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The Healthy Food Bag: Packing for Wellness on the Trail


Aaron Zagrodnick

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Aaron Zagrodnick

As most seasoned hikers can attest, the food you eat on trail can significantly impact how you feel and perform on your backpacking trip, for better or for worse. This article explores the benefits of eating well on trail and provides tips for how to use food as a performance enhancing tool. Backpackers are notoriously preoccupied with food. Understandably so, as your body requires a tremendous amount of energy for a full day of hiking across a variety of terrain. Traditionally, the primary metric for “good” backpacking food has been energy density (calories per ounce). While energy-rich food is absolutely essential to keeping pack weight down, our food can do so much more for us than solely provide calories. What (and how) you eat on trail can be the difference between a day of tired muscles, energy swings, and bottomless hunger; or a day of endless energy, endurance, and enjoyment. Eating healthier allows you to optimize your backcountry experience and have more bandwidth...

In Issue 49, @Katie Gerber details steps you can take to pack healthier foods for the trail (and why). Take a look at the links below:

The Healthy Food Bag: Packing for Wellness on the Trail

How to Eat Healthier When Backpacking

Issue 49 Page 1

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  • 4 weeks later...
Dogwood

"While energy-rich food is absolutely essential to keeping pack weight down, our food can do so much more for us than solely provide calories. What (and how) you eat on trail can be the difference between a day of tired muscles, energy swings, and bottomless hunger; or a day of endless energy, endurance, and enjoyment. Eating healthier allows you to optimize your backcountry experience and have more bandwidth..."

So many backpackers don't grasp this. It's refreshingly uncommon to see food explored for more than it's caloric content in context of UL load outs. It's common to observe hikers imposing  poor off trail eating habits to the trail  while assuming because we're active it's OK to eat anything without consequences.

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