8

votes

Ideal foods for hiking?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 16, 2010 at 11:41 AM

Clearly hiking is highly paleo, so what foods do people find are best for taking on hikes? I'm particularly keen to hear about long-lasting paleo foods, since I regularly go on very long (10 day+) hikes, carrying all my own food, so weight and nutrients are of central concern!

E4b155f898e209391902792ec3c005f3

(220)

on August 02, 2012
at 06:16 AM

umm. how does one make acid whey? and where to get rolled lamb belly? I would like to try this.

F040035b2008ec80b205481afbd39ad4

(1837)

on January 27, 2012
at 04:17 PM

Noted, but fasting can be part of the mix.

E242ecf1fecbac866894059f5304b4c6

(318)

on January 27, 2012
at 02:31 PM

"since I regularly go on very long (10 day+) hikes" .........

2fd93e91bb14e641a2bac9c6033e84e2

(1614)

on January 27, 2012
at 01:55 PM

Agree with Tim- render down some beef or pork fat and make tallow for your pemmican.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on December 15, 2010
at 10:13 PM

Tanka bars taste decent, but they are rather expensive considering they are only a few big bites worth of food.

E242ecf1fecbac866894059f5304b4c6

(318)

on December 15, 2010
at 08:59 PM

The place I went to told me that refrigeration wasn't necessary, but he still vacuum sealed them in groups of 4, so none of them woudl be exposed to air for more than a few hours

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on December 15, 2010
at 05:17 PM

Yeah, I like the summer sausage. I just have to look hard for ones that say they don't need refrigeration. Any advice on which brands taste best? Some of them are pretty good and some taste terrible.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on December 15, 2010
at 05:15 PM

I love bacon bits for camping. I can buy the sealed packages and they don't require refrigeration until after opening.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on December 15, 2010
at 05:14 PM

Does tuna have much fat in it? I'm looking at a can that says .5 grams fat and 13 grams protein. Certainly wouldn't be enough to suit me, that is for sure!

E242ecf1fecbac866894059f5304b4c6

(318)

on December 14, 2010
at 11:05 PM

also, i made the lex style dehydrator out of a cardboard box and some PVC piping...took several weeks to dry out all the lean meat for the pemmican. fun project, but i'm thinking about looking into salting and curing this coming summer

0d2dec01a5ed9363a9915e111ae13f7e

(4583)

on December 14, 2010
at 10:36 PM

Pemmican can be complete nutrition and very calorically dense. Perfect food for a big walk. Keeps well at warm temps for under 2/3 weeks, reduces need for cookware/stove stuff, and has no wasted mass/weight, it's all good healthful fuel and building blocks for your body. Don't use ghee, use tallow to make your own! Consider US Wellness Meats for plain pemmican.

13c5a9f1678d75b93f269cdcf69f14d5

(2339)

on February 21, 2010
at 04:25 AM

Have you tried Tanka bars? The last ingredient is lactic acid starter culture. The texture is softer, chewier than jerky. They call it pemmican, but unfortunately it is really low fat.

F6c1df7d5699661bd1f0d6d0a6c17fc6

on February 19, 2010
at 02:06 PM

Hard to tell, but doubtful. I've eaten lots of salami in my time, and none have tasted like sour meat here. The meat, when properly soured, tastes mainly of whey. It doesn't enhance the flavour or anything, it's just sour :-) Anyway, I just looked up Kefir, and the sourest it will get is pH4.5. The souring whey that's used here is 3.5, so more sour. I don't know if the bacteria is even still alive there.

13c5a9f1678d75b93f269cdcf69f14d5

(2339)

on February 19, 2010
at 02:58 AM

Here's a post talking about kefir and jerky. Is this sort of what you're talking about? http://onibasu.com/archives/mn/10923.html

B694ff94abba729b4d1568fc12ff3285

(169)

on February 18, 2010
at 08:14 AM

Agree Anna, that's why I dont use it. The preparation of pemmican is a lot of work and I'm a bit lazy tbh :P. I'll get my fat from the tuna. think its better omega ballanced and no preparation at all :).

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 18, 2010
at 01:06 AM

pemmican has fat and would be good- just a mess of work to make it

F6c1df7d5699661bd1f0d6d0a6c17fc6

on February 17, 2010
at 12:03 PM

It's not lactic acid fermentation, as I think there is no food there for the bacteria. I think it could be described as curing in lactic acid. The sources are few and far apart. I've mostly been talking to old people, and they just buy the sour whey from the milk company, and that's the way that I'll be going. I have made whey when making fresh cheese, but it's not sour enough. I believe that if you would make cheese from sour milk (especially if cultured with a skyr-culture or other very sour culture) you'd get the whey sour enough.

