8 Foods You Will Avoid After Hiking the AT

Hikers love food. Hikers love town food. Hikers do not love hiker food.

If you are a thru-hiker or long distance hiker on a budget, you probably ate a lot of this stuff while hiking in your attempts to get enough calories and protein in your diet. You were probably ready to swap out hiker food for regular food the day you finished your hike. If not, you are either an alien, didn’t indulge in fresh fruits and veggies before your hike anyways, or found a way to pay for and carry the weight of real food on the trail. Good job, your body thanks you and I envy your self control. If you are anything like me, you probably never want to eat or even be in the presence of these popular hiker foods… until your next long distance hike.

1.  Ramen noodles and/or pasta sides.

You have already exceeded the maximum lifetime limit intake of MSG. Actually, you probably doubled it. Maybe you should see a doctor.

... I did get tire of it.
… I did get tired of it.

2.  Poptarts/ dollar store toaster pastry

Things you know about Poptarts: 400 calories per pack, lightweight foil packaging. It’s probably best if the rest remains a mystery.

Poptart wrapper

The foil packaging has personality.

3.  Peanut butter

Let’s be honest, you put it on everything. You also eat it right out of the jar with your spork, fingers, or hobo spoon ( aka a semi-clean stick). Oh, and you can forget the natural stuff since it usually comes in a glass jar.

Dear Skippy, why is my peanut butter only 60 percent peanuts?

Dear Skippy, why is my peanut butter only 60% peanuts?

4.  Clif bars or other  energy bar

A not-so-mouth-watering blend of chalk, grit, and sadness.

dry cracked ground in PA

Your tongue that time you tried to eat a Clif bar for breakfast.

5.  Snickers

Or your choice of high calorie, saturated fat-laden, cholesterol-raising, chocolate-covered 89 cent bar from Dollar General.


Yes, there is a dog cleaning out my cook pot for me in the background.

6.  Tuna packets

Or Spam packets (yeah, that exists). You might have mercury poisoning… maybe get that checked out.

Getting creative with tuna packets: goldfish + spicy Cheetos + edamame.

Getting creative with tuna packets: goldfish + spicy Cheetos + edamame.

7.  Candy

Hard candies, gummies, sweet, sour, rolled in sugar, covered in chocolate, artificially colored, AND artificially flavored. If it wasn’t for all the walking, hikers would be diabetic and possibly toothless too.

Still not sure what “Juice Filled Fun Bugs” are, but I ate them and they weren’t that bad.

8.  Pizza

I hate pizza. There, I said it. Though it is considered town food and not trail food, it is often packed out after a trip to town. I had to add it to this list because I hate it so much.

Too many bad memories hiking up Snowbird Mountain after eating too much at Standing Bear. I cant.

Bad memories hiking up Snowbird Mountain after eating too much at Standing Bear. I can’t.



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