Food Planning for my A.T. Hike

This article originally appeared on The Trek, which you can read here.

Interested in checking out my 7 day backpacking food plan?

Download the PDF below complete with total calories, calories-per-ounce and food weight in ounces – 7 Day Backpacking Food Plan: PDF Download

IMG_2351Don’t sweat the small stuff, they say. I doubt “they” have made a long-term backpacking food list.

We’ll chat about gear another time, but we all know that weight matters on the trail. You have to put everything you need on your back like a pack mule and carry it – even food. The trick is that a hiker can easily burn 3,000-6,000 calories per day, so you have to pack a calorie dense diet while trying to keep the weight to a minimum. Since 2lbs a day is the recommendation, my 7+ day hike means I’m looking at throwing an extra 14lbs on the ol’ torso and hoping it will get me over the 2510′-4461′ elevation range of the Georgia section of the A.T. So… ya – I need a plan. Thus, I created my 7-Day food plan which you can download below!

I started with the usual research: high calorie-per-ounce foods, common food items, quantity recommendations etc. and moved onto some specific stuff like where i could re-supply and/or pick up a package. My current food plan has me picking up a re-supply box somewhere around day 3 so i only have to carry 3 or 4 days worth of food at one time instead of seven days. Say goodbye to 6lbs+

Once i came up with a list of foods, I put them into a plan for each day to have some variety but also meet my calorie needs. Then i shopped deals online to see where the good prices were on this or that and if i could bundle food items with gear items i had yet to order.

I also ended up finding a few unique ways to save money on the trail. After all, backpacking can get pricey depending on gear and food etc. – I used search engine to gain reward points and ended up getting $10.00 worth of rewards by the time I ordered my gear and food. I also used an app called ShopKick to scan items while i was at the store and redeemed an extra $5 on my food purchase for the trip. If you have some time before you are ready to start your next trip, I recommend signing up and snagging the savings.

Sign up for Bing:
Download Shopkick: Shopkick App

Having saved a little money, I ordered most of my food online along with a few extra pieces of gear and will just have to fill in a few blanks on the list in order to put all my food into bags for each day and get it into my stuff sack nice and neat!

IMG_2350This will also be my first time trying some meals from PackIt Gourmet. As the name suggests, they offer some non-standard freeze dried meals. I’m hoping this will be a great break from the normal Beef Stroganoff, Spaghetti, Chili Mac usuals. I’ll let you know!




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