Anyone? I'm wondering if I should just start mixing maltodextrin in my drink again.
While I am not a rock climber, being a backpacker can present many similar challenges. I don't use my hands and arms so very much as you do, but I do use my feet and legs - a lot. My hikes are generally 15-20 miles/day over many thousands feet vertical gain, thru rivers, under and over fallen trees, and even including the occasional scramble. No small feat, and they last all day.
I find that I have always had major cramping problems in the thighs and calves, and in the feet, being the parts of my body that get most worked. For years, while on a CW diet (both work-a-day and while hiking), I really suffered during and especially after hikes. Going primal a couple of years ago made a big difference - I wonder if giving up the grains allowed more water to pass from my gut to my body. What I found to be most beneficial tho, beyond being grain-free and VLC, was increasing the protein.
I now, while hiking, eat quinoa and fruit for breakfast, with a coconut-milk based chai tea. Throughout the day, it's beef jerky and nuts, with just a bit of dried berries. Dinner is generally what seems to be too much salt with 1/2 pound of beef, a whole foilpak of chicken, or two servings of fish, with some dried root veggies and some sort of sauce. Basically, it's protein, protein, protein all day, usually more than I want to eat. It's working. I am increasing my stamina and greatly reducing muscle pain/cramps.
The other day, I did a hike I've done many times up a local river valley in the Olympic National Park. It's about 15 miles RT with roughly 2000' feet gain - a pretty easy-peasy day-hike. I usually have cramps long before I get back to my truck. I had none whatsoever that day or thru that night.
No insight on Mark's seemingly conflicting posts?