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  • Primal backpacking foods?

    I'm leaving later this week on a 4 day backpacking trip. I'd like to eat as primally as possible on this trip, but most of the foods I'm used to taking backpacking are definitely not in that category - pasta, peanut butter & crackers, super high carb dehydrated meals, etc. I'm currently making some biltong (mmm...) and will bring a dried fruit and nut trail mix for snacking. I'll probably also have some tuna and chicken pouches. Any other ideas for primal foods/meals that are lightweight and don't need refrigeration, but calorie dense enough to support hiking 7-10 miles a day with packs?

  • #2
    I am a kayaker and love to do multi day trips so understand this problem, but it is a difficult one. Weight is a bigger factor backpacking than kayaking but both need shelf stable foods. Chicken and tuna packages are great. Also, Check out kelp noodles- you can use them like spagetti and they are shelf stable. Good smoked sausage should keep for a day or 2 and although not primal, white rice is often an option b/c you will be working so hard (I know Mark even admits to eating some with sushi every now and then). Almond Butter and Carrots are great. Luna Bars are pretty primal too! I look forward to other's tips too for my next trip!
    Male 40 Years Old
    210 LBs - 5/14/12 - SW
    ??? LBs- GW
    36"- Starting pant size
    32" - Current Pant size

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    • #3
      When we went camping for three days, I brought...

      - home-made trail mix (almonds, coconut chips, pistachios)
      - sausages (in a cooler)
      - veggies (in a cooler)
      - bacon (in a cooler)
      - apples
      - home-made "lara bars" (dates, cocoa powder, almond butter, sesame seeds all blended together and formed into bars)

      All of that, plus plenty of water, held me over just fine! I was never hungry.
      >> Current Stats: 90% Primal / 143 lbs / ~25% BF
      >> Goal (by 1 Jan 2014): 90% Primal / 135-ish pounds / 20-22% BF

      >> Upcoming Fitness Feats: Tough Mudder, June 2013
      >> Check out my super-exciting journal by clicking these words.

      Weight does NOT equal health -- ditch the scale, don't be a slave to it!

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      • #4
        jerkey, and pemmican if you can find or make it, "Larabars" are available online if not in a local store and pretty primal - like energy bars made out of figs. Coconut milk, macadamias and almonds. It won't help you much in caloric density but you could take along some dried fruit and kale chips or dried seaweed for nutrients.
        If you have a few minutes- please take a look at my story, in my journal
        http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread87400.html
        I do warn you, I am a copious writer.

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        • #5
          What about Cured/dried sausage such as salami and chorizo, Parma ham...some of the older/ hard cheeses That dont need refrigeration might be good. Dried fruit/berries, nuts, seeds, dark chocolate. Avacado. Almond butter, hazelnut butter, banana...
          Every time I hear the dirty word 'exercise', I wash my mouth out with chocolate.

          http://primaldog.blogspot.co.uk/

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          • #6
            Bring a bow
            "It's a great life, if you don't weaken.". John Buchan

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            • #7
              I hear making permican is easy, so I plan on whipping up a batch before I hit the trail again. Creamed coconut has almost all the moisture pulled out of it, so it will keep for a good long while, and it's super high in saturated fat and can add some flavor to soups and such. Jerky is a classic of course, you could live off of that and a good source of fat. Hard cheeses are always a good choice, and a little sausage won't kill you, just spring for the good stuff without HFCS.
              Have a great trip and let us know how it goes!

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              • #8
                Oh crap, you just reminded me. I had a bunch of meat in my dehydrator and I needed to move the trays around. Oh well. It'll still come out good.

                Here's what I do now. This is also what some "professional" long distance hiker friends of mine do, too (they eat basically a primal diet). This makes the best food for backpacking.

                Get a cheap dehydrator. Look in thrift stores and garage sales.

                Dehydrated vegetables/carbs
                raw veggies: greens, carrots, zucchini, corn, pretty much anything that is good raw
                cooked veggies: starchy things like celery root, rutabaga, sweet potatoes and yams. Cook, mash, smear on parchment, dehydrate (takes a long time for sweet potatoes) then run through the blender to take the sharp edges off

                Purchase these because it's cheaper and onions stink up the house
                dehydrated onions and tomatoes

                Fats
                Beef tallow melted and mixed with shredded coconut and congealed in muffin tins
                Pemmican (beef tallow and dried beef)
                Olive oil
                Parmesan cheese
                Pemmican bars (beef tallow and dried beef with added stuff for flavor like dried cherries)

                Meats
                Dehydrate cooked boneless, skinless breasts chopped up, or canned chicken
                Dehydrate ground beef, lean as you can find, cooked and rinsed with water to remove all fat

                For your meals, mix some of the veggies, the starchy veggies, and cooked meat in a plastic container (ziploc, old peanut butter jar) and add water. Do this one meal in advance (i.e. for lunch, fix this up at breakfast. For dinner, fix it up at lunch.) Then, at meal time, either eat it cold with olive oil and/or parmesan cheese or heat it up and melt some pemmican or tallow into it. Add salt or other spices, dried onions or tomatoes or whatever you like. I guarantee you will love this.

