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Tips for primal hiking (trail food, cooking, gear, activities etc.)

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  • Tips for primal hiking (trail food, cooking, gear, activities etc.)

    I love hiking in the wild, and this summer I'll be doing a nine-days hike through an area with no settlement and even no cell phone coverage together with my bf. The question is: How can I stick to the PB when I need food that is light weight, calorie- and nutrition-dense and takes upp little space?

    I've started making my own jerky, and will probably try out pemmican. Trail mix is of course on the list. We will bring a fishing rod, but success is not guaranteed..

    So thought maybe I could collect some tips from the primal community for this very primal activity. Other tips on primal hiking would also be greatly appreciated!

    Here are some posts I have read and enjoyed:
    - http://www.marksdailyapple.com/how-t...our-own-jerky/
    - http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-trail-food/
    - http://www.rawpaleodiet.com/beef-jerky/ (Instructions for making your own beef jerky drier)

  • #2
    You can buy packets of tuna and salmon at most grocery stores ... "healthy" grocery stores (i.e. ones that have natural/organic) might even have wild caught salmon packets...
    Subduction leads to orogeny

    My blog that I don't update as often as I should: http://primalclimber.blogspot.com/

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    • #3
      I made my first batch of pemmican the weekend before last. It came out really well, but I was amazed at how much the meat shrunk down. Slicing all the fat off the meat and cutting it up took hours and I ended up drying it at a really low temperature for three days. Rendering the fat wasn't as hard but it was messy and yielded more cracklins than I would have thought. When I mixed the tallow and meat together I added a bunch of habanero powder. So, my pemmican is very spicy and tastes great to me. It's probably inedible to 99.9% of the general populous but I made it for me. I still have about half the tallow that I made left over as well. When I get time and desire I'll make dry some more meat and make another batch.
      http://www.facebook.com/daemonized

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      • #4
        pick up a wild field food guide and see what edibles are going to be wherever you're going to go.
        sigpic

        HANDS OFF MY BACON :: my primal journal

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        • #5
          I like jerkies, smoked fish, nuts and some vegetables (celery for example).

          But, I want to make some pemmican for my next hike.

          Another thing I want to do is drying some vegetables and making a powder out of it. Add spices. When the time is right, just add the powder to water and add in your jerkies. You got a soup!.
          Living the hard way has never been so easy!
          My paleo website : www.primaljournal.com

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          • #6
            Canned, oily fish is a good idea. The only thing is, the cans weigh quite a lot themselves, and we have to carry along any garbage that cannot be burned. Maybe I could try to find some way to vacuum pack it in plastic? I guess it would be OK for a week..

            I'm trying out pemmican today, from last week's batch of self dried jerky. Mine also shrunk so much, can't believe that it is actually a whole steak..

            Vegetable powder soup sounds like a great idea! Definitely trying out that one. And for wild field food, I have heard that there's quite a lot of trout where we're going, and if we're lucky we can find cloudberries. Mmm..

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            • #7
              The cans could be flattened with a rock for easier transport once the fish was eaten.

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              • #8
                I've carried hard salami successfully, even in warmer weather. The fat just gets a little melty.
                For lots of tasty recipes, check out my blog -http://lifeasadreger.wordpress.com/

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                • #9
                  Try a dehydrator?

                  I have been wondering about primal food for hiking too - my plan is to do most of my cooking beforehand, and dehydrate in meal-size portions. Stews, casseroles etc. I like dried peas from the supermarket but might be too processed for some of you Groks. For shorter trips, say up to 4 days, I carry some fresh veg especially onions, garlic.
                  You can either buy or hire a dehydrator or use a standard oven on low temp overnight.
                  I also like to bake while on a hike and might try an almond flour pancake or two for a change.

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                  • #10
                    Get a good dehydrator (excalibur is the best). You can make so many things with that. Dehydrated food is very lightweight and quick to cook.
                    I learned a valuable lesson with the first steer I sent to slaughter. I should have named him Hamburger and not Snookers.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Sharyn View Post
                      I have been wondering about primal food for hiking too - my plan is to do most of my cooking beforehand, and dehydrate in meal-size portions. Stews, casseroles etc. I like dried peas from the supermarket but might be too processed for some of you Groks. For shorter trips, say up to 4 days, I carry some fresh veg especially onions, garlic.
                      You can either buy or hire a dehydrator or use a standard oven on low temp overnight.
                      I also like to bake while on a hike and might try an almond flour pancake or two for a change.
                      So you are saying you can cook a full meal and then dehydrate whatever it is?!?!?!

                      So, if you do this then the food will keep for say 1-2 weeks without any refrigeration needed?

                      I plan on taking a couple backpacking trips this summer so this would be awesome!
                      Find me at aToadontheRoad.com. Cheers!

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                      • #12
                        I have an outdoor cookbook that includes instructions on dehydrating food. By removing most of the water the food can't easily go off - but you need to remove fat from meat (either before or after cooking) as it can go rancid. Just use your favorite recipe for a stew or casserole, cutting meat and veg into small bits (1cm or less), and cook as normal.
                        So long as the dehydrated food is stored correctly (airtight seal, out of the light, in the fridge or freezer until just before you leave on the trip) it will be good for 2-3 weeks for meat, up to 12 months for veg and fruit.
                        Maybe experiment at home first?