B694ff94abba729b4d1568fc12ff3285

(169)

on February 17, 2010
at 12:13 AM

you are correct, i always go for the uncured bacon.

B694ff94abba729b4d1568fc12ff3285

(169)

on February 16, 2010
at 11:04 PM

When u make your jerky at home (like i do) u dont have the added nitrates. Im not that strict on the salt tho. A bit of salt fits perfectly in my paleo diet, just dont overdo it.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 16, 2010
at 08:41 PM

Bacon isn't paleo due to added nitrates and salt. Uncured bacon or pork belly, however, is

B694ff94abba729b4d1568fc12ff3285

(169)

on February 16, 2010
at 04:32 PM

Beef Jerky isnt that fatty, since you will need lean beef to make it. Fat rots easily and you dont want that to happen with your jerky. Its full of protein tho. I think its the best food to carry around, it doesnt need any preparing (once its done), you can eat it while walking, it packs very small, it lastst for about 4 weeks and it doesnt weigh anything :)

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on February 16, 2010
at 01:01 PM

Thanks Jon, I made jerky for the hike and considered making pemmican (even bought some ghee for the purpose) but chickened out. I've never heard of the lactic acid idea before but I like really strong sour things, so it actually appeals.

F6c1df7d5699661bd1f0d6d0a6c17fc6

on February 16, 2010
at 12:44 PM

Is beef jerky fatty enough?

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15 Answers

8
F6c1df7d5699661bd1f0d6d0a6c17fc6

on February 16, 2010
at 12:43 PM

I've never tried it myself, but I believe that pemmican would be a good candidate.

Here in Iceland a traditional way to preserve food is by storing it in lactic acid. Most of the cuts thus stored are really fatty: rolled lamb belly, blood sausage, etc. This would make it ideal hiking food. Not salty - which has it's own problems - and very nutrient and calorie dense. If you are lacto-paleo, you can do this yourself. Just get some acid whey or make some, but your boiled fatty meat in a bucket with the whey, store for 10 days and then it's sour enough to take on your hike without spoiling. The whey needs to be more sour than pH 3.5. The taste is acquired...

You can also pickle veggies, if you you must have veggies, though they are calorie poor. Tubers are calorie rich, and last for a while, you might look into that. Also dried fruit in moderation.

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on February 16, 2010
at 01:01 PM

Thanks Jon, I made jerky for the hike and considered making pemmican (even bought some ghee for the purpose) but chickened out. I've never heard of the lactic acid idea before but I like really strong sour things, so it actually appeals.

0d2dec01a5ed9363a9915e111ae13f7e

(4583)

on December 14, 2010
at 10:36 PM

Pemmican can be complete nutrition and very calorically dense. Perfect food for a big walk. Keeps well at warm temps for under 2/3 weeks, reduces need for cookware/stove stuff, and has no wasted mass/weight, it's all good healthful fuel and building blocks for your body. Don't use ghee, use tallow to make your own! Consider US Wellness Meats for plain pemmican.

2fd93e91bb14e641a2bac9c6033e84e2

(1614)

on January 27, 2012
at 01:55 PM

Agree with Tim- render down some beef or pork fat and make tallow for your pemmican.

E4b155f898e209391902792ec3c005f3

(220)

on August 02, 2012
at 06:16 AM

umm. how does one make acid whey? and where to get rolled lamb belly? I would like to try this.

6
Fe198e0c02edd407cdf8c83c0fceaea1

(753)

on December 15, 2010
at 12:35 AM

I heard an amazing mountaineering/hiking food in the first Robb Wolf Podcast I ever listened to...Melt a jar or most of a jar of coconut oil, and once it's liquified mix in nuts and dried fruits and let it solidify, and dig into with a spoon when you're out there for a super calorically dense, quality snack.

3
62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on December 15, 2010
at 05:39 PM

I make my own 'granola' style bars by mixing almond butter with crushed pecans, unsweetened coconut shreds, and an egg. You can add a bit of dark chocolate chips for a bit of sweet calories. Sometimes I also add some minced up banana. Mix all ingredients in a bowl and slap spoonfuls onto a greased (I used coconut oil) cookie sheet and cook em at about 350 degrees for a short while in the oven until they look done. I make up a whole ton of these at once and then freeze em in the freezer until I need them. The end result is a calorie dense cross between a cookie and a granola bar. Even my nonpaleo friends have tried these and say they taste good. When I hike or camp, I like to have things that taste good. Otherwise, I'll be tempted not to eat because I feel so tired.

