View Full Version : Backcountry Bowhunting Foods
04-03-2005, 05:55 PM
Im really gearing up to spend more than just a day inside the wilderness areas I hunt. One of my biggest concerns is picking the right type of food to pack. Im not interested in packing a stove with me. Going as light weight as possible. Im looking at Heater Meals and MREs for my main meals. Has anyone used the Heater Meals and if so what did you think of them? I saw those the other night at the local sporting goods store and was interested in them since they offered a good variety. Not sure what kinds of MRE's there are so if you know please post those as id be interested. Cost for the HM's were 6 bucks apiece. A little spendy but not terrible. Whats the average cost for MREs and whats a good source? Also what would you suggest for a good breakfast bar? Im looking for something that provides a good high nutrition content but doesnt taste like pooh lol. One thing i thought about trying is taking some protein shake mix with me and drinking that in the morning also since it provides a lot of calories and has good nutritional content. Anyone done that before? For mid day id pack some jerky and some sort of trail mix. Open for suggestions there. So please post any of your backcountry food items and what you think of them. Im interested in hearing what ya'll have to say on this subject.
galiuro mountain man
04-03-2005, 11:45 PM
I hunt wilderness areas of Southern AZ. I backpack for a week every August for deer. I like to keep my pack as light as possible. My main focus is water, I have a camelbak (3qt.) I fill and I also carry another 2qt wine flask. On top of that I carry 2 filter bottles (in case something happens to one). Any time I cross water I drink, even if Im not thirsty, and fill everything back up with the filter bottles. Next is food, I carry stuff that doesnt require water ( I want to use my water for drinking only because of short supply). I take lots of jerky, sometimes summer sausage for high protien, then for energy I pack along power bars, they are all convienient foods that dont require refridgeration. Take a couple of the heavy storage ziplocs to put the sausage in if in bear country- long story. Try to stay away from most breads, they only supply a little energy for the water used to digest them. You will be amazed at how far good jerky will take you, I over pack every year, I usually come back with left over jerky and bars. I usually pack 8oz of jerky for every meal each day I will be out, I usually eat a little more than half of that each sitting, also eat jerky slow with water, it will expand while digesting. I pack 2 power bars a day and come home with some left over every time. For a trail mix I pack a bag of salted peanuts, the oil in them is high energy, and the salt helps with hydration. I usually think they are too salty, but after a couple of hours in the Arizona sun I cant taste the salt. All this and my gear in my pack (over pack on gear too) my pack only weighs 45 pounds.
Another good thing to do is get in shape for it. I lift weights all year, but I really hit them hard from May till July, then get back to a little easier routine in July. I load my pack up to 75 pounds and hit the hills by my house every other day, each day I go faster and harder. I put gallons of water in it so I dont get dehydrated, and they make a lot of weight. I do this for a month. I also scout with extra weight when I make day loops. Then in the first part of August I cut to 60 pounds in my pack. Still every other day. When I go out the firs day with my regular pack it feals like nothing, I feel great the whole hunt. I have learned to prepair myself because of past problems, and AZ isnt anywhere to mess around with any type of problems, especially in Aug, when the temperature where I hunt is over 100 degrees.
One other thing, take a good first aid kit with you, make sure it is water proof and is fully stocked. This is also one of the most important things to have- part of first long sory.
Last and most important...........HAVE FUN!!!!
Backpacking is the best way I have found to hunt, whether alone or with someone, it is always worth it.
04-04-2005, 06:41 AM
My first thought is that MRE's would be on the heavy side. Quality and taste are a thumbs up.. I personally don't consider them due to their weight. I would rather hydrate my food once packed in rather than carrying the foods moisture the whole trip. Water is pretty heavy. So I filter from streams and when its meal time I use some of that. I eat pretty well up there..
Breakfast: Oatmeal w/ brown sugar and cinnamin/ rasins for breakfast, instant coffee,
Lunch: I do cliff bars bagel, some freeze dried fruit, trail mix,
Dinners vary from, freeze dried thai chicken w/ rice, to pasta, stews..
They have all sorts of meals out now that are pretty satisfying (just add water)..I spend lots of time trying to make a little variety too. Heck once your there.. last thing I want to be is starved or bored of the same food for a week.. http://www.jesseshunting.com/forums/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/lame-sign.gif
The rate the size of the meal for, feeds 1 person, 1.5 people, 2 people. I usually want to go to bed pretty full. So I generally get the serving 1.5 people.. Good luck. Hope this helps.. http://www.jesseshunting.com/forums/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smiley_stir_pot_ani.gif
04-04-2005, 05:38 PM
I second what in2blactail said. The extra weight you gain from a stove is minmal what you save from freeze dried foods. MRE's are great food to take on a hunt, if you are not carrying it on your back. I usually stock up on mountain house brand freeze dried food. Not to mention the room in your pack that the mre's will fill up. Depending on how long you plan on being out their, you could run out of pack room in a hurry.
