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Backpacking Food, Hydration and Electrolytes for the Trail \ My FKT Strategy

In this video I will explain my overall strategy for attempting to set the new fastest known time on the 85 mile Susquehannock Trail in North Central Pennsylvania. You will get a detailed look at the high calorie food in my food bag as well as the hydration, electrolytes, gels and snacks that will sustain me for the duration of the event.

What’s going on everybody i’m jason thank you so much for tuning in today we are talking backpacking food more specifically the food i plan to take with me on my next fkt now for those of you who have been following my channel for the last year know that i have recently been getting into fkts an fkt is just an acronym for fastest known time and is basically just

A speed record on a trail now my next one is going to be on the 85 mile susquehanna trail in north central pennsylvania there have recently been two fkt set on the susquehanna trail the first one being this past summer it was a supported attempt which means he had somebody or a crew either setting up aid stations for him pacing him through the night giving

Him whatever he needed at trailheads along the trail and then there was a second one set this past oh september i believe so just in the last month and a half it was a self-supported attempt it actually began as an unsupported attempt but he misjudged one of his water sources and was forced to get water out of his car as he passed it at one of the trail heads

Which made it a self-supported fkt and he did it in 43 hours so i will be attempting an unsupported attempt which means i will be starting and finishing with everything that i start with in my backpack obviously my food load will get lighter as i continue to move down the trail but i will have no support team no resupplies of any kind along the trail other

Than natural water sources for hydration so the susquehanna trail is 85 miles it’s a circuit height which means it’s a loop and it has over 14 000 feet of elevation change so this is going to be mile per mile by far the most vertical elevation gain i have ever experienced on any backpacking trail so i definitely have my work cut out for me this is going to be

Very very difficult and what makes this fkt even more difficult is that i’m going to do this in one long hard push in one day no sleep i do plan to bring a an emergency sleep system of a piece of tyvek and a piece of reflectix in my quilt all those three things are very very light and take up minimal space in my pack and i think it’s important on a trail of that

Length not knowing if i can handle 88 85 miles in a row it’s probably pretty important or a wise decision to bring some sort of sleep system especially since i have no support team there to bail me out so today we’re going to be diving in taking a closer look at my food and all of the calories and nutrition and hydration and electrolytes that are going to sustain

Me on this fkt okay now to a little bit more detail on the strategy of my food and how i have it laid out in the four bags i normally like to use gallon ziplock bags for my backpacking trips and each day will represent one gallon ziploc bag so if on a normal backpacking trip this would represent four days but since this is basically just one long day i wanted

To figure out a way to separate out my food and all my hydration products separately so it wasn’t just a big jumbled up mess in my food bag so i decided to divide this trail up into four segments so even though it’s approximately 85 to 87 miles i decided to go a little bit on the high side and be on the safe side and call it 88 miles so each bag will represent a 22

Mile segment and my goal is to complete each segment in 6.5 hours now the first half of the trail i will be completing in the daylight hours so the first 44 miles which represents the first two bags will be completely finished hopefully entirely before it gets dark so i want to do those maybe a little quicker closer to the six hour uh time frame for each bag for

Each 22 mile segment so 12 hours moving into the nighttime hours this will give me a little leeway if i can complete those a little faster maybe have seven hours to complete these two um i know that’s easier said than done once you go and once i go into the 40 50 mile range i will be into uncharted waters for what i have done in the past and i don’t know how i’m

Going to handle that i want to continually be moving i don’t ever want to stop if i don’t have to so i know my pace is going to slow down especially in the darkness especially after i’m worn out after the first 45 miles and especially with the elevation vertical gain i will be dealing with on this trail so that’s kind of my plan with why i have this divided into

Four bags now each food bag has approximately 2500 calories actually a little over 2 500 calories as you’ll see here shortly when i get all my food out late on the table for you to see all the details of what i’m taking so if you take the 2500 calories and divide it by 6.5 hours that gives me approximately 400 calories an hour and from my research ultra runners

