First, thanks to all that have dropped me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please keep the comments and questions coming. One of the best questions I’ve received as of late: What are the best day-to-day food and drink items to put in your pack when elk hunting?
Because there are so many different styles of elk hunting (staying in a hotel/cabin, a lodge with an outfitter, tent or RV, sleeping in the bed of your truck, bivy hunting, etc.) answers vary greatly. For instance, if you have a regular base camp and return to that base camp during the middle part of the day for a hot lunch, some jerky and crackers in your pack will suffice. If you’re on an outfitted hunt and are returning to the lodge after the morning action, a granola bar or two will often curb your hunger. For this blog, however, I’m going to gear my answer toward those who leave camp at dawn, wherever that camp may be, and don’t return to it until stars twinkle in the western sky.
Trekking through the mountains takes a lot of energy and you will be burning a ton of calories. If you don’t eat and hydrate properly, not only will fatigue set in, but your decision-making process will suffer as well. As bowhunters we tend to make the worst decisions when we are tired and rundown. You will need to snack regularly throughout the day to replenish spent calories. This is especially true if you’re planning an extended hunt. The key to longevity and feeling (nearly) as good on day six as you did on day two is proper nutrition/hydration.
What you put in your pack each day is up to you, but you want to go as light as possible while staying somewhat heavy on the calories. Below is the snack/lunch items I put in my pack every day. (I do this days before my hunt starts and have a gallon Ziploc bag ready for each day.) Total weight of my Ziploc bags is 1.1 pounds.
Health Warrior Superfood Protein Bar 200 Calories www.healthwarrior.com
3 GU Energy Gels 300 Calories www.guendurance.com
Bobo’s Oat Bars 180 Calories
Honey Stinger Caramel Waffle 150 Calories www.honeystinger.com
Luna Whole Nutrition Bar 200 Calories www.clifbar.com/hubs/luna
StarKist Thai Style Tuna 150 Calories www.starkist.com
2 Riesen Chocolates 80 Calories www.riesen.com
Bag of Homemade Trail Mix 200 Calories
Total Calories 1,460 Calories
When it comes to hydration, I place a 3-liter Badlands (www.badlandspacks.com) Hydration Bladder full of water in my pack and carry an Eartheasy (www.eartheasy.com) water bottle in my side pouch. The Eartheasy bottle is for quick filtering, and when I start out from camp in the morning I remove the filter and mix some sort of electrolyte sports drink (whatever is on sale) in the bottle.