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#81521 - 10/23/07 07:32 PM Alittle on the subject of food.
Dimitri Offline
member

Registered: 09/03/07
Posts: 85
I see alot of posts about "salt", "calories", "fat" and the like. Does it really matter ?? <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" />

I think its cause I'm not thinking about weight (it goes food, water, fire, first aid, shelter, a spare set of clothing then everything else from most to least important in my pack so my food can weight me down alittle if I'm eating good hearty meals) which might be the reason I don't quite get about over analyzing this or is it because simply I've never really read a nutritional bar on food with the intent of controlling my diet with that information ??

Dimitri

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#81522 - 10/24/07 02:45 AM Re: Alittle on the subject of food. [Re: Dimitri]
Tomcat1066 Offline
member

Registered: 10/04/07
Posts: 31
Loc: Albany, GA
It can matter. For example, if you pack three meals and snacks per day, but still have to few calories, you'll be sluggish and have a hard time hiking since you have insufficient fuel. If you have a lot of calories, but say not enough carbohydrates, then you could have a similar effect.

In winter, having enough fats is very important, since your body's metabolism is a key factor in staying warm. Sufficient calories and fats help keep it firing all night, which helps you get a nice, warm night's sleep.

Food if fuel, so yes, it is important what the nutrients are and how much. At least, that's always been my take on it.

Tom

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#81523 - 10/24/07 06:44 AM Re: Alittle on the subject of food. [Re: Dimitri]
sarbar Offline
member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 1453
Loc: WA
For me it matters a LOT.

I have to watch my sodium and potassium intakes carefully, so I am always thinking "if I take this" or "I really shouldn't eat that". Also, up until this summer I usually carried both my food and my son's. He eats more than I do! So Often I was carrying 4 lbs of food a day! Ahhhhh!

Even with him carrying his own food now I am thinking in advance of what will be the biggest bang for the weight, and that he will like the taste of. I try to stay away from pure sugar for him so that it lasts energy wise (though I do let him indulge a bit!).

I would suspect I think about it more than most people do.
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#81524 - 10/24/07 09:34 AM Re: Alittle on the subject of food. [Re: Dimitri]
Pika Offline
member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1736
Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
For many people, diet and its composition matters a lot. As an example, some folks are lactose intolerant and will suffer digestive problems if they consume lactose (milk sugar). Other people have food allergies which can cause a severe, and potentially fatal, reaction if a food allergen is consumed. Others have sodium sensitive blood pressure and have to rigidly control sodium (table salt, msg and sodium nitrates and nitrites for example) in their diets. And, some, myself included, suffer from migrane. Many food items can serve as a migrane trigger and must be avoided.

So, if you can backpack on a steady diet of Cheeztos and Gatoraide count yourself lucky; diet planning need not be a large element of your trip planning. Others, however, are not so fortunate and need to know, exactly, the composition of every food item that goes in their pack.
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#81525 - 10/24/07 10:17 AM Re: Alittle on the subject of food. [Re: Pika]
midnightsun03 Offline
member

Registered: 08/06/03
Posts: 2936
Loc: Alaska
This is so true! I have celiac, so I can't eat anything with wheat, barley or rye in it. Also, I'm already underweight, so if I really exert myself I'll lose even more weight, especially in the cold. Not only do I have to carefully consider what goes in my mouth at any given time, I also have to consider other appetite issues that make it difficult for me to eat at all when I'm tired. Because of that I tend to pack heavier food because I don't have to do as much with it. I don't go out on long trips... if I did I'd have to think more carefully about food than I already do. It is almost overwhelming.

MNS
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#81526 - 10/24/07 10:24 AM Re: Alittle on the subject of food. [Re: Pika]
sarbar Offline
member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 1453
Loc: WA
Quote:
Others have sodium sensitive blood pressure and have to rigidly control sodium (table salt, msg and sodium nitrates and nitrites for example) in their diets. And, some, myself included, suffer from migrane. Many food items can serve as a migrane trigger and must be avoided.

So, if you can backpack on a steady diet of Cheeztos and Gatoraide count yourself lucky; diet planning need not be a large element of your trip planning. Others, however, are not so fortunate and need to know, exactly, the composition of every food item that goes in their pack.


