Backpacking Trip- possible?

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So I'm in the middle of my first Whole30 and was recently presented with the opportunity to go summit Mt St Helens. Just looking for any suggestions on how to maintain the whole30 through a flight to Portland and an overnight backpacking trip + 10 hour hike? Anything I bring has to fit into my luggage and not need refrigeration! I know this topic was briefly talked about in 2012 on this forum but just wanted to see if there were any new suggestions besides eating RxBars and Beef Jerky for 36 hours :-)

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Cans or pouches of tuna or salmon, olives (you can find them in individual serving pouches if that's easier), nuts/nut butters/coconut oil (also available in pouches). Some vegetables would probably be okay for part of the time -- like if you got to Portland and stopped at a store and picked up carrot sticks, bell peppers and jicama and celery you could slice up to carry with you. For longer-lasting options, maybe check baby food pouches or dehydrated vegetables.


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You've probably already gone on your trip, but I thought I would reply just to get the info out there. I've done 2 backpacking trips (both 2 nights) and probably 50 nights of car camping (some stints as long as 6 nights in a row) on Whole30. It's really doable.

NOTE: I'm going to talk calories here. I know that's not what the Whole30 is about. It just helps a backpacker plan for which foods have the "most bang for the buck" if you will. I never actually count up the calories for a backpacking trip (I use the template, just a bit bigger!), but I do WEIGH everything, so having these numbers is helpful when planning your pack weight. Hope that makes sense.

Backpacking proteins:

  • Caloric density depends on water and fat content of the proteins. Since I pack in all my water, I don't mind some of it coming WITH my food, so all of these are acceptable to me. If you have ample water refill spots and only carry a small amount with you, you may want to skip the first items.
  • Eggs (hard boiled), tuna and salmon foil packs (packed in water), chicken in foil packs, are going to be around 50 cal/oz. I've yet to find tuna or salmon packed in oil in the foil pouches. You can add oil to them on the trail of course though.
  • Salami (or other summer sausages) and jerky are more like 100-120 cal/oz.
  • Dehydrated meats/eggs are even better, more like 150 cal/oz. You can dehydrate the stuff on your own (start with ground beef) or you can purchase it. This gives you the building blocks for all sorts of things like chili, scrambled eggs (with veggies!), beef stew, etc, etc.

Backpacking vegetables:

  • Caloric density depends on water content of vegetables. Again, I don't mind some being in the food itself.
  • For me, I go for dehydrated over freeze-dried. The freeze-dried give you a better cal/oz (because of less water), but the freeze-dried stuff is BULKY unless you crumble it all beforehand. For dinners, most of the veggies are included in one-pot meals like loaded chili, beef stew, chicken soup, etc. I pack others for snacks/lunch like sun dried tomatoes, dried veggie chips, etc (READ LABELS if you are purchasing. Lots of oils, some sugar and other unexpected ingredients lurk in these products).
  • Instant mashed potatoes. Can't say it enough. There are brands out there that are literally just potatoes and salt. Best carb for your trip. 120 cal/oz

Backpacking fats:

  • Whole30 considers olives to be fats, but they are only about 50 cal/oz. Compare that to most oils at 250 cal/oz!!! I did take the olive foil pouches on one of my trips because my kids love them.
  • Bottle(s) of olive oil, coconut oil, and/or ghee. Hands down, easiest and lightest way to get fats into your meals. Dip your jerky in the ghee (no joke!) and you will be thanking me later. :) Add coconut oil to chili, olive oil to your fish packet, etc. You can get small, BPA-free, lightweight, plastic backpacking food containers that are absolutely perfect for this.


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