How you can Fuel Your Hike


Performance Nutrition for Backpacking, Part 1: Optimal Trail Fuel

Video taken from the channel: GearSkeptic


How to Pack Your Backpack the Right Way | Outside

Video taken from the channel: Outside


Thru-Hiking Tricks of the Trade

Video taken from the channel: Darwin onthetrail


How To Resupply On A Thru Hike + My Trail Food for 2020

Video taken from the channel: Darwin onthetrail


How Much Fuel Should You Bring Backpacking? || REI

Video taken from the channel: REI


Best Foods To Take Hiking To Keep Your Energy Up On The Trail

Video taken from the channel: BackpackingTV


How to Train for Hiking || REI

Video taken from the channel: REI

The longer your adventure, the more food and drink you need to bring. To bring your food along, find a pack (backpack, hip pouch, etc ) that fits the demands of your adventure; size, pockets, water reservoir and comfort. As your hike times increase, be mindful of food-safety concerns. Fuel your hike. Written By Cassie Shortsleeve.

Date 03.15.19. Category Food. Tags.

Snack. Share. More info + What to eat, depending on the difficulty and duration of your adventure. Proper nutrition is an important aspect of both preand post-fitness routines, but in many. The primary (and most efficient) fuel for physical exercise is carbohydrate.

Though our bodies will be burning carbs and fat (and perhaps a little protein) for fuel during hiking, when we run out of carbohydrate we will bonk. Our focus then has to be largely on keeping our bodies supplied with enough carbohydrate to keep us going. Did you a second helping of pasta, bread, rice, cereal and other starchy carbohydrates the day before your hike? That’s how glycogen gets stashed away for later use.

Let’s define “decent” breakfast. Note the word “decent” tied to “breakfast”. That’s the key to maintaining energy level early in your hike.

1. A stove. Some people do choose to go stove-less, but if you’re new to the backcountry, you’ll probably find a hot, 2. Stove fuel. Your local outdoors store (REI, Cabela’s, Bass Pro Shops) will have this. Just make sure you buy the 3. A pot. For beginners, I’d recommend sticking with a. mix up your hiking nutrients to keep your energy flowing Your body is a hiking machine.

That means it’s built for walking hour after hour, as long as you keep fuel flowing through your bloodstream. However, not only is the added weight going to increase your car’s fuel consumption, the unusual surfaces of these accessories can also increase aerodynamic drag. Even so-called aerodynamic storage compartment shells can increase drag.

As you may already be aware, an increase in drag simply means your car’s engine will have to work harder. Oatmeal is one of the best breakfasts you can eat on any regular day, but will be additionally beneficial before a long hike. Because of the high fiber and carbohydrate content in oatmeal, it will keep you perfectly energized throughout your journey. If you’re not the biggest fan of oatmeal, try adding in honey, brown sugar, and/or fruits.

This means that the ideal hiker food, one that balances a high-carb (to refuel your muscles), high-fat (to burn as pure energy as you hike) load, really is that bane of the frontcountry: junk food. High-fat and high-sugar foods, even processed ones, turn out to be great fuel sources, ones your body will rapidly transform into energy. Whether you’ve got a $3,000 budget or a $10,000 budget for your hike, the goal is finding the sweet spot of saving money without feeling deprived. If you don’t know your budget, try to figure it out.

In 2017, running out of money was the second-leading cause of hikers quitting the AT and PCT, second only to injury.

List of related literature:

Condition yourself before starting the hike.

“Hiking Canada's Great Divide Trail” by Dustin Lynx
from Hiking Canada’s Great Divide Trail
by Dustin Lynx
Rocky Mountain Books, 2007

On longer hikes, take warm clothing, water, a torch and a cigarette lighter or matches for basic survival should you get lost.

“Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei” by Charles de Ledesma, Mark Lewis, Pauline Savage, Rough Guides (Firm)
from Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei
by Charles de Ledesma, Mark Lewis, et. al.
Rough Guides, 2003

When on a long hike I always give somebody my planned itinerary and resupply spots.

“Trail Tested: A Thru-Hiker's Guide to Ultralight Hiking and Backpacking” by Justin Lichter
from Trail Tested: A Thru-Hiker’s Guide to Ultralight Hiking and Backpacking
by Justin Lichter
Falcon Guides, 2013

I (Tony) put on my pack and approach the start of a fourteen-mile overnight hike.

