Long Trail Food

Posted on July 13, 2017 by Chris Lumens in long-trail.

It’s under a month to go before my big hike, so I thought I should talk about my food choices a bit. I’m planning on hiking for nine days with a resupply on day four. On past trips I have used a lot of dehydrated food, but this time I am planning on going stoveless and only using cold water to rehydrate things.

With the exception of a package of mixed dehydrated vegetables (which are in the mail) and a package of tortillas (which will go bad), that’s what nine days of backpacking food looks like. This pile also includes snacks.

Hopefully the first thing you’ll notice is there’s a lot of stuff in there that looks like real food. There’s only one dehydrated meal - the Potato Samosas from Packit Gourmet, and even with that I’m going to use cold water to rehydrate. My hope is that using actual food as opposed to bags of dehydrated stuff will make me more excited by my meals.

I’m going to package each day’s meals in a one gallon bag. That gives me something to store the trash in as well. And then all the ingredients for a single meal that need to be rehydrated will be packaged inside a smaller bag. That gives me something to put water into, eat out of, and then seal up to keep the trash contained.

The Ingredients

Backpacking food tends to be kind of bland. I’ve picked a lot of spicy raw ingredients or added sauces to lots of things to make them more interesting. Here’s a list of the various things I’m going to make all these meals from:

** Trader Joe’s Everything Crackers ** Dehydrated tomatoes, carrots, jalapenos, and bell peppers from Packit Gourmet ** Dehydrated black bean flakes and cheddar cheese from Packit Gourmet ** Karen’s Naturals Hot Just Veggies from amazon ** Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut and Peanut Butter ** Dried cranberries from the grocery store ** Dried bananas, blueberries, cocoa nibs, and coconut flakes from Trader Joe’s ** Ramen from the grocery store ** Bulk couscous from the grocery store ** Carnation instant milk from the grocery store ** Granola from various sources ** Vermont Smoke & Cure pepperoni sticks ** Various Tanka and Epic meat sticks from Whole Foods ** Tuna and chorizo from the grocery store ** Hummus, tomato & basil, and jalapeno cheese from Packit Gourmet ** Potato Samosa dehydrated meal ** Tortillas from the grocery store ** Olive oil, hot sauce, agave, lemon juice, and mayo from various sources. ** Two ProBar meal bars from the grocery store


I’m not going to go into real depth about the meals I’m making, but here’s a quick overview.

Even though I’ll be out there for nine days, I won’t quite end up carrying a full nine days of food. On the first day I’ll get dropped off so I’ll eat a big breakfast in town. On the fourth day I’ll get picked up for resupply so I’ll eat dinner in town. The same things will happen on the fifth and ninth days. That’s basically two days of meals I don’t have to carry which should really help keep weight down.

A lot of these meals get duplicated.


I like a large, fast breakfast. Most of the time this is going to be granola. I don’t care about having a hot drink in the morning but I do typically have something with caffeine. I’m just going to be lame and use caffeine pills this time.

** Tortilla with Justin’s Hazelnut, cocoa nibs, banana chunks, and agave. I like to think of this as a backpacking crepe.

** Tortilla with coconut flakes, peanut butter, and Justin’s Hazelnut.

** Granola with dried blueberries and dehydrated milk.

** Granola with cocoa nibs, coconut chunks, and dehydrated milk.

** Granola with dried cranberries and dehydrated milk.

** Granola with everything.


For lunch, I’m going with stuff that is typically pretty fast and easy to make. For whatever reason I don’t like stopping for too long in the middle of the day. I’ve got places to be.

** Tuna with olive oil, mayo, relish, and Everything crackers. This is good for the end because tuna makes stinky trash.

** Potato samosas with mango chutney. I just really wanted to try out one of the dehydrated meals from Packit Gourmet. This one sounded like a good lunch. It will need tortillas.

** Two pieces of meat, a block of cheese, and Everything crackers.

** Two pieces of meat, two packages of hummus, and Everything crackers.

** Couscous with olive oil, Hot Just Veggies, and various seasonings.

** ProBars. These are for the fourth and ninth days before I get picked up. I’m going to want to just eat something fast and get to the car.


Dinner is the main event for me. I’ve gotten wherever I’m going and I have plenty of time to just sit around and eat. Even though these won’t require cooking, they will require more time waiting for them to rehydrate.

** Ramen pasta salad.

** Couscous with olive oil, Hot Just Veggies, and various seasonings. It’s not just for lunch anymore.

** Tortillas with beans, cheddar cheese, onions, jalapenos, and taco seasoning. It’s like a burrito, except you have to rehydrate everything.

** Couscous with olive oil, curry powder, dried cranberries, onions, and carrots.

The Snacks

I’m counting on snacks to make up a lot of my calories, especially around lunch time. I tend to get pretty bored of snacks so I’m not going to carry enough to have everything on every day. Instead I’m going to try to have one chocolate thing, one fruit thing, and one salty thing for each day but rotate what they are. Here’s what I’ve got:

** Various chocolate bars from Trader Joe’s, one per day ** One pound bulk honey sesame sticks from the grocery store, every day (not the whole bag) ** One pound peanut butter M & Ms from the grocery store, every other day (not the whole bag) ** One pound habanero BBQ almonds from the grocery store, every other day (not the whole bag) ** One pound honey roasted peanuts from Trader Joe’s, every other day (not the whole bag) ** Candied oranges from Trader Joe’s, every third day ** One pound apricots from Trader Joe’s, every third day ** Bing cherries from Trader Joe’s, every third day ** One tube of Nuun (basically Gatorade) from the grocery store, one water bottle per day