Hill People Gear Forums
HomeHomeDiscussionsDiscussionsGeneralGeneralBackcountry Nutrition DiscussionBackcountry Nutrition Discussion
Previous
 
Next
New Post
4/25/2016 11:32 PM
 

I've been thinking about this quite a bit since the Winter Gathering. I thought it might be good to start thread where folks can talk about what's been working well for them to stay hydrated and fueled up while out on the trail. Also as a kind of one place for people to go to hopefully get their questions answered, since sharing information is really what's important.

I'll start with my own hydration protocols. For short duration's, less than 90min or so, just water is typically all I carry. Usually carry between 20oz (bike bottle) to 70oz (bladder) depending on temps and exertion level. For 90min to 3hr I'll add an electrolyte (EL) drink, about 20-32oz plus 32-70oz of water. This covers me for most mountain bike rides and any short hikes I might go on. For anything over 3hrs including multi-day outings I shoot for 32oz EL plus 70oz of water to carry, and I'm on the lookout for places to refill, and try to get down at least 4L over the course of the day. For the EL drinks I found I get better results if I drink more of that earlier on, seems to help pre-load the system so I stay ahead of the game and I'm less likely to fall behind the hydration curve. Last summer I climbed Longs peak, 16 miles with about 4500ft of vertical, took us 16hrs round trip. I got crooked looks from my climbing partners when I said I was carrying just over 5L of water, they had about 3L each. Both had headaches and were feeling nauseous at the end of the day, I felt totally fine, other than being completely exhausted of course. It was a good reminder of how big a role hydration can play on performance.

As far as products go I've had the best luck with Skratch Labs (https://www.skratchlabs.com/collectio...). It was developed for cyclists during the Tour de France that were having digestive issues caused by the other drinks they were being provided by their actual sponsors. They have several different products depending on your needs, ranging from an everyday mix to a recovery mix for those times you've fallen behind. I have the most experience with the exercise mix. The different flavors are all pretty tasty, and none are strong or overpowering which can make some drinks difficult to get down when you're really exerting yourself. They even make a Apple Cider mix that's meant to be served hot for those winter outings.

 The other product I'll mention is Heed by Hammer Nutrition (http://www.hammernutrition.com/produc...) . I Know Ken Evan and Scott are all pretty big fans of it. I'll let them chime in on their experiences since I haven't had much luck with it myself, but it is a good product and worth mentioning.

 I'll add a food section later since that's a whole other animal itself.


"Blessed is he, who in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children."
 
New Post
4/27/2016 10:49 AM
 
I like the thread idea! I've been toying w/ a few things myself lately.

HYDRATION: Water water water with a Hammer Nutrition Electrolyte tab per day (usually w/ the nalgene I consume with lunch). This has made a huge difference for me, and it's fairly low in sugar. Black coffee and tea supplement the water.

FOOD: This is something that I've been experimenting with a lot lately. In the past, I've used standard backpacker and thru-hiker fare, assuming that the amt of calories I burn necessitates more calories. Inexpensive, carb and sugar heavy (Ramen w/ tuna packets, snickers bars, clif bars, oatmeal w/ raisins and nuts, trail mix, knorr pasta and rice sides, backpackers pantry, you know the drill.......). However, since I don't eat like this normally, I never really felt good, and always assumed I needed a "snack" after every hour of hard hiking. Since I do best on a high fat/protein/veggie diet normally (no sugar, no starchy carbs, no fruit), I've started to experiment with expanding this into the backcountry, which isn't easy, isn't inexpensive, and isn't light at first glance. However, I have found that with a little prior planning and a dehydrator, you can actually do it pretty cheaply and deliciously. I haven't been able to try this type of diet out on anything other than day hikes and a quick overnight, but this has what has worked well so far:

-Justin's Nut Butter packets (great for snacking)
-Homemade trail mix without fruit (different nuts and seeds)
-Chia seeds w/ dehydrated lime slices in water
-Epic Bars (think a clif bar but made out of delicious meat)
-Tuna foil packets
-Dehydrated beans or lentils (usually cooked heavily in spices like a taco seasoning, etc.)
-Smoked oysters (canned)
-Dehydrated frozen spinach w/ garlic (comes out kind of like a powder) with dehydrated canallini beans.
-Homemade dehydrated jerky
-Dehydrated bell peppers

This list will continue to be expanded, so I'll post if a.) I find something super good, or b.) I get to do a multi-day trip to test out how my body does on this stuff.
 
