TRAIL FOOD; THE STRANGEST DIET ON EARTH

 

I had a rough idea of what my diet was going to look like during my hike, and it sure didn’t look like fine dining. It wasn’t even going to be close to what you’d eat during a regular camping trip. Every piece of planning is based on a weight vs functionality scale. From gear to clothes, every ounce is counted, and it adds up very quickly. Especially when you’re aiming for a base pack weight of20-25 pounds (which is considered to on the heavier end of the lightweight backpacking scale). So, keeping that in mind, and combining it with the fact that I have no access to refrigeration, and the only cooking appliance does nothing more than boil water, it was obvious I’d be living on dehydrated, calorie dense foods (ugh.. so many commas). I began to read blogs and articles outlining the dietary needs of long distance backpackers. I learnt that their needs range from 3000-8000 calories per day. That’s crazy wide spread, and nearly impossible to work with; partially because the majority of the articles were written by men who need many more calories than women on an average day, and also because the articles didn’t detail the hiker’s body weight, pack weight, and miles covered per day. All of which greatly influence your caloric needs. So, unscientifically, I determined that I will aim for 100 calories per ounce of food (think rice, Ramen noodles, peanut butter, nutella, cliff bars, tortillas, dried fruit, and candy). If something falls below that ratio, I won’t be packing it. This puts the weight of my food at no more than 2 pounds per day, which is something that needs to be taken into consideration when figuring out how much your pack will weigh when fully loaded with your gear, clothes, misc. items, food, and water. At this point I have planned to mail out only one resupply box. So, I’ll be starting off with approximately 10 pounds of food that will have to last me one week. Yay.