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Episode 7 of my Lightweight Backpacking Foundations series
Top Ultralight Backpacking Food Tips:
– A food is fuel mentality – Strictly for calories, taste, and ease
– Body is a temple approach – Take time to prepare, dehydrate their own recopies, and are willing to bring a little extra weight for better nutrition.
– For ease and convenience Lightweight backpackers tend to lean towards the food is fuel mentality.
To go light and get serious, measure Calories per ounce.
– Get as light as possible.
– Nut & seeds, olive oil, peanut butter, chocolate, high fat foods – more cal/oz
– Fresh fruits and veggies – less cal/oz
– Good range 120-130 cal/oz
The goal – nutrition, taste, & calories while keeping weight low
– Good trail nutrition is just like good nutrition at home –
– Balance of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates – with fiber, fruit + veg when possible
– When “cooking” on the trail – Ease of “cooking” for most lightweight backpackers is important
– Boil water and pour in a bag
– Choose meals with short cook times
– Amount of food. You’ll need more calories than normal, especially for full days and long trips
– Some thru-hikers find that they consume 5-6,000 calories per day – very long hiking days
– Avoid all canned food. Heavy – low in calories – pack out the trash.
– Repackage all food when possible to reduce weight and volume
– Save weight and add nutrition with dried Fruits & Veggies
– Use a food dehydrator to make your own delicious and healthy trail snacks.
Popular UL Food Choices:
• Very important part of trail diet – keeping constantly fueled
• Dried fruit
• Trail mix
• Energy bars – lots of bars
• Fruit leather strips
• Chips & crackers
• Beef jerky
• Will you want to cook?
• Powdered milk
• Pop tarts
• Carnation instant breakfast mix
• Snacks – trail mix, dried fruit
• Instant oatmeal
• Whole wheat tortillas
• Summer sausage
• Peanut butter & jelly
• Hard cheeses
• Fill in with snacks
• Freeze dried meals are light but can be expensive – $7-10 per
• Similar meals can be found in grocery stores for a fraction of the price
• Dehydrated meals
• Dry soups
• Pasta sides
• Rice sides
• Instant potato flakes
• Instant stuffing
• Easy Mac
• Ramen noodles
• Tuna and chicken in foil packets
• Add freeze dried veggies when possible
• Fast food packets for condiments
• Hot sauce
• Olive Oil
• Powdered sports drinks
• Hot coco