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Food for 3-5 night pack in
Just starting to sort all of my gear and planning food for my WY elk hunt. It will be a combination of truck camping and packing in. My truck camp food is a mix of frozen premade vacuum sealed meals and a few other easy prep foods like hot dogs, burger, etc.
For your pack in trips what does your food look like for a day? What specifically are you packing in and what is the total calories?
I usually have oatmeal or a pop-tart for breakfast, mid-day and throughout the day I’ll have a few protein bars and trail mix, then I’ll have a dehydrated meal for dinner. Probably around 2500 calories for the day. I have brought honey stinger waffles and peanut butter packs, bagels and PBJ, etc. Lots of options but I shoot for 2500-3000 calories per day.
Most of the Mountain House are 500-800 calories if you eat a 2 serving pouch. Takes some thought to find another 1500-2000 thats light weight. 8 hours of strenuous hiking with pack and bow you will likely burn 5000+. Granola, olive oil, peanut butter, brown rice, parmesan cheese are some standard high cal things to put in the mix. 215 in one Snickers, good enough excuse for me :^)
I did bagels with peanut butter on my last hunt, trail mix, granola bars, etc. I think I'll add some tuna, ramen and instant potatoes.
When I flew in on my Alaska moose hunt, I used one of these APacks along with one Mtn House for each day.
See link for specs on the APack
I do a mix of the above - but get chicken packets and mix with couscous for some meals. I've done honey/PB on tortillas. Pretty good but they get old after a while!
Dried fruit is probably my favorite snack throughout the day. I always crave carbs so this usually hits the spot for me. I add in gatorade powder and snickers/PB M&Ms just for some calories. I shoot for about 3K, but usually I can't/don't want to eat it all.
You have to constantly eat to stay going in the mountains. I'd bet some days one can burn 6-8k calories! It's VERY hard to eat that. One will die on Mountain House meals and trying to hunt the mountains.
My typical daily backpack food each day when elk hunting.
First meal when I get out of tent or start hiking before daylight: 1 Starbucks Via,1 cliff bar or protein bar
Second meal usually somewhere around 9am: Vacuum sealed cereal/powdered milk mix
3rd meal sometime around noon: 1.5 oz homemade jerky, 1/4 mix of roasted nuts, 1 packet of powdered pedialyte added to 20-30 oz water bottle
4th meal around 3 pm: Protein bar/cliff bar
5th meal around 5pm: 1.5 oz homemade jerky, 1/4 mix of roasted nuts, 1 packet of powdered pedialyte added to 20-30 oz water bottle. Usually have another Starbucks via late afternoon
6th meal typically after dark before hiking back to camp: Mountain House
This works really good for my body and metabolism.I try to make sure I’m getting 300-400 calories every few hours. I’m also drinking water from water bladder all throughout the day. This mix of food weighs roughly 2 1/4 pounds per day, and is in the ballpark of 2500 calories.
Bagels.and peanut butter and 1 or 2 mtn house meals in chilli mac per day.
Snuffer- I won't eat Chili Mac, and I hunt solo. I cannot stand the after affects. I cannot imagine eating it day after day. I would have to burn my sleeping bag after I was done.
What other freeze dried companies have you guys tried? Any better than MH? Have a sheep hunt in Sept and have a good idea of what I'll be packing in. But wouldn't mind trying a new brand. Might swap the MH out for ramen and jerky on this one.
My meal list is almost exactly the same as Bowhunt. The Starbucks Via and protein bar is my go-to in the morning. Always look forward to it. Dehydrated fruit is amazing as well for midday.
After years and years of this, I bring in a few MH breakfast meals, vacuum sealed Ramen, pre-cooked bacon and tortillas. There are a couple MH dinner meals I’ll take in occasionally but there are only a couple I can stomach anymore!
Dyjack. I have heard good reviews for Peak Refuel. I ordered a 1/2 dozen for this years elk hunt.
All that said, just got a Harvest Right freeze drier so things will probably be changing... for the better I hope!
Backpackers Pantry are head and shoulders above Mountain House. I lost 16 lbs on my 12 day NM backpack archery hunt last January. I wasnt able to carry enough food to hunt fast while staying out for 4-6 days at a time.
