High Calorie Backpacking Foods

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Regardless of how experienced you are in the outdoors, I imagine that at some point or another you have been on an excursion where you realized too late that you either didn’t bring enough food or brought too much of the wrong kind. Maybe you were out for a long day hike with friends and became a hangry grouch because all you felt like carrying was an apple and water. Maybe you are a thru-hiker who at some point decided to subsist off a diet of only candy and went on to wonder why your whole body hurt so much and your energy level was always crashing so dramatically. Or maybe you’ve had to call it quits early on a hunt because your nutrition was inadequate and you felt too weak and tired. Now you’re on the hunt for high-calorie backpacking foods like Heather’s Choice!

No matter what brought you out there, if you are traveling through the backcountry on foot, you are guaranteed to be burning a ton of calories- probably far more than you would if you were back in civilization where food is convenient and plentiful. You need to not only replace those calories, but replace them with high calorie backpacking foods that will keep you full and help support physical performance. But what is the best way to do that when you have to carry everything on your back?

High Calorie Backpacking Foods

What is the most efficient way to save weight AND make sure you are getting adequate nutrition? Choose foods that have the most calories for the least weight. Out of all the macronutrients, fat has the highest calorie content per unit, so choosing foods that are high in fat like nuts, cheeses, and oils will help you put more calories in your pack without necessarily putting in more food. Heather’s Choice carefully selects ingredients that have a high caloric payoff, so supplementing with Heather’s breakfasts and dinners will also go a long way towards increasing the caloric efficiency of your pack.  

Nutrient Dense Dehydrated Foods

One of the biggest reasons why people venture out into the backcountry nutritionally unprepared is because they do not want to carry around extra weight or take up too much space in their packs. Dehydrated foods are a great way to address this problem. Removing the moisture from foods reduces their weight and the volume of space they take up drastically. Dehydrated foods also contain all of their original nutritional value and don’t require extra sodium or preservatives (like their freeze-dried counter parts). For overnight trips, meals like our Smoked Sockeye Salmon Chowder deliver a delicious 450 calories per serving in less than 4oz of packed weight. Keep a pack of Packaroons in your pocket on your next day hike for 150+ calories per ounce of scrumptious coconut cookie.

Choose Slow Burning Fuels

If you are out in the backcountry and walking for the better part of the day, you need to play the long game. Generally speaking, foods that are high in fat, protein, and fiber will satisfy longer and burn slower than simple carbs and sugar. The highly processed, high sugar foods like candy and Little Debbie snacks that backpackers are so fond of only cause dramatic spikes and precipitous drops in blood sugar levels that cause your energy to fluctuate throughout the day. Your body is burning fat in the backcountry while your muscles need protein to build and repair themselves. Replacing those nutrients haphazardly with a bunch of sugar is only going to leave you feeling hungry and fatigued. Heather’s Choice high calorie backpacking food blends the macronutrients you need to feel strong and energetic throughout the day. You will also want to look for foods like nuts, nut butters, beef jerky, dehydrated fruits, tuna packets, etc.

High Calorie Backpacking Food

Less Weight+Better Nutrients+More Calories=A Better Time Outdoors!

Start meal planning for your next adventure! Complete the form below to download your FREE copy of our Backcountry Meal Planner! Count calories, and plan macronutrients and weight.

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