Food Plan for Sierra High Route

Planning your food for the Sierra High Route in California definitely takes some time and this part was something we have never optimized before.

There are two parts that are important when preparing the food: 

1. Calorie requirement. Hiking 10hrs a day up and down with a heavy backpack in high altitude requires the intake of a lot of calories. At times, you have to force yourself to eat. We planned a total of 3,731 calories per Person per day. 

2. Calorie per weight density. As you need so much calories you really want to make sure to eat high calorie density foods, meaning you want to pack as much calories per ounce so that your pack will not be unnecessary heavy. However, you still want to enjoy your meals and not drink pure olive oil all day long. Aiming for a calorie/ounce factor of at least 100 is crucial. Snickers is great food with a calorie/weight density of 134, pretty good and tasty. 

Having said that, below is a complete list of all the food we prepared for our trip. We premixed all ingredients into zipper bags so that everything was perfectly portioned. We did this in a Motel 6 one day before driving up to Fresno, it was a stressful situation, as it took us way longer to weight and package everything. Next time, we will definitely do this ahead of time. 

Weighting and packaging backcountry food
Weighting and packing our breakfast :)

Breakfast was packaged in zipper bags so that we just added water in the morning and could enjoy our Musli. Dinner was packaged in freezer bags so that we could add hot water to it. Snacks, if not already packaged were put in snack sized zipper bags.

Here is our average calorie intake per Person:

And our overall food weight per person per section:


For Breakfast we had a musli that was already premixed from Trader Joes. To make it extra tasty we added some raisins, coconut flakes, hemp seeds, almonds and chocolate chips. For additional calories and sweetness some instant breakfast is added. Lastly, dried milk to get an almost perfect musli taste when water is added.


Snacks were a good mix of sweet and salty. Eating two snickers a day was definitely the best part. For me, snickers were the easiest to eat. I always had trouble finishing my cliff and probars.


For dinner, we definitely had the best variety as we prepared three different meals. Two of them involved couscous and one mashed potatoes. These are both great foods as they are completely dry and light.