Other things I like are summer sausage because they have a lot of fat in them. If it's not hot out, then I like to bring hard cheese to go with the sausage, but if it's hot, the cheese melts and is gross. I always bring butter, which does not need refrigeration over the short haul. Even if it melts, it's still good, but carry it in a sealed container just in case it does. I like to bring potatoes. They don't need the fridge either and can be cooked in the fire pit covered in foil at night. Then add butter and some prepackaged bacon bits. YUM! Or you can bring canned potatoes and just add them to canned meat.

Dried fruit is another staple. All that exercise makes for a diff metabolism. I don't eat dried fruit at home but I will for hiking. While I like beef jerky at home, when hiking I find there is too much protein and dryness and not enough carbs and fat, so I only bring a little of that when hiking and camping. I always bring a variety of canned meats and some mayo packets. Mayo is not paleo, but sometimes I just need the fat. Now with the foil packages available of most meats, that will help the hikers that must pack everything to keep the weight down.

I also bring UHT milk which does not need refrigeration but helps with making sauces. My dream is to find UHT cream but so far, I can't even find a place to order it on the internet. On many of my trips, we do potluck dinners so I need to be able to make something edible that others will eat. I always bring eggs kept in a plastic egg holding container to prevent breakage.

All of the things I bring do not require refrigeration.

3
Eb966bfa1c1c837f12005f9a3c32e3ee

on February 20, 2010
at 02:08 AM

I've been hiking the PCT for the last eight years and I'm half way to Canada. My diet on and off the trail has been morphing to Paleo. I've always relied on jerky and tuna in foil packs. I've added macadamia nuts on the last two sections. Wonderful energy and I've found a source with no salt or oils. (Macadamia Nuts from Russell Family Farms [email protected] 760-760-8081) I get dried fruit without sugar at Trader Joe's. Lara Bars are true Paleo food. Pure fruit and nuts. I'm going to be taking Pemmican on the next two week trip but I've been told by U.S. Wellness that it is only good for about 10 days out of the freezer. Dinner is hard. I've been eating tortellini all these years with loads of dried veggies. It's really hard to figure out a Paleo substitute for the evening meal. Probably going to be eating dried eggs for breakfast but some testing is ahead for proper preparation. Check out my blog at pctdanalaw.blogspot.com Dana Law San Diego, Ca

2
6eb2812b40855ba64508cbf2dc48f1b6

(2119)

on February 16, 2010
at 05:07 PM

Jerky, nuts, foil packets of salmon and tuna, dried fruit, traditional dried sausage are all high on my list of backpacking foods.

I don't make trail mix, because I find that I only want some particular thing in it, so I just bring all the bits separately.

I usually bring about 8oz. of coconut oil. I can (and do!) eat it out of the jar. It can also help with hot spots/pre-blisters on the feet. I think I'll bring concentrated coconut cream on my next trip. That stuff is amazing!

I also bring sharp cheddar cheese maybe that's not on the list of things you eat.

2
70d9359a2086e890a4c3bccb2ba8a8cb

(2254)

on February 16, 2010
at 04:41 PM

In addition to the jerky and pemmican suggestions (which sound like your best options), how about nuts? If they're reasonably fresh to start with then they should last 10 days without going rancid, I think. They're a concentrated source of fat and calories, some protein, some carbs and they're easy to nibble on (and tasty for most people). A downside, though, is that they're pretty high in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), particularly omega-6, so they're probably best use as a "supplement" for your hikes rather than the main food source.

Also, how about dried fish? I think it's usually heavily salted, though. But it should keep and it's fairly easy to find in ethnic food shops or perhaps make yourself.

2
B694ff94abba729b4d1568fc12ff3285

(169)

on February 16, 2010
at 11:59 AM

I think Beef jerky is your number 1 on this one. Its small for packing and light to carry as well. Other stuff you can dry are fruits, which is pretty great hiking food as well.

Moreover i always take some Uncured (thanks for the comment) bacon with me on a hike, goes great with just about anything you can cook and its also tasty if youre not frying it.

U can always go for veggies for the start of your trip. Though they wont make it the whole 10 days (most wont at least) you'll prolly keep them eatable for about the first 3 days. Think of tomatoes/paprikas for easy packing/hand snacks.

Last but not least, I love canned tuna on a hike. zip in 6 of these and you will have a buckload of proteins and fat along the way.

