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Food & Nutrition

What do I eat to sustain me for 6 months in the wilds of Alaska and Yukon?

Sample Daily Menu

Specific Food Items

Breakfast

My standard breakfast consists of two bars — a “meal replacement bar” plus a conventional granola bar. I eat these while I pack up camp, which takes 10-20 minutes depending on how much stuff I have with me (e.g. 3-season backpacking: 10 minutes; backpacking + packraft: 15 minutes; winter conditions: 20 minutes).

Meal replacement bars:

  • PROBAR — Art’s Original or Sweet & Savory
  • Bear Valley — Mealpack or Pemmican

Granola bars:

  • Sunbelt Chocolate Chip Fudge-Dipped or Coconut Fudge-Dipped
  • Nature Valley Sweet & Salty Nut
  • Nature Valley Chewy Trail Mix Fruit & Nut
  • Nature Valley Crunchy

Snacks

I eat snacks throughout the day, about every 2 or 2.5 hours depending on my hiking intensity and for how long (measured in months) I have been on the trip — the greater the intensity or the longer the trip, the more I have to eat. I try to have a variety of snacks to chose from, but my success is limited by factors like caloric density and shelf life. The reality is that hunger is the best seasoning, and since I’m always hungry nearly every snack tastes great.

Salty snacks:

  • Sesame sticks
  • Crushed potato chips
  • Pringles
  • Peanut butter-filled Pretzels
  • Fritos

Protein-rich or meat:

  • Pepperoni
  • Beef jerky
  • Premier Protein bar
  • Snickers Marathon Protein bar
  • MET-Rx Big 100 bar

Cookies:

  • Grandma’s Big Cookies
  • Keebler Chips Deluxe Rainbow Cookies
  • Chocolate-covered peanut butter crackers

Trail Mix:

  • Back to Nature – Bar Harbor Blend
  • Bulk
  • Homemade, including salted soybeans, pumpkin seeds, wasabi peas, corn nuts, Reese’s Pieces
  • M&M’s Peanut or PB, Ocean Spray Craisins, cashews, Emerald Cocoa Roast Almonds, chocolate-covered raisins, and chocolate-covered ginger

Smears:

  • Peanut butter
  • Almond butter
  • Nutella

Candy bars:

  • Nutrageous
  • Twix Caramel
  • Snickers
  • Baby Ruth
  • KitKat
  • Milky Way

Deserts

I use Desert as seventh snack if I’m putting in a long day or I eat it immediately upon arriving at camp in order to hold me over until dinner. Usually I am worn out and low on calories/energy when I arrive in camp, and the chocolate-induced sugar rush of these snacks is wonderful.

  • M&M’s – Peanut
  • Hershey Nuggets
  • Hershey Miniature
  • Reese’s Pieces
  • Sun-Maid Choc Covered Raisins

Dinners

The staples of my dinners are carbohydrates, e.g. potatoes, rice, beans, and pasta. To add flavor, add calories, and increase caloric density I make sure to add some fat to the meal, like butter (in the winter), coconut oil (a solid at room temperature), and olive oil (messy and prefer to avoid).

Here are some ideas:

  • Beans and Rice, using instant beans from the Santa Fe Bean Co and Minute Rice; add butter
  • Spiced couscous with oil
  • Dry ravioli or tortellini with tomato powder, Spicy Spaghetti seasoning, and Kraft Parmesan cheese
  • Potato Soup with dried vegetables
  • Freeze-dried meals from Mountain House
  • Top Ramen