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Mountain Hunger

Have a favorite trail recipe or technique you'd like to share? Please do! We also like reviews of various trail food products out there. The Backcountry Food Topix forum is the place to discuss all things related to food and nourishment while in the Sierra wilderness (as well as favorite trail head eateries).
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Mountain Hunger

Postby maverick » Tue Jun 16, 2009 4:50 pm

How many days in does your mountain appetite kick in?
The one you get after the initial I am not really hungry first day phase to eating
normal portions you eat at home phase, on to eating everything you can stuff into
your mouth mountain mode.
My metabolism is in full furnace mode about 5-6 days out.



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Re: Mountain Hunger

Postby copeg » Tue Jun 16, 2009 5:57 pm

Haven't done an enormous number of extended trips to date, but the times I have its kicked in around 4-5 days
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Re: Mountain Hunger

Postby hikerduane » Tue Jun 16, 2009 6:23 pm

I think it kicks in when I get home to all the ice cream and junk I get stuff down. On the trail, everything is measured out or rationed, so there ain't much room for error.:(
Piece of cake.
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Re: Mountain Hunger

Postby maverick » Tue Jun 16, 2009 6:34 pm

Since I force myself to eat more calories, even on the first 2 days, I have not had
those I got to eat everything fatty I can get my hands on when I get out urges
any more.
It used to be I would eat like crazy for a couple days after getting out, but no mas.
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Re: Mountain Hunger

Postby BSquared » Thu Jun 18, 2009 5:37 pm

maverick wrote:Since I force myself to eat more calories, even on the first 2 days, I have not had
those I got to eat everything fatty I can get my hands on when I get out urges
any more.
It used to be I would eat like crazy for a couple days after getting out, but no mas.

I'll have to try that. Certainly unless I force myself, I eat very little for about the first five days. My friends who do the AT say it usually takes a couple of weeks for them to kick up to their calorie-replacement diet (which is usually much higher than a "typical" backpacking menu).
—B²
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Re: Mountain Hunger

Postby JWreno » Fri Feb 05, 2010 3:44 pm

I tend to eat less than I thought I would. I graze all day and never really build
up any hunger. This is the reason I haven't been cooking dinner or carrying a stove.
I find if I stop grazing to build up an appetite I also feel like stopping my hiking.
If I keep grazing to keep from bonking I am not hungry when I am ready to camp.
Lately I have been hiking until near dark and just get water within a few miles of
camp.

We eat about 1.25 pounds of food a day. We may pack 1.5 pounds/person/day but
usually bring some home or give it away.
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Re: Mountain Hunger

Postby giantbrookie » Sat Feb 13, 2010 9:04 pm

I guess on recent trips, I've made sure I took more than enough food, so I can't say I really craved more food than I was consuming. Since a memorable trip in the late 80's when I tried to skimp on my food and depend on fish, but seemed to hit everything wrong (caught and released out of many bodies of water then got skunked when it was time to eat), and ended up tearing into the breakfast oatmeal for the last dinner, I have made sure to overshoot on the food. This means either (1) I will carry out plenty of food (commonly the case) or (2) I'll will catch and release everything on the last two evenings or so in order to eat up all the non-fish dinner food. I have found that eating a combination of a packed-in side dish, such as a pasta or rice dish (ie standard dinner food without the fish) plus fish (usually available to however much I'd like to eat) has kept me very well fed except for one trip in 1994. On that trip, my wife and I continued to release all of our fish because they were smallish until by day 4 or 5 we seemed to be lacking a little bit of our usual zip--we blamed it on not having fish in addition to our pasta/rice etc. We decided that we needed to keep a few, and after eating them we felt as good as new. In the 70's and 80's I'd go on trips and almost always lose a lot of weight--and I don't really have a lot to lose. Over the past few years, the amount of food I eat on trips has been raised to the point where I don't lose much at all. I will say, though, that the thought of a steak or pizza or something like that would almost always pop into my wife's and my minds as a long trip went on. In fact my wife would start daydreaming about what the back-in-civilization dinner almost from day 1 of a trip. Of course we'd always daydream about having some good beer.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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Re: Mountain Hunger

