|Mmmm! Paleo in the backcountry! What could be better?|
Back in 2010, my partner and I started the Paleo diet and we really enjoy the health and energy it has brought us. Cooking delicious Paleo food is easy when we have our home kitchen at our disposal, but we are the adventurous type. In an average year, we go backpacking, hiking, biking, rock climbing, snowshoeing, and more.
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.|
I'm just going to say right now that I do not advocate all of these recipes for normal daily-life consumption; they make great backpacking food, and should be saved for those times when fresh food is not an option. A lot of paleo foods that are practical to take on adventures consist of some combination of nuts and/or dried fruits. Just take a look at the snack section and you'll find a ton of nut and dried fruit recipes. These are very powerful, nutrient-dense foods and as such, can be beneficial in small quantities but should not be over eaten.
Also, 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). Again, this is for convenience on the trail and should be replaced with fresh food when eating at home.
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.