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#2409 - 02/22/10 10:04 PM What To Eat?
Bee Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1261
Loc: Northern California
I am not what you would call a "good eater". Any sort of stress, chaos, time contraint, or physical discomfort steals my appetite....yeah, great combo for no endurance and a lousy hike.

Since Whoa Nelli Deli does not deliver on the mountain, I need to learn to eat the way everyone did on the group hikes: while I stood there frozen, realizing that there was no time to mix up my salmon, relish, mayo, onion, pita delight (like I do on the leisurely backpacking trips,) other hikers were shovling down cookies, quick breads, and other things that I have never eaten before. The others were fed, watered, and ready to go before I even got past the "to filter, or not to filter -- how shall I squander my brief restbit".

Please suggest to me what it is that you survive on during those 10 minute, hourly breaks!

B
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#2411 - 02/22/10 10:42 PM Re: What To Eat? [Re: Bee]
quillansculpture Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 562
Loc: Murrieta, CA
I always bring too much food. Next time I'm going a bit lighter. I like Cliff Bars. Also, just lots of water and electrolytes. I drink Vitalyte. When I go back down though, the spring at Outpost Camp tastes really, really good! As far as food though, I can't do nuts, candy or GU. I can't even do my usual PB and J or honey. Believe it or not, my favorite on Whitney is a turkey on Wheat with a little mayo. The sandwich stays good as it's cold when you leave at 2 or 3 A.M. By the time you get to Trail Camp, you need to rest and eat something good. I don't see any reason why you can't make the salmon, relish, mayo, onion, pita delight the night before the hike. Keep it in a cooler in the bear box. If I know it's there though, I'm going for it :-)
Good luck.....Joe
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#2413 - 02/22/10 11:16 PM Re: What To Eat? [Re: Bee]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1251
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
Black wax Gouda, Pretzel Crackers, dried mango and apricot and a couple Mother's Sandwich cookies . Most of this menu can be accomplished with a trip to Trader Joes...add a quart of Cytomax and you've got ~1,000 calories.

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#2416 - 02/23/10 05:26 AM Re: What To Eat? [Re: Bee]
Bulldog34 Offline


Registered: 11/12/09
Posts: 1254
Loc: Atlanta
Originally Posted By: Bee
while I stood there frozen, realizing that there was no time to mix up my salmon, relish, mayo, onion, pita delight (like I do on the leisurely backpacking trips,) other hikers were shovling down cookies, quick breads, and other things that I have never eaten before. The others were fed, watered, and ready to go before I even got past the "to filter, or not to filter -- how shall I squander my brief restbit".

Please suggest to me what it is that you survive on during those 10 minute, hourly breaks!

B


Bee, I carried the same thing for my high-protein snack on Whitney last year - tuna salad quickpacks. What a mistake! It's true that elevation changes your taste, but I couldn't stomach the thought of tuna once I got past Trail Camp. For me, any kind of eating seems a chore over 13K feet, so I have to force myself. Fortunately, I carried easy-to-scarf, high-carb items as well - stuff I liked. These included jerkey, peanut M&Ms, Snickers (you can never go wrong with Snickers unless it's hot enough to turn them to goo), trail mix and granola bars. These went down pretty well and were easy to nibble on as I hiked. This year I plan to carry a lot of cookies as well - that was an item I recall thinking I could eat at elevation and wishing I had at the time.

I think eating is different for the weekend warriors, who are regularly at elevation, versus those of us who get above the 10-12K level just a few times a year. The Lauras, Richards, Kevins, Bobs, etc have extremely disciplined constitutions and experience at eating up high for extended periods They know what works for them through many, many trips above 10K. The rest of us just have to figure it out the hard way with our own bodies.

One thing I tried last year that I won't repeat is having all my Camelbak water laced with a supplement (Vitalyte, Cytomax). Too sweet and just not refreshing. I've since moved to having a 16 oz bottle available with the stuff for occassional swigs, but pure, clear water in my Camelbak. Makes those dry carbs (cookies, candy, bars) go down better, and doesn't gunk up the bladder and tube.

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#2418 - 02/23/10 06:36 AM Re: What To Eat? [Re: Bulldog34]
Rod Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 660
Loc: Santa Clarita, Ca. USA
Cliff Bars go down easy,Nature Valley Honey Oat Granola Bars, soft Beef and Turkey Jerky, Adkins Chocolat Peanut Butter protein bars,and trail mix round it out for me.Cytomax or Gatorade mix for electrolytes and added calories.These eliminate need to carry stove also.


