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Need suggestions for primal backpacking

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  • Need suggestions for primal backpacking


    I was looking for suggestions for medium backpacking trips.. At the moment my partner and I go backpacking rather often, but only for short stints (1 to 2 nights out for 30-50 miles covered in total). This makes it easy to go and still stay primal with lots of nuts, a bit of dried fruit, a ton of jerky (bison chicken, beef etc...) and some sort of hot meal at night (tomato stew or chili) that we can bring along.

    However the time has come to expand our trips to 70 - 105 mile sections. This makes it a lot harder to stick with primal and I need suggestions! Most campers/packers take TONS of carbs. Even the silly books talk about snickers bars, roman (sp?) noodles, and pop tarts as being a hikers best friend. This is because they are extremely light! I can only take 1.5 lbs of food a day (per person so 3 lbs total) so nothing can be in a can or spoil in hot or cold environments. Of that probably .5 lbs is nuts because they are so calorie dense and we are constantly hungry due to high energy output.

    Dried food is ok and I do some of it, but it usually has a lot of salt or tastes like shoe leather. If it could be done by Grok I want to do it too!

    I need some suggestions on light weight meals that can be served hot, for two people that have just humped 20 miles with 40 lbs of gear on there back and are starved!

    Thanks for the help!

  • #2
    Do a search on this forum for Primal Trail Foods. Mark did an article about it and LOTS of people commented on it with what they do when on multi-day backpacking trips. lots of good suggestions.
    Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.


    • #3
      Pemmican, Trail Mix of nuts & dried fruits, lots and lots of jerky, some good carbs as backup (I'm loving grandma utz kettle chips, lard, salt & potato). I like dried peas and green beans as well.


      • #4
        Wooo, another backpacker! Definitely read Mark's article and jedigrok and the AT & more hiking advice for some additional info.

        Some people can hike on low carb/high fat, but I have trouble doing that when backpacking, due to the length of my hikes & the added packweight. My muscles ache way too much if I don't eat enough carbs. So, I up the starch a lot when backpacking, including rice, rice noodles, dehydrated potatoes & sweet potatoes for dinner - and some dark chocolate for dessert. I hike with a non-PB partner, so I compromise and have beans from time to time (he brings tortillas & bagels - ick). Jerky, fruit, nuts are staples during the day and occasional larabars. For a hot breakfast, I have concocted a sweet potato "cereal" (dehydrated sweet potato, cinnamon, coconut milk powder, protein powder) to replace the oatmeal I used to have.

        Pemmican would be ideal, but I have had some trouble with it staying solid in the heat. I tend to do my longer trips in bear country and cannot afford to have animal fat spilled on me. If you find a way to make that work, let me know.

        Good luck and have fun! And please share any tips you might have as there are some other PB BP-ers lurking around here....
        Jen, former Midwesterner, living in the middle of nowhere.


        • #5
          I'm a lightweight backpacker, so I avoid cooking. Since I am also a major carnivore, this is easy (no corn pasta for me!). I make and take my own:

          dried sausage (droe wors)

          You get the most dense nutrition this way (less weight, more calories). With the sausage you can add in organ meats to the mix for extra nutrition, but making droe wors can be a giant pain.

          I have also experimented with dried bell peppers and dried sweet potato. These work well for the fun snacky stuff or could be heated to make a soup or something. I prefer to avoid GORP and it's more paleo equivalents, but do what you can. Figuring out your backpacking foods can take some experimentation.

          To keep pemmican more solid I recommend using (rendered) suet -- the fat around the organs, as it stays more solid at higher temperatures than muscle fat.


          • #6
            Dried coconut is really cheap and nutritional. It also has some carbs to help fuel the journey. I would also recommend bringing a bunch of butter in an air-tight container. It should keep for a week or more.

            You can also make a dehydrator with a moving box covered in aluminum foil with a couple of racks and a old-school light bulb. Cook down lean ground beef and pour boiling water over it to get all the fat out (I love fat but it makes dried food rot). Put the ground beef in the dehydrator until it's powder. Throw in some thinly sliced and marinated beef, turkey, etc. too.