Food Prep For the Backcountry

Optimize Your Performance by Packing in the a Dynamic Meal Plan

By Ashley Kurtenbach
IG: @ashleykurt

The mountains are calling this fall, and when you go, utilize these tips to prepare you to feel better and maximize your performance outdoors.

One way or another, food is being carried into your backcountry camp. Depending on how much total weight you are allotted, length of trip, average temperature, or what type of backcountry adventure you are partaking in, it’s always best to be efficient with your food.

  1. Figure out your daily caloric intake. For example depending on the trip I typically add 900-1400 (around 3,100 total) calories/ day for me, and my husband will typically add 1200-1500 extra calories/day.
  2. By packing calorie dense food, you can pack a lot of calories into less weight.
  3. Airborne
    Airborne tablets

    Supplements – I take fish oil and a multivitamin at minimum, or purchase vitamin packs like Primer from Magnum Nutraceuticals. To stay healthy and keep my immune system in check, I typically add Airborne tablets to my water for a vitamin C boost.

  4. High fat foods (butter, nuts, & nut butters, etc), allow your body to slowly burn fat for fuel.
    • To pack butter, I freeze a stick of grass fed salted butter, then cut into TBSP and vacuum seal individual packets to add to my eggs, or eat plain as an energy boost throughout the day.
  5. Honey Stingers or homemade energy bars are excellent after big bursts of hiking to help restore energy to ensure you can keep going all day, and day after day.
  6. Dried foods – One option is to purchase the prepackaged meals. However, some can have too large or too small meal portions. I typically buy in bulk the large cans, measure out the servings figure out calories and macronutrients needed and create my own meals. I then vacuum seal the items all together. This way I don’t pack in too much, and I know I am getting exactly what I need.

Another great options for meals is Heather’s Choice meals.

Ashley’s Meal Plan

  • Powdered Eggs with Butter / Oatmeal Packet or Granola Bowl
    • See Recipe for Granola Bowl
  • Post Morning Hike Honey Stinger or Energy Bar
    • See Recipe
  • Lunch – Bacon PB&J
    • I use P28 bread a high protein bread to ensure I have adequate protein for this meal, Natural Peanut Butter, Jelly, and Fully Cooked Bacon.
  • Quest Bar with Single Serving Justin’s Almond Packet or Almonds

    Dried Meal Prep
    Dried Meal Prep
  • Dried Meal (Pic: Rice, Beef, Peppers)

With essential pre-planning of your backcountry food customized for you and your trip, you will be guaranteed to feel better, perform better and the ability to go day after day.

Backcountry Energy/Breakfast Bar Recipe – (GF)

1 ¼ c quick oats

1/2 c old fashioned oats

1 c. natural peanut butter

1 c honey

3/4 c dried blueberries

3/4 c ground flax

¼ c flax seed

½ c ground almonds

Energy Bar
Energy Bar

Options: mini dark chocolate chips, chia seed, for more protein add in 1 scoop of vanilla or chocolate protein powder.

  • Mix oatmeal(s), PB, honey, flax, almonds, honey ingredients together on low heat until blended, add blueberries.
  • Line 9 x 9 pan with parchment paper.
  • Press and spread mixture to evenly cover pan, and refrigerate until firm.
  • Cut into 9 bars, vacseal individually and freeze extras.

9 bars = about 460-470 calories

Granola Bowl

¼ c powdered milk

½ scoop vanilla whey protein

1/3 c GF granola

1 TBSP dried blueberries

Vacseal ingredients into packets.

Add hot or cold water to your packet mix, Enjoy!

1 serving = 356 calories

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