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Food for mountain hiking.

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 14, 2011 at 12:31 PM

This summer, I will be on a weeklong hiking trip in the mountains. I will have to carry all my supplies for most of the time, hence weight would be an issue.

I have been thinking about making beef jerky and dried veggies, but I have never made it before.

Do you have any tips/advices for which food I can bring? All advices would be appreciated!

Lars

04f2eae4450112cdedce7235923c646d

(1112)

on June 15, 2011
at 10:21 AM

Thank you for a very good answer. I will be hiking in the mountains here in Norway. The trip starts at sea level, and we will not go much higher than 5-6000 feet. I will be doing some fishing, so I might get some fish to supplement as a protein source. The producs you mention might be a bit difficoult to get here in Norway, so I plan to make most of my food my self.

696079a860ef54810406ae25e4650863

(1623)

on June 14, 2011
at 06:04 PM

Coconut oil for the win!

696079a860ef54810406ae25e4650863

(1623)

on June 14, 2011
at 06:03 PM

yeah- it's pretty easy to get sick without the variety- especially after a week!

Fe198e0c02edd407cdf8c83c0fceaea1

(753)

on June 14, 2011
at 01:38 PM

and he mentions melting coconut oil and submerging dried fruits and nuts in it, letting it solidify and you can just spoon it out for a calorically dense snack.

B61f6513a155cd874b42efdad55312f6

(231)

on June 14, 2011
at 01:07 PM

I brought jerky for a 2-day hike(34miles), and home-made trail mix of macadamia, cashews, coconut chips, 100% dark chocolate, and dried blueberries and kiwi and after only 2 days I was sick of it. The nice thing about pre-cooked is that you don't need to bring any cookware though.

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6 Answers

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2
696079a860ef54810406ae25e4650863

on June 14, 2011
at 05:58 PM

I've got several ideas, but it depends upon where you are going to be doing your shopping- Of course I like to make a lot of my own food, but that's not feasible for everyone. If you are in the States there are several products you can buy or make easily that are a pretty good ratio of weight to nutrients. If not, hopefully you can find or make their equivalents:

PROTEIN
-Tankabars! Buffalo Cranberry bars- very Yummy.

-Beef Jerky (either dehydrate your own or store bought)- Paleobrands has one here

-Pemmican- either make your own or buy it

-Canned Sardines (although the can is extra weight that you would have to pack out).

-Canned or bagged Salmon, Tuna, Chicken, etc- Stores now carry bagged meats that should contribute less weight and trash to carry out.

FATS - I run well off fat, even at pretty high altitudes, but you may need to experiment to see if you will need a higher carb mix

-Justin's nut butter packs- almond, Hazelnut,some have a small amount of added honey or maple sugar etc (if you don't have nut issues)

-Mrs Mays nut crunches

-Coconut butter- repackaged of course...

-Homemade Coconut oil/nut crunches (NOTE: depending on the temp of where you are hiking these may melt).

-Coconut oil for any cooking, or potentially ghee if your temperatures will be low-ish even during the day.

-Spicy sweet Walnuts: (for 1/4 lb)- warm up several (I use 4) tablespoons of honey at low heat in a frying pan or pot until liquid and slightly bubbling, mix in ground black pepper and sea salt to taste (I use about 4 -5 tsp ea). You can also add cayenne pepper or anything else hot if you like the kick. Turn off the heat and add the walnuts in last. Mix the walnuts around until you have even coverage of the honey/spice mixture on them. You do not want to cook them, you are just trying to coat them.

If you're adventurous you can try adding different spice mixtures to different nuts for variety... Also, you can add in some blackstrap molasses if you want some more minerals.

