By Matt Stone
It’s that time of year again, and I’m up to my usual antics. I’ve got two big, 10-day backpacking trips coming up – one in the Maroon-Snowmass Wilderness Area in Colorado, and one in Coyote Gulch in Southern Utah. These trips are the longest I’ve been on in a while. I’m with my girlfriend and her 8-year old daughter as well. Those two factors equate to a backpack that promises to be epically humongous.
Yes, I’m their pack animal. Basically. And I’m a little bit scerrd. The first trip is a long one, starting 10,000 vertical feet higher than Florida (where I live), and covering some truly grueling terrain and lots of it. I’ll be pretty much totally out of shape when I hit the trail, probably heaving with at least a 75-pound load on my back. This is what we suburban-born white people do for fun, strangely.
So, what’s in my pantry?
A backpacker faces a tough challenge. You burn 5,000 calories or more on a hard day. You also have to carry all your food. It’s a tough dilemma – needing to eat a lot while needing to pack lightly.
Another dilemma when it comes to backpacking nutrition is that you need a monstrous amount of carbohydrates to backpack without performance suffering. Carbohydrates, however, contain 4 calories per gram. The three of us together will need close to 10,000 per day. If you brought all carbohydrates that’s 5.5 pounds of food per day. 10 days = 55 pounds = I hurt just thinking about that. And that’s bringing all dehydrated food. Nothing fresh at all.
Fat is much denser however. One of the biggest mistakes I ever made with my backpacking nutrition was embarking on a 50-day trip with only 4 pounds of fat (roughly 15,000 calories). I brought approximately 46 pounds of carbohydrates (about 85,000 calories). That’s 100,000 calories for 50 days. 2,000 a day, supplemented with as much trout as I could eat and berries that I could gather. Stupidest thing ever, as you can confirm by reading my old post The Wind River Diet.
If I would have brought 20 pounds of fat and 30 pounds of carbohydrates I could have had an extra 600 calories per day while carrying the exact same weight. Would’ve been nice.
Native Americans understood this, and ended up packing pemmican, roughly 80% fat, with them on long trips. When it comes to modern-day backpacking, it’s about choosing performance vs. weight, and this usually boils down to bringing a really good balance of fat and carbohydrates to get a little bit of the best of all worlds.
So it looks like I’ll probably be bringing 40-ish pounds of food with me on these trips, which is about the maximum that I’m capable of carrying with all the gear I bring with it. The three elements I’ll try to pack are fat, carbohydrates, and palatability. Here’s probably what my food bags will end up containing…
- A few onions
- A few pounds of potatoes
- A few heads of garlic
- A couple apples or oranges
- Several pounds of hard cheese
- Pack of American cheese slices
- 2 packages of beef hot dogs
- Lots of cream cheese
- 5+ pounds of butter
- Pancake mix
- Lots of maple syrup
- White bread
- Several cans apple pie filling
- Minute rice
- Weight gainer powder (trying this out for the first time)
- Gatorade powder
- Powdered hot chocolate
- Tons of dates, raisins, dried mango, and other dried fruits
- Dried coconut
Yeah, that’ll be fun carrying all that. To this list we’ll add lots of trout from the local ponds and streams (in Colorado, not in Utah), as well as eating enough breakfast to almost vomit the first day of the trip and a dinner when we come out of even greater magnitude. Despite the big load, the trips should otherwise be great if I can refrain from talking like Boomer from the Adventures of the Wilderness Family the entire time – easier said than done.
As a final note, if you are a reader of Natural News, many of the principles that apply to backpacking nutrition also apply to preparing for global nuclear holocaust and complete economic disaster at the hands of globalist swine. Stock your underground nuclear fallout shelter with plenty of these calorie-dense dry goods.