New Post
4/29/2016 8:27 AM
 
I am probably going to try the scratch labs stuff just because, but have been pretty happy with the heed stuff. I like the melon best as it has the mildest taste. I am also in the boat that if I eat more like at home I do better from a gut standpoint. Introducing a drastic change in diet is a no go for me. Back in the trail crew days I also found that when it was hot I had to go very light on the breakfast and lunch or it hurt latter. At that point, breakfast was oatmeal or an oatmeal bar and some cheese. Lunch varied but most common it was a pb&j tortilla sandwich with some fruit, or tuna with some salsa on triscuits with some fruit. I also kept hard candy handy to suck on, and midafteroon would have a small candy bar. Dinner was a crew thing so in large part was whatever the person cooking wanted to make, and frankly became kind of a competition. I introduced the idea of horsdevors while dinner was cooking and the favorite was tortilla chips with salsa. Dinner was usually, fresh meat, veggies and carbs (tacos, burritos, pasta with a hearty veg/meat gravy, pizza, enchiladas, stir fries, etc...). I am personally going to try and go back that way, as I have been doing the store bought freeze dried thing for that last bunch of years.

Co-Owner Hill People Gear "If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
 
New Post
4/29/2016 7:56 PM
 
Glad you chimed in Scot, you and Nick I know both have some dietary restrictions that I'm sure others have as well.

They sell single servings of the Skratch Labs in most sporting goods and bike shops so it's an easy way to test a few out and see what you think. Lemon-Lime and Organges are my favorite, then pineapple, and raspberry is ok. They make some chews as well that aren't bad but there's others that are better.

I've found the light breakfast and lunch to work best as well if I know I'm going to be moving a lot. The Pro-Bar meal bars are the best I've found, good mix of flavors and one bar is typically between 300-400 calories. They also make some great tasting chews. A bar and thing of chews within the first couple hours of getting up and moving works well for me. Honey Stinger also makes a really good chew and their waffles are fantastic. Granola bars and pop tarts (usually the "natural" variant) are also good trail snacks. Mixed nuts with dried fruit, salami w/cheese and crackers I find good on really hard days or at altitude. Something about the fatty-ness of summer sausage hits the spot when I've had a good hard climb and nothing else tastes good. The hard candy is a good idea, although I think the chews have pretty much filled that role for me. For dinners I've had a lot of the freeze-dried stuff, but have been looking for some better alternatives. Scot you had mentioned the Hawk Vittles so I'll have to give those a go next time.

http://shop.theprobar.com/Ultimate-15-Pack?sc=15&category=7913
http://www.honeystinger.com/


Skratch Labs has also put out 2-3 cook books that are "athlete" oriented. I know they have one that's more day to day cooking and another that's good for on the go snacks that are specifically meant to be easily digested while on the move.

https://www.skratchlabs.com/collections/food

"Blessed is he, who in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children."
 
New Post
5/2/2016 7:23 PM
 
Lots of good into here, thanks for sharing.

 

Anybody use more traditional stuff? Pemmican, Hudson Bay Bread, HPG trail bar, parched corn?

Kind of hard to compare these to things you can buy since recipes vary so much and for the most part I'd guess they were heavier but they are packed with energy. Pemmican is a bit much for me to choke down unless it's used as a base for a soup or something but I enjoy the others.
 
New Post
5/3/2016 3:35 PM
 
HawkCreek wrote:
Lots of good into here, thanks for sharing.

 

Anybody use more traditional stuff? Pemmican, Hudson Bay Bread, HPG trail bar, parched corn?

Kind of hard to compare these to things you can buy since recipes vary so much and for the most part I'd guess they were heavier but they are packed with energy. Pemmican is a bit much for me to choke down unless it's used as a base for a soup or something but I enjoy the others.

