When planning for TA was was aiming to eat around 20,000 KJ per day to keep my energy levels at the required levels. I developed a 7 day food plan which you can see in the pdf here – Food Planning
I planned to supplement this by purchasing meals while in towns. I kept to what I know I like and what works for me.
I found that this plan had too much food for me for the first month. I did not get the infamous “hiker hunger” and found I was not eating all of my food leading to having several days excess all the time. I was eating a lot during zero days but was not very hungry while on the trail.
I had the same breakfast every day and did not get sick of it. It is the same thing I have been using for years. I use a mix of Complan powder with alternating milk powder or coconut powder which changed the taste a little. Complan is a powder originally marketed as a food suplement for elderly people but rebranded for sports people and pregnant women. It is available in all supermarkets in the healthfood section, and in Pharmacys. For more information go to http://www.complan.com/ .
I packaged a breadfast portion in to a small glad wrap (cling film) parcel. Mix this up with a small amount of cold water then add boiling water for a nice hot drink. This gave me energy until around 10 o’clock each day.
Lunch varied depending on how much food I had to carry and when the next resupply was. For short legs (anything up to 4 days) I would have tortilla with humus, salami and cheese.
For longer legs I would have tortilla and peanut butter.
After the main I would have one glucose lolly (sweet) as a desert.
Tea/Dinner/Evening Meal (depending on your nationality)
This was my main meal of the day. I would always start with an instant soup to have while my dinner was cooking. Dinner alternated between different styles.
- Backcounty Cuisine freeze dry meals. Backcountry is the oldest of the brands of freeze dry meals and a staple for New Zealand tramping (hiking). There are now a couple of other brands which are ok but I like the Backcountry. As a hint do not go for anything with sliced meat as this is not great, always go for flavours with diced meat. (I started with single serve portions and then increased to a portion which was a third of 2 x two person meals. A single two person meal was too big and a single person meal was too small. My favourite flavour was Babotie, though this is not available anymore. I also liked the mexican nachos. I tried the Thai curry but it was too spicy for me while hiking.
- Instant mashed potatoe with dried onion, surprise peas, bacon bits, parmeson cheese and milk powder. This was my favourite meal.
- Instant Noodles (I can’t remember the brand but it is the one with the oil sachet and has significantly more calories than the others) I would mix with surprise peas and tuna.
I would finish dinner with a desert made of instant pudding. I would mix into small ziplock bags half a packet of instant pudding and 4 tablespoons of milk powder or coconut powder. Before eating dinner add water to the bag and mix thoroughly until all the lumps are gone. My favourite flavour was butterscotch and also chocolate.
I would generally try to eat something every hour, usually a handful of scroggin or half a muslea bar. Key snacks were:
- Muslea Bar – I went for the ones with nuts, dried fruit and no chocolate.
- Scroggin – I only make my own which includes: Dried apricots (the tart style, never turkish style), peanuts, brasil nuts, almonds, cashew nuts, macadamia nuts, cranberrys, dried cherries.
- Annies Fruit Leather – My one consistent craving was fruit and I found once I started eating these regularly the craving was a lot less.
- Beef Jerkey