“An army marches on it’s stomach.” – Napoleon Bonaparte
The same goes for backpackers. You will burn between 3000 and 7,000 calories on a day of strenuous backpacking. We have found it difficult to replace all of these calories during trips and you may actually lose a couple of pounds on longer trips. You won’t starve, and when you get back to civilization everything you eat will taste delicious!
Here is a list of the food we carried on a recent 5-day (4-night) hike in the High Sierra:
- Homemade oatmeal/honey/pecan breakfast bars
- ProBar meal bars (lunch)
- Backpackers Pantry freeze-dried dinners
- Beef Jerky
- Milk Duds mixed with pecans
- Cliff Bars
- Pay Day candy bars
- Instant coffee
- Maple Nut Goodies (regional candy)
- Dried fruit mix
- Hard candies
Breakfast was simple – we boiled water for coffee and had a cold breakfast bar. At mid-morning we’d eat some nuts and fruit. For lunch we kept it simple and ate a Pro Meal bar (which are our favorite commercial energy bars). We’d finish our day’s hike before 3 pm, so we’d eat a pre-supper snack of beef jerky and a Pay Day candy bar. For supper we enjoyed sharing a hot freeze-dried dinner, and for a snack we’d scrounge around in our bear canister for anything that looked good.
At the conclusion of this hike, we still had some Cliff Bars and candy left over. We wished we’d had more variety, so next time we’ll add some peanut M&M’s and salty chips. We concluded the last day’s hike by mid-morning and headed directly to a restaurant where we each consumed massive quantities of french toast, bacon, eggs, and hash browns!