Author Topic: What food should I bring on a 6 day hike?  (Read 14807 times)

TimberRattler

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What food should I bring on a 6 day hike?
« on: March 10, 2010, 12:29:33 PM »
Hey all, I'm prepping for a 6 day hike coming up and trying to bring as little as possible. So I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on good food to bring along that wont bog me down and will keep my energy up.

Offline archer

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Re: What food should I bring on a 6 day hike?
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2010, 01:08:27 PM »
Try some of the emergency ration bars?

Offline Economan

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Re: What food should I bring on a 6 day hike?
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2010, 01:50:13 PM »
Six days worth of food is tough unless you're willing to spend some money on mountain house or unless you'll be fishing.  Whatever you bring, make sure you've got good protein and carbs.  Trail mix (nuts and dried fruit) is good for energy but can weigh a lot.  Will you be fishing at all?

Offline will1378

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Re: What food should I bring on a 6 day hike?
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2010, 03:24:23 PM »
so far, I would say not enough info to give advice. When you say as little as possible, do you mean no stove? small single burner multifuel stove? yeah, ration bars have a ton of calories, light, and keep your energy up. For six days though? not my style. obtaining meat via fishing would be sweet and I go on trips all the time using fish as the main course, however if you do not go to places where fishing is a sure deal (nothing should ever be taken as such), make sure you have enough food to sustain a 6 day hike sans food procurement.
My next thought is if you havent done a 6day hike before, maybe start out at 3 days with a menu that meets your needs (weight, satiety, energy levels, etc.) and see how that turns out. I am a big fan of insta potatoes, rice, anything that you just add water to. repackaged they can be small, lightweight, and easy to make (assuming you have water to boil).
another nice piece of info would be... are you picking up every morning and moving to a new location? or are you setting up a base camp and exploring a new region daily. That would influence my choice due to the majority of the food weight would be carried on day one alone and not everyday. The hike out, the food should be eaten by then.
Meal replacement powder might work well for 1 meal of the day.

TimberRattler

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Re: What food should I bring on a 6 day hike?
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2010, 07:56:41 PM »
Sorry for the lack of detail. And thanks to those who responded.

We are hiking approx 60 miles. Moving to a new site every day, the terrain is rough and we want to be as light as possible because the hills are so steep. No fishing on this trip. The only body of water is 30 miles in and we dont have licenses.

We have done the first 32 miles of this trail before. The previous time we brought along a ton of peanuts and trailmix, along with muffins and a full bag of cornbread. We also had a few apples and bananas. We realized quickly the banana's were a mistake, but the apples worked well so we will replace bananas with pears this time.

We will not have a stove or basically anything to cook with other than fire.

Offline zackandjen2004

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Re: What food should I bring on a 6 day hike?
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2010, 07:59:34 PM »
will1378, if you're not carrying a stove--"going cold" as the long distance hiking community says--I would recommend the following:
1. Gatorade mix.  It has calories and electrolytes.  If you should get sick for any reason and can't hold down food, this may be a lifesaver.  Budget for 1 serving per day.
2. Bars. Protein bars and, yes, candy bars.
3. Beef jerky. And dental floss.
4. GORP.  Walmart actually has tasty mixes. Or do something like almonds and dried cranberries.
5. Flour tortillas and peanut butter. And a sturdy spoon for spreading, like from Wendy's or an MRE.
6. Something in the salty/crunchy food group.  I take potato chips, crushed and eat with a spoon or just pour from the original packaging.  Or Triscuits. Or Wheat Thins.
7. Something sour. You can see the heavy salt and sweet in the above menu.  A simple gummi worm or stick of gum can lift morale after 4 days of the above.
As for how much of what to take, estimate your daily calorie needs by taking into account your current "reserves" (weight), level of fitness, total packweight, anticipated miles per day and terrain.  If your goal is to get from point A to point B on an established trail, you're going to spend most of your time walking.  If you're going to be bushwacking, you'll be moving much, much more slowly, but still be on your feet most of the day.   If your goal is to carry as little as possible, I would recommend about 1,500 calories MORE per day than your current weight/activity level requires.   Exercise actually suppresses appetite.  Let’s say you need to eat 2,200 calories a day to maintain your current bodyweight.  You’d want to carry 3,700 calories a day.  

Will you be hiking on the AT, by chance?  If so, I can advise further.  Just send me a message.

TimberRattler

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Re: What food should I bring on a 6 day hike?
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2010, 08:21:39 PM »
Wow, thanks for all the advice.

But no, we will not be hiking the AT. Not yet at least.

Offline zackandjen2004

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Re: What food should I bring on a 6 day hike?
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2010, 05:11:21 AM »
When is your hike?  This spring? This summer?

If you are going in the next month or so in the midwest, you should seriously consider "going hot."  A hot meal at the end of the day is a very, very good thing.  Not to mention that your ability to stave off hypothermia is better if you have hot liquids.  It would be unwise to go cold before May.

