Hey, what's going on. It’s Andrew Schubert and I want to talk to you about proper backcountry nutrition. So when we go into the backcountry, we are completely at the mercy of our preparation and mother nature. If you are not properly preparing your food and planning out your food, when you get out there, you are going to starve. And you are going to not provide your body with the nutrition it needs for a backcountry hunt. It's very important that we take the time to plan out every day's worth of food that we're going to be in there. If we're in there for seven days, we need to plan out seven days worth of food. And then we also need extra food just in case of an emergency.
Determining Calories Needed
When we’re on a backcountry hunt, we are expending a ton of calories. When thinking about backcountry nutrition, you need to plan on at least maintenance calories and then add a couple hundred calories per day on that. Then you know that you have enough calories to keep you going. If you're running in a calorie deficit in the backcountry, you are not going to perform and you are going to end up coming out early. Because you are going to completely drain yourself of all energy and you will experience fatigue. So my rule of thumb here is going to be for every ounce of food, you want to average about a hundred calories. Now this might seem like a lot, but this is something where fats are worth a lot more calories per gram than carbs and proteins. So if you're packing a lot of food that's rich in fats, you can get a lot more calories out of it. I'm not saying that you want to go on a Keto diet in the backcountry. I'm just saying that you want the biggest bang for your buck. Then you're not putting a ton of weight on your back.
Prepping Your Meals
I will prep out all my food for however many days I'm going to be out there and I will separate it in its own bags. So each day, I will have a bag that I can go ahead and pick my snacks, my meals, all that stuff out of. It's just incredibly important that we pre-plan. There's a very fine line between saving weight and eating really bad food in the backcountry. So if you can plan it out months in advance and just be looking for foods that are extremely rich in nutrition and high-calorie foods, you're going to do pretty well in your meal prep.
There's plenty of different companies out there that provide meals geared toward backcountry nutrition. Freeze-dried meals, different kinds of granola bars, health bars, and power bars. All of those are very rich in different macros and high in calories. So those are a very solid choice for the backcountry. I also like to bring simple tuna packs, different high protein sources, different jerky, different sources of meat, while I'm in the backcountry. But the more prepared the food can be and the higher in calories it can be, the better. Another snack - my must have snack - the thing I cannot go in the back country without is Gummy Bears. I go to Costco and I get my gummy bears at Costco. And that is just a very delicious snack, a satisfying snack, and it gives you a good bump of carbs when you're starting to feel tired. And then different protein and granola bars - power bars are key to just helping keep your calories up.
Final ThoughtsI hope this helps. Just please prep! It's all in the preparation. It's all in the pre-planning and the preparation to make sure that your backcountry nutrition is taken care of. If you start to feel fatigued and you're not keeping up, I would start eating the meals from the next day and get your calories up and plan on coming out a day or two early. It's going to be worth it to come out early, because you're eating your food too fast, rather than trying to just ride that fine-line and experiencing fatigue and creating an emergency situation. Always pay attention to your body, always listen to your body and always give yourself enough calories and enough fuel in the backcountry to keep going safely.
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