Top
 

Food for the Backcountry

Food for the Backcountry

On the final night of the Forge last year one of the attendees looked over at me as I was murdering a Beef Stroganoff and asked “so how did everyone know about those dehydrated meals? I’ve been eating cold tuna every night.”

 

The type and amount of food you bring into the backcountry is very dependent on the kind of trip you are doing and your personal preferences.

 

Longer trips that cover more distance will require you to choose different foods than if you are hiking in a few miles for two nights. If you are using horses then the game totally changes as now grills, cast iron pans, as well as full size coolers come into play.

 

This article will cover some suggestions in regards to a 4-5 day backcountry trip on foot with roughly 5-10 miles per day of travel.

 

Food Selection

Choose foods that your body is used to and you enjoy. Avoid totally changing your diet when in new environments and under high workloads. You are obviously limited somewhat as you don’t have a full kitchen and cooler. If you decide to try out new foods such as freeze dried meals we suggest doing so at home at least once to ensure you like it and it agrees with you.

 

Amount of Food

Based on size and normal intake. You will be working much harder in the back country than while at home so if you’d like to maintain your weight then I suggest eating more than you normally do. I usually shoot for 3,000-3,500 calories

 

Food Storage

I like to break up each day of food into a gallon sized ziplock bag. My breakfast, snacks, lunch, and any drinks will all go into this bag. This makes it easy to ensure that you have enough food for trip as you need one bag for each day. This allows you to keep that bag at the top of the pack to access it throughout the day. I usually keep my dinner separate as it will not fit in the bag and I will be eating this at camp once set up.

Many foods also now come in little bags for kid’s lunches. I usually just buy in bulk and use ziplocks to bag the qty I need.

 

 

My General Menu

Breakfast:

Oatmeal or Freeze Dried Meal

Coffee

 

Snack 1

Protein Shake

Dried or Fresh Fruit

Fig Bar

 

Lunch

Cheese

Salami or Summer Sausage

Cracker / Chip of some type

Gatorade

 

Snack 2

Protein Shake

Nuts

Lara Bar or similar

 

 

Dinner

Mountain house or similar

Gatorade

 

Snack 3

Whiskey and Cider or Cocoa

Dark Chocolate or Snickers Bar

 

Notes on my menu

  • I used to buy prepackaged oatmeal but have gone to making my own with rolled oats, brown sugar, dried fruit, and walnuts.
  • I don’t enjoy eating oatmeal every day so I alternate days with a freeze dried meal, one that doesn’t use eggs as those are pretty nasty.
  • Protein is hard to get so I supplement with a shake. This is also why I like to bring a bottle in the backcountry as trying to mix drinks in a bladder is messy.
  • When going in for just a few days cheese and salami will last as typically it’s cool enough. I keep the cheese in a small cooler on the drive out then toss it in my pack at the trailhead. Usually I leave it in blocks until I open it then cube it up. Colby Jack and Pepper Jack seem to last the best. Cheddar gets oily.
  • Pretty much always do a dehydrated meal for dinner, mountain house is my go to but I really enjoy the packit gourmet.
No Comments

Leave a Comment