“Qualitative Research: An Introduction to Methods and Designs” by Stephen D. Lapan, MaryLynn T. Quartaroli, Frances J. Riemer
from Qualitative Research: An Introduction to Methods and Designs
by Stephen D. Lapan, MaryLynn T. Quartaroli, Frances J. Riemer
Wiley, 2011

Bring along at least a gallon per person for all but the shortest hikes, more if the weather is hot.

“Fodor's The Complete Guide to the National Parks of the West” by Fodor's Travel Guides
from Fodor’s The Complete Guide to the National Parks of the West
by Fodor’s Travel Guides
Fodor’s Travel, 2016

When hiking uphill, add extra stress by carrying a pack with bladders or jugs of water as ballast; then dump the weight out before descending, relieving a fair amount of pressure.

“Extreme Alpinism: Climbing Light, Fast, & High” by Mark Twight, James Martin
from Extreme Alpinism: Climbing Light, Fast, & High
by Mark Twight, James Martin
The Mountaineers, 1999

On your hike, light, frequent meals are best.

“Sierra South: Backcountry Trips in California's Sierra Nevada” by Kathy Morey, Mike White, Stacey Corless, Analise Elliot Heid, Chris Tirrell, Thomas Winnett
from Sierra South: Backcountry Trips in California’s Sierra Nevada
by Kathy Morey, Mike White, et. al.
Wilderness Press, 2006

Delineate these boundaries on your map, and adjust your camping/hiking plans accordingly.

“Your Guide to the National Parks: The Complete Guide to All 59 National Parks” by Michael Joseph Oswald, Derek Pankratz
from Your Guide to the National Parks: The Complete Guide to All 59 National Parks
by Michael Joseph Oswald, Derek Pankratz
Stone Road Press, 2017

Allow up to an hour of hiking time to the approach.

“Rock Climbing New England” by Stewart M. Green
from Rock Climbing New England
by Stewart M. Green
Falcon Guides, 2015

If you want to hike until dark, bolt down a cold supper, and hit the trail again at first light, you just do it.

“Fly-Fishing the Rocky Mountain Backcountry” by Rich Osthoff
from Fly-Fishing the Rocky Mountain Backcountry
by Rich Osthoff
Stackpole Books, 1999

Alexia Lewis RD

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Heath Coach who believes life is better with science, humor, and beautiful, delicious, healthy food.

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  • Good stuff. I appreciate the concise instructions and the demo is well done. It looks like I’ve got some work to do. Thanks for the help.

  • Well done. Right to the point, mentioned that there will be variables that impact “Real Life” and showed the math so users can draw their own conclusions.
    Appreciate that this was not a “Sales Pitch” (heck, even used an older burner!).
    Thank you.

  • I”m always thinking about total calories and try to hit about 4000 calories a day. Yours looks a bit short. A few things I rely on: 1) light olive oil: I always carry a bottle and add 1.5 oz to breakfast and dinner meals. 2) Dehydrated and vacuum sealed mixed vegetables that I prepare myself: broccoli, brussel sprouts, mushrooms, zuccini and sweet peppers. Cooked, dried and packed at home. Great for GI health and nutrition. 3) Breakfast: a mix of granola, raisins, shredded almonds, dried milk, protein powder and olive oil a hearty meal requiring no cooking. Pack each day’s it in a sandwich baggie, add water and eat.

  • Superb video! Keep up the amazing work!

    A friend of mine pointed me to this video. I watch videos on scientific topics all the time. I expect them to include references to research papers. Yours is the first hiking/backpacking video I have ever watched that referenced actual research. One note, for the scientific videos, they tend to link the research papers in their video notes. Given that you are publishing research based content, you might want to do the same thing.

  • I started with $0 and hiked over 1000 miles of the AT this year. I played harmonica in town for food. So I would reccomend an instrument even if your not good at it the trail is a good place to learn.

  • You’re talking about training for power (which is by the way any training you do, I think you were reffering to strength) bit you ‘drown’ it in a sea of endurance based exercises so it has literaly no effect

  • I think many of us jump to conclusions without knowing what they’re talking about, a External frame backpack will be the best backpack you could ever carry on a thru hike…but most people will never know because this kind of backpacking takes more then somebody else’s advice to know how good a external frame backpack really is…for many people carrying a External frame backpack will realize how great a frame pack is after about 200 miles…but many people will never know this because they have been told by people how bad a External frame backpack is by people that have never used one!

