food efficiency and meal ideas

Have a favorite trail recipe or technique you'd like to share? Please do! We also like reviews of various trail food products out there. The Backcountry Food Topix forum is the place to discuss all things related to food and nourishment while in the Sierra wilderness (as well as favorite trail head eateries).
User avatar
paul
Topix Expert
Posts: 574
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2007 3:35 pm
Experience: N/A

Re: food efficiency and meal ideas

Post by paul » Wed Mar 20, 2019 11:45 am

Aiming for either a calorie count or a food weight is pretty random unless you have baseline on what works for you, gleaned from previous trips. What works for one may not work for another. I have tried to keep records of how much I take and how much I bring back at the end of the trip, and have used that info to dial my quantities in with the goal of arriving back at the car with nothing but crumbs in the pack.
That said, for a 2 or 3 day trip you can get away with almost anything foodwise. A little hunger is no big deal for that short of a time. If you brought no food at all your energy might be low and you might sleep rather cold but unless you have specific health issues no harm would be done.








User avatar
bobby49
Topix Expert
Posts: 574
Joined: Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:17 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: food efficiency and meal ideas

Post by bobby49 » Wed Mar 20, 2019 1:23 pm

About the only food records that I keep are of the total food weight at the start and at the end, and then divided by the number of trail days. I keep track of the best foods that worked, and the worst foods that didn't work. However, I shoot for foods that require no cooking and perhaps only a splash of boiling water. That allows me to carry the tiniest stove with the least amount of butane fuel weight. Plus, I assume that I might have a stove failure, so a great deal of my food can be eaten without any boiling water, and maybe without any water at all.

User avatar
limpingcrab
Topix Regular
Posts: 328
Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2012 8:38 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Location: Minkler, CA
Contact:

Re: food efficiency and meal ideas

Post by limpingcrab » Thu Mar 21, 2019 1:25 pm

In my opinion, like others have said, bring what tastes the best. Unless you're out there for a month you don't really have to worry about paying much attention to fiber and protein and what's healthy or not. Your body wants calories, unless you're living off of sugar packets you'll have what you need for a long backpack trip by just eating what tastes good. Some things I love while backpacking: sea salt and vinegar kettle chips, peach-ring candy, peanut butter tubes with animal crackers, protein yogurt trail-mix from costco, poptarts, sour gummy worms, fish. For dinner my favorite is ramen with tuna packets (or fish) dumped in.

The lightest way to go is not cooking at all, which I do sometimes, but like you I enjoy a hot meal in the evening.
I generally have no trouble eating until I'm over 10k feet, then my stomach gets picky.
The vast majority of times that people feel like this it's due to dehydration. Drink way more water than you think (with some electrolytes mixed in on occasion) and your energy and appetite will likely improve. I probably average 8 full liters per day at the higher elevations and feel fantastic compared to friends who sip their water and have a bit more with meals, even when they're more physically fit.

User avatar
longri
Topix Fanatic
Posts: 1082
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:13 am
Experience: N/A

Re: food efficiency and meal ideas

Post by longri » Thu Mar 21, 2019 2:21 pm

With all due respect, I disagree with everything you just posted. :-)

User avatar
TahoeJeff
Topix Expert
Posts: 898
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 11:03 am
Experience: N/A
Location: South Lake Tahoe

Re: food efficiency and meal ideas

Post by TahoeJeff » Thu Mar 21, 2019 3:28 pm

limpingcrab wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 1:25 pm
I probably average 8 full liters per day at the higher elevations and feel fantastic
You honestly drink that much water everyday backpacking?
“A society that puts equality before freedom will get neither. A society that puts freedom before equality will get a high degree of both.”

Milton Friedman

User avatar
bobby49
Topix Expert
Posts: 574
Joined: Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:17 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: food efficiency and meal ideas

Post by bobby49 » Thu Mar 21, 2019 6:59 pm

I know that I, for one, drink about 4-5 liters per day. Most of one is at breakfast. I start the trail with one of water and one of Cytomax or Gatorade. Once in a while I have to scoop up and filter more during the day. Then most of one is at dinner.

Some hikers drink a lot of plain water. However, if you mix some electrolytes into the water, it will help your body to retain the water better in the tissues.

User avatar
freestone
Topix Expert
Posts: 760
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2005 9:42 pm
Experience: Level 1 Hiker
Location: Santa Barbara
Contact:

Re: food efficiency and meal ideas

Post by freestone » Thu Mar 21, 2019 8:01 pm

I only drink when I'm thirsty. One of the simple highs of life on the trail is quenching the thirst but I can't get that if I'm forcing it with fortified fluids. But lucky me, I don't sweat profusely.
Fram...

User avatar
limpingcrab
Topix Regular
Posts: 328
Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2012 8:38 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Location: Minkler, CA
Contact:

Re: food efficiency and meal ideas

Post by limpingcrab » Thu Mar 21, 2019 8:13 pm

With all due respect, I disagree with everything you just posted. :-)
Ha! That's what the internet is for, right?

You honestly drink that much water everyday backpacking?
Yup, I don't filter so it makes it easier to scoop and go. When I cross water I force down a whole liter, which is uncomfortable for a couple minutes, but then I never have to carry any water and some studies have suggested that feast/famine is a more efficient way to hydrate anyway.

Very effective way to reduce pack weight!

Like Bobby said though, it helps when I add gatorade powder for two of those liters every day.

User avatar
bobby49
Topix Expert
Posts: 574
Joined: Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:17 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: food efficiency and meal ideas

Post by bobby49 » Thu Mar 21, 2019 8:28 pm

Gatorade or Cytomax are OK, but they don't need to be full strength. If I use just enough powder that I can taste it in the water, then that is sufficient. Otherwise, I avoid the yellow snow.

User avatar
longri
Topix Fanatic
Posts: 1082
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:13 am
Experience: N/A

Re: food efficiency and meal ideas

Post by longri » Fri Mar 22, 2019 7:50 am

I used to drink a lot of water every day. I didn't keep track but it wouldn't have surprised me if it were 8 liters/day when in the backcountry. One time a friend commented on this habit that he'd noticed in others, that they would "drink and pee, drink and pee". He thought it was ridiculous. At the time I was a drinker-and-pee-er and so I didn't comment. I thought that all that water passing through was doing me good.

More recently I've gotten lazy about drinking water to the point that I let myself get dehydrated from time to time. And here's the thing: It has had absolutely zero noticeable effect on my appetite or lack thereof, my endurance, or anything really. When I'm severely dehydrated it is an issue. But at a lower level the effect, which I'm sure is still measurable, is too small for me to notice.

I don't worry about it anymore.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests