5

votes

Feedback on my Backpacking Meal Plan

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 12, 2011 at 8:30 PM

Hi everyone,

Will be backpacking through the Sierra Range, 15 miles a day for 7 days. I'm backpacking light so very focused on calories/oz and on how to stay paleo while needing 3,000+ calories a day.

Curious to hear your feedback ;)

BREAKFAST Pemmican Granola

SNACK Buffalo Jerky Dried berries

LUNCH Chick pea powder turned into hummus Summer sausage

SNACK Salmon Jerky Dried berries

DINNER Pouch of tuna fish olive oil Freeze dried veggies Manna Bread

DESERT Coconut powdered milk with cacao Raw chocolate bar Soaked nuts in coconut oil

MISC Nori wraps Raw Honey (also for cuts) Tea bags Spices

E4b155f898e209391902792ec3c005f3

(220)

on August 02, 2012
at 06:28 AM

@Shane, any post-trip follow up on this? How did it go? I'm planning a 250mi 7-8 day trip on about 4k calories a day. I am not real concerned with variety and taste, but very concerned with weight and energy.

B3e7d1ab5aeb329fe24cca1de1a0b09c

(5242)

on September 27, 2011
at 06:12 AM

Thanks for the update Shane. Live and learn, eh? :)

Medium avatar

(2169)

on September 04, 2011
at 01:56 AM

My degree is in Parks and Recreation Management, with a concentration in outdoor recreation. I've been riding horses since age 7, kayaking since around 13 and climbing since about 13. The best thing to do is start doing those activities on your own, and then find a high quality outdoor company willing to hire you based on your personal experiences. As long as you do well, you can use that job as a springboard for many others.

9b42edf8bd1d7475127dc3bbc4184e13

(30)

on August 26, 2011
at 10:22 PM

Completely off topic, how do you get a job like that?!

E2267c2f00c68e78679ceaa520804999

(83)

on July 14, 2011
at 01:58 PM

Thanks that's helpful! Here are some more comments from the forum I've pieced together. (Cordain says sodium:potassium should be 1:5 - 1:10) How much water to drink? They said that the proper amount to drink would have us peeing light yellow every three hours. More water would have your electrolytes being washed out, less could send you into dehydration.

Medium avatar

(2169)

on July 13, 2011
at 11:20 PM

Caveman crunch is the bomb!

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on July 13, 2011
at 07:29 PM

Shane, just a thought but you might give this a whirl before you hit the trail. Do a 50 50 mix of salt to morton's salt substitute which is a potassium product. Salt along hasn't made a big difference in my hydration - but the mix of the two has done wonders - also you can try baking soda instead of salt - it works too.

E2267c2f00c68e78679ceaa520804999

(83)

on July 13, 2011
at 05:14 PM

It would be fun to learn about edibles on the trip thanks for the link!

E2267c2f00c68e78679ceaa520804999

(83)

on July 13, 2011
at 05:13 PM

Great idea on eggs, aiming to hit 150 calories an oz though so fun things like this are out. I just found a site that has organic powdered eggs but not bringing a cook set to save on weight.

E2267c2f00c68e78679ceaa520804999

(83)

on July 13, 2011
at 05:05 PM

Would love to do that and will especially on shorter trips. Goal is to take < 2 lbs of food a day, 150 calories an oz. Which is very limiting.

E2267c2f00c68e78679ceaa520804999

(83)

on July 13, 2011
at 05:03 PM

I'm sold on the caveman crunch! That will be my fun granola/breakfast thanks! Spice kit idea is smart, will try something like that.

E2267c2f00c68e78679ceaa520804999

(83)

on July 13, 2011
at 04:59 PM

Awesome links thanks! P.S. If you are curious about light weight backpacking here are some gear lists. Goal to have about a 10lb pack with sleeping, tent etc. http://www.andrewskurka.com/SHR08/gearlist.php

E2267c2f00c68e78679ceaa520804999

(83)

on July 13, 2011
at 04:57 PM

Good idea on the hydration/salt issue, will make sure to bring salt in my spice kit. Dehydrating will help me save on weight. The aim is 150 calories per oz. to keep the weight down. Unfortunately that means jerky (75 cal an oz) may need to be replaced by pemmican. Not enough fat in it.

E2267c2f00c68e78679ceaa520804999

(83)

on July 13, 2011
at 04:52 PM

I'm curious to how a low carb diet will fuel me doing a trek like this. Supposedly if I eat enough fat I will be fine. But will take some extra carbs just in case ;)

Cc93847bfa820f0f2da654060b401fa5

(746)

on July 13, 2011
at 08:58 AM

Unless you want to be the sweaty guy dragging at the back of the pack, I'd put more carbs in there. Banana chips, died mangoes, and the bang for your weight & energy buck... DATES. But only if you want to be the pack leader ;) P.S. 3k cals seems on the light side unless you're a 110lb female.

