The Long Distance Hiking Food Resupply Tool is a free, public Google Sheets spreadsheet. I created it to help long-distance hikers more easily plan resupplies. It currently includes almost 1300 common backpacker food options (including popular freeze-dried meals) with associated nutrition information.
The tool has several useful features, including:
- You can mark food items as favorites for easier sorting and select specific items for the next resupply run.
- You can specify the number of days and nights and amount of daily calories you want. The tool will show you how your planned resupply compares.
- You can specify nutritional goals (percentages of fat, carbs, and protein) and see how your planned resupply compares.
- You can choose unit quantities so even if you buy a multi-unit food (e.g., a bag of bagels) and only plan to take part of the package you can accurately calculate calorie and nutritional information.
- Food options include useful nutrition percentages and ratios and utilize color coding so you can more easily spot foods by weight or nutrition content ratings. The Keys sheet provides a guide to these color codes.
- Because it is a Google Sheets tool, you can use it in offline mode. This should be helpful when on the trail with spotty or no wireless coverage.
- There is a Version sheet to let you check if your local saved copy is up-to-date or if you should make a new local copy from the public master version.
How to Use the Resupply Tool
On the Food Options sheet, select the food items you want to buy for this resupply. A useful tip is to mark foods you plan to eat regularly as a favorite and then sort the sheet by the favorite column.
On the Goals sheet fill in the Resupply Goals.
On the Shopping List sheet enter the quantities you plan to buy. Enter quantities as “units.” A unit can mean different things for different food items, but generally it is the smallest package size. So, a box of six Clif Bars is 6 units and a package of 6 Thomas’ bagels is 6 units. For something like an economy bag of trail mix, the unit is usually the serving size (grams/ounces) listed on the label (or on the Food Options sheet). For something like a Mountain House meal the unit is the package even though most packages list two servings. When in doubt, check the Servings per Unit column. Calculations will be made as:
(# Units) x (Servings per Unit) x (Calories per Serving)
Note that this tool is still under development. If you notice any mistakes or ways it could be improved, please let me know. Likewise, if you want to help maintain the master food list, please contact me about that.
I hope you find this tool useful. Also check out my extensive list of Appalachian Trail thru-hiking resources. Even if you’re not specifically interested in hiking the A.T., you’ll find lots of other good stuff for long-distance hikers. You may also enjoy my big collection of nature and hiking quotations.
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