You said exactly my views! As some know here, I can get god awful migraines as well, so I avoid MSG, artificial dyes, flavors, preservatives, nitrates, etc.

I tell you, if there is one thing I truly miss is a big bag of Cheetos. They are so nasty, yet so addicting <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" /> My son and husband gleefully eat food that is bright red, orange and blue <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" /> I recently found decent fake M&M's with nothing bad in them.....then they ate them! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/mad.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
Freezer Bag Cooking, Trail Cooking, Recipes, Gear and Beyond:
www.trailcooking.com

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#81527 - 10/24/07 01:39 PM Re: Alittle on the subject of food. [Re: sarbar]
Pika Offline
member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1736
Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
Like you, I could eat a whole giant-sized bag of Cheetos in a single sitting. I think it is one of my major character flaws. Potato chips run a close second. I can't think of a single food group that contains fewer nutritional virtues and yet tastes so doggone good as deep fried starch coated with salt and a bunch of chemicals. Well, maybe ice cream. Yum! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
May I walk in beauty.

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#81528 - 10/24/07 02:24 PM Re: Alittle on the subject of food. [Re: Dimitri]
Xelif Offline
member

Registered: 07/04/07
Posts: 241
Loc: Bay Area, California, USA
Calories matter to me, in a huge way. If I don't have enough to eat, it's all over. I've, well, not got a lot of in-body energy storage. Just the other day I was day-hiking and started losing focus, getting a little shaky. So I sat down in the middle of the empty trail, as that was the only suitable area, and ate two trail bars. Sarbar's recipe as a matter of fact, with extra nuts + chocolate chips and some large-grained sea salt that makes for little salt explosions in your mouth. Yum.

Ahh, I get distracted. In any case, what I needed sorely was food, even though just two hours ago I'd finished off one medium roast beef sandwich. The trail bars were wonderful and I was substantially less shaky and more awake about 5 minutes later. An hour later I was home and eating a bowl of ice cream, and believe me I needed all of that plus a good dinner later. Multi-day backpacking trips pose major energy challenges for me! As a result I've become a devotee of homemade trail bars, thank you Sarbar, and I always try to keep some stocked in the freezer.

At this point I don't heavily monitor my fat intake, sodium intake, vitamin intake or similar things. I do force myself to have 3 large organized meals a day, often with a banana for the first two. I snack heavily on fruit. I estimate I consume about 3000 calories a day, depending on how active I am, and I'm a pretty fit guy. My father has had 2 heart attacks, my mother is a diabetic, and this has greatly influenced my cooking and given me motivation to keep fit. Namely, my father's cooking changed drastically after his heart attacks, and he's the guy who taught me how to cook. Instead of worrying too much about monitoring fat, I cook salmon and other fish often, and don't serve Hollandaise too often <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />. Instead of worrying about monitoring vitamin intake, I just try to eat a variety of fruit and vegetables. I do cook french toast or pancakes a few times weekly, and eat ice cream!
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#81529 - 10/24/07 06:52 PM Re: Alittle on the subject of food. [Re: Pika]
Dimitri Offline
member

Registered: 09/03/07
Posts: 85
Quote:
So, if you can backpack on a steady diet of Cheeztos and Gatoraide count yourself lucky


Nah I mainly bring foods like beef jerky, Spam, canned beans, rice, bread, cheese, canned condescend milk, peanuts, trail mix, a few energy bars, multi-vitamin supplements, Tabasco Sauce, salt and the like. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

Next year I'm thinking about buying a box of MRE's though and trying thouse out.