Edited by Rod (02/23/10 06:37 AM)

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#2421 - 02/23/10 08:08 AM Re: What To Eat? [Re: Rod]
KevinR Offline


Registered: 11/03/09
Posts: 592
Loc: Manchester, NH
Keep it simple, and focus on simple carbs. You need a little fat & protein, but mostly carbs. No fancy preparation - if it takes more than 15 seconds to start munching, leave it at home. Bring stuff you REALLY like. One of my friends brings pound cake on high altitude climbs. Is that a healthy, nutritious food? Hell no, but he knows he can get it down when he's up high.

Dried pineapple(my favorite), mangos, dates - items like that are quickly digested. So are fig newtons. Cashews provide a bit of fat. A PB&J on Kirkland's Multigrain bread (my favorite commercial bread) for the summit. A few hard candies to maintain blood sugar are tucked into one waistband (love those packs with a web pocket on each side of the waistband). A good place to get these dried fruits are Winco's.

Whether on the trail or at home, I avoid eating stuff that humans weren't eating 100 years or more ago. Don't need 47 double-blind studies to know that "foods" like Gu contribute to the astronomical increases in cancer.

Bring a few salt packets, or better yet, a small container of Morton's Lite Salt (half the sodium, twice the potassium) just in case you or someone on the trail needs it.

Listen to your body - it will tell you when to eat/drink. For me, when I start hearing a voice that suggests that maybe this particular hill doesn't have to be climbed today/what are you THINKING ... I know my blood sugar is too low, regardless of whether I "feel" like eating, so just do it. If I still hear that voice 20 minutes later - well, maybe there are other reasons to reconsider, but nearly always I'm recharged.

All things being equal, after a point climbing a big hill is mostly a mind game, so figure out how to short-circuit those negative moments. Keep an eye ahead for particularly steep pitches, and try to eat a high-calorie snack (slice of pinapple, a couple of dates, etc) about 20 minutes before reaching the steep pitch whether you "feel" like it or not, particularly above 12K'. Then you can focus more on your breath, and not be distracted so much by lack of energy.

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#2422 - 02/23/10 08:18 AM Re: What To Eat? [Re: Rod]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1251
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
Damn Rod, I want my stove in the winter. How else does the hot chocolate get hot.

The secondary benefit of carrying a stove in the winter is all those canisters from the summer with a few ounces of fuel left get maximized.

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#2430 - 02/23/10 10:12 AM Re: What To Eat? [Re: wbtravis]
Rod Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 660
Loc: Santa Clarita, Ca. USA
wbtravis,
I forgot to mention I don't do winter in the Sierras unless it is in a condo at Mammouth,with skis on my feet, or the Tenaya Lodge in Fish Camp.Winter is for working out,golf and sitting in a lounge chair reading books at the beach.
BTW I had an excellent workout this AM at my gym and am actually looking forward to running the stadium stairs at my local jr. college tomorrow.Feels good to be getting in shape.

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#2437 - 02/23/10 01:19 PM Re: What To Eat? [Re: Bee]
RoguePhotonic Offline


Registered: 12/08/09
Posts: 558
Loc: Bakersfield CA
Food on the trail has been a very difficult thing to figure out and still is for me anyway, how to pack calorie dense foods that will give you the most for their weights and still taste good.

One thing I have never done is snack, when I pack food I would plan the three meals of the day and bring nothing else, this is one of the major mistakes I will correct this hiking season, snack and snack allot! or at the very least plan a morning and afternoon break for throwing down a couple hundred more calories.

The next most important thing is variety, I don't know what it is about the mountains but not only is it hard to find good food you actually want to eat but when you find it you will get sick of it very quick!, I made a huge mistake last summer on a 6 week hike to say "I eat the same thing for breakfast at home every day for months so I can do it out there for 6 weeks no problem!" WRONG!! I brought cinnamon toast crunch kids cereal to eat on 90% of the mornings and not even half way through I was forcing it down and wont be eating it any time soon! I talked to two others on the trail that said the same that after their trip one of them hasn't eaten oat meal for 4 years since and the other it was salami, so keep what your eating in good variety or you could find yourself not having as much fun as you would like, nothing picks up the morale like a meal you love!

Here is a useful nutrition chart that shows allot of trail foods and their nutrition facts.

When it comes to packaged meals one brand I have found to be very good is Enertia brand meals, they aren't freeze dried but just dehydrated and they all come with single serving packets of salt and pepper, I never got tired of them but the down sides include that they have no meat and are only about 400 calories.

A good lunch is your basic tortillas, salami, cheese and whatever else you would like, I have brought onion also to add and if you can bring some condiment packets such as thousand island dressing it makes for a good wrap, down sides include weight and if you bring block cheese it gets greasy but has a record for staying good while not being refrigerated, a solution to that I just picked up is individually wrapped string cheese.



