Post on food planning for multi-day hikes & thru-hikes
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Andrew Skurka
(askurka) - F
Post on food planning for multi-day hikes & thru-hikes on 01/31/2012 08:36:36 MST Print View

To other power-users of Excel, this post may not be informative. But for new backpackers and non-users of Excel, it could be helpful.

Food planning for multi-day hikes & thru-hikes

Intro...

I plan for a trip in two stages:

1. The theory. On my computer, I develop, refine, and perfect every aspect of the trip, notably my gear, supplies, route, and logistics. To do so, I rely heavily on applications like Excel, Word, National Geographic TOPO!, and Google Maps.

2. The tangible. I obtain everything that is a prerequisite to start. For example, I order my gear, bottle my stove fuel, print my maps, and reserve my air flights. This stage can be intimidating because I am now committing my financial resources, not just my time.

In the remainder of this post, I want to explain how I theoretically plan my food for multi-day hikes and thru-hikes.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Post on food planning for multi-day hikes & thru-hikes on 01/31/2012 09:10:24 MST Print View

Very nice. Thanks Andrew.

spelt with a t
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
Thanks on 01/31/2012 09:54:15 MST Print View

That was very helpful to compare against what I've been doing. Thank you.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Post on food planning for multi-day hikes & thru-hikes on 01/31/2012 10:22:37 MST Print View

You mean you don't randomly cover your kitchen counters in piles and piles of food along with boxes of bags ;-)

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Post on food planning for multi-day hikes & thru-hikes on 01/31/2012 16:32:41 MST Print View

Sarah: "You mean you don't randomly cover your kitchen counters in piles and piles of food along with boxes of bags ;-)"

My food preparation (mostly dehydrating) is being done now, so I will have enough meals to last through the backpacking season. I don't want to be dehydrating when the outdoor temperature is 95*F (already tried that--if you must, run the dehydrator in the garage). I bag individual meals as I prepare them and store them in the freezer. I have planned most of my spring/summer/fall trips, so I know approximately how many meals I need. I'd rather have a dozen extra meals than be up all night just before a trip! (Yes, the latter has happened!) In the freezer, the extra meals will keep for the following year, or I can use them as emergency food.

I use my dining room table and the piles are not random! I divide the table into quarters: 1/4 breakfasts, 1/4 lunches/snacks and 1/2 dinners. I then stack each section by variety. (Obviously, I have more variety for dinners than for the others.) I then walk around the table with my OP sack picking up the appropriate number of meals for the trip. What I don't pick goes back back into the freezer. It helps that I live alone so I can eat somewhere besides the table!

A ping-pong table or a rented folding table would also do the job if you need the dining room table for eating.

I like Andrew's plan, although since I don't go on long expeditions, mine is a lot simpler!

Edited by hikinggranny on 01/31/2012 16:37:28 MST.

Sabine Funk
(SabineFunk) - F
planning?? what is that??? on 02/02/2012 11:15:57 MST Print View

Wow, I understand making all the lists for an expedition. But for the usual backpacking I never thought about that. I just estimate the days I'll be out there, add one for emergency and go shopping.
I can't even do a lot of planning - my backpacking trips usually last 2 months so when I get into a town (where I've never been before) I just enter the supermarket (I don't now what they might have for me) and see what I can get...