight of 9 lb. Almost double what I'm actually taking which makes me worry that I'm not getting enough calories? I'd rather loose than gain weight when backpacking, especially since we gotta get cheeseburgers on the 5hr. drive to and from...

FYI, I'm 6'tall, 155lb. doing 9-10 miles a day in the Sierras. wife is 5'

So, what are you guys actually consuming calorie wise, and what do all those calories weigh?

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: List what you eat per day. Weight/calories? Type of hiking? on 11/08/2011 09:11:47 MST Print View

I eat what I want, what sounds good - based on the trip. I rarely ever eat the same foods over and over.

On your dinners - MH 2 person meals don't satisfy when you look at the calories. And if you eat both portions you are getting a lot of sodium. Better to eat a realistic portion serving for one with more calories/fat and less sodium, but that is me.

On breakfast - add nut butter or nuts finely chopped to the oatmeal for more go-power. Instead of olive oil think of adding coconut cream powder for flavor/fat.

On snacks.....don't eat the same trail mix every day. Take individually wrapped packages of nuts, soft dried fruit, cheese, cookies, bars, potato chips and so on. Maybe even chocolate. Variety I suppose is how I look at it.

I take a:
B
Mid-morning snack
L
Mid-afternoon snack
Dinner
Dessert

I like the option of lots of nibbles all day. For me I can't eat big bars in one sitting or they just sit in my stomach grinding for hours. I also don't eat big anything with steep climbs ahead, I just have my snack bag in my hip pocket so I can eat a little every 20 or 30 minutes to keep my energy up. I save the heavy bars for long downhills...lol!

But there is a difference between lower mile days (say 5-10) and very long days (15-20+) and also the temps. If in cold weather I eat a lot more. In summer I can forget to eat enough and wonder why I am all shaky :-P

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
"List what you eat per day. Weight/calories? Type of hiking?" on 11/08/2011 09:45:08 MST Print View

Well, 1.5lb/day is about average for a week out. For the first two or three days it seems like a lot...I don't often eat it all. After that it get much easier and it just disapears. For two weeks out I usually raise this to about a pound and three quarters.

Here is a typical list:
Breakfast:
two oatmeals, mixed with hot cocoa, and a tsp or so of parrified butter
one hot cocoa (mocha)
(All also are mixed with instant freeze dried coffee...)
Roughly 910 calories...
Lunch:
Pepperoni (a couple ounces)
Jerky (an ounce)
Cheese (an ounce)
Some Frito's (2 oz)
Roughly 710 calories

Supper:
Rice dish,
Olive oil
Jerkey
Roughly 772 calories

Snack:
Chocolate bar
Chips, etc...
Roughly 500 calories

Total calories is about 2900 and total weight is 24oz, or 1.5lb. For the first three days, I can get by on much less, for the last couple days, I want more...

Soo, for a three day weekend with moderate hiking (10mi easy terrain) this is about correct. Note that there is a LOT of difference between a hard mountain hike and an easy level terrain hike...as much as 2000 calories. Your own metabolism will also adjust things, becomming more efficient at extracting nutrition from food. As much as another 1000 calories worth. And so on. These are very general. I usually put about the equivalent of 20mi on. If I am paddling, about 30. A LOT depends on the terrain.

But, for three day hikes, you *might* be overdoing it a bit. See how it goes and don't worry about it. Your body will adjust as needed. Trust it. If you run out of food, bring a little more next time. The numbers are just a general guide...some people will starve on this diet, others will gain weight...

Tim Haynes
(timalan)

Locale: Mid Atlantic
Weight/calories for hiking on 11/08/2011 09:47:12 MST Print View

Easiest way to add some calories into your diet without adding much weight are nuts.

Most nuts (almonds, pecans, pistachios, peanuts, etc) are ~160 cal/oz. Walnuts are even higher at ~185, and macadamia nuts top the list at ~200 cal/oz. Dried fruits aren't as dense (~100 cal/oz), but are incredibly tasty. Add some fruit and nuts to your oatmeal and you'll add a ton of calories, and also have more energy for the trail ahead.

