How much do you eat when you are packing?

Becca

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So this question has come up in another thread lately, and I am curious to see what others think. How much food do you all plan/eat per day on backpack/hunting trips where you are working hard? I am curious about both the weights (I am hearing between 1 and 1.5lbs per day) and also the calories....

I will start...these are rough estimates, as the calories (especially in the MH meals) can vary. We try to save the higher cal meals for days we worked harder. Often also throw in a few extra snack/dessert items like a bag of m&ms, trail mix, or choc covered blueberries etc.

Breakfast
Instant Oatmeal Packets x2=
*(160cal x2)=320 cal
(1.5oz x2)= 3oz

Fruit/nut mix=
300 cal
2.5 oz

Starbucks Via=
0 calories
0.1oz
* *
Breakfast Subtotal: 620 calories and 5.6oz

Day Snacks (I usually allot about 4per day, but often don't eat them all)
Clif/Lara Bars/candy bars x4

250 calories x4= 1000 calories
2.5oz x 4= 10 oz

GU energy gels 2 per day
100 cal x 2= 200 cal
1oz x2= 2oz


Dinner
Mountain House Meal (Calories vary, but this was average...we save the higher calorie ones for heavy packing days and always allot a 2 serving pouch per person)
600 cal
4.8 oz

Grand total : 2420 calories and 22.4oz

Does this seem like enough? If you figure you burn anywhere from 300 cal/hr (for light hiking) to 600+ cal/hr (for steep terrain and/or heavy loads) if you hiked 6 hours you are looking at around 1800-3600 calories per day burned. That's a pretty steep calorie deficit, and seems to promote the potential for lost performance, especially on trips of a week or more.
 

frans

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My breakfast and dinner are the same, but I think I eat more during the day. A chocolate bar, fruit bar, some trail mix, some salami, baby bell cheese, pittah bread...hmmm...maybe not that much more in calories. Curious to see what others eat.
 

BuckSnort

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Thanks for starting this Becca, I'm curios to see what everyone else is eating... I'll post this here from the other thread..

An example of my daily food: 2 instant oatmeal packs and instant coffee for breakfast, a pop tart while glassing, top ramen for lunch, power bar snack, and either a mtn house meal or a homemade FBC of pasta of somekind, I usually break off a small piece of dark chocolate for desert.. That is about the most I ever eat in one day at altitude...

I seem to average about 16-20ozs of food per day.... I used to pack more but just don't have the appetite and end up packing a few days worth of food back..

Edit: I'm just starting/trying out the FBC method this year, so far I like it as an alternative to expensive Mt House meals..
 
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Lawnboi

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I cannot do 4 bars a day like you. I get sick of them after about day 2 that way. Everything else i do about the same, but mix it up a little bit more. Instead of all those bars i usually just have an extra MH meal. Im still looking for more easy options for food. I usually end up carrying a box of crackers to eat with my dinners.

I also make my own bars. I can add whatever i want to them to change up the flavor, and instead of 250 cal per bar i ramp that up to around 400.
 

robby denning

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I try and eat a similiar amount of calories as at home and enjoy a little weight loss while on the trip. Truth be told, I don't lose much as I do add a high calorie gorp (honey peanuts, dates, choc chips) at about 600/ day as I am burning more cals than at home. I'm a horse packer but do hike a lot once in the high country, but not buring all the calories backpackers are getting there.

I require about 2200 to maintain my weight and am eating around 2800-3000 per day once Im there, so roughly 800 extra per day and I'll lose a pound or two in a week's trip.
 

JNDEER

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I do not have exact weight or calorie details but I usually stay with the following:

Brekfast:
Cup or two of instant folgers coffee
1 Oatmeal brekfast bar
1 pre-packaged crawl

Snack:
Granola bar (the 100 calorie one, or any of the big box samsclub granola bars)
gatorade (powder)

lunch:
beef jerky, corn nuts, peanut butter and crackers, variety of granola bar/s. (on longer trips I wil through in a packet or two of tuna)
gatorade

dinner:
MH meal

Dessert:
rice crispy treat

(I also bring a few GU gels just in case we have a serious pack out)
 
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Becca

Becca

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I cannot do 4 bars a day like you. I get sick of them after about day 2 that way. Everything else i do about the same, but mix it up a little bit more. Instead of all those bars i usually just have an extra MH meal. Im still looking for more easy options for food. I usually end up carrying a box of crackers to eat with my dinners.

I also make my own bars. I can add whatever i want to them to change up the flavor, and instead of 250 cal per bar i ramp that up to around 400.

I should have been more specific Lawnboi, but to clarify we don't always just eat only bars in the daytime. We do mix it up with some other varieties of "day snacks" at similar weights and calories. Last year I bagged up single portions of peanut butter pretzels, homemade no-bake cookie bars, and even a few things of jerky. Guess I got tired/lazy putting my post together, but I should have been more specific...
 

Chesapeake

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I'm pretty close to whats posted but maybe not so structured.

I shoot for a 100 cal per ounce average and about 2000 cal per day.

