Compared to my previous hikes, I am taking a different approach with meals on the AZT. My Arizona Trail Food List is very low in sugar, and more healthy than what I have taken hiking in the past. While I’ve enjoyed eating a bag of gummy worms and a pile of candy bars each day, I am trying to step things up a bit, nutritionally-speaking, on this hike. This change is largely to overcome a health issue that I am hoping to conquer during the hike.
This meal plan definitely doesn’t have the defined Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner that I have had in the past. I have a feeling that I will largely be snacking here and there continually throughout the day…with the exception of the crackers and tuna, which I’ll probably eat at normal meal times when SweetPea and Qball are having their meals. I do have concerns about the monotony of this diet, but am hopeful that I will work past that easily enough. The calorie count is a bit on the light side for a thru hike, but this past summer, I felt that 4000 calories was a little high. I’ll start with the 3400 calorie diet and bump as we get further into the hike.
Beardoh’s Arizona Trail Food List
Garden of Life – Raw Meal (Chocolate) – 4 scoops (2 servings) – 680 Calories
Amazing Grass – Green Super Food – 1 scoop – 30 Calories
Almonds, Pecans, Brazil Nut Mix – 1 cup = 5.1oz – 826 Calories
Homemade Beef Jerky – 3 oz package – 210 Calories
72% Dark Chocolate – 1 bar – 500 Calories
Albacore Tuna in Water Packet – 2×2.6 oz packet – 160 Calories
Almond Butter – 1/2 cup – 728 Calories
Nabisco Rice Thin Crackers – 1/2 of 3.5 oz box – 195 Calories
Chia Seeds – 1 Tbsp – 70 Calories
Total Calories = 3399
Making beef jerky is not something I have done before. Staying with our friends, Purple and Carnivore, we learned about their jerky making for their thru hikes, and they offered to help me make some jerky. So…I picked up a log of ground beef, and we made the jerky that day….by the next morning, I had 4 lbs of jerky ready to pack up for the hike.
I bought 10lbs of ground beef and combined it with some jerky seasoning packets that Purple and Carnivore had. We used a hand crank machine which creates flat strips from the ground meat and then put it in their dehydrator. It took about 12 hours to dehydrate the 10lbs of beef. 6lbs was lost in the dehydrating process, to leave me with 4lbs of jerky.
If you are interested, here is the dehydrator that we used.
Looks simple and delicious! Did you eat this same thing every day? It looks like you opted for no cooking. Did you end up liking that or do you wish you had cooked?
Hi Félix – thanks for checking out the site.
Yes, I did eat the same thing everyday. I know not everybody likes doing that, but over the years and miles I have dialed in what I can eat day after day.
Regarding cooking….I have done roughly 2/3rds of all my trail miles since 2011 without cooking. I do like it for the simplicity and like to go to bed without a fully belly. Not having the wieght or bulk of stove/pot/fuel is a bonus. Here and there my wife and I will carry a stove…generally on more social hikes where we drop the miles down a bit. Twice at the end of a Triple Crown Trail where we could add on the calories and wanted a new food to look forward to for the last few hundred miles.
Check out the Food section toward the bottom of this post – https://www.longdistancehiker.com/grand-enchantment-trail-get-post-hike-thoughts/ – for my most recent daily food plan
We did that trail last spring…it is from Phoenix to ABQ. Ultimately, I used that good plan for 4 different trails last year on a total of 1700ish miles. I will be using the same food plan (maybe adding a 1oz nut butter packet) for this year.
I probably missed it in one of your other posts, but how many days of food do you carry at a time and how far apart are your caches/resupply shipments?
Hi Adam – Thanks for checking out the site. We let the location of towns dictate this in a general sense. If the distance between towns is 65 miles, we will most likely plan for an average above of 20 miles/day so that we can make it into town at the end of the third day. Our longest food carry on any trail has been 8 days. Carrying over 5 days is something we generally avoid, but sometimes cannot. Looking at our notes on the AZT planning, our longest stretch was 118 miles, and we carried 5 days of food for that. Hope this helps!