 

Done pemmican, done the HPG trail bars (albeit with my own mods), and done parched corn.  Homemade Pemmican worked the best for me (I used raisins or craisins), as my body just doesn't do well w/ sugar and carbs.  Parched corn I was actually surprised how well it worked.  Iskiate (chia seeds and lime juice in water) is by far my current favorite as far as performance nutrition.  Most of the traditional stuff can still be really light, but in my experience is just less packable or more fragile.  However, a food saver has made a huge diff.  Recently, I "foodsavered" HPG trail bars, homemade pemmican, homemade jerky, and oatmeal/almonds/raisins/chia seeds into individual serving packets, which take up a lot less space (though a decent time investment...).

 
New Post
5/5/2016 7:29 PM
 
Oh yeah, and as to the parched corn, I actually prefer masa, which is like fine-ground corn flour (think the consistency of regular wheat flower). You can use it like flour w/ baking powder, bread fish with it, make tortillas, etc. I've found it more adaptable than corn meal.
 
New Post
5/8/2016 8:12 PM
 
I used to have terrible problems with cramps...no matter how much water I drank. In fact if I drank too much water the cramps got even worse. The past 4 or 5 years all my water is mixed with Gatorade powder. Before leaving home I mix sea salt with the Gatorade powder at a ratio that is roughly equivalent to 1 teaspoon of salt per 64 ounces of liquid mix. For me, this combo works great, and as long as I do my part and stay hydrated I don't get any cramps. In the mornings we also occasionally boil up some pine needle tea.
For trail food I like the MetRx Super Cookie Crunch Power Bars, jerky, and various granola bars.
Most evenings it's Mountain House meals.
As you can see we are pretty low tech, but it works for us, and we always feel good with lots of energy.
 
New Post
6/2/2016 9:59 AM
 
kevhans wrote:

I used to have terrible problems with cramps...no matter how much water I drank. In fact if I drank too much water the cramps got even worse. The past 4 or 5 years all my water is mixed with Gatorade powder. Before leaving home I mix sea salt with the Gatorade powder at a ratio that is roughly equivalent to 1 teaspoon of salt per 64 ounces of liquid mix. For me, this combo works great, and as long as I do my part and stay hydrated I don't get any cramps. In the mornings we also occasionally boil up some pine needle tea.

For trail food I like the MetRx Super Cookie Crunch Power Bars, jerky, and various granola bars.

Most evenings it's Mountain House meals.

As you can see we are pretty low tech, but it works for us, and we always feel good with lots of energy.

 Like you, leg cramps that come with dehydration have been killer for me for a long time. What I have found that works for me are the following. 1, Cerrasport powder mix on every other canteen. 2, I carry bullion cubes and during long days of exertion ill suck on one every two hours or so. 3, and probably most important. Magnesium supplements have been amazing for me. I tried different supplements to try to figure out what mineral I was missing, and since starting magnesium supps the cramping stopped. You have to make sure you get it built up in your system starting at least a week before you outing, it doesnt do much good to take it after your are already dehydrated and electrolyte deficient. That is what I have noticed anyway (im no DR).

On a side note. I was suggested by a friend to keep tonic water with quinine on my bedside table, and when the leg cramps attack in the middle of the night to drink it and the cramps will subside. Well I have no idea why but it works. Something you may want to try if you are plagued by the nighttime leg cramps.

 
New Post
6/2/2016 11:49 AM
 
As for cramps, these are mostly caused by being poorly acclimated to heat.  Every year, when you start pounding it on a hot day for the first time and your body starts pouring sweat, you loose a MUCH higher percentage sodium and other electrolytes for several days until your body "learns" to conserve them via changing hormone balances.  The end result is a heat-aclimated person's sweat is much less "salty" than someone who isn't, and he's less apt to cramp.  Maybe getting into a sauna regularly in the spring would help this, I dunno.
 
New Post
6/13/2016 8:22 PM
 
crewhead05 wrote:
"On a side note. I was suggested by a friend to keep tonic water with quinine on my bedside table, and when the leg cramps attack in the middle of the night to drink it and the cramps will subside. Well I have no idea why but it works. Something you may want to try if you are plagued by the nighttime leg cramps."

Going to try the tonic water...

 
New Post
6/14/2016 1:31 PM
 
For cramping during my time on the collegiate cycling circuit we would use packets of relish and mustard from fast food joints.
 
Previous
 
Next
HomeHomeDiscussionsDiscussionsGeneralGeneralBackcountry Nutrition DiscussionBackcountry Nutrition Discussion