Food list for backpack hunt.

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Dec 10, 2019
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I believe I’ve got my food list close to being dialed in, or at least I hope. Will be going elk hunting in Colorado this fall in 1st rifle season, so it’s only a five day season, but I’ll be going in early to scout. So I may pack a few days of food and leave the rest at the truck to come back and pick up before season opening.
Average calories is 3100 per day, and weight is 22.35 oz per day (as listed on packages, I haven’t checked yet). Is this fairly reasonable? Oh, and I have to throw in a couple packs of Trader Joe’s instant coffee. 101190E1-3AD4-4DDF-9322-E7A08E51E0D7.jpeg 0276968D-CB1B-4AB4-8F14-44AFFBBE5B6A.jpeg
 

Redman

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I adjusted mine over the years. Depending on what part of the season I am hunting. Each person's body is different. I focus on carbs and protein more than anything. Later season I add more fat such as olive oil to my diet. I try and make my own food as well. I have found it helps eating food that I eat on a regular basis that I make myself.
 

Alpine01

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Yes. I would recommend you go an overnight backpacking trip and try your menu. Add elevation into that equation and your appetite will be suppressed to the point you will be forcing yourself to eat. Of course this is a generalization and might not be true for you.
I find I end up drinking a lot more straight water, or water with an electrolyte booster. Elevation really dehydrates you. Morning coffee, water all day, evening coffee. The cider and hot chocolate would never get used in my meal plan. I would ditch the waffles and the pro meal thing and replace with about 4 oz of trail mix. That and the jerky is about all I eat for lunch. Oatmeal is spot on for a hot breakfast. Just my approach though so your needs will be different. I target less than 16 oz of food per day and will pack for 6 days of meals. Usually can stretch to 7 days if I want without much trouble.
 

Beignet

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I’d swap out those lemonade drink packets for some Pedialyte powder packs for max hydration. Nice to pound down before bed.

Agree with others that that’d be too much food for me. Also agree that everyone is different.

I personally eat a quick 400 or so calorie lunch of protein bars and fig bars, then have whatever dehydrated meal that has the most calories I can find for dinner. I also like to mix it up between a light oatmeal breakfast with a few more calorific freeze dried ones thrown in the mix over multiple days.

I also often take along one of those plastic bottles of Beam and a load of either long cut or a pile of ZYN, because I’m a real mountain athlete.
 

BZNHNTR

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Might want to consider how much fuel/time/noisy stove running is needed to make hot water for all those hot chocolates and ciders (unless you like them cold). Also how many of those calories are sugar? I like some candy bars backpacking but it’s quick energy, some dry salami/pre-cooked bacon/cheese/tortillas/bagels holds a lot better for me. But as has been said we are all different.
 

Backofbeyond

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I’m with a lot of guys and would ditch the hot chocolate and cider, I’m a coffee whore so that’s my go to morning moon and night.

Unlike most, that’s probably about right for total calories for what I take, but I eat a lot. My hunting partner will take 1/2 the food I do when we are on the same trip.

One thing I’ve started doing is overnight oats in a shaker bottle for breakfast. Let it soak the night before, ready to go in the morning. Just use some oats, protein powder, carnation instant breakfast, whatever you want. I also dump some chocolate covered coffee beans in for my morning wake-up caffeine. I think one of the GoHunt bros did a video about it. Works good.
 
Joined
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I was trying to stay around 3,000 calories per day, I could swap out the cider and cocoa for coffee, but I don’t think it would help any, this just gives me more variety, they are roughly the same calories.
I’ll have to look at the electrolyte powders and check them out.
 

MtnElk

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You should test all that with some backpacking around your house or something. Everybody’s dietary needs are different, but sometimes your own dietary needs shift based on your activity level and rate of exertion. I’m normally a high protein, moderate carbs, low fat guy… but when I’m running or hiking something intense I’m super high carb, moderate fat, very low protein. So if I were you I would pack each day for two activities - in motion (day) and static recovery(night) and if you do that, you’re def dumping off a bunch of that stuff above.
 

shannerdrake

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Yes. I would recommend you go an overnight backpacking trip and try your menu. Add elevation into that equation and your appetite will be suppressed to the point you will be forcing yourself to eat. Of course this is a generalization and might not be true for you.
This is spot on. It's hard to eat or drink enough no matter what you do. I like to focus on packing stuff I really like instead stuff I "should" eat. A package of peanut M&Ms that gets eaten does me better than Pro Bar that rides in my pack that I find a year later.

I also add stuff to my water so I drink more. It's also an easy way to get quick calories. I'm a big fan of Liquid IV and Nuun Tablets. It helps me drink more and gets me some more calories and nutrients I need.
 
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You should test all that with some backpacking around your house or something. Everybody’s dietary needs are different, but sometimes your own dietary needs shift based on your activity level and rate of exertion. I’m normally a high protein, moderate carbs, low fat guy… but when I’m running or hiking something intense I’m super high carb, moderate fat, very low protein. So if I were you I would pack each day for two activities - in motion (day) and static recovery(night) and if you do that, you’re def dumping off a bunch of that stuff above.
That’s what I have been doing, these are things I have tried and know I like to eat, I have been doing a few backpacking trips this year and been testing out what I like. I wish I could get the weight down, but running around all day on trail mix and jerky just won’t do it for me, lol.
 

TheNorthStar

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You're getting good advice here, but of course everyone is different when it comes to preference and how their body responds to fuel. I tend to run a slight calorie deficit in meal planning and still rarely ever finish my daily portioned out ziploc. My body tends to slip into burning stored fat easily though and I'll come home from a week long trip missing a handful of pounds.

It does look like a lot of sugar to me too, which was mentioned up above, and I would shy away from some of that in favor of fats or proteins. If you want to compromise between the 3, there are plenty of good options for nut butters that will fill that niche. Maybe instead of the candy bars you could consider a fruit bar (Sunrype) for better nutritional value in a sweet snack. Also, be aware that a sudden shift to dry bars, dehydrated and freeze dried foods can shock your system too. Make sure you're consciously drinking 20% more water than you think you need to daily. It's easy to overlook drinking enough when your mind is focused on hunting. Electrolyte powders or tablets are always a good thing to have on hand. I like the Nuun tablets.

All this said, I don't take a lot of comfort in food. To me it's just fuel for the machine, so I can get away with a boring or monotonous menu even on the side of a mountain. If you do, don't hesitate to keep the Reese's or the cider to keep your spirits or motivation high.

Best of luck on your hunt, go get em'!
 
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I’ve been doing some hikes around home, not the same as 11,000 feet elevation I’m sure, but some steep and nasty country. My first trip out with a 60 lb pack showed some weak areas, so I’ve upgraded some items (boots were the first, lol), so I’m trying to cut weight from food, but I’m not a small guy and at 270, 6’2”, the best weight to cut is fat, I’m working on that. Thanks for the help, I may have to change some more items, keep the replies coming.
What is your opinions on carrying water, I’ve been taking a 3 liter bladder, but I drink 2 of those easily while hiking, would going smaller and stopping more often to refill it be better?
 
Yeti

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