Trail Food

2:16 p.m. on August 9, 2004 (EDT)
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11 forum posts


I am menu planning for an upcoming backpacking trip to Glacier N.P. My question is, how many calories per day should I plan on each person requiring?


12:58 p.m. on August 10, 2004 (EDT)

While I don't know the answer, I do know that you are going to have to give more information to get an educated answer from those on this board. Age and general shape of the people (buff or "full bodied")? How long will you be out (many can get by with fewer calories for a few days but need more calories if you are out for a long time)? Expected level of exercise (car camping or climbing or miles per day hiking?)

2:48 p.m. on August 10, 2004 (EDT)
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11 forum posts

Thanks for the suggestion, Paul. Here goes. Trekkers will be male in their low 30's in reasonably good condition. We will be averaging 10 miles per day for seven days through Glacier N.P. I'm trying to figure out about how many calories per day I should use to plan our meals for the week. I've got a good idea as to what food I'm going to get, I just need a calorie count to figure out how much.

9:29 a.m. on August 11, 2004 (EDT)

I've organized weeklong youth group backpacking trips many times. 16 yo men have the biggest appetites of anybody.
I plan 3500-3800 calories per day, which means all-you-can-eat evening noodle dishes. In addition to that, I give them each 2.5 full cups of gorp for 6 days, which I let them ration out to themselves. Some eat it all up first couple days, most don't.
If this were winter, you'd need more calories.

11:55 a.m. on August 11, 2004 (EDT)

Tricky... very tricky

If you count calories, you can chew until your jaw falls off and you may not get the "paper recommended" amount of calories. Well... unless you pack a bunch of fat. I like butter and olive oil. Nuts is another good source on paper (you have to chew really well, and... see how much of it is coming out on the other end when you dig your cathole).

Personally, I pack my own food even when I go with a group. I can eat what I like, when I like, and how much I like. I pack between 2 to 2.5lb of food per day. The key is to bring what you like to eat. Don't try new stuffs. You may want to consider having everyone pack his own add-water-only meals, and all you need to do is to boil water at meal time. Enjoy your trip.

June 23, 2018
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