                In addition to this, if you don't mind oats, there's a pretty good bar out there called Journey bars that come in interesting savory flavors. Then there are the usual tuna or other meats in the foil, hunks of cheese, nut butters, salami etc. that most people think of.
                Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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                • #9
                  All the above plus make some Free the Animal Fat Bread. It is super dense nutrition and doesn't dry out or go bad (all the coconut and mac nut oil in it I suspect).

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                  • #10
                    Last summer a friend and I did a 106 mile, 11 day trip on the Pacific Crest Trail (Washington Section K). I had started my primal diet about a year prior, and had lost 65 pounds, currently 155, at the time. My diet consisted of the following:

                    Pemmican (grass-fed sirloin tip dehydrated and ground to powder, combined with fully rendered grass-fed beef fat) 2oz/day
                    A mixture of coconut oil, dehydrated apricots, dark chocolate, almond butter, coconut flakes, maple syrup. Supercharges you 6oz/day
                    Cheese 4 different kinds, cut up and wrapped per day. 3oz/day
                    Jerky / pepperoni / summer sausage (ok it has a bit of sugar, but ...) 4oz/day
                    Lara bars 2/day
                    Dehydrated yams (230C/oz!) ground up and rehydrated for breakfast, with ghee butter 2oz/day
                    Nuts/raisins 3oz/day

                    This packed around 4000C into under 1.5 pounds. All meat and cheese products lasted entire trip just fine.
                    This hike is brutal, we climbed about 25,000 feet, and decended a bit more. Worked great!

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                    • #11
                      Jerky, dehydrated vegetables, dehydrated fruits, nuts..a lot of backpacking foods are quite primal.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by jimgidd View Post
                        Last summer a friend and I did a 106 mile, 11 day trip on the Pacific Crest Trail (Washington Section K). I had started my primal diet about a year prior, and had lost 65 pounds, currently 155, at the time. My diet consisted of the following:

                        Pemmican (grass-fed sirloin tip dehydrated and ground to powder, combined with fully rendered grass-fed beef fat) 2oz/day
                        A mixture of coconut oil, dehydrated apricots, dark chocolate, almond butter, coconut flakes, maple syrup. Supercharges you 6oz/day
                        Cheese 4 different kinds, cut up and wrapped per day. 3oz/day
                        Jerky / pepperoni / summer sausage (ok it has a bit of sugar, but ...) 4oz/day
                        Lara bars 2/day
                        Dehydrated yams (230C/oz!) ground up and rehydrated for breakfast, with ghee butter 2oz/day
                        Nuts/raisins 3oz/day

                        This packed around 4000C into under 1.5 pounds. All meat and cheese products lasted entire trip just fine.
                        This hike is brutal, we climbed about 25,000 feet, and decended a bit more. Worked great!
                        That sounds great! It looks kinda similar to what I brought with me for a 8-9 day hike on the Appalchian Trail last summer. I wrote a blog post with a link to a spredsheet detailing all the food we brought:

                        Doctor and Mister: Hiking the Georgia AT (part 2)

                        My only caveat for that food is that the coconut butter might be a little TOO high in fiber.

                        Did you dehydrate the yams (sweet potatoes?) yourself? I did that once and they were pretty good, but very tough. I'm guessing that's why you rehydrated them!

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                        • #13
                          I bought some Cacao Exo bars when they were offered on the Kickstarter site. They're made with Cricket protein and very tasty. Just hope I can keep my hands off them until I go and assess Duke of Edinburgh Award teams doing their Gold expeditions in a few weeks time.....
                          Why use a sledge hammer to crack a nut when a steam roller is even more effective, and, is fun to drive.

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                          • #14
                            Love these ideas. I'm up to walking 4 miles (with some intermittent jogging) so can a week-long jaunt be far away?! LOL probably not but I'd like to play around with some of these just for fun.
                            Age 55, post-menopausal, primal since August '12 with some dairy, lots of seafood, following PHD and the 5 Leptin Rules. Taking ThyroGold, eating RS and zero wheat with great results. My Primal Journal

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                            • #15
                              After hundreds of days and nights of backpacking, being in charge of meal planning and issuing food as a job, and lots of long trips, here's what I usually carry.

                              First, I know that both I and my best friend who I often backpack with eat a lot of food. We're both pretty lean and fit already (he very much so, me mostly so) and I'd say at home we'd probably each consume 2500-5000 calories a day. I seem to be able to fit enough food in if I count on carrying about 1 1/2 pounds of food per person per day. While I've worked one getting the rest of my gear fairly light at about 17 lbs total (if you've got more questions about that, feel free to ask, I've got details on all of it) while still carrying everything I want including stuff like a journal and camera, I've learned you don't want to skimp on food. Being out there and hungry is not much fun. Plan on carrying some extra. I usually pack one extra meal as a backup in case we're hungry or something unexpected happens and we end up stuck somewhere.

