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RONDARC's Photo RONDARC Posts: 9,771
7/3/12 6:36 P

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Suzie, I'm glad to hear you guys had a great hike! emoticon

~~ Ronda~~

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly.

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I'm celebrating my SEVENTH anniversary with SparkPeople in the June 3-9, 2007 class.



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LYNDALOVES2HIKE's Photo LYNDALOVES2HIKE Posts: 33,955
7/2/12 12:30 A

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emoticon Suzie!!

Lynda in Orange County, So Calif

***********************

God Grant me Serenity to Accept the things I cannot change, Courage to Change the things I can and Wisdom to Know the difference!

Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out. -- John Wooden

"Winners are not those who never fail, but those who never quit."


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6/30/12 9:17 P

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I wanted to report back that thanks to all the terrific info. you shared with me, hubby and I had a terrific hike today. It was our biggest hike yet and we both did a much better job staying fueled.

Before leaving, we had steel cut oatmeal with honey and cinnamon and our green drink (blended spinach, apple, cucumber, blueberries, ginger, flax oil, matcha). I also had 8 cups of water by the time we started hiking. We ate chunks of cantaloupe about 20 mins after starting the hike and cherries a little later. After that we had a mix of nuts I made with a few almonds, pecans, walnuts, choc-covered cashews, dark choco chips, a few white choco chips. We had more cherries then some coconut water. At the top we had almond butter and marionberry jelly sandwiches on an awesome whole grain bread. On the way down we had Larabars. It sometimes felt like we were eating almost all the time - we weren't. Anyway, I don't think we would have made such an effort to eat if it wasn't for the advice I got here. So thank you!
emoticon emoticon

Suzie


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WATERFELON's Photo WATERFELON SparkPoints: (18,441)
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6/17/12 11:20 A

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Great advise here, I learned a lot, too! Funny how you learn things, I've never really done any research on hike nutrition but over the years some of these things have somehow been absorbed into my hiking routine!

I have found that I need to double the amount of calories I eat on a normal day while on the trail. For me, that's around 2500-3000 calories a day.

I start out with a good breakfast with eggs and cheese. I'll add ham or sausage if I have it in the fridge, but the point is to eat a good large helping of protein. I carry peanut butter and honey sandwiches in my pack some bananas for snacks. On multi day hikes, I carry jerky for protein. Lots of Luna bars, I just love the lemon bars! And for really quick energy, yes, I do admit to carrying Milky Way bars, sorry SP! I get MRE's online for multi day hikes, they are great for ease of carrying, have decent nutrition, and some actually taste good! They also make an MRE whole wheat flat bread which is great for making sandwiches w/out thinking about squishing regular bread in my pack! Trail mix for nibbling, I buy it in the bulk or organic section-I try to make sure I buy a good trail mix with a lot of nuts in it, so many of them now a days are too full of raisins or carob chips or M&M's to make them sweeter, but the nuts are better for long term energy.

I carry electrolyte tablets for just in case, but so many trail foods now a days have enough salt. And water, lots of water!

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HAWAIIANMAMMA's Photo HAWAIIANMAMMA Posts: 2,792
6/17/12 12:22 A

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Wow, what a great thread! I just learned a LOT! When I know I'm going for a day hike, as opposed to a quick hike, I always make a big breakfast. Generally it's eggs, protein pancakes, and bacon, and maybe a couple pieces of rye toast with jelly. Then I pack sandwiches, bell peppers, apples, trail mix, and (duh) water. The food is ALWAYS gone by the time I get back to my car, and I'll even stop somewhere on the way home for a large meal.

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.


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SUSUSUZZZIE's Photo SUSUSUZZZIE SparkPoints: (133,570)
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6/15/12 11:06 P

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I just re-read all of this.

It's interesting how much more calories are supposed to be burned going cross-country and up hill. It makes sense that it is much more than on pavement but something I didn't think of and has to be a big contributor to our running out of energy. Even more incentive to get some off pavement miles under my feet! But I realize that going for a calorie deficit on a big hiking day is asking for trouble and that hasn't been the intention. (Hiking for us is part of getting out and enjoying life. Losing weight makes hiking easier and more enjoyable.)

