How to Healthily Satiate Hiker Hunger for Three Days on a Thru-Hike


Food tastes better in the woods when you are hungry. And, the more you walk many miles for consecutive days, the hungrier you are. You want to think of high-calorie, high nutrition, and lightweight meals for an affordable cost. So, I will share how I will choose to nourish myself for the first three days on my upcoming thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail.


I love starting my day with hot coffee and some kind of creamer. Starbucks individually packaged instant coffee with powdered coconut milk is my morning luxury on trail. And, for breakfast, I eat about a cup of oatmeal with powdered coconut milk along with a tablespoon of butter and a generous handful of trail mix. I add extra almonds to an already made trail mix. Almonds are delicious and the only alkalizing nuts. So, rather than causing acidic conditions when you digest them, they make your blood more basic. Overall, this breakfast will provide 614 calories and 14.6 grams of protein daily. The cost and weight for three days is $10.86 and 36.33 ounces.



Mid-morning I will enjoy an almond butter packet. These pouches are high in protein and contain calcium, iron, and potassium. Additionally, they have almonds so are alkalizing to the system. I will also snack on snickers bars along the way. Snickers are a calorie-dense option for a lightweight snack. In addition, I will add protein powder along with coconut milk powder to water at some point throughout the day. Overall, the snacks will provide 1060 calories, 41.5 grams of protein and cost $18.77 for three days with a weight of 8.19 ounces. 


I will enjoy lunch at a scenic point midway or more through my daily hike. Room temperature miso soup will start my meal. Miso has plenty of probiotics so it will enhance the good bacteria in my gut, improving immunity and overall digestion. And, I will eat a few tuna packets with individual mayo packets from a previous take-out purchase. Tuna is high in protein which is essential when your muscles are working as hard as a thru-hiker for many hours and consecutive days. All in all, this lunch has 260 calories and 37 grams of protein, costs $11.04, and weighs 10.56 ounces.


After a long day of hiking, enjoying a hot meal is the best way to reward yourself for your success. Tasty bite meals are a bit heavier than what I plan on my usual resupply. However, they are delicious and nutritious and will help me to wean myself from healthy home-cooking for my first few days on the Appalachian Trail. I bought Chinese noodles that cook in three minutes and are like ramen noodles without the flavor packet. I will use one brick of the noodles each night to accompany my Indian meal along with a tablespoon of butter. This will be a hearty meal to prepare me for the next day’s adventure. And, this meal has 1072 calories and 15.6 grams of protein. Three of these meals cost $15.80 and weigh 55 ounces.

How will you carry bulk items?

I will most likely resupply along the way while having some pre-made packages sent to supply things that I will not be able to buy at chain grocery stores. And, I will send the packages to places like Fontana and NOC, where I have heard that resupply is limited. So, the bulk items that I will be consuming for breakfast will be divided. And, I will send them to myself along the way. Additionally, I will carry more than I need for three days to ensure a lightweight, affordable, and nutrition-dense breakfast along the way.

Let’s Talk Calories

As an active woman, I burn about 2400 calories a day with life functions. If I walk 13 miles with my pack weight, I will burn about 1200 additional calories. So, I will be burning about 3,600 calories a day. 

Summing it Up, Literally

The total cost of three days of food is $56.47 and the daily price is $18.82. This cost will increase as bulk items are no longer available and as my caloric intake heightens. So, this menu of 3,006 calories is a good starting point for someone of my height and weight. My caloric intake will increase once I am hiking every day. I will need to consume more calories as I learn the needs of my body when hiking many miles for consecutive days. Even so, I look forward to adapting and ensuring proper nutrition along the way. But, you have to start somewhere. And, three days of food weighing 110.08 ounces or 6.88 pounds seems like a good place to start.

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Comments 1

  • Stephen : Jan 16th

    The tasty bite meals taste a lot better than most people realize. They also dehydrate very well. A little butter or olive oil adds calories and makes them taste even better.


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