Eating while trekking – or in our case, while on an extended walking fishing trip – is extremely important.
It can be done on instant noodles, bully beef and spam but that becomes monotonous and unhealthy. Food is super important, both from an aesthetic (bad food can ruin a good hike/moment) and from a nutritional point of view (energy consumed = energy available to power your body).
I had originally thought that I’d make this post about basal metabolic rates, percentages of macronutrients, grams/kg of body weight and a whole lot of other technical stuff, however I won’t bore you.
Have a look at the photo of what we’re taking. Bacon (it keeps for ages in vacuum pack bags), biltong, boerewors (sausage with high fat content), cheese and powder milk amongst others. Lots of animal based proteins, fats and carbs – this largely due to the fact that Fey is following a low-carb, high-protein eating plan. All the food is tasty but I’m worried my skinny ass isn’t going to get enough fuel for the day-to-day excitement of fishing new water and catching awesome fish!
So I’ll be taking supplement bars. Over the years I’ve tried quite few training supplements but have recently been enjoying natural foods – dates, raisins, nuts, bananas, spirolena, quinoa, raw honey, etc. I find they work and I enjoy them.
A local South African product, Rush Bars, has taken all of these put them into one. I used them for day activities and I really like them but I’ll be testing them properly next week. Ryan and I have purchased a whole bag full (and they’ve thrown in a couple T-Shirts too – stoked). Rush Bars are a raw, natural product that Ryan and I will be using to supplement Rex’s meaty menu.
That pack of food is heavy, that is why we’re getting cheeky and hiring a donkey to help us. However, donkey’s are not always available and over the years I’ve learnt a few lessons about hiking and food:
1. REDUCE YOUR WEIGHT – as mentioned, there aren’t donkey’s around and it makes zip sense to lug more weight than necessary – especially when you’re going have fishing and camera equipment too! To help reduce there are a couple of steps one can take:
– buy dehydrated food. No water, they’re lighter. Just remember to hydrate yourself!
– go prepackaged. Although more expensive, it save you time, trouble and weight.
– Repackage. Its amazing how much weight (and space) can be reduced by repacking into ziplock bags.
– Nutrient value. The density of nutritional is important. Dried fruit, for instance, is has about 10x the nutritional value of fresh fruit. (This is per weight unit)
2. Take some SPICES. Repack and have them along to spruce up your food. It is amazing how far a small amount of spice goes to make a meal that much more enjoyable. If you can stand the extra weight, a little bottle of Tabasco is a WINNER!
3. Take READY-TO-EAT – bars, trail mix, etc. Saves fuel and time.
4. Take a MULTI-VITAMIN. Light and full of goodness, just to add a little extra goodness to your day!
And lastly, they’re not considered the healthiest trail items but COFFEE AND DARK CHOCOLATE are must on my trail food menu. A filter coffee brew in the morning (or at any other time) is beyond important and an evening block of dark chocolate seems to slow the setting sun.
So pack clever, eat healthy and love the hike or hire a donkey and eat like a king 🙂