Dimitri

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#81530 - 10/24/07 07:05 PM Re: Alittle on the subject of food. [Re: Dimitri]
midnightsun03 Offline
member

Registered: 08/06/03
Posts: 2936
Loc: Alaska
Quote:
canned condescend milk
So you'll stoop to the level of using canned milk while backpacking? <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />
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#81531 - 10/24/07 07:41 PM Re: Alittle on the subject of food. [Re: midnightsun03]
Dimitri Offline
member

Registered: 09/03/07
Posts: 85
What can I say I got to have some milk or else I get cranky and yes I know there is the powdered type but I havn't really tasted any yet that I've liked, however I'm looking at trying NIDO milk powder (as its full fat content) by spring when I start to hike and camp again (this is too busy of a late fall/early winter to camp or hike for me <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" />). <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

Dimitri

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#81532 - 10/24/07 08:37 PM Re: Alittle on the subject of food. [Re: Dimitri]
midnightsun03 Offline
member

Registered: 08/06/03
Posts: 2936
Loc: Alaska
Sorry Dimitri... I was making a joke about "condescend milk" as opposed to what you meant, which was condensed milk <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />


Edited by midnightsun03 (10/24/07 11:01 PM)
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#81533 - 10/24/07 09:50 PM Re: Alittle on the subject of food. [Re: Dimitri]
sarbar Offline
member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 1453
Loc: WA
If ya have to have milk, at least get the shelf stable pouches of Horizon milk. It HAS to taste way better than canned milk <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />
And yes, you can do better food wise <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" /> So many options out there these days <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> And your pack would be lighter as well. And you don't even need to do any real cooking either!
_________________________
Freezer Bag Cooking, Trail Cooking, Recipes, Gear and Beyond:
www.trailcooking.com

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#81534 - 10/25/07 03:52 PM Re: Alittle on the subject of food. [Re: Pika]
Earthling Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
Quote:
Like you, I could eat a whole giant-sized bag of Cheetos in a single sitting. I think it is one of my major character flaws. Potato chips run a close second. I can't think of a single food group that contains fewer nutritional virtues and yet tastes so doggone good as deep fried starch coated with salt and a bunch of chemicals. Well, maybe ice cream. Yum! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" />


I can't keep my paws outta' a bin of freshmade kettle corn myself <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" /> Oh, the things I used to enjoy eating when i was younger <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
PEPPER SPRAY AIN'T BRAINS IN A CAN!

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#81535 - 10/25/07 06:16 PM Re: Alittle on the subject of food. [Re: midnightsun03]
Dimitri Offline
member

Registered: 09/03/07
Posts: 85
Heh my spelling sucks I know that but when I can't spell a word it seems the spell checker has no idea what I'm thinking about anymore (ie spelling has gotten better) so I couldn't fix that. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" />

Dimitri

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#81536 - 10/26/07 07:41 AM Re: Alittle on the subject of food. [Re: Dimitri]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
On MRE's

My experience goes like this...I have eaten them ALOT. (Maybe that explains many of my "strange" behaviors). I ate them almost every day in Iraq. Just from Iraq, for three meals a day, I know I ate them exclusively for more than 6 months worth.

I recomend them, especially for emergency food storage. But, for backpacking there are some things to consider. First, they are over packaged. You also won't eat everything in them. Buy a few boxes of 12. At home, eat them and try different ones. Some you will like (maybe) and some you won't (for sure). There is a trick to heating them up, ie, you need the heater pouch. Practice at home, not in the woods for the first time.

For a few days trip they are great. They are heavier than dried food, but make up for it with ease and less gear to heat. Freezer Bag Cooking (which is about the only thing that comes close to the ease and lightweight) requires a stove, fuel, fuel holder, pot, and maybe a cozy. The food is lighter (no water), but you have to have the extra stuff to heat it up. You don't need a stove, pot or the other stuff with MRE's, but the actual food is heavier (it is hydrated). I am guessing that the weight evens out about 2 to 3 days, and afterwards the freezer bag system is lighter.

Just my thoughts. YMMV
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I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

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#81537 - 10/26/07 07:42 AM Re: MRE's [Re: finallyME]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Oh yeah, I forgot. They make you constipated. So, you won't need TP. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

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#81538 - 10/26/07 09:07 AM Re: Alittle on the subject of food. [Re: finallyME]
Earthling Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
FinallyME thanks for your service in Iraq; the Big Ashtray is one of the worst theaters our military has ever served in.

