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:


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.


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.


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.

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: