Our Favorite Calorie Boosts for Backcountry Trips

Our Favorite Calorie Boosts for Backcountry Trips

Packaroon Cake Pops | Better than Starbucks Reading Our Favorite Calorie Boosts for Backcountry Trips 5 minutes Next Packing for Your Adventure Buddy

One of the best parts of working as a food manufacturing company is hearing how people take our meals and customize them. In the backcountry, this is also known as calorie boosting.

On multi-day trips in the backcountry, running river rapids, or really any adventure the body is exerting excessive amounts of energy, it is crucial to not only replenish calories but to also eat quality food. 

Nut butters, bag of pumpkin seeds, bag of corn, chicken mole bag, banana buckwheat breakfast bag, bag of flax seeds

We already took care of the quality food part for ya, now you get to customize and “spice” up the meals to include extra calories - also making them extra delicious!

For example, adding chocolate chips into the Summer Harvest Oatmeal. For the record, I really advocated for chocolate chips to be a regular ingredient in this new recipe but chocolate chips melt and thus I got outvoted.

black spoon full of chocolate chips and pumpkin seeds


Here are some of our favorite mix-ins for our line of buckwheat and oatmeal breakfasts

Clearly, any sort of seed, nut, or nut butter added to these breakfasts is going to send your taste buds spinning. While also giving your body the proper fuel it needs for where ever your latest adventure takes you. 

banana buckwheat breakfast next to bowl of flax seeds and hands scooping pumpkin seeds from small bowl into plastic bag


Moving on to dinners, this is where the fun part starts!

These homemade meals in a bag can be jazzed up with some simple tortillas, cheese, or even cornbread! 

We asked our ambassadors what their favorite ways to boost calories during short and long trips in the backcountry.  Here is what they had to say: 

Kelli Spencer @kelli_out_exploring
On shorter trips - I usually bring a small container of butter. (1 tablespoon is about 100 calories) and I’ll add a couple of tablespoons to each of my meals to boost up my calorie intake! 
On most trips, I also bring a container of cheese (or a few cheese sticks) and I’ll add that to some dishes. It melts and gives it a bit of extra flavor! (1oz of cheese is about 115 calories!). 
I also bring TONS of nuts to add to meals cause they are so calorie dense, and add a good bit of crunch to anything :)”
Ryan Lampers @sthealthyhunter
“I add a single serving of coconut oil to every meal.”
Organic Chicken in molé sauce next to yellow corn tortillas and a bowl of dried corn and shredded cheese
Jerry Herrod @akscenic
“I include bone broth collagen from beef or chicken. I like to add these and some extra protein powder to the dinners on longer treks. 
Grass-fed salted butter to the oatmeals for some added lipids to get the morning push going. Or if I want more sweetness, a tablespoon of maple syrup along with the extra butter for the real morning rushes. 
I’ve also added chocolate coconut peanut butter for some flavor twist in the morning glory oatmeal. And nut butter in the Summer Harvest Oatmeal.” 
“ I use coconut oil in the buckwheat breakfasts and olive oil in the dinners! It gives me an extra 500-600 calories just in those two things alone.”
Gina Ciolkosz @wildwellfed 
“I always add fat to dinners. Either butter, coconut oil, or cheese depending on the flavor.”
“I add half an instant mash potatoes, bacon bits, cubed cheese, and butter to the dinners. Arguably the tastiest outdoor meals I have ever eaten. Also the breakfast with butter and chocolate chips. So good!” 
Hands packing nut butters, buckwheat breakfast, chicken mole, packaroons into large plastic bag

While these are just some of our favorite ways to boost the calories of each meal, it also makes them feel even more homemade. 

Here is a list of some of our favorite ways to bump the calories of these dinners. 

There are so many ways to customize and boost the calories in the meals, and we want to hear them all!

Share with us your favorite ways to boost calories while on long and short backcountry adventures!

Brooke is a born and raised Arizonan. That is until 2013 when Alaska stole her heart and soul! Not only did Alaska give her the freedom, space and community to be herself - she also met her soulmates in both human and dog form.

When she is not running around the Heather’s Choice HQ, Brooke enjoys summiting Alaskan peaks, extended camping trips, and making a mess in the kitchen.

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