|Mmmm! Paleo in the backcountry! What could be better?|
Of course what we had always eaten before the Paleo change was, like many backpackers, oatmeal for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch, and rice and beans or pasta for dinner. We decided we didn’t want to compromise our diet for ease during our trips, so we searched the Internet for ideas. A Paleo lifestyle and outdoor excursions seemed like a natural fit. To our surprise, there wasn’t a single good source for pure Paleo backpacking food. So we decided to figure it out on our own.
Our first discovery was the home-cooked dehydrated meal. We borrowed my grandma's old dehydrator from the 1960's, got a dehydrating cookbook, and started experimenting, scouring the book for Paleo-friendly recipes, or recipes we could adapt a little. Each week we’d cook a big pot of something to dehydrate (which would make about 4 meals on the trail) and started building our backpacking pantry.
|Cooking dinner at Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park.|
I told myself that when I got back from the tour I was going to make a Paleo backpacking blog to share what we learned. Over the years, we've had (and continue having) a lot of trips to experiment with different foods. We've amassed many tried-and-true recipes and tips to make Paleo backcountry cuisine easier and more accessible, and we're always refining our technique. I love to hear new ideas, as well, so if you have any backpacking favorites, post them in the comments! I hope you enjoy the food and the energy it brings you!
|Relaxing by the fire with some Paleo snacks and some cards. |
My favorite foods are lamb heart and radicchio (for reals), with dark chocolate at a very close third. I am caffeine-sensitive which means after even a single cup of coffee I feel like my body is going to explode. Herbs that I feel a close affinity to are sage, ginger, red clover blossom, and nettle. I get really excited when I find a good patch of thimbleberries in the woods.
Max eats butter by the spoonful. He feels a strong bond to his Nordic pastoral ancestors and eats lots of dairy products to show that. He doesn't like chocolate in his trail mix (fights have been had) because it melts (OK...fine, I get it). When I first met him on a backpacking trip, he had a tub of Kozy Shack tapioca pudding for breakfast and split an entire pie with one of the other trip leaders (pie is a favorite food).
There are some recipes or products posted here that are not 100% paleo (they might have some sugar, or something like rice starch in them). This is for convenience on the trail as we have recognized that it is difficult (not impossible, just difficult) to be 100% paleo while backpacking, especially when trying to plan a trip quickly.
Max and I do eat raw dairy and pasture butter, so there are some recipes that call for that. However, you can easily substitute coconut oil, olive oil, or ghee (still technically dairy, but since it’s clarified, it is OK for non-dairy eaters) for the butter, and just leave out the cheese.