Like this question and im curious which answers it will produce (Serious Backpacker myself :) )

B694ff94abba729b4d1568fc12ff3285

(169)

on February 16, 2010
at 04:32 PM

Beef Jerky isnt that fatty, since you will need lean beef to make it. Fat rots easily and you dont want that to happen with your jerky. Its full of protein tho. I think its the best food to carry around, it doesnt need any preparing (once its done), you can eat it while walking, it packs very small, it lastst for about 4 weeks and it doesnt weigh anything :)

B694ff94abba729b4d1568fc12ff3285

(169)

on February 17, 2010
at 12:13 AM

you are correct, i always go for the uncured bacon.

F6c1df7d5699661bd1f0d6d0a6c17fc6

on February 16, 2010
at 12:44 PM

Is beef jerky fatty enough?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 16, 2010
at 08:41 PM

Bacon isn't paleo due to added nitrates and salt. Uncured bacon or pork belly, however, is

B694ff94abba729b4d1568fc12ff3285

(169)

on February 16, 2010
at 11:04 PM

When u make your jerky at home (like i do) u dont have the added nitrates. Im not that strict on the salt tho. A bit of salt fits perfectly in my paleo diet, just dont overdo it.

B694ff94abba729b4d1568fc12ff3285

(169)

on February 18, 2010
at 08:14 AM

Agree Anna, that's why I dont use it. The preparation of pemmican is a lot of work and I'm a bit lazy tbh :P. I'll get my fat from the tuna. think its better omega ballanced and no preparation at all :).

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 18, 2010
at 01:06 AM

pemmican has fat and would be good- just a mess of work to make it

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on December 15, 2010
at 05:14 PM

Does tuna have much fat in it? I'm looking at a can that says .5 grams fat and 13 grams protein. Certainly wouldn't be enough to suit me, that is for sure!

1
0f5a5a0d149d53a5d4651bdff4a00944

on January 27, 2012
at 05:16 AM

Dehydrated Food!

I went on a weekend trip and I made lots of dehydrated food. I couldn't believe how delicious it was, either. I made a meat chili, dehydrated it and on the trail I added creamed coconut when I rehydrated it. It was filling and so delicious. I also made a fish stew, with bacon, and that dehydrated like a dream. Just throw it in a blender or food processor until it's chunky/creamy and put it on parchment (NOT wax) paper in a dehydrator. You'll need to double what you dry to make it a full meal. I brought smoked salmon and tossed that into the rehydrated stew with a bunch of dehydrated veggies that I dried myself.I dehydrated tons of veggies and just tossed those in, as needed, to any of the meals that I made. It makes for super light packing and extremely delicious meals. The only thing I'm not too sure about is how long it will last on the trail due to the fat content in a lot of it. I kept everything frozen until I left, and as I mentioned, it was only for a few days. Anyway, I hope this helps!

1
16846467115e18d283565a19c374ee07

(323)

on December 15, 2010
at 03:33 PM

I don't take hikes that are nearly as long BUT I will always try to take a few paleokits with me. They're vacuum sealed, so they are pretty compact, and they're damn delicious. If you have a dehydrator I would make jerky and dried fruit. Also, almonds, or your favorite nut, would be great as they're not heavy to carry and delicious

1
9a19846adfae25b2e17c32d9af386f02

(151)

on December 15, 2010
at 12:52 AM

I am an avid mountaineer/climber and face the same challenge of coming up with paleo foods to use in the backcountry. The bulk of my nutrition during major meals comes from pemmican, jerky, shredded coconut, 'go raw' bars (www.goraw.com), and some kind of sweeter dessert like a larabar or a date nut roll. For pemmican, I usually toss some dried fruit (strawberries are great!) into the food processor with the jerky for some good flavor.

I find the real challenge to be what to eat while I'm huffing it on the approach or during the actual climb. In this situation, readily digestible sugars (namely maltodextrin) in the form of a gel or liquid work perfectly, but are not at all paleo. For me, taking in a fructose source with a bunch of fiber (a dense fruit such as a date, etc) causes all kinds of stomach cramps.

1
E242ecf1fecbac866894059f5304b4c6

(318)

on December 14, 2010
at 11:04 PM

i did a few hikes this summer, a few weeks in the Canadian Rockies

i ate: pemmican hard cheese summer sausage nuts dried vegetables lots of seasonings for the pemmican eggs and butter for the first few days (pain in the ass to have to be delicate with your pack though)

it was okay until the very end...now pemmican makes me feel like gagging

E242ecf1fecbac866894059f5304b4c6

(318)

on December 14, 2010
at 11:05 PM

also, i made the lex style dehydrator out of a cardboard box and some PVC piping...took several weeks to dry out all the lean meat for the pemmican. fun project, but i'm thinking about looking into salting and curing this coming summer

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on December 15, 2010
at 05:17 PM

Yeah, I like the summer sausage. I just have to look hard for ones that say they don't need refrigeration. Any advice on which brands taste best? Some of them are pretty good and some taste terrible.