Second, I have found that in environments that are lacking in water sources, the MRE's are great food sources because they contain the water needed to prepare them. Yes, they weigh more, but that's water weight you do not have to pack separately to prepare them. For shorter based trips of up to 4 days i find them ideal in water scarce environments. They're conveinent to eat if the weather deteriorates, you arrive late to camp, or you find yourself injured; because they can be consumed cold, but taste best hot.

Like yourself, I open them and disassemble them to the components I enjoy, and trade off the rest or leave it in a ziplock in a hiker box <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" /> You can reduce their weight in half by ditching most of the excess packaging and things you don't want. I have 10 cases sitting here ready to deploy when I need them for upcoming Winter trips.
_________________________
PEPPER SPRAY AIN'T BRAINS IN A CAN!

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#81539 - 10/26/07 07:42 PM Re: Alittle on the subject of food. [Re: finallyME]
Dimitri Offline
member

Registered: 09/03/07
Posts: 85
FinallyME,

Thank you for your reply. And glad to hear your made it out of the Sandbox alright!

I know there are some people claim are not good tasting but I got to admit I'll eat almost anything as long as its food. The MRE choices must be pretty bad for me not to eat them. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />

I will try heating them up and tasting some of them at home though before taking them out to the bush thanks for the advice. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

Dimitri

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#81540 - 11/06/07 11:42 AM Re: Alittle on the subject of food. [Re: Dimitri]
WildChild Offline
member

Registered: 04/28/06
Posts: 36
Loc: Canada
Hi Dimitri - I didn't read all the posts so hopefully I haven't repeated too much information.

It can make a difference depending on the person and there has to be a balance between what your body needs for fuel, what your body can tolerate from a health perspective and the weight of the food itself. Most of us who hike don't have the issues with sodium and a little extra in our hiking diet isn't a big deal. Too little food and one might start to become lightheaded. Keep in mind that weather also has an impact.

Winter hiking - well you need more fat in the winter diet and a greater caloric intake.

Personally, when cooking for others, I go with a lower sodium approach and I let the individual add salt to their tastes and needs. I also avoid preservative ridden foods and keep factors like trip difficulty and time of year in mind as well.
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#81541 - 11/06/07 04:01 PM Re: Alittle on the subject of food. [Re: Dimitri]
hootyhoo Offline
member

Registered: 12/14/06
Posts: 686
Loc: Cyberspace
To each his own. If you eat right, exercise, blah blah blah and then get hit by a car, did it ever matter?

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#81542 - 11/06/07 04:23 PM Re: Alittle on the subject of food. [Re: hootyhoo]
Xelif Offline
member

Registered: 07/04/07
Posts: 241
Loc: Bay Area, California, USA
Nah, it won't matter a bit. However, the odds of me dying, hit by a car, are a -lot- lower than the odds of me dying due to heart disease or other bodily malfunctions. Plus, it isn't exercise if you enjoy it <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" />
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- John

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#81543 - 11/06/07 04:52 PM Re: Alittle on the subject of food. [Re: hootyhoo]
midnightsun03 Offline
member

Registered: 08/06/03
Posts: 2936
Loc: Alaska
I submit that it DOES matter... eating right and exercising helps your health at the time you're doing it... not eating right and not exercising will eventually cause you to gain weight, and with that you will probably develop a whole host of health problems that will make you feel sluggish, lethargic, and generally unwell, which is not how I want to live my life, for sure... even if I'm hit by a truck tomorrow.

MNS
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YMMV. Viewer discretion is advised.

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#81544 - 11/06/07 04:54 PM Re: Alittle on the subject of food. [Re: hootyhoo]
hootyhoo Offline
member

Registered: 12/14/06
Posts: 686
Loc: Cyberspace
Well I misunderstood the post- I thought it was about health, but I read it with my glasses on and realized it is about fuel value. In that case it does matter. It would be like carrying rubbing alcohol instead of denatured.

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#81545 - 11/06/07 10:35 PM Re: Alittle on the subject of food. [Re: midnightsun03]
Xelif Offline
member

Registered: 07/04/07
Posts: 241
Loc: Bay Area, California, USA
Here's a great article, or cluster of articles actually, about food, training, and hiking.

Thru-Hiker: Pack Light, Eat Right
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