Any avid hunter knows how important it is to stay energized during a hunt! Having good food on hand is crucial for an enjoyable hunt, although it can be tricky to strike the right balance between packing the right supplies while also having great meals. We’ve cracked the code and are coming to the rescue with the best meals for backcountry hunting!
Planning your meals
Planning your meals ahead of time is what will make or break your hunting experience. Backcountry hunting involves endurance and maintaining a sustainable level of energy over the course of a few days or a week depending on the length of your hunt.
Since there is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to nutrition and everyone follows a different diet, it can be challenging to figure out what your daily calorie intake should be. With that being said, the standard calories you should aim to consume each day is anywhere around 3,000 calories.
There is the option to take solely freeze-dried meals with you to save weight but that may become too repetitive and talk you out of staying the entire length of your hunt. Having one hot meal a day is an excellent way to ensure you stay sane and are enjoying some of the meals you’re eating. Before you head out, test the food to make sure you like it and that it’s something you won’t mind potentially eating for a few days in a row.
Portioning your food per day in separate containers is highly recommended when you’re planning meals for backcountry hunting, as it will ensure you eat enough each day or stop you from going through your food too quickly! Protein bars are great to have on hand for a small breakfast or snack throughout the day
Example daily meal plan
If you’re not already onto oats, now’s the time to start embracing them! The meal is simple but tastes great for when you’re on the move and will keep your hunger under wraps for hours afterwards.
Simply mix old fashioned or quick oats with dried berries of your choice and top it with Carnation Breakfast Essentials powder mix to get more protein and calories for your buck! Lastly pour boiling water overtop until you achieve your desired consistency. Pair your oats with some instant coffee or hot chocolate and you’ll be ready to get the day started.
By the time your first snack of the day rolls around, you’ll be looking for a pick-me-up. Some of the best snacks you can go for are ones you can quickly pop in your mouth so you don’t miss anything important. Some of which include:
- Dried fruit
- Protein bar
- Protein shake
- Chocolate, pretzels etc
Lunch: Focus on protein
Along with staying properly hydrated comes sustaining enough protein to get you through the day. Backcountry hunting requires a lot of energy so focus on packing a meal that will give you the boost you’re looking for! This could be a meal bar, or you could opt for pouches of tuna, chicken etc.
Your second snack of the day should be similar to the first. Go for a bar or snack you can eat on the go and will be easy to chow down while you’re on the move.
If you’re not too picky about what you’re eating for dinner you could always keep it simple and go with two packs of ramen and call it a night. On the other hand, you could pack a dehydrated homemade meal. This could be a more nutritious and flavourful option (depending on how well you can cook of course ?).
Still stuck on deciding what stoveless meals you should pack? You can find more inspiration here!
Pros & cons of packing stoveless meals
Deciding how you pack your meals for a long hunt is a big decision. You can either plan on cooking meals out in the wild, go for stoveless options or have a mix of the two. Here’s what we have to say:
- It’s a time saver – Not having to waste time setting up a place to cook a meal will only save you precious time!
- More room in your backpack – Why carry more things than necessary when you already have a heavy load?
- Less cleanup – If you’re bringing items to cook with, that means more cleaning to do after you eat and I think we can all agree that that’s no fun.
- Not much variety between meals – Having freeze-dried meals and simple snacks might begin to get boring over time.
Stoveless meals seem to provide the best meals for backcountry hunting as the pros outweigh the cons but it all boils down to personal preference.
Let’s get hunting!
With your meals prepared and ready to go, you’re ready for a spectacular backcountry hunt! If you’re missing out on some gear, you may want to take a look at the best hunting supplies before you head out. Finding an exclusive location for hunting couldn’t be made easier with LandPass – a free app that connects landowners and explorers to provide you with a hunting experience that is nothing short of eventful! Contact us today to learn more!