Hungry on the trail

9:35 a.m. on June 22, 2012 (EDT)
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i have notice that the first day or so on a trip i usually have no desire to eat.  don't know why but was curious if anyone else experianced this.

11:57 a.m. on June 22, 2012 (EDT)
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I tend to lose my appetite if I over exert myself or while hiking or backpacking in 85+ temps. This only last while I am active in the heat, though. I am hungry again once I've cooled off. 

5:04 p.m. on June 22, 2012 (EDT)
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I can start with two weeks worth of food on a trip and come back to the TH with one weeks left even after being out the whole 2 weeks. I often say during my working time I put on my winter fat like a bear, then live off it while I readjust to being back outdoors and re-seeing all the beauty around me, feeding my mind, heart and soul.

5:22 p.m. on June 22, 2012 (EDT)
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Perhaps you have stuffed yourself with high calorie road food on the trip to the trailhead?

It seems I eat less at meal time on the trail, but if the trail snacks, chocolate, and whiskey are considered, I eat at least as much.


5:54 p.m. on June 22, 2012 (EDT)
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When I have a hard trip coming up, I know I'll eat more for a few days beforehand (without really noticing I'm doing it) but my habits change as soon as I start. I eat breakfast, then pig out at suppertime.

When I'm actually hiking, though, I get by on bars and fruit snacks through the day. Large lunches just seem to weigh me down and I have an appetite for the energy but not the bulk.

9:12 p.m. on June 23, 2012 (EDT)
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I can lose appetite as well and after a few days out be totally wasted with a ton of extra food.  So I plan out everything and force myself to eat when it is time to eat.  I won't let 2 hours pass on trail without knocking back 200 calories.  In doing so I keep my energy level high.  After 3-4 days my appetite returns, but always the first few it is usually forced eating.

1:45 p.m. on June 24, 2012 (EDT)
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I have that 'problem' too Chris, but for me it's not really a problem as I can stand to lose the weight.  For me it is all about the amount of 'exercise' I get hiking that day, or days.  A light like to the beach and then setting up camp has little effect on my apatite, but I do try to eat less. 

Where as a long (for me) hike can often whip out my hunger for that day and the next.  I try to eat as I hike and I drink lots of water.  But diner at camp is usually a bust if it's been a long day.   At least for the first few days. 

My recent WCT trip was like that, but I ate anyway and just sorta forced it down.  About halfway through the trip I was not having to force anything down, but I still don't like eating a lot mid day when hiking.  Snacks seem to work a lot better.


3:29 p.m. on June 24, 2012 (EDT)
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I didn't typically have much of an appetite problem on my 2-3 night trips last summer, except a couple times I had indigestion (and "run and quickly dig a latrine") problems after I ate [freeze dried dinners].  On one occasion in particular, though, I actually did have an appetite problem. I was camped at 11,000 ft, and had the hardest time getting the food down.  This was on night 2 of a 3-night trip.  The dinner was (I forget the brand) supposedly "chicken and rice".  I suspect it was actually wet cardboard.  I just didn't want to swallow it.  I (foolishly I guess) forced myself to finish it anyway.  The "other problem" started shortly after that, and continued into the next morning.  What a horrible place for it to happen ... at 11,000 ft with rocky REALLY hard to dig ground...  

My lack of appetite continued thru that next day - I munched on some snacks while on the trail, and skipped dinner that night, this time camped at 9300 feet - no appetite.  That was actually one of my longer trail distance days (IIRC, it was something like 12 or 14 miles... part of it day-hiking up a pass, and part of it packing), and all I wanted to do was set up my tent and go to sleep, which I did.

The next morning my appetite was back... 

10:26 a.m. on June 25, 2012 (EDT)
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My appetite will vanish for a few days, then returns with a vengeance. I'm guessing the initial suppression is due to mild anxiety caused by such a drastic change in environment. Our modern built environment caters to our every need, and when it's peeled away, we have to face the fact that we're part of nature too.

When my hunger returns - look out!  Once after devouring my second breakfast of 6 pancakes, 6 sausages, 6 slices of bacon, home-fries, fruit and coffee, I looked around to find the entire restaurant silent, staring at me. I was pretty self-conscious, but not enough to slow down eating!

9:33 p.m. on June 25, 2012 (EDT)
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On a couple of trips I've been sick to my stomach the second day. I figured out it was caffeine withdrawal and learned to either bring a maintenance dose or go cold turkey a week beforehand.

May 27, 2018
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