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Amy Bithiah
(plantedbystreams) - F
weight of food? on 02/04/2012 14:53:12 MST Print View

How much does the food you carry in your pack typically weigh?

Clint Hewitt
(WalkSoftly33) - F

Locale: New England
Re: weight of food? on 02/04/2012 15:04:02 MST Print View

Depends on a few factors. But I typically shoot for 2 lbs which is more then I need on shorter hikes But I know is adequate.

Time Length of trip.
On longer trips your metabolism will start to pick up and more food will be needed

Level of exertion.
A trip with little elevation gain is going to require less food then one with alot. How hard you hike will also affect what you carry.

How big of a person your are.

How fast your metabolism is naturally.

Source of calories.
Fat has 9 calories per gram to protein and carbs which have 4.

Body Fat Stores.
If you have some extra "food stuffs" it can supplement your pack carried food.

Winter v Summer
Winter may require some extra food to stay warm.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: weight of food? on 02/04/2012 15:07:06 MST Print View

If you do a good job of stripping off the unnecessary packaging, you should be able to get your food weight down around 1.5 pounds per day. If you are a big person doing lots of miles, then that will be closer to 2 pounds per day. If you are a small person and if your total pack weight is not excessive, then you may get the food weight around 1.3 pounds per day. If you make poor choices for food, then add 50% more weight.

I just load up my bear canister with about 6 pounds of food, and then I weigh it as one item, and that is typically around 7.6 pounds.

When the food won't fit into that bear canister, I move up to a larger bear canister and repeat the process. Once the loaded bear canister goes to 12 pounds, then I have a problem and I need to plan a different route for fewer days.

--B.G.--

Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Presence
Re: weight of food? on 02/04/2012 15:50:16 MST Print View

1 pound per day.

I'm 6' and 150lbs with a reputation for being a porker. I use a mix of Mary Jane bulk meals and meals I concoct at home from foodstuffs purchased at the grocery store. I also dehydrate all my own fruit...for the satisfaction of it and to keep the weight down via moisture content (my dried fruit is 50-80% lighter than store purchased).

Edited by rustyb on 02/11/2012 11:30:36 MST.

Sumi Wada
(DetroitTigerFan) - F

Locale: Ann Arbor
Re: weight of food? on 02/04/2012 16:40:28 MST Print View

I'm a 5'2" woman, weigh about 140lb. My food almost always comes out to 1-lb per day. I dehydrate my own meals.

That's for 3-seasons; I'm not a winter backpacker but would probably take a little more in winter if I were.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: weight of food? on 02/04/2012 16:55:29 MST Print View

"How much does the food you carry in your pack typically weigh?"

19-19.25 oz/day for trips up to 10 days. I'm 5'7", weigh 137#, and hike on average 9-10 miles/day with occasional days up to 18 miles as the situation requires.

Daryl Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Re: weight of food? on 02/04/2012 17:13:11 MST Print View

I'm 67 years old, go 8 miles a day or 4 hours, whichever comes first and weigh 185 lbs. 1.5 pounds per night in the woods works for me.

When I was 25 years old I would do twice this amount of hiking and would carry 2 lbs per night in the woods.

I usually lose a couple lbs of body weight during a 5 day trip with this amount of food.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
"weight of food?" on 02/04/2012 17:14:02 MST Print View

For average hiking (<20mi per day, ~4-5k elevetaion change) I bring about 1.5lb per day. Adjust down for easier conditions or if you are smaller than 5'9" 175#, and up if you are larger. Duration makes you eat less for the starting week, then more. About 1.1pound per day for a week or so. About 1.7 pounds per day there after. This is only a ROUGH guide. As I get older I find that 1.7lb's per day is too much. Age, metabilism, activity, etc can all vary by as much as 50%.

Ben Wortman
(bwortman)

Locale: Nebraska
Food on 02/04/2012 17:32:51 MST Print View

I have been getting by with about 1.5 per day. I eat mostly freeze dried meals and granola/energy bars.

Edited by bwortman on 02/11/2012 18:30:43 MST.

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
It really depends on 02/04/2012 17:42:58 MST Print View

On short trips it could weigh anything, I have even taken in beer, steaks and baked potatoes. For a more "normal" trip with straight optimized BP food, I will take closer to two lbs a day (4000 calories.) That would be for a 25-30 mile day and I'm 6'2" 187.

For my thru hike I was closer to 3-4 lbs a day (6000-8000 calories a day) for mileage of 30+/day. But I was eating close to daily calorie expenditure, something I don't even attempt on a ten day or less trip.

It's interesting if you look at my pack weight when I left the Mexican border. My pack weighed 24 lbs consisting of 8 lbs food, 8 lbs water and 8 lbs gear. We obsess with the gear portion on this site and there was much bigger lightweighting opportunities in more efficient food and water, especially water.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: It really depends on 02/04/2012 17:56:29 MST Print View

"We obsess with the gear portion on this site and there was much bigger lightweighting opportunities in more efficient food and water, especially water."