You can also do some high calorie processed snack foods. I repack whole grain Cheeze-Its (my favorite) at 142 cal/oz in a ziploc; I know a lot of hikers take Fritos or Pringles, in the 150-160 cal/oz range. I really enjoy salty/crunchy snacks in the afternoon on the trail.

My other favorite for the trail is chia seeds... 137 cal/oz and they are one of the best superfoods for the trail (though I use them a lot at home, too). Add a couple of tablespoons to your water bottle, shake it up and let them soak... they taste great, add an incredible texture to your beverage, and help keep you going throughout the day.

Hope this helps.

Tim Haynes
(timalan)

Locale: Mid Atlantic
Weight/calories? Type of hiking on 11/08/2011 09:50:27 MST Print View

I should add that my hiking is bipolar; solo trips are 20+ miles/day, more speed and distance and much simpler food. Hikes with my wife and other friends are more like 10 miles/day and more relaxed, with less calorie dense and tastier foods.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: List what you eat per day. Weight/calories? Type of hiking? on 11/08/2011 10:17:37 MST Print View

nick,

For 3 day trips my meals are almost identical to yours, other than I will snack a little more during the day, and my mileage is generally a lot longer. The first night I have to force myself to eat the entire meal. 2nd night the meal goes down easily. As your mileage goes up and the length of trip increases, then your appetite will increase.

I often to 10 mile day hikes with a pretty good elevation gain and loss (go up 3K feet and back down). Usually I don't eat breakfast, maybe eat a couple candy bars and am back home by noon or early afternoon. Back home I am not hungry and skip lunch. Then I just eat the normal "healthy" dinner my wife prepares.

I am not worried about the sodium in a MH 2 serving meal, as I feel it probably just replaces what I have lost.

Now on longer trips, I pay much more attention to my food composition.

Michael Cockrell
(CAL-EE-FOR-NIA) - F

Locale: Central Valley, Lodi-Stockton, CA
Cal per hour on 11/08/2011 10:22:58 MST Print View

Think also about your Kcal per hour: 200-250.

Half of you Kcal is burned up just in the eating:chew, swallow, digestion. This is why a lot of ultra or fast-packing use liquid fuels, avoids Kcal loss since the fuel is enhanced into the system sooner and more is available as fuel.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: List what you eat per day. Weight/calories? Type of hiking? on 11/08/2011 13:15:02 MST Print View

"According to the 1.5lb. per person, per day standard, I should be taking a total weight of 9 lb."

Over a long period, it adds up that way. However, typically you eat the first breakfast before you start the actual trip. Then, typically you finish the trip before the last dinner. So, there are two meals that are not carried.

For a 3-day trip, I figure food for 2.5 days.

--B.G.--

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Cal per hour on 11/08/2011 17:56:04 MST Print View

Only about 10% of calories used in digestion according to Mayo Clinic. Liquid fuels used for easier digestion when you cannot stop (no chewing, faster absorption).

"Food processing (thermogenesis). Digesting, absorbing, transporting and storing the food you consume also takes calories. This accounts for about 10 percent of the calories used each day. For the most part, your body's energy requirement to process food stays relatively steady and isn't easily changed."

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/metabolism/WT00006

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: List what you eat per day. Weight/calories? Type of hiking? on 11/08/2011 18:00:23 MST Print View

A typical day.

Breakfast

1) 1 oz Chocolate 155 calories
2) 2 oz granola 238 "
3) 1 oz Nido 141 "
4).75 oz coconut 142 "
5) .5 oz whey protein 48 "

Total 724 "

Lunch

1) 5 oz Perpetuem 569 "

Dinner

1) 2 oz cashews 332
2) 2 oz nut thins 272
3) 3 oz Ensure 380
4) 1 oz Nido 141
5) 1 oz coconut oil 240

Total 1365

Grand total 2658 calories
19.25 oz

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: List what you eat per day. Weight/calories? Type of hiking? on 11/08/2011 18:09:06 MST Print View

A lot of this discussion centers on what to eat to get calories in. I've often assumed that there was a big difference in the amount of time it takes for different foods to be digested to produce the calories. In other words, if I drink a cup of Gatorade, the energy will be available in a matter of minutes, perhaps 15. If I eat a cheeseburger, I think it will be a much longer time. Although it is nice if breakfast food powers you for all day, it is awkward if it takes all day long to fully digest.