E242ecf1fecbac866894059f5304b4c6

(318)

on December 15, 2010
at 08:59 PM

The place I went to told me that refrigeration wasn't necessary, but he still vacuum sealed them in groups of 4, so none of them woudl be exposed to air for more than a few hours

1
E238542010a2f22d94b5ef805a384194

on December 14, 2010
at 10:03 PM

I, too am a PCT section hiker, with about 1000 trail miles completed. Since becoming more of a Paleo adherent, I have been pondering about what types of food to take on next summer's hike. In addition to Lara Bars, dried fruit and nuts, MSG free jerky, and foil packed fish, I will take some sprouted grain cereal (Ezekiel 4:9 brand), some Annies Mac & Cheese, and dried whole milk (Nido brand). And I'm not going to freak out about it. While I don't tolerate cereal grains very well at home, life on the trail is very different. You are hiking 8-12 hours per day. And in my case, my metabolism goes though a change where I can start the day with a big bowl of oatmeal and feel fine. If I start the day with a big bowl of oatmeal at home, I want to crawl into bed at 9AM. Just my 2 cents.

1
7bea72ef073e8f76b5828727f1460900

(2718)

on February 16, 2010
at 04:39 PM

For backpacking: pemmican, beef jerky, bacon, mixed nuts. Tuna or salmon are also great especially if you get the ones that come in foil pouches instead of cans.

For short trips where weight is not a concern, you can add hard-boiled eggs, fresh fruits.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on December 15, 2010
at 05:15 PM

I love bacon bits for camping. I can buy the sealed packages and they don't require refrigeration until after opening.

0
F040035b2008ec80b205481afbd39ad4

on January 27, 2012
at 01:03 PM

Try the approach used by J.Stanton in 'Occasional Insanity Outperforms Daily Misery: Day-Hiking Mt. Whitney, Fasted'

It works for me!

E242ecf1fecbac866894059f5304b4c6

(318)

on January 27, 2012
at 02:31 PM

"since I regularly go on very long (10 day+) hikes" .........

F040035b2008ec80b205481afbd39ad4

(1837)

on January 27, 2012
at 04:17 PM

Noted, but fasting can be part of the mix.

0
13c5a9f1678d75b93f269cdcf69f14d5

(2339)

on February 17, 2010
at 01:24 AM

Just get some acid whey or make some

more details on this, please? or point to a source? trying to plan an AT thru-hike. The idea is to lacto-ferment fatty meat?

F6c1df7d5699661bd1f0d6d0a6c17fc6

on February 19, 2010
at 02:06 PM

Hard to tell, but doubtful. I've eaten lots of salami in my time, and none have tasted like sour meat here. The meat, when properly soured, tastes mainly of whey. It doesn't enhance the flavour or anything, it's just sour :-) Anyway, I just looked up Kefir, and the sourest it will get is pH4.5. The souring whey that's used here is 3.5, so more sour. I don't know if the bacteria is even still alive there.

13c5a9f1678d75b93f269cdcf69f14d5

(2339)

on February 21, 2010
at 04:25 AM

Have you tried Tanka bars? The last ingredient is lactic acid starter culture. The texture is softer, chewier than jerky. They call it pemmican, but unfortunately it is really low fat.

F6c1df7d5699661bd1f0d6d0a6c17fc6

on February 17, 2010
at 12:03 PM

It's not lactic acid fermentation, as I think there is no food there for the bacteria. I think it could be described as curing in lactic acid. The sources are few and far apart. I've mostly been talking to old people, and they just buy the sour whey from the milk company, and that's the way that I'll be going. I have made whey when making fresh cheese, but it's not sour enough. I believe that if you would make cheese from sour milk (especially if cultured with a skyr-culture or other very sour culture) you'd get the whey sour enough.

13c5a9f1678d75b93f269cdcf69f14d5

(2339)

on February 19, 2010
at 02:58 AM

Here's a post talking about kefir and jerky. Is this sort of what you're talking about? http://onibasu.com/archives/mn/10923.html

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on December 15, 2010
at 10:13 PM

Tanka bars taste decent, but they are rather expensive considering they are only a few big bites worth of food.

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