Hiker hunger


Long distance hiking often results in big physiological changes. On my long distance hikes I average burning around 5,800 calories per day on a multi-week hike and find that I just don’t have the appetite to eat that much food. For males this likely result in large weight loss. I know from personal experience that I will lose on average of 3.5kg per week (7.8lbs per week) for every week I hike when I’m doing long days. For females the weight loss is typically much less however there is still weight loss and often the biggest change is the shifting of weight and ‘toning up’.

If you have ever done a multi-week hiking trip then you will know all about hiker hunger. But if not or you haven’t started your trip yet, then this is a hiking condition you need to be aware of. Hiker hunger kicks varies in its impacts and may include the following main symptoms:

  • Intense hunger
  • Cravings for particular food(s), often based on your body’s needs

In addition to wanting to eat just about anything you come across throughout the duration of a hike, your tastes will change. I go through stages and its not unusual to not like something at the start of a hike but crave it at the end. I have a snack of choice on my hikes and anytime I come to a shop I will always buy a Weiss Bar (ice cream) and a Coke No Sugar!

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