Arizona Trail – Post Trip Report – Food, it’s a Balancing Act

Overall, I was extremely happy with my food choices and my decision to go stoveless. Comments about my experience are in italics.


  • Granola, cold (Nature’s Path Pumkin Flax and Hemp Plus varieties held up well)
    • VERY happy with this option, especially once I added a little of my cold coffee to moisten the granola
    • Dry cereal took much too long to eat
  • Coffee, instant (Nescafe Vanilla is my preference)
    • Found I quite liked cold coffee

Snack/Meal Options:

I packaged these mostly dehydrated meals in snack-sized ziplocks and ate 4-6 per day (more variety would be preferable). *For recipes & dehydrating tips see this link

  • Hummus* and Doctor Krackers
  • Sweet Potato/Black Bean/Quinoa Salad*
    • My personal favorite
  • Chili*
    • My least favorite option cold
  • Turkey/Rice/Vege Teriyaki*
  • Fiesta Chicken Salad*
  • Pasta with Sauce*
  • Trader Joe’s Superfood Pilaf
  • Trader Joe’s Spelt Risotto
  • Trader Joe’s Quinoa Duo with Vegetable Melange
  • Sweet Potato Mash*
    • Extremely refreshing and filling
  • Pudding with Nido and Chia Seeds (made these into mini-meals and ate a couple servings per day)
    • Oreo pudding was an on-trail favorite (least favorite off trail)
    • Nestle dark chocolate was good, but would have been better with a little mint
    • Greek yogurt pudding was a surprise find at Walmart

Town food options included items such as:

  • Tortillas, flat bread, or fresh baked bread
  • Cheese
  • Avocado (repackage without peel & seed)
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Tangerines (repackage without peel)

I usually kept my pack pocket full of munchies such as these and packed out enough for about 1-2 cups per day.

  • Bars
    • Really liked the Pro Bars, I’d break them into bite size pieces
  • Sweet
    • Nibs Butter Rum hard candies
    • Dried tangerines
    • Sweet Potato Leather*
    • Mixed Berry Leather*
  • Salty
    • Pretzel bites
    • Veggie chips (I was surprised at their durability)
  • Sweet & Salty
    • Pretzel M&M’s
  • Pizzazz
    • Wasabi Peas

To help with not so tasty water, I used a variety of flavor additives such as these and depending on water conditions figured on 2-6 liters of flavored water daily.

  • NUUN tablets (electrolytes)
    • These didn’t really agree with me
  • Crystal Light, etc
    • I’m not much of a sweet drink person, so I used 1/4 to 1/3 package per liter of water
  • Coffee
    • I much preferred slightly sweetened cold coffee to the artificially sweetened drink additives


For people like me who’d rather not carry more weight than absolutely necessary, it’s important to evaluate the additions of town food.

A sweet treat is a morale booster

I’d NEVER say NO to pizza

or ice cream . . .

or leftover smoked chicken and parmesan from a Caesar salad

But giving up all my dehydrated options for heavy town food before a long steep climb was tasty but not worth the weight penalty. (P.S. this is food for Jan and Joan)

A welcome relief to dehydrated food

Moderation is a much better option for me

When in town, it’s time to EAT, EAT, EAT just like drinking (aka cameling up) at water sources. This is not the time to diet!!! I use town to make up for calories I didn’t want to carry and obtain nutritional I’ve been missing. Yogurt, fruits, vegetables and especially salads are high on my list, plus calorie dense foods such as ice cream of course.

My new favorite!

Tips and Resources:


One thought on “Arizona Trail – Post Trip Report – Food, it’s a Balancing Act

  1. Pingback: Long-Distance Hiking and Backpacking Skills, Summary Post – Jan's Jaunts and Jabberings

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