We have brought good snacks with us, but I realize now that some simple(er) carbs would be good to have on hand if needed. And I love the idea of eating a bigger breakfast than normal and then starting the snacks early.

We have taken a couple coconut waters, black bean hummus and veggies, bananas, apples, almonds, and Larabars (our current favorite "granola-ish" bar - love them for having so few ingredients). I'll have to get back on my granola/granola bar making kick for hiking. Sometimes we take yogurt. And we always carry lots of water.

Thanks all for the terrific advice! I think what you all have shared will help us to have some successful hikes!

PS - love the Korean tradition to give small things to fellow hikers. Very cool!


Suzie


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RONDARC's Photo RONDARC Posts: 9,771
6/15/12 7:40 P

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Great info!! We always start out with a good breakfast, that's so important. I keep peanut butter cheese crackers and kashi crunch bars in our packs and then take a couple of oranges, almonds and of course, plenty of water. emoticon

~~ Ronda~~

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly.

Border Collie Lovers - Team Leader
Lets Go Hiking - Team Leader
Dog Lovers Team - Team Leader
SP Class of June 3-9, 2007 - Team leader
Our Herding Dogs - Team Leader

I'm celebrating my SEVENTH anniversary with SparkPeople in the June 3-9, 2007 class.



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SUSUSUZZZIE's Photo SUSUSUZZZIE SparkPoints: (133,570)
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6/15/12 1:12 A

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WOW! Thanks for all of the terrific advice here. I'm going to look at this a bit more and digest this over the weekend (pun intended - groan). Thank you so much and I'll be back for more questions I'm sure. Thanks again!

Suzie


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LYNDALOVES2HIKE's Photo LYNDALOVES2HIKE Posts: 33,955
6/14/12 1:48 P

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I'm glad to see MOTIVATED@LAST has posted clear guidelines - thanks!!

I'd like to add a couple of factors, although the numbers won't be as specific. I just wanted to point out that elevation, type of terrain, weight of pack and other factors will also have an impact. Higher elevation means less oxygen so our bodies are less efficient and require more calories to do the same thing than, say, at sea level. I feel more tired at higher elevation just standing still than I might at home [400' elevation] walking around.

Hiking on solid trails takes less effort than going cross-country or hiking on trails that are soft, have lots of pebbles and/or very degraded. The 'mental energy' it takes to hike on less developed surfaces is greater, too, and surprisingly requires more 'available fuel' [ie, carbs] than walking along a sidewalk - not to mention the muscles involved in balancing, navigating around obstacles like large rocks or bushes, etc. Obviously, going uphill is harder than walking on flat surfaces so you need to make an adjustment there, too.

One formula I've hears is that going uphill doubles the calories-per-hour rate and on a cross-country or rough trail surface, it can increase it as much as 4 times, all for the same distance. So if you burned 100 calories for one mile of flat, you might burn 200 calories per mile for uphill and as much as 400 calories per mile going cross-country. That formula seems too simple for me but I know a lot of people who use it as a guideline on how many calories to eat for hiking trips. They tend to eat fats and protein at night to help keep them warm on mountain peaks, simple and complex carbs in the morning and for on-trail meals or snacks to keep themselves going. It's not unusual for people who hike long distances on steep slopes at higher elevation to burn 5,000-10,000 calories per day or even more - sounds like a dieter's dream until you realize that 'dieting' on the trail can even be fatal so better to use simpler hikes for weight loss and make sure you fuel your body properly for the harder stuff.

Have fun and thanks for bringing up the topic - happy trails!
emoticon

Lynda in Orange County, So Calif

***********************

God Grant me Serenity to Accept the things I cannot change, Courage to Change the things I can and Wisdom to Know the difference!

Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out. -- John Wooden

"Winners are not those who never fail, but those who never quit."


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MOTIVATED@LAST's Photo MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 13,974
6/14/12 12:01 A

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I often aim at 20 or even 30 miles on the trail each day. This will deplete the body's reserves of around 2000 calories of usable energy, and can lead to 'crashing' in the afternoon. Through some research and some exerimentation (including some error along with the trial), have come up with a strategy that works for me (YMMV). Multi-day hikes make nutrition even more important.

