TIPS ON HOW TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR HEALTH WHILE EXPLORING THE MIGHTY OUTDOORS

Do you take out a map when trip planning for your outdoor adventure? HOPEFULLY YOU DO! Often overlooked; mapping out your BACKCOUNTRY NUTRITION MEAL PLAN is as equally important. Don’t we all want to maximize our energy output to physically carry us farther into remote areas so we can create unforgettable memories with loved ones and friends?


5 IMPORTANT THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN PREPARING YOUR BACKCOUNTRY NUTRITION MEAL PLAN

1. TOTAL DURATION OF TRIP

  • Keep in mind the amount of days you plan on being outside in the backcountry. 1 of the 10 essentials is to always pack extra food. Unforeseen circumstances might unexpectedly lengthen trip times.
  • A good rule of thumb is 1.5 lbs. – 2.5 lbs. (2500 – 4500 calories) of food per person, per day.
  • Take your size, weight, and exertion level into account.
  • Too much food can overload your backpack! Fine tune with experience.

2. DISTANCE OF KM’s PER DAY

  • Calculate how many km’s you will be walking per day. On longer and heavier days you will want to increase calories, as you will be burning significantly more energy.
  • On longer treks, if you have planned an R&R day (Rest & Relaxation), pack more snack foods and a lighter lunch for that day as you will not be burning as many calories.

3. DIFFICULTY OF TERRAIN

  • If you have chosen a more difficult hike involving long steep climbs and navigating through rugged unmanaged trails, you will consume a considerable amount more energy as you would on less intense hikes.
  • Packing lightweight, sustainable foods will not make your backpack a burden to carry.

4. TRANSPORTING FOOD & WATER

FOOD

  • Weight of food can add up really quickly! Keep the heavier weighted food items and the food that you will only use at camp at the middle/bottom of you backpack. The top of your pack will be the quickest and most accessible spot for snacks and lunch.
  • Always have a grab-and-go snack in your pocket in case you get hungry and want to continue hiking.
  • Refer to https://sjefcamping.com/tips-on-how-to-load-your-backpack/ blog for food loading locations.

WATER

  • Hydration reservoirs are very ideal for staying hydrated while your backpack stays on.
  • If water sources are far from campgrounds, make sure you can transport enough water to eat dinner and breakfast. This may involve bringing an extra lightweight water bladder just for that purpose.

TIP — We always hike with a hydration reservoir AND a small water bottle. This way we can use the water bottle to drink from water sources, filter water where needed and to fill our water reservoir in our backpacks. The small water bottle also becomes handy at camp and during the night.

5. PREPARING MEALS AT HOME

TASTE

Stick to what you love to eat. After physical activities you are going to love eating foods that you are familiar with. Avoid trying new foods in the backcountry.

CALORIES

You are going to need lots of sustainable energy to reach your objectives. A good rule of thumb is 1.5 lbs. – 2.5 lbs. (2500 – 4500 calories) calories of food per person, per day taking your size, weight, and exertion level into account.

OUTSIDE TEMPERATURES

A quick weather check before preparing for your backcountry adventure could drastically affect your meal plan ideas. A single day or multiple days of hot weather spoils fresh food quicker than you think. Plan to bring non-perishable foods on longer journeys with a forecast of hot weather.

FOOD RELATED TOOLS – COOKING EQUIPMENT

  • To cook, or not to cook? That is the question! Before making the final decision to pack or leave the cooking equipment at home, look at the weather forecast – what will the low temperatures be at higher elevations?
  • Opting to leave all cooking equipment at home will definitely reduce the weight of your backpack and create way more room – although preparing and eating a warm meal in the backcountry could save a life. Knowing you have a hot meal at next camp could be just the motivation you need to make it to safe ground.
  • If you plan on undertaking an adventure in British Columbia in Fall, Winter or early Spring, we recommend you pack cooking equipment with a windshield.
  • For higher elevation – below freezing activities, consider a liquid-fuel stove.

DAY ADVENTURES

  • The biggest advantage of day adventures is that you can pack lots of fresh foods that would normally spoil on longer multi-day trips.
  • Where weight is a big factor on multi-day adventures, you will have more leniency on day adventures. You will instantly start to feel your backpack becoming much lighter throughout the day.
  • Keep the 10 Essentials in mind and always pack extra food – even on day trips.

MULTI-DAY ADVENTURES

  • On multi-day trips, eating nutritious sustainable meals and having a lightweight backpack can be tricky. The best source of aforementioned meals would be, by far, dehydrated foods.
  • Examples of none-dehydrated relatively lightweight and nutrient dense foods are: raw nuts and seeds, nut butters, energy bars, chews and gels, granola bars, tuna salad, oatmeal, cured sausages, smoked salmon and beef jerky.
  • Refer to our https://sjefcamping.com/one-of-the-best-kept-secrets-on-how-to-keep-your-backpack-lightweight/ blog to find the magic ingredient that will keep you fueled and fired up while reducing the weight of your backpack.

PACK IT IN, PACK IT OUT!

  • Respect Mother Nature – please take everything that you brought into the backcountry back out with you.
  • To reduce human impact on pristine natural areas we recommend to: not bury anything except human waste, not throw away any biodegradable scraps such as apple and orange peels as this attracts all kinds of animals, use gas stoves instead of making fires to cook and any washing activities should be taken place 200 feet away from all water sources.
  • Refer to our https://sjefcamping.com/leave-no-trace/ blog – Pack It In, Pack It Out – for more detailed information on how to respect our immaculate backcountry.