Who knows about this? How long does it take for different types of food to digest?

--B.G.--

Nick Larsen
(stingray4540) - F

Locale: South Bay
Thanks! on 11/09/2011 00:58:00 MST Print View

OK, thanks guys, that helps a lot! looks like I'm not doing too bad then. I might tweak it a little, using some of the ideas I've gotten from your lists. Next trip I'll weigh myself before and after then tweak our menu's from there. Sure wish I could get out more though. Seems I spend more time thinking about backpacking than I do actually backpacking.::sigh::

::Off topic:: Funny how 10 miles is considered short for most of you. You must hike a lot, or be in real good shape. My last trip was 3 days - 9mi, 11mi, 9.5mi and 3,300; 2,900; and 2,000 foot elevation gains respectively. It was a loop, so same amount of descent. I could probably go a bit farther/faster if I was alone, and if I dropped a few pounds from my pack, but DOUBLE?! I just can't imagine having gotten to our camp spots by lunch, and I felt like we really hiked a fast pace! You guys must be running!

Ike Jutkowitz
(Ike) - M

Locale: Central Michigan
Menu on 11/09/2011 07:43:24 MST Print View

This is a typical 4 day menu for me. I generally hike 25-30 miles per day and prefer fairly hearty meals for breakfast and dinner. Lunches tend to be cold burritos, PB, meats, cheeses, and lots of snacks. Since purchasing a dehydrator, I've been phasing out commercial BP foods completely. Caloric density has dropped a little but food quality is much better (I use whole grains and plenty of veggies) and I supplement each meal with olive oil for calories and flavor. I average about 1-1.5 lb weight loss per day which is acceptable to me. It would be hard for me to eat more.

menu


menu 2

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: List what you eat per day. Weight/calories? Type of hiking? on 11/09/2011 07:47:43 MST Print View

FYI, I think the longer distance people don't stop at their camp spot for lunch. Some hike until dark and then setup camp.

Back to the topic. I'm not too far off from your menu except dinner (make my own vs packaged meal). What really matters is what works for YOU. Nobody will have your same metabolism and body makeup. If you've had no issues with what you've been taking, don't worry about it. It works for you. What you do need to keep in mind is if you do different trips (longer distance/day, more days, higher elevation, winter, etc), which likely will impact your appetite and energy needs over the course of the trip. You may take a bit more than normal in this case, but there's no harm in running out of food on your last day (unless you know some massive storm is ready to hit perhaps).

I'm pretty new to this so I have not dialed in my food very well yet. I've always taken close to 1.5 PPD (1.49 this year, which includes the packaging) and have always come back with plenty left. I KNOW I am not replacing the calories I burn, but I don't care either. Last year I did lose some body weight. This year (7 full days in Maroon Bells) I didn't for some reason, but I still returned with nearly 1/4 the food weight of what I took (40.7 vs 167.8 OZ), which also didn't count the weight of food I prepared but couldn't finish that I also packed out.

This leads me to think on my typical week + Rockies trip that I should do fine with 1.1-1.2 PPD.

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
for Bob on 11/09/2011 08:55:08 MST Print View

Bob... what I believe you are talking about is the glycemic index. A teaspoon of honey would convert to energy and be gone much more quickly than a handful of nuts and dried fruit.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
"List what you eat per day. Weight/calories? Type of hiking?" on 11/09/2011 08:55:14 MST Print View

"What really matters is what works for YOU. Nobody will have your same metabolism and body makeup. If you've had no issues with what you've been taking, don't worry about it. It works for you. What you do need to keep in mind is if you do different trips (longer distance/day, more days, higher elevation, winter, etc), which likely will impact your appetite and energy needs over the course of the trip."

