Umm... a lot!!
But in an attempt to be only half-scientific, I thought I would try and figure it out.
You see, when Team Creason hits the grocery store - or more often the convenience store - Reason does a lot of math while Cruiser heads straight for the Oreos. I'm thinking of taking a note from my husband's page this time around and buying food based on logic rather than stomach.
Reason generally decides how many ounces of food he wants to carry each day, then multiplies that by the number of days we'll be out. He's really nerdy, and sometimes he does this in binary. Hee hee! But he's my nerd, and I love him.
After determining his food weight, Reason then looks for foods with the greatest number of calories per ounce (caloric density) and, more recently, the cost per ounce. The cost per ounce is a new development. I think it just makes the math more nerdy and therefore more fun. But it also keeps our cost per mile down. Which is just another algorithm Reason can process.
I'm not kidding about the Oreos. All I can think is, "wow, I need how many days of chocolate donuts and mint Newman O's!?!" In terms of cost, I go for the junk food that is pre-priced at the factory. Most often this includes Fritos and Cheetos. It is easy to pay too much at a remote convenience store. We once accidentally paid $7 for a half pound of Kraft cheddar. The barometer we use for fair pricing is Ramen noodles. Ten cents a pack is about as cheap as it comes. Thirty cents is decent. Eighty-five cents is highway robbery and you'd better start looking for the Cheetos.
The other day I tried to estimate how many calories I might need per day on the CDT. It's possible that I burned about 500 calories per hiking hour on the difficult AT. I think it more likely that I burned around 300 calories per hour on the well-graded PCT.
So I'm gonna pull a number out of thin air and say that I will burn about 350 calories per hiking hour on the CDT.
I'll give myself 1,000 calories per day just for living.
At Team Creason's famously not-fast pace of about 2.5 miles per hour, here are a few scenarios:
15 miles per day = 6 hiking hours = 2100 cals +1000 cals = 3100 calories
18 miles per day = 7+ hiking hours = 2450 cals + 1000 cals = 3450+ calories
20 miles per day = 8 hiking hours = 2800 cals + 1000 cals = 3800 calories
25 miles per day = 10 hiking hours = 3500 cals + 1000 cals = 4500 calories
Very good, very good.
Now for the weight. Let's assume that I can find foods with caloric densities of 100 calories per ounce. (I think Oreos surpass this metric!) There are 16 ounces in a pound.
15 miles per day = 3100 calories = 31 oz = 1.9+ lbs
Well, so far, that's a problem. Two pounds per day seems like too much, and 15 miles per day ain't gonna get us to Canada before the snow. But 25 miles a day will.
25 miles per day = 4500 calories = 45 oz = 2.8+ lbs.
Nope, no way I'm gonna carry three pounds of food per day.
Guess I'll go back to buying food by stomach. I'll just supplement in town with ice cream!