On the 2017 October R2R Shadonna ๐Ÿ‘ง experienced a scary pH imbalance (balance of acidity and alkalinity) for several hours that teetered on the fine line between manageable and medical emergency. R2R team member Esther,๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ™๐Ÿฝ who is a nutritionist, was able to put Shadonna back in balance using combinations of food from the hiker's backpacks. This story IS meant to cause a slight scare and a big pause for thought! A Grand Canyon hiker MUST pay attention to hydration and nutrition.

The sisters ๐Ÿ‘ง๐Ÿ‘ง๐Ÿป cannot overstate the importance of bringing the right foods on a Grand Canyon journey. Hiking foods should provide plenty of energy while not causing the body to feel heavy. Foods high in sugars and fats, which can cause tiredness, should be avoided. Foods rich in protein, carbohydrates, fiber and electrolytes should be selected. BALANCE โš– is the key! ๐Ÿ”‘

Starting a hiking day with a hearty, nutritious meal is a good idea; however, an early breakfast is challenging on the Grand Canyon rims. The Deli in the Pines on the North Rim opens at 5am local time; however, the prepared hiker doesn't rely on the limited availability of recourses on the North Rim. ๐ŸŒ๐ŸŽ

In addition to "regular meals" in a hiker must replace the calories burned while hiking. Eating healthy snacks, at a minimum every couple of hours on the trail, will provide a hiker the required energy to get through the hike. The sisters ๐Ÿ‘ง๐Ÿ‘ง๐Ÿป recommend a 100 calorie snack at completion of each mile. Over the course of the hike this strategy works out to an average of 200-300 calories per hour which is aligned with calories out (burned), calories in. For hikers who have a method to track miles with a smart watch โŒš or similar device eating every mile is an easy strategy to implement!

โš  Hikers who are traveling internationally should check the USA customs rules for bringing in items... ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿฝโ€โ™€๏ธ


Homemade bars are an option; however, baking is hard so the following options are easier!


Homemade trail mixes are generally easy and a great option for customizing nutrition.


Sugar Rush!

Be aware when selecting items in this category - chocolate ๐Ÿซ MELTS and a hiker does NOT want a mess in the backpack.


Fresh fruits ๐ŸŽ work but remember, hikers MUST carry all trash from beginning to end. A banana ๐ŸŒ peel can become quite smelly in the backpack after a few hours of hiking in the heat! ๐ŸŒž Try these options instead!

  • Soley dried fruit: ๐ŸŒ, ๐Ÿ, ๐Ÿฅญ

  • Gogo fruit squeezes

2012 the sisters ๐Ÿ‘ง๐Ÿ‘ง๐Ÿป, having NO experience, listened to a variety of sources and opinions about what food to take. They do NOT recommend large amounts of GU!

2013 the sisters ๐Ÿ‘ง๐Ÿ‘ง๐Ÿปadjusted and the nutrition was better; however, they realized there is still a lot to learn. Not pictured is an apple and beef jerky.

The math on nutrition is..

Daily (recommended) calories for meals + calories burned on hike = number of calories required

For example: a Rim To Rim run completed in ONE day over ~12 hours with the hiker carrying all food in the backpack

2000 + (100 calories per mile * 24.5 miles) = number of calories required

2000 + 2450 = 4450 calories required to complete the hike with proper nutrition for the day