Can't you just take freeze-dried water to save some weight?

--B.G.--

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: It really depends on 02/04/2012 18:09:41 MST Print View

"We obsess with the gear portion on this site and there was much bigger lightweighting opportunities in more efficient food and water, especially water."

How true! Excellent point.

Sumi Wada
(DetroitTigerFan) - F

Locale: Ann Arbor
Re: Re: It really depends on 02/04/2012 19:11:49 MST Print View

>> Can't you just take freeze-dried water to save some weight?

You bet! Just add water to rehydrate. ;)

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: weight of food? on 02/04/2012 19:49:52 MST Print View

Three seasons, typically 18oz (typically do 15-25 miles each day with 3-5k elevation change). In the winter I typically bring close to 2.5lbs.

--Mark

David Wills
(willspower3) - F
Re: It really depends on 02/05/2012 23:00:26 MST Print View

+1 to Greg. Glad to see someone admitting to bringing 3-4 pounds of food per day for thru-hiking and trying to match their caloric expenditures. I know I'm not alone now.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: weight of food? on 02/11/2012 04:01:34 MST Print View

I did not right the article posted below : ).
http://www.healthline.com/health-blogs/outdoor-medicine/backcountry-nutrition

"Backcountry Nutrition: How Much Food Should You Carry on a Backpacking Trip?

by Paul S. Auerbach, MD
Jan 9, 2012

This is another post derived from a presentation given at the 2011 Annual Summer Meeting of the Wilderness Medical Society. Liz Edelstein, MD gave an excellent presentation on nutrition in the backcountry. This is an “underserved” topic, in that nutrition is not emphasized enough in traditional medical school education, and there is a fair amount of misinformation about the topic. What follows is some of what we learned.

The three basic food groups with which we are familiar are proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. For the immediate energy needs, fats and carbohydrates are the main sources. Cutting through all the explanations, Dr. Edelstein informed us that for backpacking, a diet should be composed of 50 percent carbohydrates (500 to 600 grams per day) with “constant carb snacking,” 35 percent fat (200 grams per day) and 15% protein (65 grams per day). Different nutrition bars provide different ratios of these nutritional components, so it’s important to read the labels carefully.

How much food should you carry? On a standard trip, carry 3,500 food calories per person per day, which is approximately 2 pounds. In very cold weather, you might need 5,000 calories per day, which is approximately 3 pounds. If you wish to be more precise, for a routine backpacking trip, carry your weight in pounds times 22 to determine the number of calories you should carry and consume per day.

I loved to hear how good food improves morale, because I like to eat so much. Life is good when your food tastes good, you have enough to drink, you eat sufficient fiber to avoid constipation, you are able to avoid extreme hunger or fullness, and you ger to eat in an enjoyable social setting."

Edited by jshann on 02/11/2012 17:46:16 MST.

Buck Nelson
(Colter) - MLife

Locale: Alaska
As you can see, the amount of food needed really varies! on 02/11/2012 05:04:51 MST Print View

Some people, likely most, who carry 1 pound of food a day are going to be really, really hungry, and almost everyone will be losing significant weight if they are doing any kind of miles.

Most people who carry 3 pounds or more per day are going to find they have lots of food left when they get home.

Yet those amounts of food are perfect for some people as we've already seen.

I agree with what John Shannon posted: if you don't know how much food you require, you're not going to go far wrong by bringing 2 pounds of carefully chosen food per day, then adjusting on future trips based on the results.

Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Presence
Re: Re: weight of food? on 02/11/2012 09:05:43 MST Print View

That's good info but are calories like water in that "X" amount always weighs the same? In other words, one might have 3500 calories that weighs 2 pounds whereas the same amount of calories for another person may only weigh 1-1.5 pounds. I believe it depends on what type of food those calories are coming from and to what extent they were dehydrated. I may be missing something though.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: weight of food? on 02/11/2012 09:41:15 MST Print View

Of course you got 5 calories per gram of carb and protein and 9 calories per gram of fat, but you need some of each. You can have a little more fat to reduce over-all weight.

Plus you have other stuff - fiber, etc, but you need fiber too.

John Vance
(Servingko) - F

Locale: Intermountain West
Dropping food weight on 02/11/2012 10:03:33 MST Print View

I have found my food weight has been dropping over the years. For trips of less than 10 days I am at 17.5 oz and I add a bit more if going longer, but I don't add the food to the initial 10 days, just those beyond.

I have found my need for calories really dropping off over the years and quite often have to concentrate on eating the days food allocation. My 13 year old son can't seem to carry enough food so my food weight goes up on trips where he accompanies me.

One the PCT and CDT I carried 2.5lbs or so as it depended on what food was available at various food stops. I could hike for days on sugar back then but not now. I was also teased a bit for my everpresent jar of peanut butter I ate with a spoon. I also carried a large Gallo dried salami and ate so much of both I can't stomach either now. Well, unless the peanut butter is with chocolate.