If you brought a Walmart grease pot (no handle--use your bandana or a spare sock to grab), you'd have a container capable of heating water.  Esbit tabs are brilliant.  Make a potrest from a couple of small rocks or sticks, find something not-too-wet to place your Esbit tab on, light that sucker, and you've got hot water in minutes.  Only use your fuel in an emergency...like hypothermia.  This is commonly preceded by the "umbles"...stumbles, mumbles and grumbles. 

If I may...what other efforts are you making to lighten your load?  Is this your second backpacking trip?


Offline Ranger Dave

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Re: What food should I bring on a 6 day hike?
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2010, 08:16:28 AM »
Timber rattler
This is what I use to carry when I worked Wilderness Therapy in Utah for a 7 days
 7-10 lipton noodle dinners or beans and rice
7 -10 packets instant oatmeal
half pound block of cheese
gatorade mix (5 gallon mix in a ziplock bag) good for at least 2 qts a day
trail mix
beef jerky
flour tortillas

I have to admit you will not gain wieght however I was in the best shape when I was doing this

Ranger Dave

Offline Economan

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Re: What food should I bring on a 6 day hike?
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2010, 10:44:22 AM »
half pound block of cheese

Ranger Dave

Cheese?  It'll keep?  Never done that, but definitely will if it'll keep.

As long as you have water, I'd say go heavy on anything that can be rehydrated (the Lipton soup packets are a good idea), and absolutely bring a healthy ration of nuts.  Nuts are high calorie - high energy foods (I like sea salt and vinegar almonds the best).  Be careful and mindful of your salt intake.  You need enough, but not too much.  The gatorade is always a great way to take in electrolytes.  I usually dilute mine to half the recommended dose so it lasts all day long. Partly becuase, even with a filter, sometimes the water tastes like a bucket of yuck (I got some that had sulfur deposits... it filtered out but the taste wasn't totally gone).  There are some great recommendations on here.  Keep us updated and take some pictures to post after the hike!

Offline Ranger Dave

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Re: What food should I bring on a 6 day hike?
« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2010, 12:07:46 PM »
Cheese?  It'll keep?  Never done that, but definitely will if it'll keep.

Economan cheese would keep 4-5 days before getting oily in the summer months

Ranger Dave

Offline Economan

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Re: What food should I bring on a 6 day hike?
« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2010, 05:53:40 PM »
I love cheese... I'm going to give it a try!  That just blows my mind!  +1 for the tip!

Offline zackandjen2004

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Re: What food should I bring on a 6 day hike?
« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2010, 09:17:51 PM »
Yes!  Cheese!  Cheddar is good and dense.  Also... summer sausage.  You might take these proteins instead of PB.  The one little drawback with cheese is pulling out the knife to cut it.  Of course, you can just gnaw it... :-) but a knife will help you portion it.

Offline ladieu

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Re: What food should I bring on a 6 day hike?
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2010, 02:16:31 PM »
for backpacking i like instant oatmeal packs a lot for breakfast, mountain house is great and light, backpackers pantry, or any other dehydrated backpacking food

Dehydrated food is key


Hey, checkout my backpacking gear thread... might give you a few ideas...

including a super light stove.... I packed for years with no stove and just boiled water over the fire with a small aluminum tea kettle and any stick handy to fish it off the coals.... having said that... get the stove
http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=14518.0

« Last Edit: March 19, 2010, 02:23:29 PM by ladieu »

Offline portwand

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Re: What food should I bring on a 6 day hike?
« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2010, 02:33:04 PM »
Here is another great website for cooking ideas when on the trail:
http://www.trailcooking.com/

Offline ladieu

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Re: What food should I bring on a 6 day hike?
« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2010, 02:46:00 PM »
When I'm doing anything longer than 2 days I cook my lunches too.   It takes a few extra minutes, but dehydrated food weighs SO much less than anything else.   I like instant soup packets too since I can hydrate and get some food in the same packet.

This is my favorite: http://www.rei.com/product/510144

I've tried a bunch of the mountain house and that one is what i crave at the end of a long day.

I've tried a bunch of desserts... this one is great
http://www.rei.com/product/610187

Granola is high in calories and is good with some powdered milk!

My power breakfast recipe

1/2 cup instant oats (not the packet, just the plain oats)
1/2 cup crushed pecans
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 serving of whey protein powder (chocolate or strawberry)

glass of powdered milk (i don't mind drinking it plain)


On the trail I always have a supply of nature valley granola bars.. .they are hard so they won't freeze or melt (depending on when your out)

... a basic trail mix with the m&ms or whatever.

beef jerky...

damn, I need to plan a trip soon! making lists always gets me excited to get out and do stuff.

Offline sdcharger

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Re: What food should I bring on a 6 day hike?
« Reply #16 on: April 08, 2010, 09:05:44 PM »
Power bars and such things are gross after a few days.  You are also supposed to drink copious amounts of water after eating them.  Bring stuff that tastes really good and packs plenty of fat and protein.

M&M's for chocolate fix
GORP
Oatmeal raisin cookies
granola bars
peanut butter and some durable crackers or bread
salami and hard cheese

Just remember, the more dry the food stuff, the more water you need.

