2

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Intermittent fasting while camping/backpacking

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 21, 2011 at 1:36 AM

I've been trying my hand with Lean Gains-style intermittent fasting (16 hours fasting, 8 hours fed), and I'm going to be going on a day-long hiking trip in about a month. Considering I'll be doing a pretty aggressive hike (Old Rag in Virginia), is it still okay to continue fasting during the morning portion of my hike, then have a huge lunch?

I would ask Martin Berkhan himself, but he seems preoccupied answering redundant questions on his blog most of the time.

B124653b19ee9dd438710a38954ed4a3

(1634)

on September 05, 2012
at 12:00 PM

Jon - Looks like they've made it a paid site. I knew I should have saved all of those excellent articles.

E4b155f898e209391902792ec3c005f3

(220)

on August 02, 2012
at 06:55 AM

btw the gymjones link for "fat and endurance" is changed, try this - http://gymjones.com/knowledge/article/17/

E4b155f898e209391902792ec3c005f3

(220)

on August 02, 2012
at 06:31 AM

I have noticed a huge difference in my water need when eating HFLC. Most days 2x 8oz coffee and maybe a glass of wine are all I drink. But if it's a banana and yam binge I will get really thirsty.

B124653b19ee9dd438710a38954ed4a3

(1634)

on October 05, 2011
at 07:39 PM

Good point. Dune reference for the win!

83d6a06c93bb3490dbca339cbbb63385

(526)

on October 05, 2011
at 07:04 PM

I always hike fasted -- long, challenging hikes through rugged desert mountains. It's not a big deal.

83d6a06c93bb3490dbca339cbbb63385

(526)

on October 05, 2011
at 06:53 PM

You'll likely find you actually need less water because you don't need extra to use in digestion. I hike in the desert and I'm quite happy for up to 6 hours with 1.5 liters on even a warm day. I feel like fasting facilitates this. I'm a bit of a Fremen Chick, though. Just sayin.

D05728a0613658cb5b2f652eb6f36783

(125)

on February 21, 2011
at 04:00 PM

haha, this is quite a coincidence. i'm also testing out lean gains intermittent fasting and plan to climb old rag again in the spring.

B124653b19ee9dd438710a38954ed4a3

(1634)

on February 21, 2011
at 02:43 PM

I actually find it easier to fast while hiking than when at work. The movement must shut my appetite up.

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4 Answers

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3
B124653b19ee9dd438710a38954ed4a3

(1634)

on February 21, 2011
at 10:16 AM

Yes and yes.

I've done it many times with no problems. If you can currently handle 16+ hours then you should be fine doing it in the wild.

One example was a hike along the Langdale Pikes (Lake District, England) which included a scramble up Jack's Rake. Beautiful country (not my site). Ate some summer sausage and coconut cream late in the afternoon then had a big dinner with meat and some taters.


More info:

  • Isn't this what some of our ancestors would have done in a hunt while waiting for an animal to tire out?
  • Drink lots of water as always, but possibly more since you won't be ingesting it from food.
  • If you are concerned, have your last meal earlier on the night before your hike. I only do this if I plan to time lunch with others or might happen into a pub.
  • I save the huge meal for dinner.
  • I find it easier to fast while hiking than when at work. The movement must shut my appetite up.

Somewhat related:

  • Extended expeditions can be fuelled completely on fat: Gym Jones - Knowledge - FAT and Endurance
  • That means less to carry since fat has the best calorie/weight ratio.
  • My favorites are dried meat, polish summer sausage, coconut cream, ... (though carbs don't bother me so they aren't avoided if sharing with others)

B124653b19ee9dd438710a38954ed4a3

(1634)

on February 21, 2011
at 02:43 PM

I actually find it easier to fast while hiking than when at work. The movement must shut my appetite up.

B124653b19ee9dd438710a38954ed4a3

(1634)

on October 05, 2011
at 07:39 PM

Good point. Dune reference for the win!

83d6a06c93bb3490dbca339cbbb63385

(526)

on October 05, 2011
at 06:53 PM

You'll likely find you actually need less water because you don't need extra to use in digestion. I hike in the desert and I'm quite happy for up to 6 hours with 1.5 liters on even a warm day. I feel like fasting facilitates this. I'm a bit of a Fremen Chick, though. Just sayin.

E4b155f898e209391902792ec3c005f3

(220)

on August 02, 2012
at 06:55 AM

btw the gymjones link for "fat and endurance" is changed, try this - http://gymjones.com/knowledge/article/17/

E4b155f898e209391902792ec3c005f3

(220)

on August 02, 2012
at 06:31 AM

I have noticed a huge difference in my water need when eating HFLC. Most days 2x 8oz coffee and maybe a glass of wine are all I drink. But if it's a banana and yam binge I will get really thirsty.

B124653b19ee9dd438710a38954ed4a3

(1634)

on September 05, 2012
at 12:00 PM

Jon - Looks like they've made it a paid site. I knew I should have saved all of those excellent articles.

3
7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

on February 21, 2011
at 01:44 AM

I would give it a try, your body is used to it, but bring something portable and easy to eat like jerky, pemmican, nuts/dried fruit or (gasp!) a protein bar just in case you find you need something immediately while you are hiking. Be absolutely sure to by adequately hydrated too.

1
4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

on February 21, 2011
at 02:05 AM

In short, adapt by practing it pre hike, it's quite easy to become fat adapted in a month. Eat low carb, even ketosis for quicker adaptation so you don't suffer the low energy or headaches during the hike. Once you can comfortably skip 24 hrs of food, you should be fine for steady state hiking.

0
D072e15aaeac3a4357762cf516ec1313

(10)

on February 22, 2011
at 07:08 PM

Hey Sean - nice piece by Gym Jones - Must checkout what MV02 is, particularly the training of you body to burn fat and spare muscle etc by eating good quality fat. I do a 2 week unsupprted hike each May eg the Highlands 2009 and the Cambrian Way last year. Against conventional wisdom I make Jerky from fatty grass fed beef as on the trail I seem to prefer fat to lean meat - Might try pemmican this year on the Cape Wrath. Re the OP Asangsterrii IT will be no problem at all on any hike once you bed in. I lost 16 lbs on both hike (6ft 13st 6lbs starting) I never felt hungry and had to almost force myself to eat. I was burning fat but strongly suggest you get 1 big meal in a day. My longest fast last year was 25 hours. Too much when you are carrying 20lbs and climbing. Good luck

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