4-Day Climb of Emmons Glacier, Mount Rainier

(14,410 ft) Washington

Mount Rainier 4-Day Climb Lunch Menu Guide


Food is one of the basic pleasures of wilderness travel. There are countless options for putting together healthy and delicious meals for long wilderness trips, depending on how much time, effort and money you have to spend on preparation before and cooking during the trip. Thorough meal planning and preparation is a must.

A wilderness outing for climbing or backpacking requires a much higher energy expenditure on a daily basis than what you may be used to. Eating well and frequently not only sustains energy levels but also helps to keep positive morale and attitude. By nature, mountains have periods of inclement weather and it is important that caloric intake be high and regular to help avoid hypothermia and other cold weather and altitude related problems.

Your menu should consist of a well-balanced selection of food groups. It is best to plan most meals with high levels of complex carbohydrates to provide the most efficient long-term energy production. Refined sugars, or simple carbohydrates, such as in candy, provide quick, short-term energy. Proteins are necessary for good health, but not in the quantities that most people usually eat. On a 4 day trip it is not critical if protein levels are slightly deficient. Fats require much more oxygen and time to metabolize, (especially at high altitudes) and this can be an important consideration when planning your meals.

Meals should also consist of foods which are light and compact. That usually means a high percentage of dried items to minimize weight and bulk. Packaging should be minimal, but good organization and protecting food from weather and your backpack are also important factors.

Alpine Ascents provides breakfast, dinner, soups and hot drinks for summit climbs. You will be responsible for providing your own lunches (3 or 4 days depending on your route). Listed below is a sample lunch menu. It is extremely important to bring the amounts listed below, though items may be substituted.

4 Day Climb Lunch Bag

jerky – beef, turkey, soy 10-14 oz
Trail Mix 3 cups
Salty Snack Mix 1 qt.
Energy Bars 3 Bars
Corn Nuts 2 packets
Large Cookies 2 pack
Candy Bars 3 bars
granola bars 3 bars
crackers - peanut butter or cheese 2 packages
bagels - 1 per day 4 bagels
string cheese 2 sticks
cheddar cheese squares 2 squares
Mini cheese rounds 2 rounds
mixed dried fruit 1/4 qt. bag
hard candy 1/4 qt. bag
Cold drink mix 3 Packets
Energy Gel 1 Packet
gallon zip-lock bag 2 bags

 Return to Top of Page