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7 Answers

3
0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on July 12, 2011
at 08:44 PM

I get it. You need what many of us are trying to limit - uber calorie dense foods, (light weight high energy).

I think full on dried fruit (like more than you're allowing) is in order for this amount of activity. Check out this site - nice ideas on dehydrator recipes.

Also, try these gummy chews maybe.

I wonder if you could dehydrate mashed sweet potato, blend into a powder and reconstitute on the trail?

I've done some summer backpacking B.C. (before children) and generally had a hard time keeping hydrated. Try to pack a mix of salt and Morton's potassium salt substitute (probably equal parts) and keep putting a pinch in your hydration pack :) Have fun!

P.S. You may get some kick back here about the chick peas and nuts - legumes are a Paleo no no.

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on July 13, 2011
at 07:29 PM

Shane, just a thought but you might give this a whirl before you hit the trail. Do a 50 50 mix of salt to morton's salt substitute which is a potassium product. Salt along hasn't made a big difference in my hydration - but the mix of the two has done wonders - also you can try baking soda instead of salt - it works too.

E2267c2f00c68e78679ceaa520804999

(83)

on July 13, 2011
at 04:57 PM

Good idea on the hydration/salt issue, will make sure to bring salt in my spice kit. Dehydrating will help me save on weight. The aim is 150 calories per oz. to keep the weight down. Unfortunately that means jerky (75 cal an oz) may need to be replaced by pemmican. Not enough fat in it.

E2267c2f00c68e78679ceaa520804999

(83)

on July 14, 2011
at 01:58 PM

Thanks that's helpful! Here are some more comments from the forum I've pieced together. (Cordain says sodium:potassium should be 1:5 - 1:10) How much water to drink? They said that the proper amount to drink would have us peeing light yellow every three hours. More water would have your electrolytes being washed out, less could send you into dehydration.

2
Medium avatar

on September 07, 2013
at 12:44 AM

I'm an adventure/outdoor instructor, currently working as an expedition sea kayaking guide. I paddle for 5 days at a time and live out of my kayak in the back country. My food supply reaches 105 degrees sitting in my boat, so obviously it has to be heat resistant! Lucky for me, weight doesn't matter as much as it does for you, but the heat more than makes up for it because nothing (not even apples) last.

I eat caveman crunch for breakfast. When I make it I substitute 1/2 the coconut oil for butter (because I love the taste), use pecans instead of sunflower seeds (they can speed up dehydration) and added in dried date pieces. YUM! Just put it in zip lock bags and add powdered coconut milk to it after you make it. Just add water for a yummy breakfast!

You need this one ounce spice kit to live!! It's nearly free, you just need an M&Ms minis canister, some drinking straws, a lighter and spices. I made one with a longer, jumbo size tube from M&M minis so I don't have to refill it all the time. I put 5 different kinds of spices in mine which helps make my food taste better and enables me to make anything I happen to catch (fish, scallops, crab) more tasty. I think it cost like $1.50 to make, because I stole straws from Starbucks.

Meat pouches (does that sound dirty to anyone but me?) are your friends. You can get tuna, salmon and chicken in pouch form. Take your own seasonings and eat for lunch. If you want to increase your fat intake and you aren't going someplace really warm, you can take avocados to mix in as a dressing of sorts. Avocados don't survive where I paddle, so I take mayonnaise packets instead.

E2267c2f00c68e78679ceaa520804999

(83)

on July 13, 2011
at 05:03 PM

I'm sold on the caveman crunch! That will be my fun granola/breakfast thanks! Spice kit idea is smart, will try something like that.

Medium avatar

(2169)

on July 13, 2011
at 11:20 PM

Caveman crunch is the bomb!

9b42edf8bd1d7475127dc3bbc4184e13

(30)

on August 26, 2011
at 10:22 PM

Completely off topic, how do you get a job like that?!

Medium avatar

(2169)

on September 04, 2011
at 01:56 AM

My degree is in Parks and Recreation Management, with a concentration in outdoor recreation. I've been riding horses since age 7, kayaking since around 13 and climbing since about 13. The best thing to do is start doing those activities on your own, and then find a high quality outdoor company willing to hire you based on your personal experiences. As long as you do well, you can use that job as a springboard for many others.

1
E2267c2f00c68e78679ceaa520804999

(83)

on September 27, 2011
at 03:44 AM

I've finished the 7 day backpacking trip and all I can say is that I could not have planned my meals any worse.

So imagine hiking off trail for 10 hours a day with significant climbs and descents. I was extremely tired, sore almost everywhere and when I turned to my food for pleasure had almost zero interest in intuitively eating any red meat products, pemmican, jerky etc. All my body wanted was sugar, carbs, soft and warm food which I had almost none.