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                        • #13
                          Cans of anything is a very bad idea. You simply do not want to carry that extra metal around. Besides, canned goods often contain a lot of extra water, and you don't want to carry that, either. Foil-paks are a much smarter way to go. The product may not be 100% Primal (I have found chicken hard to find without an additive or two), but in avoiding grains and staying primal as much as possible otherwise, I'm willing to make an 80/20-style exception. Handily, they weigh much less, and pose a much smaller-volume packing issue.

                          I do a LOT of hiking in the Olympic Mountains, and have been primal for over two years - this will be my third season hiking primally, and I've learned a number of lessons. The terrain I travel in, both on- and off-trail is rugged, isolated and demanding. I'll share my most-important observations.

                          Consider your protein needs. There are some discussions around the MDA site and this forum, but if you're backpacking, you are tearing down muscle tissue at a prodigious rate. Provide yourself enough protein to maintain muscle mass over you're hike. If you're only out for a day or two, it's not of major consequence. When you're out for a week, you don't want to find yourself weakened, in pain, making poor decisions, or vulnerable to injury. I am fine-tuning my menus this year to provide me with about 1 gram of protein per pound of lean body mass. I suspect that over the season, I may up this allowance.

                          Allow for burning A LOT OF CALORIES: And by that I mean, FAT, FAT, FAT. When I punched in my figures, Fitday suggested to me that I could be burning in excess of 5000kcal/day backpacking like I do. Whether you count calories or not, plan for a lot of fat. This is your most dense source of protein, and fortunately, the healthy fats travel well. Fat when you break your fast. Fat when you take a break. Fat when you make dinner. Have you had enough fat yet? There's always desert... :-)

                          Keep the carbs low: fats will provide you the energy, protein the muscle... but carbs won't really do much for you. My experience suggests to me that carbs can actually reduce my performance and pleasure in the hike. I did an experiment the last two seasons, and the lower the carbs, the more stamina I had, the better my spirits, and the quicker I was to recover after a rest break. I now pack only dried berries as a carb source. Sure, I'm getting a few carbs here and there with my nuts and other items eaten thru the day, but most of my carbs come from dried strawberries, huckleberries, blueberries, cherries... and some coconut.

                          Variety is important: I've gotten bored of my food before, back in that first year of eating primal. i packed pretty much only jerky and pemmican, with a few dried veggies. It was awful, and after four or five days, I was done with eating. There were probably other things going on, and I may not have actually even needed food, but I have always looked back on that particular experience as one where I failed for lack of variety. Make sure you pack a variety of foods, so that you're not eating the same thing every single day.

                          Treat yourself: Bring something special and tasty, that you love. You'll really appreciate wrapping up a hard day with a special treat. Maybe some dark chocolate, or a cuppa primal hot cocoa...

                          Strategy: Look for ways to incorporate lots of fat into each meal. Keep weight low by utilizing powdered fats like coconut milk powder, whole milk powder, butter powder... Bring ample protein along like dehydrated ground beef, jerky, foil-paks of tuna or chicken, nuts like almonds, pecans, walnuts. Consider the healthiest dried fruits for your carb source.

                          I've actually been putting a lot of thought into this subject, and could take up lots of space with lots more geeky detail... Feel free to PM me for recipes, specific suggestions and details of my menus, or help in planning particulars.
                          Last edited by skookum; 04-30-2011, 12:37 PM. Reason: 'you're' s/b your' - d'oh!

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                          • #14
                            What skookum said. Good info, but one question... Do you use butter buds or a different butter powder? I've been looking for more fat

                            Just a couple things to add to the above. I buy Valley Fresh 100% chicken pouches... No questionable ingredients. In Chicagoland, I find it at Jewel/Osco and Woodman's. Also, on a site called Minimus, you can order small pouches of organic olive oil, which is great to add into meals for more calories/fat.
                            Jen, former Midwesterner, living in the middle of nowhere.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Jen AlcesAlces View Post
                              What skookum said. Good info, but one question... Do you use butter buds or a different butter powder? I've been looking for more fat
                              Last year, I used butter buds. They worked fine, I had no complaint. This year, however, I've got a different brand. My local grocery had these large cans of various freeze-dried things. My quick trip to get tea turned into a $100 purchase of freeze dried things, among them butter powder, in 2 pound cans put out by Auguson Farms.

                              Originally posted by Jen AlcesAlces View Post
                              a couple things to add to the above. I buy Valley Fresh 100% chicken pouches... No questionable ingredients. In Chicagoland, I find it at Jewel/Osco and Woodman's. Also, on a site called Minimus, you can order small pouches of organic olive oil, which is great to add into meals for more calories/fat.
                              I was going to look for some olive-oil packets, but I'm not a really huge fan of the stuff, so it's low priority, but I do think it would be excellent with the new italian dish I want to test this season. I will have to look out for that Valley Fresh Chicken, however - I used Tyson last year. Yick! Not the chicken, so much as the company, but beyond the evil that is Tyson, I knew my chicken meat most likely wasn't the very best...

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