Food & Nutrition

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Tutorial || How to store & protect food from bears & mini-bears

By Andrew Skurka / December 20, 2018 / 36 Comments

You’ve set up camp for the night and cooked dinner. Now what should be done with the Snickers, salami, peanut noodle dinners, and the other calories that will sustain you for the remainder of your backpacking trip? Protect from what? Most backpackers seem to protect their food overnight because they’re worried about bears. In places…

Not bear- or idiot-proof: Documented canister failures

By Andrew Skurka / April 7, 2018 / 42 Comments

At least most of the time, hard-sided canisters like the BearVault BV500 successfully protect food from bears and “mini-bears” in the backcountry. But it turns out that they’re not 100 percent bear- or idiot-proof. Recently, I received a spreadsheet that documented 199 food-related bear incidents with backpackers in Yosemite National Park between July 2012 and…

Buyers guide: Bear canisters || Comparison of volume per weight & cost

By Andrew Skurka / March 29, 2018 / 92 Comments

During the day, properly protecting food is as simple as not leaving it (or a backpack full of it) unattended. The conversation about overnight food protection is longer and more nuanced. Multiple techniques can be used; regulations vary by location; and misinformation and poor practices are abundant. In this post I will focus on one specific food…

Coffee-flavored Fritos: Tips to prevent food smell contamination

By Andrew Skurka / November 11, 2016 / 11 Comments

“Would you like some?” Steve asked, holding out a loaf of yummy homemade cookie dough. My belly was already full from dinner, but I broke off a piece anyway, knowing that ahead was a long November night in the sleeping bag. After taking a few chews, I remarked, “It would be better without the taco seasoning…

Food list for a backpack hunt: Amounts, recipes, & planning tips

By Andrew Skurka / November 2, 2016 / 13 Comments

Colorado’s third rifle season for elk and deer starts on Saturday morning, and so over the next few days I’ll be finishing my preparations for our backpack hunt. Tonight, the task at hand was food. I thought I would share some tips and a list of what I’m packing. How much? We are inclined to pack…

Interview with Ursack CEO: Yosemite food regs, lobbying, & new products

By Andrew Skurka / September 20, 2016 / 59 Comments

Among bear-resistant food containers certified by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee (IGBC), the Ursack S29.3 AllWhite is easily my favorite. It weighs just 8 oz, or 80 percent less than my BearVault BV500, which has the same volume. It’s also $10 less. And, Unlike plastic or carbon fiber canisters, it’s soft-sided and collapsible, and as comfortable to…

Breakfast Recipe: Cereal + protein powder, hot or cold

By Andrew Skurka / August 14, 2016 / 18 Comments

If your morning goal is to get moving as efficiently as possible, the most logical breakfast meal is an individually wrapped bar (or several): granola bars, energy bars, protein bars, breakfast bars, etc. They require no prep and can be eaten on-the-go. The downside? They are not very satisfying, and they probably constitute the bulk…

Notes for next time: Gear, logistics, & snow travel || Glacier Divide Route

By Andrew Skurka / July 31, 2016 / 10 Comments

For my next trip on the Glacier Divide Route, what should I remember from this past one? Logistics The drive to Glacier National Park from Colorado is intimidating — about 15 hours, depending on the final destination. But it wasn’t terrible, and it’s eye-opening to know that I can reach Glacier in 1.5 days even if I’m…

Freezer bag cooking: No, thank you

By Andrew Skurka / March 27, 2016 / 80 Comments

A reader, John P, recently asked if my breakfast and dinner recipes are suitable for “freezer bag cooking”: In preparing for my first ever thru-hike…I’m trying to figure out my menu…and came across your recipes. Is it possible to cook them using the freezer-bag method instead of cooking them in a pot? Can I pre-mix…

Snack Recipe: Raw cookie dough

By Andrew Skurka / March 21, 2016 / 18 Comments

As a thank you for helping her land a new job last year, an acquaintance dropped off a small but game-changing gift: a mason jar of raw cookie dough. It disappeared remarkably fast — it worked as a pre-morning run snack, a dessert after lunch or dinner, and all points before, after, and in between.…