AT Prep: Meal Planning

AT Prep: Meal Planning

January 21, 2015 Categories Appalachian Trail, Backpacking, Hiking

I’ve started testing out the trail foods I plan on taking with me as I hike the Appalachian Trail this year. Although I’m not going to go as in-depth as this, I’ve had a rough idea of what I was going to take for some time now, but haven’t actually taste-tested some of it before and that’s what I’m doing over the next couple weeks.

I don’t plan on buying much food as I go, so I’m getting mail drops roughly every seven days. Some things, like the Beef Jerky, I haven’t bought yet because I want the expiration dates to be as late as possible. And yes, I do plan on eating real food while in towns – even if it costs $20 a plate.

Here’s what I’m looking at right now:

Breakfast

  • Quaker Maple & Brown Sugar Weight Control Instant Oatmeal (the Weight Control variation for some reason has more protein per serving, so that’s what I’m going with; it has 7g compared to the normal 3g)
  • Fiber One Chewy Bars Oats & Peanut Butter / Oats & Caramel (I really like the peanut butter ones, but going to throw in some random caramel ones to give a little variety)
  • Pop-Tarts Toaster Pastries, Frosted Strawberry
  • Sun Maid Raisins, 1 oz boxes

Lunch

  • CLIF Bar (I prefer the peanut butter ones, but will probably buy a few flavors for variety)
  • Jack Link’s Beef Stick, Original, 1.5-Ounce Sticks
  • Jack Link’s Jerky, Peppered (I’ll be buying the 16 oz bags and splitting them out over a week. Again, I’m buying Peppered because it has the most protein per serving: Smokehouse has 12g, Original has 13g, Sweet & Hot has 14g, Teriyaki has 14g, and Peppered has 15g)

Dinner

  • Knorr Pasta Sides (Alfredo, Alfredo Broccoli, Chicken Fettuccine, etc. The Alfredo Broccoli tastes really good)
  • Idahoan Mashed Potatoes, 2 oz (I like Original because they’re 50 cents – just add salt or pepper; other flavors are $1 or more)
  • Stove Top Stuffing Mix (Turkey/Chicken flavors)
  • Maruchan Ramen Noodle Soup (Chicken/Beef)
  • StarKist Tuna Pouches, 3 oz
  • Chicken of the Sea Pacific Smoked Salmon Skinless and Boneless Pouch, 3 oz
  • Emergen-C, Gatorade, or Country Time Lemonade drink mix packet

Snacks

  • Snickers, 1.86 oz
  • Peanut M&Ms, 1.74 oz
  • Fruit Snacks, 0.9 oz
  • Peanut Butter & Cheese crackers
  • Almonds, 2 oz per day
  • Peanuts, 2 oz per day
  • Jif to Go Natural Creamy Peanut Butter, 1.5 oz + a couple saltine crackers

Schedule

Each day will be broken into seven eating periods, which I’ll try to space out for every 2 to 2.5 hours:

  1. Breakfast
  2. Snack #1
  3. Snack #2
  4. Lunch (will include stopping to rest for an hour)
  5. Snack #3
  6. Snack #4
  7. Dinner

Here is an example meal schedule I’ll go by:

  Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5
Breakfast CLIF Bar; Oatmeal, 2 packs; raisins, 1 oz (659 cal) CLIF Bar; Pop-Tarts, 2 pastries (650 cal) CLIF Bar; Fiber One, 2 bars; raisins, 1 oz (619 cal) CLIF Bar; Oatmeal, 2 packs; raisins, 1 oz (659 cal) CLIF Bar; Pop-Tarts, 2 pastries (650 cal)
Snack 1 Fruit Snacks; Snickers; (330 cal) Fruit Snacks; Snickers; (330 cal) Fruit Snacks; Snickers; (330 cal) Fruit Snacks; Snickers; (330 cal) Fruit Snacks; Snickers; (330 cal)
Snack 2 Fruit Snacks; Peanut M&Ms; (330 cal) Fruit Snacks; Peanut M&Ms; (330 cal) Fruit Snacks; Peanut M&Ms; (330 cal) Fruit Snacks; Peanut M&Ms; (330 cal) Fruit Snacks; Peanut M&Ms; (330 cal)
Lunch CLIF Bar; Beef Jerky, 3 oz (490 cal) CLIF Bar; Beef Stick, 1.5 oz (410 cal) CLIF Bar; Beef Jerky, 3 oz (490 cal) CLIF Bar; Beef Stick, 1.5 oz (410 cal) CLIF Bar; Beef Jerky, 3 oz (490 cal)
Snack 3 Almonds, 2 oz; Peanuts, 2 oz (680 cal) Almonds, 2 oz; Peanuts, 2 oz (680 cal) Almonds, 2 oz; Peanuts, 2 oz (680 cal) Almonds, 2 oz; Peanuts, 2 oz (680 cal) Almonds, 2 oz; Peanuts, 2 oz (680 cal)
Snack 4 Peanut Butter & Cheese crackers (190 cal) Jif to Go; 4 saltines (300 cal) Peanut Butter & Cheese crackers (190 cal) Jif to Go; 4 saltines (300 cal) Peanut Butter & Cheese crackers (190 cal)
Dinner (drink mix included in each) Ramen; tuna pouch (510) Stuffing Mix; Salmon pouch (630 cal) Knorr Pasta Sides; tuna pouch (720 cal) Mashed Potatoes; tuna pouch (640 cal) Knorr Pasta Sides; tuna pouch (720 cal)
TOTAL Cals 3,189 3,330 3,359 3,349 3,390

Breakfast and dinner will be my main two variations in food. Even if I had a Knorr Pasta Sides each day, remember that there are different flavors to give the variety. I still don’t want pasta every day and that’s why I have stuffing or potatoes in between each pasta variation.

I’m still working on it, but I’m pretty certain this is what I’ll go with while on the trail. Based on my height, weight, and what I plan on hiking each day, I think this should cover me. Every chance I get, which I’m hoping is every week or so, I’ll be devouring whatever is available for food in town (burgers, pizza, eggs, pancakes, Subway – everything).

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