Foodless Trips?

Have a favorite trail recipe or technique you'd like to share? Please do! We also like reviews of various trail food products out there. The Backcountry Food Topix forum is the place to discuss all things related to food and nourishment while in the Sierra wilderness (as well as favorite trail head eateries).
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Wandering Daisy
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Re: Foodless Trips?

Post by Wandering Daisy » Wed Jun 19, 2019 8:50 am

Perhaps the whisky is needed to put a rose-colored view on the foodless experience. As is a bit of "reserve" around the belly. ;)

Your experiment is very useful and I think everyone should do one. Not that you will do foodless trips, but just to see what running out of food on a backpack trip would be like. Then you can make an informed decision on the amount of food you take on your regular trips. I take no "extra" and the goal is to come back to the car empty of food. Food is warmth so I am more conservative on shoulder season trips and have sufficient food for an unexpected waiting out a storm. And those with blood sugar issues (such as pre-diabetes) or extremely low BMI to start with, should be a bit cautious about this "experiment"- perhaps doing it at home.

I used to carry dog food in my car as emergency food. Some friends in college ate dog food for a month to save money. Not bad if spiced up.








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Harlen
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Re: Foodless Trips?

Post by Harlen » Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:02 pm

WD wrote:
Some friends in college ate dog food for a month to save money. Not bad if spiced up.
"Spiced up" with what? Salsa?, Milk?, Grand Marnier?!.... Magic mushrooms? I can't see it, and this from a guy that eats roadkill deer livers, and Dead ducks, and whole squirrels!

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Re: Foodless Trips?

Post by c9h13no3 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:49 pm

I suppose when that's what you consider food, it's easier to do without?
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Re: Foodless Trips?

Post by Wandering Daisy » Sat Jul 13, 2019 7:57 pm

Harlen, have you ever seen the movie Prince of Tides? A classic scene in the movie, the wife fixed a fancy French dinner, her husband handed it back to her and grumbled he wanted "real" food, so she went back to the kitchen, cooked up dog food, and loaded it with Tabasco. Best dinner she ever made, according to her husband.

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Re: Foodless Trips?

Post by Harlen » Sat Jul 13, 2019 8:33 pm

Jeez?!! I hope it wasn't the wet stuff. I will dutifully search it out on youtube.......... found it: "Prince of Tides dog food scene." What a bastard, I will watch the rest someday in the hopes that something even worse happens to the guy. Thanks WD.

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Re: Foodless Trips?

Post by Jimr » Sat Jul 13, 2019 11:04 pm

Hope you dried that squirrel hyde, 'cause it makes great flys.
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Re: Foodless Trips?

Post by Lumbergh21 » Wed Jul 24, 2019 1:21 pm

I missed this post when it was new, but I was contemplating what the minimum healthy amount of food would be while I was in the middle of my short hike last weekend. I wouldn't want to go foodless, though - note the healthy part above. I'm planning to bring along some high protein food - real beef jerky and a couple protein shake mixes - on my next 2+ day hike in the Trinities along with Chia seeds for fiber and an electrolyte and vitamin drink mix. This will amount to 1,500 calories and 110 g of protein per day. I should still get all of my vitamins and minerals as well as sufficient protein to sustain my muscles. If this works well, I might extend it to longer trips. For now, I can't see hiking for more than a week eating like this no matter how high my fat reserves are. I don't want to be completely miserable. I might even be able to use my daypack with my tent given how little room the food will take up.

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Re: Foodless Trips?

Post by Lumbergh21 » Tue Aug 13, 2019 12:19 am

I ended up averaging just over 1400 calories and 126 g of protein per day for 3 days. I'm sure it slowed me down some, but my thinking never felt muddled, and I wasn't hungry. This could open up some longer trip in the Sierra if I don't need to worry about resupply every 7 days because I'm only packing enough protein without any concern for calories. I'll give it another shot on a slightly longer hike of 4 to 6 days, and see how this low calorie/high protein diet works before trying it on a 10 day trip in the Sierra next year.

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Re: Foodless Trips?

Post by Harlen » Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:09 pm

Lumbergh21 writes:
I wouldn't want to go foodless, though.... I'm planning to bring along some high protein food - real beef jerky and a couple protein shake mixes - on my next 2+ day hike in the Trinities along with Chia seeds for fiber and an electrolyte and vitamin drink mix. This will amount to 1,500 calories and 110 g of protein per day. I should still get all of my vitamins and minerals as well as sufficient protein to sustain my muscles. If this works well, I might extend it to longer trips.
Lumbergh, this reminded me of the diet of bear biologist-film-maker-Vietnam Vet-Ed Abbey's buddy- Doug Peacock. In one of his books (perhaps it was The Grizzly Years?) he states something like: "I don't go into the mountains for fine cuisine," and then talks about what he does go in for, namely to get in touch with the wilderness both in, and outside of himself. This influenced me a lot, and ever since, I have easily avoided excessive food planning by quoting Peacock, and simply realizing that the food I eat out in the mountains is just to keep me going out there.

It sounds like you are onto something like Peacock's preferred diet Lumbergh. If I recall correctly, he would fill nalgene bottles with granola, protein powder, dried milk, and??? I think sometimes beef jerky, and was content to eat this 3 meals a day. Interacting so closely with grizzly bears, he tried hard to avoid detection, so no fires and cooking odors. Good luck in the Trinitys, Ian.

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