Breakfast: Couple packs of instand oatmeal, some dried fruit, or maybe a cliff bar or 2 (really like the white chocolate macadamia nut ones), maybe a cliff shot with caffeine.
Snack: Jerky, dried fruit, or nut mix.
Lunch: Cliff bar or two, or Odwalla bar, or bagel w/tuna, nut mix, recovery drink mix (endurox, or accelerade)
Dinner: Mountain house pro (16oz vac pack version), pack of Idahoan spuds, recovery drink mix.

I also carry cliff shots or blocks, maltodextrin, electrolyte tabs to add to my drink ect... when on a big climb ect....

Some items I really like:

I take lots of dried fruit, pears, apples, prunes, to offset the constipation brought on by energy bars.
Cosco cashew clusters. These are tasty and 150 cal per ounce.
Idahoan instant spuds. Not much on callories, but easy, tasty and filling.
Fredmeyers carries in their bulk foods bins a few different energy blocks. They are nut based with chocolate as the binder. High cal., tasty and cheap.
A roll of bagels and tinfoil packs of tuna sandwich mix. (bagels are good for cals, and it breaks up the freeze dried duldrums.
Bagel, peanutbutter, bacon sandwiches. Very high cal. and protien. Perishable so only good for first day or so.
Almond butter. This is great for cals. You can put it on your bagels, or eat it plain by itself.
Honey, mustard, mayonaise, ect... packs from the deli. These are great for adding flavor.
Home dehydrated ground beef. This is easy, and can be added to your freeze dried meals to up cals and flavor.
Weight gain/mass builder mix, or recovery mix. Good for easy drinkable protien and calories.
Maltodextrin powder. Add to water as an energy source for big climbs (make sure to hydrate well).

I also make myself some Logan bars (google it) they are high cal, high protien, high complex and simple carbs.
I make a pemican type mix of dried cranberries and jerky also.
 
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Broken Arrow

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On my first trip I thought I had brought way to much but I eat about 2600 to 3000 a day just to weight the same so I will be looking hard to make or buy low weight high calorie food. I will eat it even if I don't like it if I'm hungry.
For me the best day that I felt satisfied and not hungry was...
MH for breakfast + 2 packets instant oatmeal a snack size baggie of trail mix lunch was a marathon bar snack baggie of trail mix + jerky a 5 hour and a snack bag of almonds dinner was a MH 2 portion plus 2 biscuits and that wasn't really enough oh plus 3 packets of folders intant coffee. I wasn't low on energy but in 2 1/2 days of hiking I lost 3lbs I drank about 2 1/2 2 liter bladders of water a day and could easily drink more.
 

Lawnboi

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IF anyone has any suggestions for different snack/ midday type stuff im all ears! I am usually a 2 MH meals a day kind of guy mainly becuase i cant get my calories eating bars and stuff.

I still remember my first trip. Breakfast and lunch were all bars. I walked in with a boat load of clif bars, and i walked out with them too lol. After about 10 of them i couldnt choke them down anymore.
 

DEW

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Mine sounds pretty much the same.. For a little variety I like string cheese,licorice , jolly ranchers, peanut butter crackers, cheese crackers, Dew
 

pyroducksx3

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IF anyone has any suggestions for different snack/ midday type stuff im all ears! I am usually a 2 MH meals a day kind of guy mainly becuase i cant get my calories eating bars and stuff.

I still remember my first trip. Breakfast and lunch were all bars. I walked in with a boat load of clif bars, and i walked out with them too lol. After about 10 of them i couldnt choke them down anymore.

I had the same problem with powerbars when I was deployed, I just grew to hate them.
 

RosinBag

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Don't overlook the straight up candy bars. Compare the labels and some are real similar to the "healthy bars" that are out there. One good one is a PayDay, with a bonus, you can't hurt it. They don't melt and if they get crushed they still look the same.

I want to see some of the people posting up that they only eat one pound per day. With some of the best foods out there, it can't add up to more than about 2000 calories a day using the typical back packing food. And there are many times I don't even get 1500 calories a day. If I get busy chasing animals or moving basins to find animals, I just forget to eat because I am doing stuff. I tend to eat when there is a lull in the day, so if there isn't one, it is a candy bar during the day and MH at night.
 
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Becca

Becca

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IF anyone has any suggestions for different snack/ midday type stuff im all ears! I am usually a 2 MH meals a day kind of guy mainly becuase i cant get my calories eating bars and stuff.

I still remember my first trip. Breakfast and lunch were all bars. I walked in with a boat load of clif bars, and i walked out with them too lol. After about 10 of them i couldnt choke them down anymore.

On several non-hunting backpack trips I have packed more variety of "day snacks", but the sad fact is they usually weigh more. Pilot bread crackers, bagels, pita bread and tortillas all pack well, and for fillings we have used foil tins of tuna/salmon (I often bring along single serving packets of mayo and relish to make tuna salad), peanut butter and jelly packets (Justin's nut butters make great single serving packets), and even blocks of cheese and salami or pepperoni (which does ok if you eat it in the first day or so). We continue to bring instant mashed potato packets (the loaded baked are a favorite) and also a wide variety of candy bars and nut mixes/clusters. Have also done Austin cheese or peanut butter crackers, as well as Keebler single serving snacks.