    A External frame backpack, and waist belt system on these kind of backpacks make up for a little extra weight you might carry in a External frame backpack…you can still carry a Ultralight gear kit if you want… A External frame backpack carries most of your weight directly on your hips, and the shoulder straps keep the pack from falling backwards… You get more ventilation with an external frame backpack and you walk with a more upright position, you’re not bent over for 8 hours like you are with other kind of Packs…

    With a External frame backpack you do need to get your torso length correct… And you loaded a External frame backpack differently then a Ultralight pack…but taken care of these things will make your External Frame Backpack…the best experience you will ever have in backpacking -Friar Rodney Burnap

  • coming from offshore sailing racing (3000 to 5000 nautical miles) the food hear seems like hevan to the dehidtated anti-moral sludge that is wat i eat.

  • Thanks to the G Works adapter, I always start any & all trips with a FULL canister of fuel. I don’t have any partially empty canister laying around. When I return from a trip, I top of the canister until it is FULL.

  • I get the impression it doesn’t rain over there
    If it did where does your wet gear go? A wet tent in the middle of your pack or do you use a dry bag for your tent?

  • I really wished I loved peanut butter that much. It would be such great calories and fat. But I just don’t love it that much haha Thanks for all the suggestions!

  • I feel during your interpolation to find the relative macronutrient usage for 45%, you should have included the 85% VO2 max to model the spectrum more accurately, rather than just the 25% and 65%

  • I’ll stick to my solid fuels. They are readily available everywhere and I don’t have to carry an empty fuel canister around with me!

  • 0:00 Opening
    0:16 Introduction
    1:15 Metabolism basics (sources of muscle energy)
    1:58 Beyond just carbs (Introducing Protein for endurance)
    4:45 Introducing Fat as endurance energy
    5:07 Thermic Effect of Food (digestive efficiency)
    6:08 Fat as Fuel
    10:32 Backpacking energy breakdown picture
    11:01 Summing up: energy use during endurance exercise
    12:30 Briefly addressing fat concerns
    13:13 Hiking is calorie deprivation
    14:24 Developing dietary recommendations
    15:43 The 4 Eating Events during hiking
    15:58 Breakfast
    18:06 Glycemic Index and the Food Energy Relay
    21:03 The Optimal Trail Fuel Formula
    23:42 From Theory to actual food (the Food Chart)

  • Very informative video. Sometimes REI stuff is too top level. I appreciate this one getting in the weeds but still making it very clear and concise.

  • This video is awesome, but what really caught my eye is all the desk space devoted to firewood storage. That’s gotta be a code violation.

  • Skandinavia: lots of small water runs, but every once in a while you would risk getting water into your boots and going barefooted is awful when not used to pointy rocks. Solution: bring water shoes, I got some really low weight ones around 3 oz for 15 bucks. Also nice in the evening to give your feet a rest in uneasy terrain at camp.

  • My experience, best food, Salami, cheese and rye bread. The rye bread I used, 1lb loaf, about 8″ long and about 2.5 inches square. One sandwich made from this is good for half a day. But then again, I am only 71 years old and know nothing. Experience, caving, bush-walking, motorcycle touring, surfing, kayaking and general camping

  • 11:27 This must have been the fifth time I’ve discovered that the “nor” in “Nor rice sides” is actually “Knorr” when I saw the package. I grew up with this brand in Europe but we pronounce the K and even I know you can’t do that in English, it will not stick with this word!

  • WEATHER /TEMPERATURE VARIATIONS ARE A HUGE VARIABLE.! A stove can use 30% more fuel each boil when starting with very cold water and/or under windy conditons!

  • Thanks for sharing the investigation.
    But one interesting thing: She showed us the first weight 217g on the meter, but didn’t show us the 209g (intentially). Probably she have the number in mind she want show us before making this video. Therefore, better to your own experiment to be sure.

  • Darwin mentions several LOW CARB HIGH FAT (LCHF) foods. Some hikers may be considering LCHF as their primary food strategy. View link to this spread sheet for a breakdown of LCHF fare or close to it.

    Fascinating is the COST per 100 CALORIES and especially CALORIES per OUNCE. If 32 oz/2 lbs is a daily weight target for food, then choose foods that are at least 100 cal/oz. Many of these foods are Amazon sourced and could arrive via USPS if the words ‘PO Box’ are added to the usual General Delivery address. As new LCHF (or close to it) foods come to my attention, I’ll update the document until trail time. The biggest surprise for me overall, powdered eggs! GK