Postby East Side Hiker » Wed Dec 29, 2010 10:18 am

I really don't let food enter my mind. I somehow let it go, and it doesn't bother me. I wish I could have a good Merlot, but I know its not long away. The grasses, wildflowers, trees, lakes, peaks, etc. capture my attention and relieve me of other thoughts. The alpine glow takes care of my evening.
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Re: Mountain Hunger

Postby Troutdog 59 » Thu Jan 20, 2011 6:23 pm

It really depends on the individual trip with me. On shorter trips my eating doesnt really change, but my appetite shuts down on longer more strenuous hikes. The last few years have found me doing only a couple 3/4 day trips of shorter duration and I didnt see much change on those. Even brought some burgers, chili, and corn on the cob up Bear Creek last summer. Mmmmmm yummy!! On longer more strenuous hikes it typicall takes me a day or two to get an appetite. In 2001, I joined my brother for 6 days while he did the JMT. I was his resupply and carried our food for the 4 days we were together. Met him at Edison and came out over Hell for Sure via Mt Goddard/Martha Lake (last 2.5 solo). We basically kept to his schedule of no less than 10 miles a day ( :eek: which is alot for me :p ) and I basically didnt have an appetite the whole trip. I made myself eat, but I guess the physicallity of the hike just ate up me appetite. Came out with about 1/2 of my food, which always makes me grumpy as well.

One thing is kinda funny though. When I first started we always came out and wanted a Xl pizza, a jumbo burger, etc, etc. Stopped that along time ago because after I long trip I may want to eat like a horse, but I cant. Dont get me wrong. I still love a good burger from the Joly Cone or even more likley a piece of pie at the VVR (again Mmmmmmm yummy!!!) and one of my fondest memories is chowing down a burger at the store that was up by the Rock Creek lake Pack Station (not sure if its there anymore, been 20 years and they also had showers), but Ive learned to scale it down until I get back home and have a day to acclimate to the flat lands.
If you stand in the light, you get the feel of the night, and the music that plays in your ear......
In your mind you can hear, a voice so sweet and clear, and the music that plays in your head......
As it flows up from the ground, taking all that hear the sound, close your eyes, it’s about to begin.

R. Trower
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Re: Mountain Hunger

Postby oldranger » Thu Jan 20, 2011 7:22 pm

It is funny but I have a hard time eating enough when backpacking. Just not super hungry. Is part of it because dinner gets cold so quickly? Maybe I am more interested in a couple more casts after dinner. But last summer when I had 4 dinners and 4 breakfasts at high sierra camps in Yosemite I really pigged out! Good hot food in a warm environment sitting in a chair at a table might have something to do with it... :confused:

Mike
Mike

Who can't do everything he used to and what he can do takes a hell of a lot longer!
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Re: Mountain Hunger

Postby BSquared » Thu Jan 20, 2011 7:36 pm

In my case, there's absolutely no question that altitude has a lot to do with it, at least initially. I'd always noticed what I figured was an altitude effect on backpacking trips, but a non-backpacking experience convinced me. We took a trip to a ski condo at Breckenridge, CO, several years ago (base altitude about 9600') and brought huge amounts of food, most of which we had to take right back home at the end of the weekend. We had Mike's "warm environment sitting in a chair at a table" plus good long day's workouts on the slopes, but we still couldn't eat much. And most of us had been living in Laramie, WY (altitude 7170') for several months beforehand!
—B²
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Re: Mountain Hunger

Postby rlown » Thu Jan 20, 2011 7:56 pm

look at how you pack for any trip. Have you really changed the mix over time? I haven't. I always come out with extra food, and yes, at first I don't eat a lot. My snacks/lunch go first: pepperoni sticks/slim jims/cheezits, and rolls/summer sausage/spray cheese.

About day 4, the urge to eat kicks in. For fish, but not so much for the freeze dried crap. that is just "in case." Hence carrying the onions, garlic and oranges for the fish fry... Heck, I'd do hash browns, but the grater is as heavy as the potatoes.. Might be on the list..

Don't knock the spray cheese until you try it.. :retard:

Mental note: to get OR to eat, bring a chair and a table.. sweet.
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