And marathon runners normally consume between 100 and 600 calories per hour during their race so obviously the people that are consuming 600 calories have very very high metabolisms and need all those calories to maintain their energy throughout the race so i consider myself to have a very high metabolism so i’m gonna pick a number almost at the top maybe around

400 calories so 2500 calories divided by 6.5 hours which is what i want to complete each bag in each segment in comes out to around 400 to 450 calories an hour so i think that’s what uh is going to work for me now on the sheltoy trace i was a little less than that i was eating about 5 000 calories per day fourth nine and a half days and i lost about a pound a

Day so that’s why i’m upping my caloric intake a little bit to try to put nutrition in my body that i’m expending on the trail another thing i learned during my research is that the human body really can only absorb two or three hundred calories maximum even during strenuous activity but since i’m kind of new at this and want to play it safe and be on the safe

Side i would rather have more calories than my body can absorb because i know i’m going to be expending more calories than that you know there comes a time when it’s just a losing battle and no matter how much you put in your body it’s not going to equal what your body is expending on the trail but like i said i want to be on the safe side and not make a mistake

Especially since i’m going unsupported and i have also considered the possibility that eating all this food and forcing all these calories in my body is just going to be like a gut bomb and i might not be able to handle it so if you know if there’s a chance that i can’t eat all this food or something’s not settling well on my stomach i do have the opportunity to

Drop some of this food off along the trail and lighten my load a little bit so that’s the other good thing about an unsupported fkt my bag will continually get lighter as i move further on down the trail so as i go into the darkness hours on the final half of the trail you know instead of carrying seven pounds with me i’ll be down to three and a half so that’ll

Be nice to have a lighter pack half the weight from what i started with and help me move a little lighter and quicker in the dark hours but like i said i’m going to drop something off along the trail if if i feel like it’s not needed so i will bring my my uh rock sack and some bear line and an extra food bag with me so i can throw it up in a tree real quick along

The trail if i feel like i don’t need all this to complete the circuit so another part of my strategy on pace to get through the fkt in record time is how fast i need to move on a trail so i’ve kind of crunched all the numbers i know exactly how fast i need to go and with including stops i need to maintain a minimum of 3.25 miles per hour so when you start throwing

In stops i really need to be closer to 3.4 3.5 miles per hour and that’s going to be very difficult especially when i get into the latter half of the trail when i’m worn out and i’m hiking up down these brutal hills in the darkness so um i’ll probably be more like a two to two and a half miles per hour on the last half of the trail and in order for me to do this

I’m probably going to have to do some light jogging on the flat sections and especially the downhills because i know that on some of these steep ascents i will be down to two to two and a half miles per hour and i don’t know how my body’s gonna handle this this is definitely uncharted territory for me but i’ve been training really hard i think i’m ready and i’m

Gonna give it all i have and do my best at maintaining a minimum of 3.25 miles per hour the entire 88 miles now for those of you who really like to crunch the numbers and want to know what that what that pace is per mile how many minutes per mile that is it’s approximately 18.75 minutes per mile pace so it really doesn’t sound very fast especially for someone

Who is a runner it actually sounds pretty slow but when it’s sustaining that pace for that length of time for 27 plus hours that is where the difficulty lies this is gonna be like three full marathons and some so i definitely have my work cut out for me and it’s gonna be brutal i’m gonna have to dig deep and there’s a good chance i want to fall off that pace

But that’s okay i’m ready for the challenge and really looking forward to giving it my all one thing i failed to mention is that i don’t necessarily have to beat the 27 hour supported time i will be in a separate category going unsupported so um if i fall off that pace i will then refocus my energy and attention to just beating the 43 hour self-supported time but

My goal is to at least set a really solid time in the 30-hour range well it’s about time to get these bags opened up and dig inside and show you exactly what i’m taking on the trail for this fkt okay i have my four food bags unloaded so i really like these packet gourmet smoothies um i have tried them all my favorite ones the mango kale and i quit making it at

Least i have mail to find it so i got berry berry here i got one called peach passion and then so i’ll probably start my morning off with that before i hit the trail as well as the clif bar you can see i have a lot of mirror energy gels across the table there then i like the mirror energy because they’re all natural ingredients if you look at the back of these

