For short hikes, food is more of a nice to have rather than a necessity. But, on long hikes, an adequate food supply is critical to success and safety.

hiking food needed Food Needs
Whether going on a 5-mile walk or a 500-mile long-distance trek, you should have some food along. If for no other reason than just-in-case. Having a good idea about how much food will be required to provide the energy to complete the hike is part of good planning.
dayhike food Dayhike Food
A day hike requires simple, tasty, cold snacks. Pausing for a rest, munching on a handful of fruit or trail mix, and then continuing your hike is all it takes. Food that packs well and tastes good is the goal.
long distance hike food Trek Food
Multi-day hikes require much more planning and preparation than a simple day hike. Planning food needs and a diverse menu is important to ensure adequate energy is available for your body. Running out of food 30 miles into a 70-mile trek is not a good thing.
AT trail resupply options Food Supply Options
Carrying all your food for shorter treks makes sense, but as the length increases the food weighs more. For long hikes, resupplying food along the way becomes a necessity. Depending on your style and discipline, there are many options for planning food along the way.
cooking food Cooking
Sure, you can live for days and weeks eating crackers and cheese and jerky, but at some point, you'll be ready to kill for a hot, steaming meal. On long-distance hikes, there are quite a few options for cooking your food so you can choose which works best for your trek.
menu planning Menu Planner
Oatmeal for breakfast, peanut butter for lunch, and Mac-n-Cheese for dinner - now that's a good outdoors menu. But, not five days in a row. It's not that hard, and certainly not expensive, to create a tasty, easy, nutritious, diverse menu for any length hiking trip. Use this menu planner to plug in your food items, figure the calories, and even print a shopping list.

Hike On: Hiking Skills

 Aug 20, 2012 - mcperson
There is a great amount of info here. Thanks
Sep 04, 2012 - Mel
Would anyone recommend any vitamin supplements for a 3 week hike ??
Sep 04, 2012 - Hiking Dude
Mel - I take a one-a-day pill every day when I'm out for a week or more.
Dec 11, 2012 - Don Mattucks
I'm preping for my first long hike,50 miles, info on what kind of food to bring is hard to find. I was thinking MREs. What do you think. there will be no resuply spots on the way. Any advice will be helpfull thank you.
Dec 11, 2012 - Hiking Dude
Don - Best of luck on this adventure of yours!
MREs are very heavy for the calories, have a ton of waste that you still need to pack out, and are expensive.
50 miles could be a 2 day or 10 day trek - the real question is how many meals do you need to carry?
I've found that food right out of the grocery store works great, tastes fine, and is inexpensive.

My typical day of food is:
2 PopTarts or Granola bars
2 Snickers bars
about 10 ritz crackers with peanut butter and honey
1/4lb trail mix of raisins, sunflower kernels, peanuts, M&Ms
couple handfuls of dried fruit
1 Knorr noodle side
1 pouch of salmon, tuna, or chicken
lots of water all day long, sometimes Gatorade mix

There are lots of kinds of Knorr noodles - teriyaki, scampi, garlic, italian, ...  Also, instant mashed potatoes or minute rice work well for the dinner base.

I just cook a meal in the evening, not the morning or lunch.
May 11, 2013 - Georgia is boss
I'm going on a two night hike soon and it's going to be freezing, I really want to have a warm lunch but I'm not sure what, can you help?
May 14, 2013 - Adventurer
@ Georgia is Boss,

For two night hikes Im your you'll want to bring a portable propane stove. These can range from a big one for campers to small one pot stoves. Bring couple canister of propane if you are planning to eat/drink hot stuff for breakfast and lunch. which most people like to do. You can save some gas by having a bonfire at dinner but that will be too much work in the morning and at lunch.

Have Fun
Sep 04, 2013 - wield man
I am hiking the big ct next year
And all of this info has helped a lot
Thank u.
Sep 05, 2013 - wield man
What are some more good breakfast foods for hikeing?
Jan 08, 2014 - onthemove
I plan on hikng out from melbourne FL to savannah georgia about a 316 mile ruck i was wonfering besides pogie baits like jerky and trailmix would be good source of nutrients i plan on easy meals during day and cookng one at night
Jan 27, 2014 - Rich f
Going on my first major hike across Vermont in june about 125 miles any suggestions
Mar 29, 2014 - Glenn Beachy
I have dropped the poptarts (no nutrition)and snickers (mostly simple sugar). Granola bars with cream cheese (it keeps long enough) get me on the trail in the morning. For a 2nd breakfast after an hour or so of hiking I add cold water to granola, powdered soy milk, cinnamon, raisens and a little sugar. Awesome. Dinner. At home I dehydrate salsa and spaghetti sauce, like fruit leather. Put a bit in a small ziplock with a couple tablespoons of COLD water for the last 20 minutes hiking and it reconstitutes. 5 minute brown rice plus instant refried bean flakes, salsa and cheese. Could eat that nearly every night. Corn based pasta with the spag sauce. Bob's Red Mill Polenta (corn grits). Cooks quick with salt and butter and cheese if you have it. Those 3 dinners took be 1100 miles on the AT so far and I never tire of them. Unlike most LDHers I like to actually cook.
Jun 23, 2014 - matt carter
We are planning to trek from Augusta Maine to San Diego California Any packing or hiking food tips that we can get would be greatly appreciated thank you
Jun 25, 2014 - frances brown
hi I'm attempting to climb Mt Kilimanjaro in Aug this year/not concern about meals/ just the snacks on the walk/just carrying a day pack/8 days all up/1 day 12 to 14 hours of hiking/what should I take ? love to hear your advise /  an Aussie girl thanks you
Jan 17, 2015 - rv
Thinking about taking my Vegan sister on a 4day hike..any food suggestions......?
Jan 17, 2015 - Hiking Dude
@rv - Lots of people love to rehydrate dried refried beans, and ramen noodles are popular.  There is an entire site dedicated to vegan backpacking food at and has info.  Google for vegan backpacking food and you'll get tons of other resources.

Apr 01, 2015 - Deanna Anderson
Lots of great info here!  I have not done overnight hikes but want to sometime.  We are going on a 7 mile hike, just doing a section of the Palmetto Trail in South Carolina, so quick snacks/lunch are all we need.  Thinking Tuna in the pouch and crackers is the way to go!

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