For each day. Mt House scrambled egg 2.2 oz (I do much better with this than with oatmeal) Cliff bar 2.4 oz & 1 String Cheese 1 oz (these 2 about 10am) Sweat and salty trail mix 2 oz & 1 string cheese 1 oz (these 2 about 2 pm) Homemade jerky 1 oz (for whenever you feel hungry) Mt house entree 3.6 oz - 4 oz (dinner) Total weight 13.2 - 13.6 oz. Maybe add in a few fun size candy bars and you still keep it under 1# per day. I've hunted up to 8 days on this diet.
I will do at least 5 backpack trips using this menu.
If just for 3 nights, you can bring real food. Cook and vacuum seal eggs and bacon. You can bring any bread product. You can make meatballs with spaghetti/sauce and vacuum seal it. You can bring any hard cheese like cheddar, manchego, etc. Italian baguette with pepperoni. The sky's the limit on short trips, you'll just have a few more pounds going in.
Peak refuel, Wild zora, bobo bars, protein complete cookies, nut butters, green belly meals, ramen, pb honey bacon bagels, protein powder w/ instant oatmeal.
I’ll never buy another mountain house again after eating peak refuel for the last 2 years. I’d like to try that off grid food co but you have to be on the ball and ready to order his food when he puts it out there...
I forgot to add, I like to take in a qdoba burrito for after my hike in, just have them triple wrap it in foil...
I think you need to start eating now what you intend to eat on your hunt and see how it works out for you. Each persons dietary needs are different and each of us have our favorites. An above poster stated that Backpackers Pantry was head and shoulders above Mtn. House. I've never had any Backpacker's Pantry that was to my liking. I do like a lot of Mtn. House meals but not all of their selections. Their Chili and spaghetti meals are not edible but that is just me. Each to his own liking of what is good and not good. My son and son in law love that stuff. My group generally gets by with two dehydrated meals per day supplemented by some protein bars and hard candy. If we get lucky, we eat moose or caribou and really pig out on that. I also suggest bring 2 or 3 days worth of extra food as you never know what can happen in terms of weather. I have been held up by as much as five days due to aircraft being grounded due to fog. 5 days is extreme but a day or two is always a real possibility.
I eat instant oatmeal (3-4 different varieties)and coffee(singles) in the AM. Lunch is jerky with a pack of cheese and crackers and trail mix for desert. Dry ice tea or lemonade mix packets for drink(in 20 oz of water) for lunch and dinner. Power bar or granola bar for snack and mountain house for dinner with dehydrated fruit for dessert.
That way I am only taking time before and after hunt hours for (a little) meal prep. Works well for me.
I only do Mountain House for breakfasts now. My dinners are all Next Mile Meals. Beef taco, Italian Meatball, and Deli Roast beef are my favorites. Far and above anything that Mountain House has. I just received my box of 50 - you get 5% off for buying 50 at a time. First time I've ever dropped $700 on freeze dried meals at once.
Ike- you could be well on your way to a Harvest Right for that price! I’m excited to try making my own freeze dried meals but I haven’t done anything but simple stuff so we’ll see how it goes.
Ordered a pack of Peak Refuel for the sheep hunt. The new bison masher's and elk ragu sound amazing. The calories and protein are pretty high as well.
I eat Mtn House for dinner and sometimes have there breakfast meals skillet and biscuits and gravy. I mainly eat two packets of maple sugar oatmeal and hot chocolate for breakfast. Lunch I eat protein or cliff bars etc. Also buy Jack Links beef stick packets. The Honey Stinger waffle snacks are also a very good snack. I usually have a ziplock bag of pistachios for snacking. I usually have some type of jerky also.
Freeze dried for breakfast and dinner, tuna or salmon for lunch with a few cliff bars or equivalent mixed in. Cripes.. ...no wonder I come off an elk hunt lighter by 10-20 pounds every year
GORP, top ramen, protein bars, a few dehydrated meals. My staples for 3-5 days.
You ever see those giant 3' long Snickers candy bar packages they have at gas stations? ....That. I like to leave a trail of wrappers from my tent to my food cache for extra excitement on the hunt as well.