Food and Fuel

Where to Get Food and How to Cook It, Hiking Nutrition, and Local Cuisine


Properly fueling your body is crucial to a healthy, happy journey, and with the Caucasus’ growing reputation for delicious food, trail meals and snacks can be one of the highlights of your hike. This page has all you need to know about what to eat on the trail, where to find it, and which time of year is best for foraging for wild strawberries. You might not be able to find the hiking food that you’re used to in the Caucasus, but you’ll find plenty of hiking-friendly food at city supermarkets and smaller town/village markets. 


Where to Get Food on the Trail

While the Caucasus is known for its cuisine, the region is not well-known (yet) for hiking. Hiking culture is still developing, and therefore, the typical hiking food you might be used to may be unavailable. But fear not, plenty of hiking-ready food can be bought in supermarkets, and dehydrated food is becoming more popular as hikers like you keep coming and hiking on the trails.


Many, but not all, of the villages along the route have a small village shop, which tend to sell more basic and long-lasting staples. 

In Armenia, larger supermarkets are located in Meghri, Kapan, Goris, Sisian, Jermuk, Yeghegnadzor, Sevan, Dilijan, and Stepanavan. 

In Georgia, you’ll find bigger supermarkets in Ninotsminda, Bakuriani, Borjomi, Surami/Khashuri, Sachkhere, Oni, Mestia, and Zugdidi. 

In Azerbaijan, larger supermarkets are found in almost all regional cities along the TCT route, such as Guba, Gusar, Gabala, Gakh, Sheki, Zagatala, and Balakan.



Dehydrated Food and Sports Nutrition

Armenia (Yerevan)

Hiking Federation on Sasuntsi Davit Square in Yerevan has dehydrated meals of local specialties. Energy bars can be found in supermarkets—mostly in Yerevan—such as Yerevan City and Gurmenia.

Georgia (Tbilisi)

Dehydrated food: Lazy Snark makes delicious dehydrated meals of local specialties, including lobio, buckwheat, and borscht. You can buy their pre-packaged meals in Tbilisi at the TCT office, Mplus outdoor gear store, and S.K. Lucky climbing gym. Check them out on Instagram for all of their offerings, including vegetarian and XL options (highly recommended for serious hiker hunger!). 

Sports nutrition: Sports drinks and energy bars aren’t common in the region, but you can find things like electrolyte tabs, protein powder, and supplements at

Azerbaijan (Baku)

Yummy.Outdoor, a company started by our own TCT Program Manager in Azerbaijan, offers ready-made packages of dry and dehydrated food. Try their delicious pumpkin rice and lentil soup options, and check out their Instagram page for more information. 

Lazy Snark dehydrated meals.
Lazy Snark dehydrated meals.


Fruit Seasons in the Caucasus

September Fruits


One of the great joys of hiking in the Caucasus is the abundance of wild fruit along the trail. Enjoy a bit of foraging when the opportunity presents itself, but don’t forget to be respectful in cultivated areas and near towns—someone is probably growing those!

  • late spring: mulberries
  • early summer: cherries, strawberries, apricots, peaches, nectarines
  • late summer: plums, melons, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, apples, pears, figs
  • autumn: pomegranates, persimmons


Cooking on the TCT: What type of stove should I use?

UTC-threaded camping gas canisters

These are common among day and section-hikers. They can easily be bought at the stores listed below, and will generally work fine for shorter hikes. 

If you’re not coming through Yerevan, Tbilisi, Mestia, or Baku prior to your hike or are thru-hiking, we strongly recommend using an alternate strategy due to the extremely limited availability of these canisters outside of those hubs. 

Alcohol Stoves

You’ll find surgical spirit (aka: medical alcohol or rubbing alcohol, known locally as spirt in Armenia and Azerbaijan) at every pharmacy (and some supermarkets) in Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan, including all towns and cities and some of the bigger villages. In Azerbaijan, you can also find it in 1-liter plastic bottles in the household shop “1001 xirdavat”.

 With an ethanol content of 96%, this will fuel any meths stove or spirit burner, from Trangia-type cooksets to the homemade drinks-can variety. Pharmacies also tend to be conveniently located in or near the centers of the villages and towns you’ll pass through, making for minimal detours. Surgical spirit typically comes in plastic or glass bottles with capacities ranging from 100mL up to 1 liter.

Multi-fuel Stoves

If you don’t mind the weight and mess associated with multi-fuel stoves, unleaded petrol (gasoline or benzine, locally known as benzin) and diesel (dizel or solyarka) are easily found at filling stations, usually on the outskirts of towns and dotted along highways. White gas (Coleman gas) is practically impossible to find in the Caucasus. Kerosene (liquid paraffin) can be found in Baku and regional towns in Azerbajian.

Adapter for unthreaded butane cartridges

You can also buy an adapter for unthreaded butane cartridges before you arrive in the Caucasus. You’ll find unthreaded butane cartridges in hardware stores across the Caucasus. (In Azerbaijan, they can be found in most “1001 xırdavat” shops, Sadarak shopping centre, and Mountain Shop.)  The adapter will add a few grams to your base weight, but it will allow you to refuel your canister gas burner at any small-town hardware store in the country. 

Search online for “butane gas adapter”. Otherwise, you’ll be best off using another type of stove for which fuel is easier to find in the Caucasus.

Wood stoves 

Wood stoves are not recommended for a thru-hike. They are only viable for portions of the route, simply because many stages pass through upland regions devoid of even isolated trees or scrub.

Stove Alternatives: Raw food / cold soaking

Alternative means of feeding yourself include the increasingly popular no-cook approach. Relying on cold-soaked or raw food between rest stops on the TCT is entirely achievable. 

Where can I get UTC-threaded camping gas canisters?

Armenia: Yerevan


  • Tbilisi 

Azerbaijan: Baku


Introduction to Hiking Nutrition: What to Eat on the Trail

If you’re newer to hiking or just want to learn more about hiking nutrition, head on over to our Hiking Nutrition page to read about what nutrients you need and where you can find them. Hiking can be strenuous, and sections of the TCT are quite challenging, in distance, elevation gain, or both. Make sure you have what you need to fuel your body properly.


Local Cuisine

Each country in the Caucasus  has unique cuisine, and sharing food with locals or simply going to a local restaurant is a memorable experience. Explore Armenian, Georgian, and Azerbaijani local dishes, and discover which ones you can easily take with you on the trail!

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