                              If you don't want to carry a stove or spend time cooking, it's easy to skip that, but I like cooking and my friend usually wants to fish so I have plenty of time to hang out and do so. If I wasn't going to cook, I'd basically take more of the stuff that I already pack for lunches.

                              I do know that some of my menus are not strictly primal, (I don't eat strictly primal at home either just for reference) but these seem to work well for me, and may for you depending on how strict your diet is.

                              I want to try making my own pemican, haven't done it yet.

                              I've made bars with various combos depending on what I have around or want at the moment. I tried to make a 1000 calorie bar, mostly as a retaliation to all the marketing of 100 calorie bars that drives me crazy when I want to carry as many calories as compactly as possible. But it would have been a really big bar. So I settled for making normal sized ones that were about 500 calories.

                              I've used a food processor or just a fork depending what combo I'm trying to mix. Press into a pan, cool, cut and wrap as individual bars. They have included things like:

                              coconut
                              coconut oil
                              almonds
                              almond butter
                              cashews
                              almond flour
                              protein powder
                              cocoa nibs
                              cocoa powder
                              flax seeds, whole or ground
                              chia seeds, whole or ground
                              rasins
                              craisins
                              gogi berries
                              dried apples
                              dates
                              honey
                              powdered milk
                              oats
                              vanilla beans
                              cinnamon
                              any other dried fruit you might have, I've dried most things at some point
                              peanuts or peanut butter if I'm making them for someone other than myself

                              I don't usually eat breakfast, but if I am going on a short (2-4 day) and leisurely trip I will often pack breakfast because it's easy to handle the extra weight. For breakfast, I take hard boiled eggs, bacon, cheese, and dehydrated hash browns. Being in northern WY most of the time, temps are almost always refrigerator like at night even in the middle of summer so spoilage is much less of an issue here than in warmer climes. To cook my breakfast:

                              - Boil water, heat the eggs (still in their shell, I just hard boil them before leaving to reduce the risk of breaking them in my backpack).

                              - Pour the hot water and eggs into an extra container like a pot lid or nalgene. Fry the hash browns in oil (olive oil is great, coconut oil is easier to pack without spilling) until crispy and golden.

                              - Pour hot water back over the hash browns to a level just under the to of the potatoes, cover, and set aside.

                              - Fry bacon in the lid to your pot. (You can also precook it at home and just reheat once in the field.)

                              - Crumble eggs and bacon on top of the hash browns. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover long enough to let the cheese melt. Season to taste with salt and any other spices you like to carry.

                              - Enjoy a breakfast! It's pretty high in fat, some protein, and some carbs that you are probably going to need if you're planning to walk around with a pack on all day.

                              For lunches, I don't usually cook, as it takes too much time, but I pack lots of nuts, cheese, dried fruit and veggies (as others have mentioned it's easy to make your own, I've done grapes, pineapple, apples, bananas, mango, strawberries, pears, plums, peaches, squash, onions, mushrooms, lettuce, avocado, etc) foil packs of salmon, tuna, and chicken, dehydrated turkey to add to cooked meals, beef, elk, or turkey jerky, and some chocolate. I also usually carry some strait sugar like cheep candy that is mostly sugar (no fake sugars, dyes, or hfcs) because I simply burn through so much energy out there, the boost is nice. You can combine things and make your own mixes, but I personally just carry a bag of each thing and snack from any that I'm in the mood for when we stop for lunch.

                              Dinners are usually one pot meals. Either rice, beans and rice, sweet potato noodles, or quinoa make the base. Again, I personally need the carbs as I usually drop weight out there anyway and I don't really have any to loose. For quinoa, carry the golden variety, the red or dark ones seem to cook more slowly making you need to carry more fuel. To speed up either rice or beans, you can buy parboiled and dehydrated. I'm sure you can do this yourself as well, I just haven't done so yet. To the base, I add some kind of meat. Again, all the foil packs of meats are safe, and you can carry summer sausage, pepperoni, and most similar meats for at least a week without them spoiling, though again if you are in Florida or somewhere warmer than I am, be careful with this. Add veggies and spices. I carry a small container with salt, pepper, red pepper, basil as my standard spices. I always carry dried onion and garlic and add them to almost every dish. On the first few days of a trip, or on shorter trips, you can carry fresh veggies. As long as you don't let it get super warm (even in the desert you can pack them in the center of your pack, don't let it lay in the sun, and keep them cool) broccoli, zucchini, carrots, snow peas, chopped kale all keep quite well. On long trips or when I don't want the weight, I only take dried veggies. You can dry any vegetable and add any combo of them you like. You can also add coconut, olive oils, and cheeses to most dishes. A favorite meal of ours is bean and rice, garlic, onions, pepperoni, bacon, tomatoes, mushrooms and smoked gouda. Another favorite is quinoa with garlic, onions, mushrooms, broccoli, salmon, cream cheese.

                              If the OP's still reading this, I'm curious, where was your 4 day trip to?
                              ~Ariel

                              http://arielcsblog.blogspot.com/

                              "To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead." - Thomas Paine

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