Eating On The Trail

Prepping our snacks and meals before we hit the trail this weekend. Image courtesy of Simon Howden and FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Prepping our snacks and meals before we hit the trail this weekend. Image courtesy of Simon Howden and FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

I need to pick up some grub for our backpacking excursion this weekend. I’m keeping it real simple and looking to prep some of the snacks before we head out. The nice thing about backpacking is that I get to eat foods I normally avoid. You expend so much energy hiking that you need your carbs.

That doesn’t mean a free for all on this trip. Nope. Oatmeal with dried fruit in the morning is as wild as I’m going to get.

Balancing Nutrition With Bulk
You burn up to 5,000 calories a day backpacking. To keep your energy levels up, the rule of thumb is 1.5 – 2 lbs. of food a day.  It may seem like a lot of food, but trust me, backpacking works up a massive appetite.

For backpacking, I eat foods loaded with complex carbs and protein that are quick eats, likes nuts and dry fruits. During the hike, I need to feed my muscles.

The difficult part of backpacking is how much to carry. It’s all about weight. You want enough food and a little extra for delays. But packing smart is 90% of the battle. I’ll pack the food in little baggies. No cans or store packaging. Just lightweight and low-bulk foods.

So, what’s on the menu?

  • Snacks – Apples, home-made trail mix (peanuts, M&Ms, raisins, pretzels, pumpkin seeds)
  • Lunch – crackers, sausage and cheese, and peanut butter sandwiches (for the hubby)
  • Dinner – Hot dogs, home-made double chocolate bread (yum!), herbal tea (double yum!!)
  • Breakfast – Instant oatmeal and dried fruit

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Fatpacking In West Virginia This Weekend

One of our Shenandoah hiking escapes! Enjoying the overlook and beautiful scenery.

One of our Shenandoah hiking escapes when I was 80 lbs. heavier! Enjoying the overlook and beautiful scenery.

I’m going hiking in West Virginia on Saturday with friends and of course the Carbivorous Rex. It’s my first overnight excursion in more than a year. Sweet!

I’m 80 lbs. lighter than our last outing. While I don’t want to over do it, I’m excited because it doesn’t seem as daunting as past trips. With great weight loss comes great confidence.

Tonight we’re digging out our gear – backpacks, tent, sleeping bags, compass, water filter, first aid and boots.

Hiking really is a full body workout. From rolling hills to rocky terrain to crossing creeks, you use muscles you never knew existed. You move slower and the ground you walk on is less predictable.

I remember one hike where I climbed a small part of the trail – maneuvering over large boulders for about 30 feet.  I don’t remember how long it took for me to climb it (then it seemed like an eternity), but I felt exhilarated.

Hiking does that to you.

And let’s face it, hiking offers something that walking can’t – beautiful scenery. With fall starting, I’m expecting to see some color in those trees. Depending on which trail we follow, fishing is a big possibility.

Just hoping the weather gods smile upon us this weekend.