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31955Re: [John Muir Trail] Re: Food reality check

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  • Roleigh Martin
    Jun 21, 2013
      The body has 5 sources of energy to sustain itself on a hike.  From my own reading (Eat-Stop-Eat is an interesting book of about 200 references), I believe the body's preferences (what it grabs first) is in the following order:
      1.  External Food
      2.  Free Pool of Available Proteins and Sugar in one's body 
      3.  Convert one's Body fat into a source of energy
      4.  Generating energy via generation of Human Growth Hormone (after 14-24 hours of going without food humans will generate up to 1300-2000% of HGH -- because various tests used different time windows, there is not a 100% consensus on the minimal time window to observe).
      5.  Converting muscle to a source of energy (according to science references in ESE, it takes about 58 hours going without food for this to happen).

      If you're eating 2000 calories a day which contains an adequate amount of protein, fat and carbs, and you weigh 180 lbs and am only hiking 10-20 miles a day (a large range, what do you really expect?), you may lose a few pounds of weight, but you'll gain about 3500 calories of energy per pound of fat lost.  

      It's not unusual to lose a 1/2 a pound of food a day on a JMT hike.  On top of 2000 calories a day, that is giving you 3750 calories of energy a day then.

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      On Fri, Jun 21, 2013 at 12:21 PM, dave.thofern <dthofern@...> wrote:
       

      I've not had a great deal of experience with calculating caloric needs on an extended backpacking trip but I've looked at a few of the online caloric calculators. Plugging in my own data--66 years old, 180 pounds--the calculators generally return a recommendation of somewhere around 2,000 calories per day to maintain my weight with just ordinary exertion. Wouldn't I need a LOT more calories if I'm hiking 10--20 miles a day with a pack for three weeks? It seems like being short on calories would translate to being short on energy. That doesn't sound like fun.

      Dave



      --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, Jim White <jimqpublic@...> wrote:
      >
      > After hiking the JMT in 15 days with a fairly light pack (and some extra around my belly) I decided that I wanted about 2000 calories per day the first week and 2500 the second. This summer we will be doing a family hike over 15 days. I was thinking that with the lower daily mileage that a out 2000-2200 per day would be about right for the adults, a bit less for the 10 and 12 year olds.
      >
      > Is it reasonable that I would need 2000 calories when averaging 10 miles vs 2500 when doing 15+?
      >
      > Jim


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