Edited by RoguePhotonic (02/23/10 05:54 PM)
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#2444 - 02/23/10 05:27 PM Re: What To Eat? [Re: Rod]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1251
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
Originally Posted By: Rod
wbtravis,
I forgot to mention I don't do winter in the Sierras unless it is in a condo at Mammouth,with skis on my feet, or the Tenaya Lodge in Fish Camp.Winter is for working out,golf and sitting in a lounge chair reading books at the beach.
BTW I had an excellent workout this AM at my gym and am actually looking forward to running the stadium stairs at my local jr. college tomorrow.Feels good to be getting in shape.


What a wuss! wink

It's really is cheap entertainment. Every training weekend, I get to see numerous accidents waiting to happen on Mts. Baldy, Badden-Powell and Icehouse Canyon...and unfortunately they sometime happen.

I'm a June Lake guy in the winter. Way too many people in Mammoth for my taste.

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#2445 - 02/23/10 05:31 PM Re: What To Eat? [Re: RoguePhotonic]
Bee Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1261
Loc: Northern California
Thank you thank you THANK YOU!!! Mistakes that I thought were my own, seem to play out all over (Yeah -- those three square meals that took three times as long to prepare, and then they tasted like merda at altitude!!!

Funny story: I had carried those little tuna salad packets all summer. And all summer, I experienced different levels of nausea at altitude with those damn things. Finally, I was hiking to 13k and one mile into the hike, I reached into my pack for the tuna and almost cried at the thought of eating it. I turned around, headed back to the car, threw ALL of my peanut M & M's into my pack, dumpted the tuna....and had the best hike EVER. I could eat peanut M & M's doing a headstand on the moon!

B
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The body betrays and the weather conspires, hopefully, not on the same day.

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#2446 - 02/23/10 06:15 PM Re: What To Eat? [Re: Bee]
Ken Offline


Registered: 10/29/09
Posts: 742
Loc: Los Angeles
For most of us, I think this is a life-long search. I find, as I talk to people, that there is amazing variety in what people find enjoyable--and eating should be enjoyable, even at altitude.

One thing not mentioned much, are the freeze-dried backpacker foods. On my last 13-day trip, some years ago, this was my staple. Bought the ones that sounded good---absolutely inedible on the trail. I ended up with no dinner for three nites, until we got into trout country, and I could borrow some tackle. I'm sure the fish saved my life. smile I also lost 15 lbs, and I was pretty damn tired those days (actually, pretty much ALL the days!)

So, experiment. I still like to go on a trip with things I like, but add one or two things in as extras, but not staples. Over ten hikes, you really get a feel for what works.

BTW, I generally don't take anything that needs heat for any trip of three days or less (outside of winter).

Trader Joes is a treasure trove of possibilities!

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#2451 - 02/23/10 07:31 PM Re: What To Eat? [Re: Ken]
Rod Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 660
Loc: Santa Clarita, Ca. USA
Ken is right. Trader Joes is a treasure of packaged very edible snacks.I have found that continous grazing works best for me.

Another favorite of mine is Trader Joes has a granola with almonds that is to die for. Comes in a square plastic container.Horizon Organic milk comes in an individual serving box that surprizingly doesn't need refridgeration.Makes a great 1st morning breakfast.The granola also makes a great snacking food along the trail.
wbtravis always says never take something to eat that you don't enjoy at home cuz once in the altitude you will most likely hate it.

And yes wbtravis I am a winter wuss.


Edited by Rod (02/23/10 07:32 PM)

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#2458 - 02/23/10 10:41 PM Re: What To Eat? [Re: Rod]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7583
Loc: Fresno, CA
Bee, since your peanut M&Ms work, stick with them.

For myself, I can't handle the peanuts, but a little chocolate is good.

I like most granola bars, especially ones with some chocolate.

Trader Joe's dry-roasted and salted almonds -- LOVE em! Trader Joe's jumbo raisins (NOT regular raisins!) with pecans. Dates and pecans! Dried figs and pecans.

For breakfast, I have my own granola recipe that I make in a 5-gallon bucket. For backpacking, I add a little extra brown sugar, powdered milk and some coffee creamer. Just add warm water... it's good!

For dinners, I buy packages of Mtn House dinners for four, divide them into three parts, and that makes a dinner for me.

The friend I hiked with last summer is vegetarian. He bought veggie-hot dogs (canned, I think) and sliced and dehydrated them. They were crunchy--like dog food, but were quite tasty on the trail.

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#2460 - 02/24/10 04:55 AM Re: What To Eat? [Re: Bee]
+ @ti2d Offline


Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 830
Loc: Oh Cursed, USA
The following preferences for us are "organic":
String cheese wrapped in a flour tortilla (hey you can put salmon in it, too!)
Fresh blueberries (I like to put some in my water bottle)
Cranberry juice

The following are not organic but hey why the heck not!:
Payday or Bit-O-Honey bar (the BOH I kid you not works wonders!)
Seaweed-wrapped rice crackers (Asian persuasion me)
Cheese pizza slices (pepperoni...maybe...depends on # of WAG bags you want to use)
Clif shot blocks with caffeine (what a buzz at 14k!)

Disclaimer: What tastes good at lower elevations tends to taste "differently" at higher altitudes. I don't eat much on hikes. Drives my wife nuts cuz she has to EAT SOMETHING!

Afterwards:
A Portal Pancake the next day after the big un, or
A double order of Portal Fries IMMEDIATELY following the hike provided we are finished before the store closes!

Another thing to note:
Many of the store clerks are outdoor enthuisasts, too. Next time you visit a Trader Joe's or Whole Foods ask for an "outdoorsy person" and ask them what they eat. You would be surprised.

I better stop...my stomach is grumbling...Ah, seaweed wrapped rice crackers coated with a "soy sauce" derivative. YUMMAY! grin

Have fun.
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#2464 - 02/24/10 07:40 AM Re: What To Eat? [Re: Rod]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1251
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
Originally Posted By: Rod
Ken is right. Trader Joe's is a treasure of packaged very edible snacks.I have found that continuous grazing works best for me.

Another favorite of mine is Trader Joe's has a granola with almonds that is to die for. Comes in a square plastic container.Horizon Organic milk comes in an individual serving box that surprisingly doesn't need refrigeration.Makes a great 1st morning breakfast.The granola also makes a great snacking food along the trail.
wbtravis always says never take something to eat that you don't enjoy at home cuz once in the altitude you will most likely hate it.

And yes wbtravis I am a winter wuss.


Yeppers, if it doesn't taste good at sea level it will not taste good a 11,000'+. You can take that one to the bank.

Another trick I learned when I used the very expense freeze dried REI meals was to boil water throw the FD meal into the pot then put the pot into an Anti-Gravity Gear Pot Caddy. The food wet out...no mo' crunchy chicken, and was a lot hotter. It improved the high altitude dining experience by a bunch. Of course, having a bottle of red wine for the lasagna helped, too...and Kahlua for coffee and Jack for whenever. My pack is light weight, not ultralight for a reason...this ain't no stinking death march.

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#2469 - 02/24/10 09:31 AM Re: What To Eat? [Re: wbtravis]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7583
Loc: Fresno, CA
wbtravis wrote:
> then put the pot into an Anti-Gravity Gear Pot Caddy

Had to look that one up. You must mean this:  AntiGravityGear Cozy for the Trail Designs Caldera Caddy Container


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#2471 - 02/24/10 10:21 AM Re: What To Eat? [Re: Steve C]
SanDi_carole Offline


Registered: 11/12/09
Posts: 32
Loc: San Diego

clifblok shots while walking (black cherry w/ caffeine)
corn nuts, hot chex mix or cheetos for salty
any Little Debbie(individually wrapped) for sweet
snickers for summit.

overnighters or times when stoves are available;
Almost anything from Hawkvittles.com
(not fond of the seafood stuff, but B loves it) I swear by this guys food. Note: Swear by - not at. (Tell him Carole sent ya. )
hot chocolate or jasmine green tea

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#2475 - 02/24/10 01:09 PM Re: What To Eat? [Re: Bee]
RoguePhotonic Offline


Registered: 12/08/09
Posts: 558
Loc: Bakersfield CA
Most probably know this already but in case you don't and you actually eat those freeze dried meals as far as I know all of their instructions are set for 5000 feet and the cooking times double for every 5000 feet, it helps to explain why I always had under done food by following the typical 15 minute cook time, i'm not sure most brands even note this fact, I checked on mountain house and they don't.

That Hawkvittles.com looks like it has some good stuff, a bit pricey but if it's actually good then I guess you get what you pay for.


Edited by RoguePhotonic (02/24/10 01:12 PM)
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#2482 - 02/24/10 03:23 PM Re: What To Eat? [Re: Bee]
Bob West Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 828
Loc: Bishop, CA, USA
A couple of well-known Bishop area climbers had nothing to eat on the approach to LBL but a loaf of white bread and a jar of mayo. They reported very high energy levels... Complex carbo loading and a dose of fat...

Hey, eat whatever you like. There is more to food than energy.

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