Backcountry Forum
Backpacking & Hiking Gear

Backcountry Forum
Our long-time Sponsor - the leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear
Backpacking Forums
backcountry gear

---- Our Gear Store ----
The Lightweight Gear Store

Bivy Bags
Sleeping Bags
Sleeping Pads
Snow Sports
Winter Kitchen


Avalanche Gear
Hats, Gloves, & Gaiters


Ultralight Backpacks
Ultralight Bivy Sacks
Ultralight Shelters
Ultralight Tarps
Ultralight Tents
Ultralight Raingear
Ultralight Stoves & Cookware
Ultralight Down Sleeping Bags
Ultralight Synthetic Sleep Bags
Ultralight Apparel

the Titanium Page
WM Extremelite Sleeping Bags


Sleeping Bags


Ropes & Cordage
Protection & Hardware
Carabiners & Quickdraws
Climbing Packs & Bags
Big Wall
Rescue & Industrial






Men's Footwear
Women's Footwear


Mens Apparel
Womens Apparel


Black Diamond
Granite Gear
La Sportiva


Top Brands
All Brands

 Backpacking Equipment 

Sleeping Bags
Water Treatment

 Backcountry Gear Clearance

Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#163397 - 03/06/12 05:00 PM Using protein powders/meal replacements
awesomeame Offline

Registered: 03/06/12
Posts: 18

New to backcountry backpacking, but not new to the outdoors smile My issue right now is food. I eat roughly 3500 calories/day just for maintenance, and up to 6500-ish if I'm "active." I track everything daily, please don't bother disputing numbers. Usually this puts me to about 375-400gr of protein/day.

So I was thinking/wondering if anyone else is adding protein powders or powdered meal replacements to their meals. Or eating/drinking them exclusively. I thought to cook some rice (carbs) on trail, then just mix it with a few scoops of protein powder, and meal replacements powder (maybe plus mass gainer for added calories) and eat. Does anyone do this? Why not? The powders are fairly lightweight and don't take up much space.


#163405 - 03/06/12 06:06 PM Re: Using protein powders/meal replacements [Re: awesomeame]
BrianLe Offline

Registered: 02/26/07
Posts: 1149
Loc: Washington State, King County
I think a lot of people might do this, though mixing it with rice doesn't sound too appealing.

For a couple of long trips I went to costco and got the sort of "big can" of some sort of protein shake, mixed it up with powdered milk and used that.

Eventually I stopped, just because I found it a bit of a hassle, plus it tied me to resupply boxes (most trail towns didn't offer anything like this). But my normal, at home metabolism is very different from yours. I think one question that might or might not be meaningful for you is how many calories/day you would need or want after a few weeks of hiking. Wow. It can indeed be a lot of food to carry, so getting calorically dense stuff is a bit more important if you're processing that many calories per day.
Brian Lewis

#163409 - 03/06/12 07:15 PM Re: Using protein powders/meal replacements [Re: awesomeame]
BZH Offline

Registered: 01/26/11
Posts: 901
Loc: Torrance, CA
Certainly I have heard of people doing this. I think taste and variety are the competing reasons not to.

I imagine if you are burning that many calories off the trail you lead a pretty active lifestyle. Perhaps when you hit the trail your activity level (and therefore calorie level) won't be that much greater than normal.

#163421 - 03/06/12 10:28 PM Re: Using protein powders/meal replacements [Re: awesomeame]
skcreidc Offline

Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
I've done the protein powder, ect before. Some extra protein in the backpackers diet is a good idea. However,at this point in my life, mixing rice with protein powder does not seem too appealing. But who cares? Try it at home and see if it works for you. I do not see any health reason why you can't do it...

Sometimes I mix it into my peanut butter for trail, usually along with semi sweet chocolate chips.

Edited by skcreidc (03/06/12 10:30 PM)

#163428 - 03/06/12 11:04 PM Re: Using protein powders/meal replacements [Re: skcreidc]
wandering_daisy Offline

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2796
Loc: California
To get a lot of calories you need more fat. Protein, although important, is a bit over-rated. At the calories you are burning there is nothing wrong with 40% fat in your diet. Nuts are good sources of both protein and fat. Cheese too. I like the 1-oz cheese sticks (pepper jack) because the last longer and are less messy than a huge chunk of cheese. How about olive oil? I take about 1 oz of olive oil per day and add to dinners. I put protein powder (1 Tbs) in my morning cereal. Then I put 1 Tbs of TVP in dinners. If you are using sweet sport drinks (like Gatorade) you may want to switch to protein power shakes. Somewhere a little while back Lori posted a link to a really good website on backpacking nutrition. It also confirms that a high fat diet is OK and perhaps not as much protein is needed as we think.

#163434 - 03/07/12 09:26 AM Re: Using protein powders/meal replacements [Re: awesomeame]
Gershon Offline

Registered: 07/08/11
Posts: 1109
Loc: Colorado
This website will give a good answer for what is missing.


#163442 - 03/07/12 12:28 PM Re: Using protein powders/meal replacements [Re: wandering_daisy]
aimless Online   content

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 2951
Loc: Portland, OR
I agree that, when you are seriously hiking most of the day that a high fat diet is not a problem, and you really only need enough protein to allow normal muscle tissue maintenance, plus a bit of muscle growth. Most Americans eat far more protein than they strictly require for health.

For me, the biggest reason not to substitute protein powder drinks for some or all meals, and the most overlooked part of a backpacker's diet, is fiber. At home I eat a lot of vegetables and whole grains. If I suddenly switch to a trail diet with almost no fiber, it plays holy heck with my digestive system. Protein drinks, for obvious reasons, often have negligible fiber or no dietary fiber at all. Nuts and dried fruit are two excellent trail foods, because they are not just concentrated, but also are unprocessed real food.


Shout Box

Highest Quality Lightweight Down Sleeping Bags
Western Mountaineering Sleeping Bags
Lite Gear Talk - Featured Topics
Mountainsmith Gear
by packlite
07:35 PM
DWR and Trail Runners
by Bill Kennedy
07/01/18 03:19 AM
Montrail hiking shoe replacement???
by Keith
06/30/18 11:11 PM
Backcountry Discussion - Featured Topics
Leaving a Mark
by balzaccom
07/10/18 09:32 PM
Maximizers vs Sufficers in backpacking
by Pika
06/29/18 12:34 PM
Alice Pak
by Capt hook
06/21/18 01:13 PM
Make Your Own Gear - Featured Topics
drying socks while hiking
by AtlantaBill
06/28/18 03:28 PM
Quilt question
by PaHiker
06/28/18 12:14 PM
New Pack Finished
by Bill Kennedy
06/27/18 05:39 AM
Featured Photos
Breakneck Ridge, New York
May 2012 Eclipse, Lassen Park
New Years Eve 2011
Trip Report with Photos
Seven Devils, Idaho
Oat Hill Mine Trail 2012
Dark Canyon - Utah
Who's Online
0 registered (), 84 Guests and 0 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
FrankDaTank, maggiemae31, GregoryCheve, CWalkerNC, Nadini
12604 Registered Users
Forum Links
Site Links
Lightweight Gear Store
Backpacking Book Store
Lightweight Zone
Hiking Essentials

Our long-time Sponsor, - The leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear:

Backcountry Forum

Since 1996 - the Original Backcountry Forum
Copyright © The Lightweight Backpacker & BackcountryForum