Food For Thought: Adventure Edition

Fuel your Next Adventure

Reach New Heights

You’re about to go out on a tour for the day and you begin to pack your day pack. Everything is going smoothly until you think about food. Everyone has been there, you didn't eat a good breakfast, failed to bring along any snacks for the day or maybe you just didn't eat a good dinner the night before? This step in preparation is always a little tricky in my opinion. Without good nutrition, you’ll be leaving your friends with task of hauling you out…

What we eat is a true reflection of our performance on and off of the trail. When we put our bodies through hard work and add the elements of nature, we are able to see first hand how nutrition can make or break our experiences. With proper attention to diet and eating habits, and of course regular exercise, your multi-day hut to hut ski trip may become more of a reality than a dream.

Follow these simple steps to take your performance to the next level

Proper Nutrition will help you decrease fatigue on your next mountain approach, and increase aerobic power during your descents allowing you to get the most out of your backcountry experience.

Eat a good breakfast

In the words of every mother, "breakfast is the most important meal of the day", This statement actually proves to be scientifically true. When the body sleeps it burns off all of it's glycogen(carbs), leaving us tired and unable to focus or perform at our top level. Carbs give you the energy for powerful movements, such as touring or boot packing as well as fueling your nervous and immune systems keeping you alert and focused.

What to Eat?

Meals should be based around complex carbs, and low-fat proteins.

  • Whole Grain bread/bagels w/ cream cheese
  • Fruits and Vegetables (Smoothies)
  • Eggs (Omelets')
  • Low-fat yogurt

Power Snacks

Snacks should be eaten every 2-3 hours to keep your energy levels steady and allow you to reach new heights.

Personally, my favorite pack food is walnuts. Walnuts and Almonds are chock full of omega-3 fats. This helps tremendously in your joints. It keeps them moving smoothly and comfortably by reducing inflammation. Plus, they are a conveniently quick item to pull out of your bag on short breaks. If you really wanted to get creative with this, you can add some dried fruit and chocolate to spice things up a little.

Another great snack option to consider for your bag is a good source of protein. Many people like to go with beef jerky. Personally, I like to keep costs a little bit lower and go for  salami or summer sausage. Proteins provide building blocks to repair and make new tissues, decreasing muscle recovery time.

A great option for quick energy, if you have time, is to have hard boiled eggs at the ready. Eggs are awesome; they are jammed with protein and they have great vitamins such as vitamin A, B5, B12, and D (I’m sure that you are already getting plenty of vitamin D under the sun...but for good measures).


Now on to the most important part of the day: lunch. One great option is a tuna fish sandwich. There are many benefits with tuna, mainly dealing with your joints and movement while you’re touring. If you’re ok with your bread being a little bit soggy, then awesome! Personally, I like to go with a chicken sandwich packed full of superfoods such as hummus, sprouts, avocado (what’s a sandwich without avocado), tomatoes and of course whole grain bread.


"Drink smalls amounts often"

While traveling in the backcountry our bodies release large amounts of moisture through our sweat. Keeping yourself hydrated in the backcountry can seriously affect your experience. Proper hydration can allow you to sustain higher performance levels and avoid injury. The average human is recommended to consumer 3 Liters of water each day (without taking physical activity into account).

Summing Up

Breakfast is essential to restore liver glycogen, and in addition snacking frequently throughout the day will help you sustain energy and performance. Eating a high carb meal within an hour of activity will help you avoid your legs from turning into to jello the next morning. The intake of proteins will help your muscles repair and build to help you go further and higher. And finally stay hydrated to increase performance and positive decision making.

Although this is my personal review, I’ve seen bags packed in many different ways. You can have your bag packed full of all sorts of foods. I once went on a tour with a guy who is a guide on Denali. He packed his bag 90% full of Ritz crackers. I was astonished by how little water he drank after eating so much starch and salt. It's a good thing that he was really experienced, otherwise I would have been pulling him out and sending him a link to this...