Anyone heading to the mountains this year to pursue elk? Backcountry hunts can break you down physically, so it’s extremely important to pack high-quality, whole natural foods to recharge and refuel your body. Consuming a balanced meal every 3-4 hours consisting of carbohydrates, complete protein and fat at every meal throughout the day ensures more energy, quicker recovery times and more efficient use of stored body fat as a fuel source.
Below you will find some ideas for lightweight, quick and nutritious foods that will help fuel your next back country adventure.
Breakfast truly is the most important meal of the day, and you should not begin your hunt on an empty stomach. Try to consume your breakfast within an hour of waking. With early hunting hours, plan a quick and simple breakfast that gets you on the mountain as soon as possible while providing ample energy to start your day.
Old-fashioned oatmeal will provide long, stable energy—and the great thing is that you don’t have to cook it. To make it more palatable, add some freeze-dried fruit and cinnamon. You can even mix in some Wilderness Athlete protein powder and a small package of almond butter for a delicious balanced meal.
A small snack of jerky, some mixed nuts and dried fruit is lightweight and packed full of energy. Another idea is packing along a protein bar. Quest and Think Thin both make nutritionally sound bars that are created out of whole natural ingredients.
Once a day treating yourself to hydrated fish, such as a pouch of tuna, is a coveted meal on a backcountry hunt. There are so many flavors to choose from that you can have something new virtually every day. Carbohydrate sources are not typically varied on back country trips, so again hit up the oatmeal, dried fruit, granola or another type of whole natural bar. The best option Dry your own fruit, and make your own fruit roll ups and bars so that you know what you are consuming.
Mountain House freeze-dried food is the best-tasting food of this type that I have found outside of purchasing a freeze dryer and making my own meals. There is a large variety of meals to choose from that even include low sodium and gluten free options.
If you have the luxury of fresh meat in camp, most stores stock instant mashed potatoes and soups that can be added to your meal. Another option is to dry your own food prior to your backcountry adventures.
Life for me does not begin without my morning cup of coffee, and thankfully Starbucks makes an outstanding instant coffee for both hot and cold water. At the end of the day, a hot cup of tea is a nice treat.
Food For Thought
Check your hydration level. Make sure that you are on track to consuming at least 3-5 liters of water. Adding Wilderness Athlete Hydrate and Recover will keep your hydration levels up and aid in the balance of mineral and electrolyte composition within the body.
With a limited diet, vitamins and minerals are also limited, so don’t forget your multi-vitamin and drink up Wilderness Athlete Green Infusion to boost hydration and provide your body with six servings of fruit and vegetables.
With proper nutrition, you’ll be able to hunt harder and longer, and that will help you put more meat on the ground … which will make your camp food that much better!