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10,000 calories per day.

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  • 10,000 calories per day.

    I wasn't sure where to post this but I suppose this is as good a place as any.

    I think that for this summer's through-hike it's a reasonable estimate that I'll consume 10k cals/day. I figure about half will come from fat and the other half mainly from carbs but with as much as 10% of the total derived from protein. (probably less but it makes for easier back of envelope calculations. This works out to 500 gms fat, 1000 gms of carbs and 250 grams roughly of protein just for energy needs. If I burn off half of the fat energy from on-board body fat I'll have to carry and eat about 3 lbs of (dry) food per day.

    Ideally, the fat-carb energy supply ratio would be skewed more in favor of fat and body fat would supply a pound, or 4000 cals per day. This ratio is a function of aerobic fitness and pace. Interesting to think about. Food is less dense than water so no way is 3 lbs of food going to fit in a 1.1 liter space. Prolly more like 2 liters. 3 days = 6 liters. 4 days = 8.

    Anything wrong with my back of envelope calculations?
    Project-100: 100 peaks, one winter.

  • #2
    Olive Oil has 240 calories per ounce, so you could just carry a liter of olive oil and you'd have almost 8,000 calories. Mmmm, delish! Add some red pepper flakes and you've got a feast!
    We don't stop playing because we get old; we get old because we stop playing ~ Satchel Paige


    • Trail Boss
      Trail Boss commented
      Editing a comment
      I'd be concerned about what happens post-digestion on an olive oil diet. Yikes!

  • #3
    Go paleo with pemmican???

    According to this, a 62 gram serving (~ 2ounces) contains 293 calories . You need about 34 servings to get 10000 calories. 34*62g equals or about 2 kg of pemmican per day!

    You need four pounds of ground beef jerky and fat to make 10000 calories/day plus, as the old joke goes, "the man who can eat it".

    Looking for Views!


    • #4
      My local grocery store sells 1.15 ounce (32 gram) packets of peanut/almond butter. They make a packet with honey in it that you can eat as is. The biggest advantage to the packets is how easy they are to slip in anywhere, they're smaller than a travel pack of tissues.

      One packet has 190 calories, the almond butter + honey has 150 fat calories. It's pretty good too.

      YI - they are significantly cheaper at my grocery store than on this web site.
      ADK 46/46W + MacNaughton, Grid 238/552
      Photos & Stuff


      • #5
        I second the vote for the Justins nut butters. In all seriousness about olive oil, it really is one of the best ways to add calories without carrying a lot of food. I add it to food like cous-cous and polenta, with re-hydrated grated cheese, spices and slivered almonds. I also recommend muesli with dried full-fat milk (Nido or Klim) added in (about 250 calories per ounce). Bon Appetit!
        We don't stop playing because we get old; we get old because we stop playing ~ Satchel Paige


        • #6
          Nutella combines carbs and protein in a mighty tasty spread.
          "...he went because he felt the call of the wilderness, a call ever irresistible to him in whose veins flows the blood of the explorer." Warren W. Hart


          • #7
            Many many years ago, my buddy and I learned about the high caloric value of oil. I always enjoyed my grandma's home-made chicken soup so we figured we'd spike our soup with oil. Not having access to tasty chicken fat, like in my grandma's soup, we simply added vegetable oil to our "Cup-A-Soup". It took only one Easter Weekend of eating oily Cup-A-Soup to make me, and I'm not kidding here, never eat the stuff for decades thereafter. The mere smell of it reminds me of oily globs floating on a salty chemical brew. I have a similar story about tequila.

            Best try this stunt at home, with the food you plan to eat, before you find yourself gagging at the sight of yet another meal laced with oil.

            (And we cook with olive oil all the time; love the stuff.)

            I may be wrong but after one of your arduous days of self-flagellation, cooking up a complex repast might not be a welcome diversion. I figure you'll be copying your one-pot meals you had during your canoe trip?
            Looking for Views!


            • #8
              Originally posted by Trail Boss View Post
              I figure you'll be copying your one-pot meals you had during your canoe trip?
              Pretty much a carbon copy.
              Project-100: 100 peaks, one winter.


              • #9
                Neil, what is a planned duration of this "hike"?

                I understand that you know how many calories you can burn while hiking.
                Do you know how many calories you can digest while burning 10K calories per day?

                My point is that during such long run/hikes you burn the reserves of fat and muscles of your body.
                As a result there is a duration limit for high intensity "hikes".
                I know a few cases of failure and even death on long backcountry trips because of this.


                • #10
                  10k might be a bit high. When I was planning my AT hike I read that soldiers in boot camp go through about 7k a day. What worked for me (while losing about 15lbs) was:
                  bfast: 2 carnations + poptarts covered in PB
                  first pack-off break: little debbie, or PB/cheese crackers
                  lunch: bread + cheese + tomatoes, maybe some spinach, apple, gatorade/icedtea
                  2nd pack-off break: more little debbies, or grocery store donuts, maybe some PB on bread
                  dinner: 1 or 2 liptons or mac&cheese + can of meat + 4oz or so of cheeseblock + bagel (use bagel as a dip)
                  midnight: snickers + pt of water

                  Ive never been a gorp guy, and after the first 200 miles snickers bars start to get old and boring.


                  • #11
                    Yeah, 10k is an upper limit. I base that on my heart rate monitor's calorie burn data accumulated over the years, which seems very precise but which may be inaccurate :-). Note that I'm considering energy requirements per 24 hour period, not just the hiking time iteself. Non-sleeping down-time will be more energy demanding than sitting in the car driving home, say. Everything, from getting water to going to bed is more work on rough terrain than at home. The actual food that I'll eat won't be a major problem. Of interest as Yury points out will be to absorb and utilise all those calories. I think big intakes followed by 8 hours of good sleep will be key. The big challenge will be fitting what I need into a bear can, preferably a half-sized one. I will be able to eat more every 4th day because I plan on being re-supplied every 4th day. I don't mind a little body fat loss would like to limit the lean muscle mass loss to as little as possible.

                    I'll have lots of opportunities to test things over the next 3-4 months doing multiple day whacks and trailed hikes as I train. For instance, while canoeing last summer 200grams dry-weight of home-dried meals (beef, chicken, tuna etc.) with a TBSP of grated parmesan was fine for supper followed by a generous dessert of almond butter and jam on pita. I will experiment with trying to eat 300 grams of dry-weight or triple the amount. Might not be able to get it all down!
                    Project-100: 100 peaks, one winter.


                    • #12
                      What kind of hike is this? Every 4th day for how many days? You won't really get hungry for the first few.


                    • #13
                      Instead of worrying about fat to eat, you can just gain it on your body before the hike. The major reason to eat fat is to make your food tastier and this is important, since in long distance that's what prevents people from eating enough.

                      You need to train your stomach to handle the food on the go and at the rythm you'll be going, you should be able to digest.

                      You really need to be able to eat lots of carbs to replenish your glycogen stores, but also on the go to keep your liver full or else your energy will die and this is what you should focus on most.

                      Your body will only burn muscles if you are not feeding it enough carbohydrates to supply fuel. I believe gluconeogenesis is an inefficient pathway and the liver will make this only if it can't get glucose or proteins (when lacking straight glucose/fructose) from your diet. Hence I don't think you should worry about muscle loss.


                      • #14
                        if you are burning proteins instead of carbs you will notice a slight ammonia smell from your sweat, particularly if you are not fully hydrated. I've had it happen a few times on longer runs on warm days.


                        • Little Brown Mushroom
                          Editing a comment
                          Is that the cat pee thing that I've read about happening to AT hikers?

                        • greatexpectations
                          greatexpectations commented
                          Editing a comment
                          yes, that is probably the cause, though i am sure that thru-hiking adds some other aromas to the mix. it's a nice warning sign that your nutrition might be a little off.

                      • #15
                        12 days should be manageable if you burn 1 to 1.5 pounds of your own fat per day.
                        As rich99 has suggested, just do several weeks of Sumo wrestling training in the last month prior to this hike to accumulate sufficient internal reserves of fuel.