Have you ever tried to work out the percentage of calories per ounce? (Bonus points if you can then convert it into grams)Whilst shopping do you look at a box and wonder how small you can compress it once you get the food out of the box?
If the cooking instructions is anything more complex than ‘add water’ do you think to yourself “useless”Are you convinced that ‘Iced Frosting’ will make a good lunch as it’s over half the calorie RDI in one tub?
If you answered yes to 2 or more of those questions then you have ‘Trail food syndrome’. The RDI (regular daily intake) for an average adult is around 2000 calories, this they will burn off over the course of the day going about their business. Most people will fill the RDI easily with a couple of good meals, some snacks and a few drinks. On the trail however every extra kilo you carry makes your work harder. The more you carry, the slower you go, the greater your exertion conversely the more food you need.. A kind of catch 22.The average hiker is burning a lot more than 2000 calories a day and as weight is at a premium shopping becomes an exercise in not “what will taste good?” rather a more prosaic mindset of “how am I going to get the calories?”
Some people don’t mind carrying heavy packs and going slow. I’ve met people walking who carry tubs of salt/sugar, fresh produce, meat etc.. They have big packs.. it looks kind of painful.
Me I sort of have a standard menu when I’m on the trail..
Breakfast – 2-3 little oat satchets with dried fruit, generally cold but sometimes hot if I brew up a cuppa as well
Smoko – muesli bar(s)Lunch – Dry biscuits and vegemite (almost out.. it’s going to be a sad day when that happens), chocolate bar
Arvo snack – more muesli/chocolate bars.. sometimes jerkyDinner – Pasta pack & tuna pack, or double pasta/rice packs. If it’s the first night out of town then maybe something a bit special (heavy).
It’s a pretty grim menu, it’s all processed which some of my friends back home will note with disdain but trust me it tastes really good when you’re hungry. MmmMmm.The menu I’ve described still doesn’t cover your RDI so I’ve had to balance this by making a pig of myself whenever I go into town.. something I’m about to do right now… No tuna packs for dinner tonight…. yeeha