CARBS

-Dried seaweed sheets or seaweed snacks- I'm a freak and like plain Nori Sheets

-Dehydrated/freeze dried beet chips, apple slices

Paleo Friendly fruit/nut bars:
-Pure Bars

-Kind Bars

-Larabars

-Dried Berries

-Extra Dark Chocolate

Also- as long as you are not hiking in high temp areas like the desert (which you are not!)a nice trick for the first night is to freeze up a steak or another luscious hunk of meat the night before your trip. Make sure to seal it well in some plastic baggies and stow it to the center of your food storage area to insulate it. If you will be using a bear can, pack it to the center. It will slowly thaw and by the end of the day you have a thawed steak just waiting for you. I've done this multiple times and its worth the extra weight. Especially on the first night of a long trip it's nice to have that last little luxury of a hunk of REAL protein.

CUTTING WEIGHT/GEAR
Of course if you're a real gram counter, then just stick with the dehydrated foods- they do really help on the steep grades.

If cutting weight really matters to you, don't forget to repackage as much as you can. 1 ziplock baggie with 6 Tankabars in it weighs way less (relatively) than the packaging for 6 tankabars....

Also, if you are truly interested in cutting your weight, here's a link to my part of a gear list for a 220 mile hike of the JMT that we did in 09'. There are some great lightweight products in there like our gossamer gear tent and my 4.7 oz down jacket from Montbell.

04f2eae4450112cdedce7235923c646d

(1112)

on June 15, 2011
at 10:21 AM

Thank you for a very good answer. I will be hiking in the mountains here in Norway. The trip starts at sea level, and we will not go much higher than 5-6000 feet. I will be doing some fishing, so I might get some fish to supplement as a protein source. The producs you mention might be a bit difficoult to get here in Norway, so I plan to make most of my food my self.

2
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 14, 2011
at 12:43 PM

Don't have any recommendations besides the obvious (jerky, dried goods) but there was a guy on here yesterday that wanted to make a website all about camping and hiking paleo. Maybe you could ask him.

http://paleohacks.com/questions/44287/your-input-is-there-a-need-for-a-site-dedicated-to-eating-paleo-on-the-move-es#axzz1PCs2an2z

1
510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on June 14, 2011
at 03:16 PM

I've done smaller 2-3 day trips in the mountains. I eat a bunch of fat the day before and morning when I leave, but on the trip it's mostly protein and carbs. The reason is that at altitude your body become very inefficient at burning fat, and I get altitude sickness above 12k, so I'm even more susceptible to the loss of combustion efficiency. So I'll do things like dried fruit and jerky. Basically you want as much nutrition and as little weight as possible. Veggies don't have enough nutrition to be worth carrying with me. When I go snowboarding, that's usually only a 6-8 hour trip, so I just eat a huge breakfast and then have jerky in the lift lines. I've done nuts before but even at ski resort altitudes (10k) the nuts don't do much in the way of turning into energy.

1
Db4ad76f6f307a6f577e175710049172

on June 14, 2011
at 02:16 PM

This was also covered a bit in this previous post.

1
4a585ea8059f71614597a56805cc60c7

(390)

on June 14, 2011
at 02:09 PM

You can dehydrate almost anything if you ahve enough time. If you can cook up some paleo soups or other kinds of mashes or grogs that are pretty thick, you just slather them onto a baking sheet and bake for several hours at 200* (I think that was the correct temp, it was really low). So you need to be at home for a long chunk of time, I think at least 8 hours. My dehydrator has a special sheet for things like that, but there is only one so I'd have to start two weeks in advance. You can make fruit roll ups the same way, just puree the fruits you want to eat and spread them out on the sheet until they harden past the gummy stage. For Jerky, here are some instructions I found for making your own drier. I haven't made one yet, very much want to! http://www.traditionaltx.us/images/JerkyDrierInstructions.pdf

1
48e51a7af3adc13503c37f4385ac19f2

(105)

on June 14, 2011
at 01:31 PM

If you go to robbwolf.com and listen to podcast episode 30, he talks about mountaineering nutrition about halfway through.

696079a860ef54810406ae25e4650863

(1623)

on June 14, 2011
at 06:04 PM

Coconut oil for the win!

Fe198e0c02edd407cdf8c83c0fceaea1

(753)

on June 14, 2011
at 01:38 PM

and he mentions melting coconut oil and submerging dried fruits and nuts in it, letting it solidify and you can just spoon it out for a calorically dense snack.

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