Yeah, exactly. I guess I am pretty jaded about weekend trips. My apetite doesn't seem to drop off much execpt for all the racing around and travel time getting to where I am going. There are simply to many variables to really consider anything really worthwile, except your own food. I use 1.5lb/day as a good starting point. At the end of a week I will hit that. At 1-4 weeks I will be eating 1.75lb. At 6 weeks and longer I will be eating about 2lb per day on a more or less continual basis. For three days, do not worry about it at all. Just bring between 1.5 and 2lb per day.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Thanks! on 11/09/2011 09:01:48 MST Print View

Nick...on longer days - I get up in the dark often, start walking as light comes up and I take short breaks, maybe a lunch break for 30 min- and hour. But then keep going. I walk usually 2 mph - no running here. But the key is I never quit walking. I have walked in the dark and set up camp way too often in the dark. Oh well. But it can be done ;-)

When I do 5 mile trips I am notorious for leaving the TH at like 11 am or noon! ;-)

Eric Lundquist
(cobberman) - F - M

Locale: Northern Colorado
Re: List what you eat per day. Weight/calories? Type of hiking? on 11/09/2011 09:17:58 MST Print View

This list is pretty close to what I typically bring for a 1-3 night trip.

Breakfast
1.5 Serving of Chia Goodness w/ 1TB extra chia OR 1 Serving of Chia Goodness w/ 1 Serving of Mountain House Raspberry Crumble
Starbucks Via coffee w/ individual Coffee Mate French Vanilla powdered creamer

Snack
Pretzels
Turkey Jerky (cut down to bite size pieces)
Caramels
Smarties

Lunch
*varies*
Day 1 - Flavored tuna packet w/ multi-grain crackers
Day 2 - Southwest Chicken Wraps (eat w/ multi-grain crackers)
Day 3 - Flavored tuna packet w/ multi-grain crackers
I will add an occasional Probar to the mix if I think the lunch will be smaller than usual, or if the terrain is more difficult

Snack
Pretzels
Turkey Jerky (cut down to bite size pieces)
Caramels
Smarties

Dinner
1/2 Package of MH dinner (usually Chili Mac w/ 1/4 cup of sunflower seeds)
Shelf stable apple pie/lemon pie/... OR 1/2 Pkg. MH raspberry Crumble
~6oz of Bailey's Irish Cream

Edited by cobberman on 11/09/2011 09:19:21 MST.

Brian UL
(MAYNARD76)

Locale: New England
Re: Re: List what you eat per day. Weight/calories? Type of hiking? on 11/09/2011 11:06:11 MST Print View

Food is the most difficult part of hiking. I am a very picky eater at home. Im used to home cooked fresh foods. On the trail eating like that is difficult and time consuming so not really an option. I also do not count calories, at home I know I can gain or lose weight, feel good or bad simply by changing the quality of my food without regard to calories. If I just eat the standard stuff backpackers are told to eat I will feel very run down after a few days. The calories are pretty moot if I feel like crap from eating loads of crap.
I simply try to judge what I would eat in a day if I was hungry and eye ball it putting things in separate piles for each day and ask myself if I think that would be enough? Even though I know I will lose my appetite at first. Losing my appetite is another reason I need to really think about bringing only foods I know I will want to eat. I know some people fret about bringing too much food and try to measure it out day by day. But I found that if I lose my appetite the first few days I will make up for it the last few days, in other words I will eat what ever is left so if I end up with lots of food near the end - good I will simply get to eat lots of food!
I still do not have it figured out but I do have some standards I can always count on:
Jerky ( I include all cured meats under this)
coconut oil ( this can be melted into dark chocolate with nuts and stuff)
Snickers bars ( I know its not quality food but I can eat it no matter how Im feeling)
peanut m&ms ( ditto to above)
cheese ( I actually like easy cheese )
potatoes with lots of butter
I sometimes add gluten free crackers for the cheese or sardines.

I will add all kinds of stuff to this to try out for variety.I really want to make my own pemmican sometime.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: for Bob on 11/09/2011 12:31:27 MST Print View

"what I believe you are talking about is the glycemic index."

So how many hours does it take to get the food energy digested out of a cheeseburger?

--B.G.--