04-04-2005, 08:38 PM
i totally agree on the variety of food. thats a big thing for me while hunting. i hate eating the same stuff over and over. gets to the point where i wont eat it just cause im sick of it and thats not good.
right now my time only allows me weekend trips. so id be out there 3 days. pack in friday night as far as i can. hunt all day saturday. then hunt my way back out sunday and go home. thats why i was considering the MREs cause if i was to be out there a week i wouldnt want that weight but for just a couple of days i think itd be fine. the weight of the heater meals was pretty minimal but they looked kind of small. might take a couple of them to fill me up. i did however find a great protein bar last night that was actually tasty. its the ones made by Snickers. the caramel one was really good. has a lot of vitamins in it along with the protein. packed with calories too. plus its half the cost of a Power Bar and twice the size. So ill be packing those for breakfast.
i still have quite a bit of time between now and elk season to get this worked out and start stocking up. so if you think of anything else please post it up.
04-05-2005, 07:44 AM
You'll want to take plenty of Carbs to fuel your hunt, in2blacktail has some great meal suggestions....i bring plenty of peanut butter to get an ample supply of fat, this will make you "fuller" and combined w/ bread/crackers/something, will give you plenty of energy and start your day off right http://www.jesseshunting.com/forums/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smiley-faces-toast-beers.gif
Jerkey and Salami are not foods fuel your body, they only fill it.
04-05-2005, 08:26 PM
When hunting I like to keep it simple and light. I don't need a lot of variety when I'm hunting because I work myself so close to exhaustion that I'll eat near anything. On non-hunting backpacking trips I'll carry a bit more selection/weight to add variety, plus a fishing pole.
For breakfast... Quaker Oats. I premix the fast cook stuff at home with craisins, brownsugar, and powdered milk. Just add hot water and there's breakfast (plus coffee of course).
Lunch... jerky, gorp, energy bars (Clif Bars, Power Bars, etc...), and protein drink (a high protien powdered drink like Isopure, MetRx, or equivalent).
Dinner... I typically do not buy the expensive freeze dried meals from backpacking stores... tasty, but overpriced... I premix generic dehydrated beans and instant rice (rice & beans together constitute a complete amino-acid protein equivalent), plus a bunch of spices, and eat that with tortillas. Plenty of ways to spice that up a bit. Another dish I like in the first couple days, although it's not 100% dehydrated, is dehydrated garlic mashed potatos with a pouch of chicked tossed in (sounds gross, but when backpacking it's great).
All day long I also use a Camelbak and/or dromadary bag to stay well hydrated... I drink diluted gatorade out of that... several liters per day.
I keep it simple, light, inexpensive, and quick to prepare... if I want to eat like a king and spend a bunch of time and energy doing it I'll go car camping (or let BDB feed me).
I also ALWAYS pack all my food in a bear can ANYTIME I am backpacking in bear country, whether it's required or not. The peace of mind and convenience it provides is worth the extra pound and a half.
04-05-2005, 09:18 PM
Bc- You forgot to mention your choice and amount of Rum. http://www.jesseshunting.com/forums/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smiley-hitting-self.gif
This is a topic I need to learn of and try to live off of for 5-8 days while at work- but then again I am mostly sitting on my arse and watching the donuts and cream cheese/bagles keep comming into the control center.
..... Then the ride home to be reninited with a Coors Light... http://www.jesseshunting.com/forums/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smiley-wow-eyes-yellow.gif
Makkes a looooooooong week fo sure. http://www.jesseshunting.com/forums/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smiley-bag-on-head.gif
04-05-2005, 09:34 PM
Oh yeah, forgot about that... all the weight I save by trimming down the fancypants culinary items is often offset by a liter of Makers Mark or Captain Morgan when I'm feeling adventurous. http://www.jesseshunting.com/forums/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smiley-hitting-self.gif
p.s. I have yet to see ANYONE party AND hunt as hard as BDB while backpack hunting. The dude has stamina! Maybe it's the Canadian thing?
04-06-2005, 06:55 AM
I'm glad that someone mentioned the magic liquid in the silver tin (BC, BDB and IN2)!!! Ed F
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