Is anyone else here a backpacker? I have not been on a long trip in about a year, but I used to be an avid backpacker. Going for a weekend and packing/eating Paleo is easy, but if you need to carry 5 - 7 days worth of food and weight AND volume are issues, what do you pack?
As an aside, most backpackers use dehydrated grain-based foods for sustenance on a longer trip. They are light and easy to make.
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Lex Rooker style pemmican!
You can find plans for his $10 dehydrator (dead simple to make and use) here:
I use this when playing paintball or hiking. I haven't done a seven day trip but have done well for three. If you are adapted to VLC this will serve you well. Each gram, if made with a 50-50 fat/lean mixture, is 6.5 calories. So each pound is 2944 calories. You'd probably need 7-10 lbs for a 7 day trip depending on how hard you were pushing. This would be more than enough calories and contains everything you need to keep moving, and you can bonus supplement with whatever.
I posted about this in another thread on a similar question...It's an idea I heard in one of robb wolf's older podcasts...melt a jar of coconut oil and submerge within it nuts and dried fruit (berries, etc). When it sets you can just spoon it out and you have a calorically dense easy to transport snack.
I really don't understand why everyone thinks it's so hard to go paleo backpacking.
Make up a batch of guacamole and dehydrate it! I mashed up an avocado with some cherry tomatoes, salt, onion powder and lots of lemon juice. Dehydrate it and then pulverize it in a food processor. Home made, healthy guacamole powder. Sweet potato bark works great too. I boiled up two sweet potatoes, strained, mashed with salt and pepper and then laid it out in my food dehydrator. You can rehydrate it and add a packet of tuna or dried sausage and some dried veggie like onions or mushrooms. Dehydrating stuff really reduces weight and it's really simple to rehydrate. I even made a delicious chowder for dinner one night with sole and salmon and tons of dill, sweet potatoes with coconut milk and bacon. I tossed the left overs in my food processor until it was a thick mush then put it in the dehydrator. When it was done dehydrating I put it back in the food processor to make it into a powder. Now I have chowder powder that I can add some tuna and some veggies, coconut oil and maybe even some more sweet potatoes (dehydrated of course!) for a healthy filling paleo meal. You can make chili, sweet potato 'chips', pumpkin bark (I got the recipe from http://www.backpackingchef.com... 15 ounce can pumpkin?? cup real maple syrup2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice)
I added way more cinnamon and it turned out great.
You could make a beef or chicken broth and veggie soup. You could add squash (or sweet potatoes if you're not sick of them yet) for carbs and to make the soup thick. Blend it all with a hand blender or a food processor until it's gloopy. Toss it in the dehydrator and when it's time to rehydrate it, you can add tuna, chicken, or ham and a splash of oil. Bring sesame to put an asian twist on it. You could even add some other dehydrated veggies to it to make it more chunky. This stuff dehydrates to almost nothing and when it's rehydrated you have thick, delicious meals. You can also dehydrate any lean meat, like ham or lunch meats with little fat. It might not quite be paleo to use lunch meats, but it definitely beats resorting to grains!
Keep in mind, you'll want to double, maybe even triple the recipe to get enough to feed one person. Usually when I make guacamole, I use half an avocado for myself but when I dehydrate it, I use a full one.
That worked out great for me for 6 days on the AT last month.
If you can, here are some suggestions below. you could make all of these by hand and save some cash, or drop the $$ and order from the websites below:
- grass-fed beef jerky w/minimal sodium (these come to mind: http://www.paleobrands.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/Grass-Fed-Beef-Jerky-2p21.jpeg)
- grass-fed pemmican (these come to mind: http://www.grasslandbeef.com/Categories.bok?category=Grassland+Beef)
- your own "trail mix" with nuts (macadamia, walnut, almonds are preferred, cocoa nibs, dried fruit, coconut flakes/chips (http://www.grasslandbeef.com/Detail.bok?no=866)
I've gone out on 2-3 days of camping with some moderate hiking involved with the above. Couple of things you need to make note of are proper hydration and do not eat TOO many nuts.
I've seen hikers/campers not properly hydrate, over eat on the nuts, and they are having SEVERE constipation issues during the trip. Nothing you want to battle when your out facing the elements.
Dried fruit is not ideal on an everyday basis, but for camping/hiking where space and weight are an issue, this makes sense. Try to stick to dried berries (blue, black, goji, acai, if you can find them/cherries/apricots if possible).
what about making soup and dehydrating it to a powder? I think with a dehydrator you could make a paleo pumpkin or butternut squash soup, dehydrate it, and then rehydrate it on the trail and maybe add some canned chicken or tuna or something to get more protein. I don't know if this would work, but I've heard of people dehydrating soups.
does anyone have some paleo ideas for making water taste better? The water I have to drink on the kayaking expeditions tastes and smells like sulfur. its hard to stay hydrated when the water makes you feel nauseous. we use gatorade and crystal light, but crystal light makes me feel awful and gatorade has lots of sugar and fake stuff.
I know that peanut butter is available in single serving packets, and someone mentioned in different question that almond butter is available from trader joes in single serving packets.
what about making fruit leather, but adding in shredded coconut to up the fat intake? You could also experiment with adding almond flour or dark chocolate to the mix.
also, here is a link to a great DIY ultra-lite spice kit. it weighs less than an ounce! I <3 instructables! http://www.instructables.com/id/Ultra-Lightweight-Backpacking-Spice-Kit-only-1oz/
If you have a local farmer's market or a local regional market,
I would suggest going through all the ranchers there and picking up a supply of grass-fed jerky and wild caught salmon jerky. Have fun sampling!
I'm thinking of taking a canteen's worth of virgin coconut oil on my nexy hike and taking a swig of Saturated fat AND water each time i consume meat or nuts. That should keep my energy levels up and keep away the dread constipation.
I do a lot of climbing and backpacking and here are some of the things I do:
-Raisins and coconut shreds for snacking
-a mix of protein powder and maltodextrin in a squeeze tube (4X1 ratio) this is bland and so it is great for big highly aerobic days of climbing. I also add a touch of beet juice powder. Why? it has shown to increase efficiency, calorie and oxygen use, and it has a strong host of antioxidant properties.
I make a coffee bar out of instant coffee crystals, coconut sugar or honey and melt it into a brick of coconut oil; i break off a piece put it in my water bottle, add boiled water and shake it for a high calorie addition in the morning.
I also have made a tasty pemmican style bar using freeze dried ground beef (mountain house #10can, etc.) in food processor, with equal parts coconut oil i also shred sweetened pineapple rings or raisins in the food processor; add all together into a tub or cut into bricks.
You can also buy a #10 can of dehydrated applesauce, this goes well with protein powder or dehydrated fish for a quick breakfast.
On taxing or particularly long trips I supplement with Juice Plus capsuls because I am eating a lot of high calorie foods with very little antioxidants.
I also use potato flakes a lot. For breakfast I will add cooked bacon, dried green onions and garlic powder... just add water!
also I have found a food dehydrator to be indispensable for jerky, dried fruit and dried veggies to add to meals.
just a couple of ideas from my table
When it comes to water, I think a filter is the way to go, you can purchase an in-line carbon filter for a pump variety too, that would get rid of the sulfur taste. Filters blow boiling or chemically treating out of the water (no pun intended) as well in terms of varieties of water available for drinking.
I'm so happy you asked this... I'm doing a 3 week 200 mile portion of John Muir in a couple of months and I've been stressing out about this. I think the pemican and trail mixes are great ideas...dates would be quick energy too. Artisana makes a coconut butter with flesh and oil mixed that I think would be a great addition. Nut butters? I would LOVE more ideas!!!