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Grand Canyon hike fasted?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 26, 2011 at 1:15 AM

So, I have walked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon two times (and back out again, obviously), and there is always a HUGE stress placed on carrying a bag of food along or. you. will. die. Or something like that. At the bottom a person can even buy a pre packed lunch consisting of everything from salty salami to fig newtons to oreos to I dunno, things I don't eat anymore after 16 months paleo.

Sooo, I am considering hiking the whole thing (one way at a time with two night's rest in between) FASTED. Yes, fasted. At the bottom, big steak dinner, next morning, big breakfast etc etc, BUT, during the hike: whole. thing. fasted.

I will carry and drink water.

Hike in first part of January, so weather could be COLD.

Also considering going Softstar shoes "barefoot" but thats has nothing to do with my question.

Anyhoodle, walking to the bottom of the Grand Canyon like a hungry cavewoman?

What say you? Dangerous? Foolhardy? I'm pretty darned keto adapted, so I'm not scared. Just kinda.

C0fcb48d7da4f76fac17318efd2cd6b8

(4069)

on May 26, 2011
at 01:54 PM

"But either way allow yourself a break on the diet and just enjoy the Grand Canyon!" This is probably the best advice. The canyon is enough- I don't need to drag my little orthorexia down the trail. Might even have an Oreo!

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3 Answers

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1
Eae21abfabb19c4617b2630386994fd9

on May 26, 2011
at 01:56 AM

All depends on how much fasting experience you have. I find hiking the easiest thing to do while fasting. Fasting is a stress, much like lifting weights. I would rather it not compound the stress of work- I would rather do it while I feel amazing out in the wilderness. If you are asking this I am assuming you have done some shorter hikes fasted to test yourself. But either way allow yourself a break on the diet and just enjoy the Grand Canyon!

I will actually be hiking the Grand Canyon in Vibram Five Fingers, probably stuffing myself before getting on the trail and then not eating on it. But I have hiked for half a day before without eating. Will let you know how it goes :)


Edit: Hiked the canyon.

I didn't want to take a lot of food, but knew I should take something as backup. The General Store there has a surprisingly good selection of food. I saw Purity Farms Ghee, and it struck me as the perfect backup food!

It took ~3 hours to descend Bright Angel trail to the plateau at Indian Gardens. My hiking partner wasn't in as great of shape as I, so while she ate her lunch I left our gear except for a camera and ran (stopped to walk and catch my breath and the scenery a few times) the mile out to plateau point (VFF treks were great for this!). After enjoying the absolutely incredible view and taking pictures I ran back to Indian Gardens, and then after resting for a bit we hiked out of the canyon in 4 hours. With 1-2 miles left, I felt like I was starting to get a bad stress response to the fast, so I quickly downed half of the ghee (~1000 calories). When out of the canyon, we voraciously consumed pizza and the rest of the food we had with us.

I think I could hike flat terrain all day fasted, but elevation in the canyon was too much for me. Ghee seemed perfect to fuel the hike- a lot of calories that keep the fat burning going and easy to digest even while hiking uphill. No reason why other fats wouldn't work well also, although there should be some advantage to oils with more easier to digest short-chain or medium-chain fatty acids.

Good luck on your trip!

C0fcb48d7da4f76fac17318efd2cd6b8

(4069)

on May 26, 2011
at 01:54 PM

"But either way allow yourself a break on the diet and just enjoy the Grand Canyon!" This is probably the best advice. The canyon is enough- I don't need to drag my little orthorexia down the trail. Might even have an Oreo!

1
Fe198e0c02edd407cdf8c83c0fceaea1

(753)

on May 26, 2011
at 02:33 AM

I know someone who ran to the bottom of the grand canyon and then right back up and out. If mescaline and copious amounts of weed doesn't count as food then I'd say he was having himself a little intermittent fast. He had no water. When he got to the bottom hikers offered him camp, which he pleasantly declined and proceeded to exit the canyon the same way he came in. True story.

1
61e254571b4c792bca87340a090a3ea1

on May 26, 2011
at 02:16 AM

Get a little fat. That's what I do when I am going on long hikes/hunts. I don't know LB's or whatever just be lazy for a couple weeks before if you can and eat a ton of stuff but keep it paleo. If you are keto adapted and it's not hard for your body to change fuels it's not a big deal. I have fasted for up to 4 days while hunting just for the experience (it's a common thing for HG to do before/during hunts) and I felt good the whole time but I often feel really good fasting. Bring a little bit of light food just incase but you'll be fine. It's a one day hike each way? if so don't even psych yourself out thinking about it. If your in good shape just do it.

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