Food for the West Coast Trail

Q: What food do you pack for 6 days on the west coast trail?

A: Good food.

Read on for my full menu.

I spent the day buying food, weighing it out, re-packaging it into ready-to-eat bags etc.

Here's is what we are taking (to see numbers, click on picture to enlarge it)

1. Freeze Dried Entrees

2. Desert (Cookies and Cheesecake)

3. Trail Mix

4. Dried Fruit

5. Beef Jerky

6. Aged Cheeses

7. Dark Choclate

8. Salami

9. Hummus Mix

10. Energy Bars

11. Alpen / Granola Cereal

12. Crackers

13. Coffee, Emergen-C, Nuun, Candy

14. Moose Goo & Tortillas

For the exact weight/menu breakdown, see below:

Note this is for 2 people to share, weights are in oz.

1/2 choclate 1.6
2 balance bar 4.2
Dried Mango 3.3
Mountain House – Beef Stew 4.3
1/2 choclate 1.6

Granola, Dried Milk 8.5
Nutty Trail Mix 8.0
1/2 choclate 1.6
powerbar 2.6
powervar 2.5
cheese 4.8
crackers 2.7
salami 1.7
Dried Mango 3.9
Chicken Terriyaki 5.4
cheesecake 4.2

Alpen, Dried Milk 8.1
Asian Trail Mix & Wassabi Peas 8.0
1/2 choclate 1.6
powerbar 2.3
powerbar 2.3
Moose Goo 6.4
Tortilla (3 medium) 5.4
Beef Jerky 2.8
Hawaiian Chicken 6.3
cookies 2.8

Day 4
Breakfast :
Alpren, Milk 8.5
Trail Mix 8.1
choclaty balance bar 1.6
choclaty balance bar 1.6
cheese 5.0
crackers 2.8
salami 1.5
dried fruit 3.9
Dinner :
Mountain House – Beef Stew (1 Pack) 4.3
cookies 2.8

Day 5
Granola, Dried Milk 8.3
Wasabi, Asian Trail Mix 8.0
1/2 choclat 1.6
trail bar 1.7
trail bar 2.4
humus & olive oil 3.8
tortilla 5.4
dried fruit 3.9
beef jerky 2.8
Chili & Beans 6.9
1/2 choclat 1.6

Day 6
Alpen, Dried Milk 8.6
Trail Mix 7.9
1/2 choclate 1.6
powerbar 2.3
powerbar 2.3
crackers 2.8
hard cheese 5.0
salami 1.5

Misc Food
java drops 1.3
extra 2 trail bars 3.2
Nuun Tabs 1.7
Emergen-C 1.4
Coffee 1.6

Final Weight Total (lbs) 14.8

13 thoughts on “Food for the West Coast Trail

  1. brett Post author

    Bryan – for the Salami – I bought some sliced from the deli at Whole Foods – they have some great stuff that is of small diameter – perfect size for crackers. After they sliced it, I simply repacked it in a vacuum seal bag using a “Food Saver” sealer.

  2. Bryan

    Hey Brett. If I were to use sliced deli salami and package it in a regular ziplock, how long do you think it would last? I’m going away on a 3 day trip (with temps from 60’s-30’s) and I really don’t wanna pay almost double for the Dry Salami Stick. Thanks!

  3. brett Post author

    we ate it on day 5 of temps in the (50-65 range) and it was excellent. no worries on a 3-day trip.

  4. David Noll

    Just came across your site today and I will be back. Couple of questions. Have you looked at
    the Freezer Bag Cooking website? My wife and I used it this summer on Isle Royale and loved it.
    We use a pocket rocket and have added the windscreen from BPL by Dr Ryan. It cut our fuel at least in half. What did you use for a wind screen?

  5. brett Post author

    I have seen the site – it’s really cool – although I haven’t tried any of the recipes yet.

    In general it felt to me that the site prioritizes good food/nutrition & simple packaging/cleanup over weight. As food tends to be a large part of my weight allowance, I generally go for the store-bought freeze dried meals instead – they seems like they would be lighter and they sure take a lot less time at home to prepare 😉

    I really like the site though, and I would love to experiment more with home-cooked meals.

    Currently we use the snowpeak stove with it’s windshield. However, at 2oz – I’m sure there are much better home-made options.

  6. David Noll

    For our Isle Royale trip our food weight with packaging was aprx 16#. We used a windscreen that
    I found at BPL which has a bottom cut out of a pie plate and aluminum foil to wrap around the pot.
    The pot was a SUL 1100. Our trip was 7 days.

  7. Michael Henry

    Have you tried Sammi’s Best Whey & Rice drink powder (2.2.oz per quart water)?
    Available from in Clarkston, WA.

    We’ve been using it for years as a dried milk substitute and like the flavor

  8. brett Post author

    Hi Michael,

    I haven’t heard of it – I’ll keep my eye open for some to try. At the moment I’m using dried coconut milk as it has an incredible 19g of fat content per serving. Perfect for those early morning starts 🙂


  9. Joyce

    Did you repack the dried entries and if so how did you pack/cook them? Any other tips for repacking food would be great!


  10. brett Post author

    hey joyce,

    i didn’t repack the freeze-dried entries; and i usually buy ones that have minimal ‘trash’ inside. maybe a silica packet at the most. i cook in the foil pouches and use them to seal up trash also, so don’t find i need to repack – the weight is minimal. you might want to look @ if you haven’t already for tips in this area.

    as for other repacking, i pretty much vaccuum pack or freezer-bag everything – to keep odors down (bears) and keep things freshest. also things like vaccuum packed cheese, i can submerge in stream and get nice and chilled before eating without risk of contamination 🙂

    packing the crackers was tricky – as you don’t want them to crush. for this i simply put them in small lightweight rigid plastic cups, and that provided enough structure to protect them if i’m careful.

    good luck, if you post your trip-report let me know – always great to read about others experiences.


  11. maurice engler

    Hell Brett,

    Is is possible to purchase anything fresh along the WCT – perhaps fish or vegetables – perhaps in Clo-oose or elsewhere”

    Thank you, maurice

  12. brettm

    monique had a few things – like apples, but i’m not sure i’d count on it. at the nitnat narrows you can buy a meal of fish/baked potato from the ferry driver. he’d probably sell you some fish also. again, i wouldn’t rely on it.

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