Drinking olive oil and gnawing on hard cold beef is not fun when every muscle even my jaw was tired. I left almost zero variety in my 7 day plan leaving me hating my food and lost my appetite significantly having to force feed myself.

Someone on the trip mentioned that a book named the Paleo Athlete approves of large amounts of carbs while exercising. This would have worked for me even though I have not had sugar cravings for the last 2 months.

This is how I would do it next time:

Breakfast - Chia porridge, oatmeal, powdered eggs, dried fruit

Snack - Variety of jerky laced in sugar, Cliff bars, Sugary nut bars, dried mangos etc. Peanut butter packets (fun stuff to eat on the go)

Lunch - Tuna fish packets wrapped in Nori like sushi, I can eat sushi everyday so simulating it is great

Snack - See above

Dinner - Hot organic freeze dried meal, Soups, Cheese, Potatoes, Rice & Beans

Desert - Different chocolate bars each night, healthy version of snickers etc.

  • These foods are easier to engulf with minimal power or thought and are fun to eat after burning a few thousand calories
  • Varying each days meal by >50%

WHAT WORKED - Powered coconut water (ok taste, variety, nutrients) - Fishing, fish packets (finding fish packets with skin for fat would be better) - Trader Joes dehydrated berries - Soups, warm food, soft smooshy - Manna bread (lasted a while in the cool weather) - Fermented food like kimchi (fun change in flavors, spicy etc.) - Any fun bars like snickers, cliff (body wants sugar asap)

DIDN't WORK - Drinking/Eating olive oil or coconut oil (gross and un-fulfilling) - Eating the same thing everyday - Eating a lot of preserved red meat - If pemmican tastes ok at home it will taste bad after a long hard days work

B3e7d1ab5aeb329fe24cca1de1a0b09c

(5242)

on September 27, 2011
at 06:12 AM

Thanks for the update Shane. Live and learn, eh? :)

1
Medium avatar

(7073)

on July 13, 2011
at 07:25 AM

I take eggs. Seems like a crazy thing, but they are perfect, esp. when you are on dried food, that REAL food taste is so good for the morale......and also for the calories they give it is worth taking them. I take 12 for a 6 day trip, packed in those plastic egg carriers and stuffed right inside soft things like clothes.... I have a fried/scrambled egg for breakfast (I assume you are taking cooking implements?) and then boil one to eat for the rest of the day. They keep perfectly in a cool place for a week.

Failing that, take saucisson sec (dried sausage) one lasts me for two days and I eat practically nothing else. I gives you ample fat which is hard to get with all that dried food people normally rely upon. I have found that coconut is great though for the fat it provides.

E2267c2f00c68e78679ceaa520804999

(83)

on July 13, 2011
at 05:13 PM

Great idea on eggs, aiming to hit 150 calories an oz though so fun things like this are out. I just found a site that has organic powdered eggs but not bringing a cook set to save on weight.

1
91162878c2e952c28847b6f522cc6dab

on July 12, 2011
at 09:41 PM

I have been collecting links full of similar ideas. My long range plans include a 21 day John Muir Trail trip... and sometime after the children leave the house a much longer PCT trip.

MDA Primal Trail Food

MDA Primal Trail Food Forum Post

Appalachian Trail Thru Hike

E2267c2f00c68e78679ceaa520804999

(83)

on July 13, 2011
at 04:59 PM

Awesome links thanks! P.S. If you are curious about light weight backpacking here are some gear lists. Goal to have about a 10lb pack with sleeping, tent etc. http://www.andrewskurka.com/SHR08/gearlist.php

0
A45af235ed4dd0b4f548c59e91b75763

(1936)

on July 13, 2011
at 12:24 PM

I think your supplies look great, especially the Pemmican. If you make your own Pemmican it will be the most useful. I know this isn't a direct answer to your question, but have you thought about supplementing your feedback with wild edibles?

Check out this site for some good info: Edible Plants of Sierra Nevada

Just learn a few berries, roots and for god sake be careful you don't poison yourself.

E2267c2f00c68e78679ceaa520804999

(83)

on July 13, 2011
at 05:14 PM

It would be fun to learn about edibles on the trip thanks for the link!

0
E17addea7e1019a6cdbaec44f0b12728

on July 13, 2011
at 01:31 AM

I am an Adventure Racer (usually 30hr) and have found that real food (such as an apple or steak) goes a LONG way towards my moral. Some of the high cal foods are hard to swallow unless you train for it.

probably not helpful for a 7day trip when you have so much more to carry... but I would try!

E2267c2f00c68e78679ceaa520804999

(83)

on July 13, 2011
at 05:05 PM

Would love to do that and will especially on shorter trips. Goal is to take < 2 lbs of food a day, 150 calories an oz. Which is very limiting.

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