Offline TwoXForr

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Re: What food should I bring on a 6 day hike?
« Reply #17 on: April 10, 2010, 02:34:16 PM »
Ramen noodles is a cheap way, and other types of instant noodles and such.  And I love oatmeal in the morning but I usually repackage it in a ziploc plastic baggie to keep it dry. 

Dehyrdrated fruit at the super market, if you do not have your own dehydrater. 

Mountian House freeze dried foods and others you find at such places as Dick's Sporting goods, REI or EMS.   

What is you water resupply looking like, has water been running in the area lately.

Priceless advice for backpacking is "The Complete Walker"  I think it is up to volume 6, by Colin Fletcher.   




Offline benjaminbrasel

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Re: What food should I bring on a 6 day hike?
« Reply #18 on: April 25, 2010, 02:06:42 PM »
On longer trips weight is always an issue.  But one thing that I have been doing for years is freezing a couple of steaks the night before I leave, and packing them in.  It's a little heavy; but worth it when you throw them over the fire after a nice hike.  I am in GA so if they stay frozen here you shouldn't have a problem with them spoiling. ;D

Offline chrisdfw

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Re: What food should I bring on a 6 day hike?
« Reply #19 on: May 05, 2010, 11:58:16 AM »
Peanut butter is very calorically dense. something close to 100 calories per tablespoon.
No refrigeration, no cooking, stores well, not temperature sensistive.


Offline andrebeergog

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Re: What food should I bring on a 6 day hike?
« Reply #20 on: August 14, 2010, 10:46:22 PM »
I have been on many 5-6 night backpacking trips, mostly in the North Cascades and the big National Parks. 

Dinners:

The first night I always bring frozen meat.  I will deep freeze a steak or hot dogs and some sort of veggies, anything with a ton of protein in it. By the time you get to your first camp it will be de-thawed and ready to eat.    I will also sometimes pack a beef log and cheese for the first night.  This will also shed a bunch of weight from your pack for the 2nd day.  For the remaining evening's meals I'll bring 1 20oz freeze dried meal for each night.  I always get a little hungry before bed so I'll always pack some top ramen, lipton freeze dried soup packets, or Miso soup packets.

Breakfast:

For breakfast every morning I will have oatmeal with freeze dried berries or berries I pick on the way and a little pre-mixed protein powder and; coffee of course! 

Lunch:

For lunches I usually will do some sort of pasta or rice instant meal.  I always add some of the dehydrated potato flakes to it to add some base and thicken it up a bit.  Also good for lunches is the 2 minute mac and cheese that you just add hot water to. 

Trail Food/snacks:
For trail snacks I'll always bring some sort of hard candy (Jolly Ranchers and life savers are my favorite), Peanut M&M's rock and aren't terribly heavy, tons of beef jerky (protein!).  I don't waste my money on the power bars or cliff bars.  I just grab a box of Whatamacallit's candy bars (they weigh almost nothing and give you tons of energy).  I stay away from the trail mix or GORP as some call, it weighs a ton.

Fluids:

For water we always bring at least 1 water filter (at least 2 if more than 2 people are going).  Water filters are great for on the trail quick refills.  I have used Iodine tablets before on the trail but you have to wait for these to kick in before you drink.  If you don't have a water filter I would bring at least 2 of the small bottles of Iodine tablets and something to use as a pre-filter (bandanas or coffee filters work well).  I also like to bring some of the powdered drink mixes.  I like the Gatorade mixes.  I would stay away from the mixes that add a ton of sugar, it's just extra weight without much trail food value.  If you are going to boil your water make sure you understand the boiling thresholds at altitude.  A good case of Disentary will ruin a trip!!

Offline Heavy G

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Re: What food should I bring on a 6 day hike?
« Reply #21 on: August 15, 2010, 09:56:00 AM »
MREs.  Field stripped of course.

Offline The Fishin Magician

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Re: What food should I bring on a 6 day hike?
« Reply #22 on: August 17, 2010, 08:51:20 PM »
Small pot to boil water in, and...

B-fasts: Instant grits or oatmeal

Lunches: tortillas-- with peanut butter and Nutella, or retort-packaged tuna and little fast food mayo packets

Dinners: Mountain House Pro-Pak meals. My favorites are the lasagna, spaghetti, chicken and rice, chili mac w/beef and beef stew

Snacks: trail mix/GORP, jerky, dried fruit, Clif Bars

Gatorade drink mix to replace salts/electrolytes
« Last Edit: August 17, 2010, 08:53:40 PM by The Fishin Magician »

Offline Greywolf27

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Re: What food should I bring on a 6 day hike?
« Reply #23 on: August 17, 2010, 09:24:16 PM »
I imagine, since you first posted back in March, that you have already been on your trip and have returned.  I just spent 5 days in Denali (two weeks ago).  Food was Mountain House, biltong, trail mix, wasa crackers, nature valley granola bars, and instant oat meal for breakfast.  I had also taken along two cans of Spam and two tins of sardines (Spam for the g/f and me and the sardines for me).  This was extra weight that I probably could have done without, but it was protein that did not have to have boiled water to prepare.