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Thread: Primal backpacking foods?

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013

    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. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Santa Cruz, CA
    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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    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!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    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.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    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.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Bring a bow
    "It's a great life, if you don't weaken.". John Buchan

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Portales NM
    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!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Santa Barbara
    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

    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)

    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.

  9. #9
    Paleobird's Avatar
    Paleobird Guest
    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).

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Wenatchee, WA
    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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