Just seems like real food weighs more than bars...we are planning a fly in sheep hunt this fall for up to 18 days, and have to have pack weights under 50lbs each (minus guns, binos and anything we can pack on our persons)...I will start weighing it all out in earnest sometime in July, but my guess is the "real snacks" will mostly be too heavy and have to stay at home...
 

Lawnboi

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Real food does weigh more! Shoot if im not hunting then ill bring along pancakes, precooked bacon, stuff for making biscuits. Iv been getting more and more creative lately.

But for hunting it does have to be quick and easy, and most of all it has to taste good enough that ill actually eat it!

One of the downfalls to being so lean, i have no fat to burn, so if i dont eat enough calories, i know i will burn out. I dont understand that 1lb a day thing, if i ate 1lb a day id look like starvin marvin by the end of a trip. I try to eat 2500+ calories a day.

A few things i forgot to mention. They taste great and are high in calories.

BP cheesecake! Expensive. The ONLY thing i like from BP. But man its 500+ calories of pure goodness. If i can eat one everyday i will. I had a bunch of them saved for the fall... but they taste so good i ended up eating them all already. Really give these a try. They mix up really well, and very easily unlike pudding, and they taste great. I may even experiment and add a little bit of whey protien to them in the future. They are not good for you, but calories are calories in my book.

Clif shot blocks... gummie candy with a kick. Be sure to get the ones without caffine! 200 calories, and i can eat them over and over again.

Bacon precooked and vaccum sealed... works awsome. I consider bacon a cured meat, so i dont really worry about spoiling. We also own a fancy vac chamber sealer, so i can seal them with lighweight bags, and seal them with absolutely zero air in them. When its cold i will warm up some water on the kifaru stove and dip the sealed bag in the water to heat up the bacon.

When im not hunting though skys the limit. Pancakes have got to be my favorite and easiest thing to do.

I really should be experimenting with my dehydrator. But fire academy this summer is taking up all of my time.
 

philw

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I always seem to lose 5+ lbs. on a week-long trip no matter what I eat. I try to stay close to what I eat at home, but that's not practical on a trip of more than 2-3 days.

Breakfast:

Granola with chopped walnuts added; instead of milk, lime cytomax poured over (sounds strange, but it's actually pretty good, discovered this by mistaking it for powdered milk in the dark one morning). Black coffee.

Snacks: Nuts (cashews, almonds, pecans) and dried fruit--non-sulfured apricots, unsweetened pineapple, mango, and banana. Trader Joes has the best deals, they have packages of unsweetened dried banana called "bananas flattened" that go for about $1.25 and contain the equivalent of at least 3-4 bananas.

Snack bars: Kind (fruit and nuts) or Probars (whole grain, fruit and nuts). Sometimes slathered with Justin's almond or hazelnut butters. A single Probar with a pouch of Justins has about 570 calories and seems to last a good long while.

Plus Gel packs for packing heavy loads.

Lunch: Whole wheat pita with cheese, salami, or I'll bring a can or two of sardines. Also, the little mayo/mustard packs for the salami and cheese.

Dinner: Mountain House supplemented with a tablespoon or two of olive oil or ghee and occasionally a pouch of chicken meat.

Desert: Dark chocolate bar, the higher the % cocoa the better.
 

BuckSnort

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Rosinbag, I am one who gets by with just a pound a day (Usually).. I just don't have the appetite to eat any more.. I am a bigger guy and can afford to lose some weight..And I like coming home with 5lbs off of my gut too...lol
 

Rizzy

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I probably don't eat what I burn because I usually come home lighter. But thats ok, I'm usually overfed at home anyways. I take anywhere from 3/4 to 1.5 pounds per day. Depending when and where I'm going and what I take. I like to change it up and have variety.

I like a nice hot breakfast like mountain house eggs and bacon, otherwise I eat trail mix or pop tarts
For lunch, lately It's been tortillas, string cheese, and pepperoni.
Dinner is instant refried beans and Knor rice, maccoroni and cheese, top ramen, or mountain house.

In between the bigger meals I eat trail mix and nutrition bars at will. I also forage the natural flora, fauna and fungi when the opportunity arises.
 

bowhnter7

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I usually take 2500 a day in 1 gal zip lock bags that way I see what I HAVE to eat. Almost every time I don't, so this year I'm only taking 2000 cals a day.

Usually it's powdered milk and cranola for a quick breakast with some coffee. The misc bars through the day and a MH meal at night. By day 3 I have to choke down the bars and that's where I start to loose the cals. I may take Aron's advise and take some of those instant taters for lunch.
 

RosinBag

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Bucksnort, that just means you pack less on your back and that is always a good thing.

Jeremy, the instant potatoes are a meal by themselves and taste pretty good also. Lightweight, easy cooking, just clean them out of your dish and off your utensil as soon as your done, they turn to some form of grout or concrete after they set up. If you take a couple pieces of sliced ham and dice them up in your potatoes it is almost like a home cooked meal.
 
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