Things you can see there’s six ingredients in there focus in there and black strap molasses is the base product in all of these so they all have a little bit of a slight molasses taste some of them are you see they’re the top fast burning some of them are slow burning some of them have caffeine some of them and don’t had i really liked the honey stingers as

Well so i got a couple honey stingers and you can see across here i also have some goose another honey honey stinger and another goo now for uh hydration throughout the day um i’m trying these new things i found i’ve seen them recommended by a couple other um backpackers and ultra runners they’re ign mountain ops ignite supercharged energy and focused drink

I’m definitely going to need to be focused on the trail so these have a natural caffeine source in them so really excited to try these out and see how they perform i like scratch labs i had a couple few of those left over from my last fkt so i got some of those and the noon hydrations that one has caffeine in it and tailwind those were all the ones i used on the

Shell toei trace so i have a couple of those left i decided to throw them in here’s another item that is new liquid iv hydration multiplier i just recently found out about these and they’re uh going to be my electrolyte source my primary electrolyte source and we’ll see how those work out i don’t know a lot about them i just saw that they came highly recommended

So i’m going to be giving those a shot obviously you can see across the table i like green belly meal to go bars i used a lot of these on the sheltoy trace a lot of whole foods natural ingredients not no preservatives and things you can’t pronounce so i really like the green belly bars and they’re full of calories 650 calories per bar so those can take you a

Long way down the trail i love honey stingers these honeysinger waffles high calories per weight they’re only one ounce and you get 150 calories per ounce so that’s that’s great i love having some sweets on the trail i love these uh sour patch kids and skittles just keeps the mind occupied and it’s kind of a slow release sugar while you’re on the trail and of

Course after eating lots of heavy dense bars it’s nice to mix it up with something a little bit light and crunchy these are just some roasted corn nuts about 150 calories for a little over an ounce bag of corn nuts and just for good measure threw in an rx bar i like those all right you can obviously see that on a few days these last two days i only have one meal

To go bar i’m mixing up with a pro bar pro meal on the go bar from whole foods so they still are packed with a lot of calories but those days i threw in an extra rx bar to make up for the difference in calories that they have compared to the meal to goes all right at the bottom of each pile i just got a little sticky note here just so i know what i had in each

Bag each bag is over 2500 calories as you can see 2600 25.95 26.45 you know divide that out by the 6.5 hours that i want to complete each 22 mile section that gives me 439 calories an hour which is right where i want to be or 129 calories per mile so each day is basically the same with a total of 10 775 calories so as you can see almost all four segments are

Replicated just about exactly the same that made it a lot easier for me figuring out what the pack and take on the trail all righty there you have it folks a detailed look at all the food i plan to take on my next fkt i do plan to put the garmin inreach mini map share link in the description box below and on my facebook page that is the navigation device that

I’ll be carrying on my backpack and it has a map share link where you can click on it and watch me in live time where i’m at on the trail how fast i’m moving and how things are going overall for me so if you’re interested in following along on my journey be sure to click that map share link so you can follow along as well also if you see anything in my food

Supply that i may have left out or have some recommendations i would love to hear your feedback down in the comments below i love reading the comments and i will answer any questions you may have as quickly as possible by the time you are seeing this video i most likely will be on the trail or heading to the trail to attempt my fkt and upon my return i do plan

To share the video of my adventure i will be vlogging on the trail i won’t be doing any walk by shots for the sake of time but i will be carrying my camera and sharing what i’m going through to the camera while i’m on the trail so be looking out for that video as well as a video detailing how i train to prepare my body for this fkt alrighty folks that’s going

To wrap up the video thank you so much for watching i really appreciate it i am really looking forward to sharing my venture with you upon my return until next time i’m jason wish wishing you a great time on your next adventure you

Transcribed from video
Backpacking Food, Hydration and Electrolytes for the Trail \\ My FKT Strategy By Jason Wish – Wishwell Farms