It's worth noting that:

* simple carbs take about 20 mins before they start hitting the bloodstream
* complex carbs take about 2 hours
* fats take about 5 hours
* protein takes 7 hours

So once your reserves are depleted, it may be difficult to replenish them while on the trail. The secret is not let them get depleted in the first place.

If you are going to have a long day on the trail, start with a good breakfast - 500-800 calories.

Because of the lag in digestion, I start snacking early - typically about 1 hour into my hiking, and about every hour after that. Those morning snacks should be providing useful energy by the afternoon. Don't wait UNTIL you get hungry.

Generally, I would advocate complex carbs over simple carbs, for a variety of reasons. But it may be wise to keep a stash of simple carb snacks (eg. a handful of gummy bears) for a quick hit if you are feeling fatigued. Hopefully this will tide you over until your body can digest more slow-release foods.

Also, dehydration can be a source of fatigue, even if you are eating enough. Ensure you are drinking regularly, and monitor the color of your pee - should be pale yellow. Almost clear means you may be drinking too much, dark yellow means you are dehydrated.

And finally, even if you are eating and drinking enough, electrolyte imbalance can be an issue with a long day on the trail and can lead to feeling fatigued in the afternoon. I am less concerned with spring, winter or fall hiking, but in summer, a long day on the trail can lead to a major loss of body salts. So (for summer only) I will take along some electrolyte powder, and mix some up for myself at lunchtime.

M@L

Edited by: MOTIVATED@LAST at: 6/14/2012 (22:05)
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.


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TRYTRYAGAIN10's Photo TRYTRYAGAIN10 Posts: 131
6/13/12 10:06 P

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It's been a while since I'm been on a really long hike but here are some of my hiking staples for energy:

Granola/trail mix/protein bars: I pack more than I will eat - just in case something happens and I am out longer than I thought. Check the nutrition facts to make sure you are getting a filling but also healthy version. I tend to go for natural ones or I make my own but I like some of the storebought one's like Kind, Nature's Valley, etc.

Peanut butter & Jam sandwich: just put peanut butter on both sides of the bread so it doesn't get soggy. I don't mind squished bread so if you don't either these are easy and cheap to throw in your pack.

Fruit in it's natural container: bananas and oranges come in their own natural containers so it makes it easy to pack them and carry them around.

THESE! Peanut butter energy balls: backtoherroots.com/recipes/?recipe_i
d=
6016658

Made by MIGHTYFINEWINE a fellow sparker.

For snacks or to bolster your sandwich lunch I usually bring cheese sticks (eat these early in the hike or they will get melty), other fruits or pre-cut veggies in snack bags.

I always carry some slices of apple, orange to share. Here in Korea it's traditional to carry something small to give to other hikers you see on the trail. I've received ginseng hard candies, grilled sweet potatoes wrapped in foil, and even beer on the trail here. :D

Edited by: TRYTRYAGAIN10 at: 6/13/2012 (22:07)
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KENDRACARROLL's Photo KENDRACARROLL Posts: 2,140
6/13/12 7:37 P

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My hiking staple is peanut butter on whole grain bread (not wheat) - no jelly :) and an apple. On hike days that's my breakfast, plus I pack a couple more for the hike. Also trail mix.
Banana will work as well.
And always plenty to drink. I found out that just water won't work for me so additionally I'll pack some kind of electrolyte drink.
Happy trails.

When you see a person on a mountain top, just remember they did not fall there!







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6/13/12 3:12 P

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Hi All! I'm hoping some of you can help me with a question. Hubby and I have found ourselves short on energy nearly every time we hike. We talk good snacks with us (except maybe the last time when I left them behind) and we eat any time we have a sign of hunger, but I think we're not staying in front of the hunger enough. We had to turn around on a hike in April. The hike turned out to be more than we expected and I think I ran out of energy largely because I had been too low on calories the day before and maybe didn't eat enough for breakfast. At that point I couldn't get refueled enough to keep going making for a long trip back to the car.

If you know you are going to be out hiking for 3-6 hours, what do you eat before the hike and how soon and then how often do you eat or snack to ensure you have enough fuel to enjoy your hikes?

We have a challenging hike for us (2000 ft up in a little under 2 miles and then return the same way) coming up towards the end of this month and I want to make sure we have enough energy to really enjoy it and so we don't have to even consider turning back due to a lack of energy.

Thanks for any tips!

Suzie


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