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Zack Karas
(iwillchopyou@hotmail.com) - MLife

Locale: Lake Tahoe
Most calorically dense food with no dry heaving on 04/20/2009 15:04:27 MDT Print View

What's the most calorically dense and well rounded meal, barring trail mix and bars, that you can think of?

Edited by iwillchopyou@hotmail.com on 04/20/2009 15:05:22 MDT.

cary bertoncini
(cbert) - F

Locale: N. California
can make a pasta with thick pesto sauce on 04/20/2009 15:07:06 MDT Print View

that would be pretty rich ...

pesto sauce: olive oil, parmesan cheese, pine nuts, basil

Kathleen B
(rosierabbit) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
a stick of butter on 04/20/2009 16:16:36 MDT Print View

Food energy comes from fat, carbohydrates, and protein. Fat provides 9 calories per gram, and carbohydrates and protein provide 4 calories per gram. Pure fat gives you the "densest" calories. So basically, just fatten up your carbohydrates and protein with whatever form of fat you like.

Matt Lutz
(citystuckhiker) - F

Locale: Midwest
Re: a stick of butter on 04/20/2009 16:40:44 MDT Print View

Lard > butter.

Kathleen B
(rosierabbit) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Pure lard v pure butter on 04/20/2009 16:51:48 MDT Print View

Matt is right. A quick google search showed 1 Cup of lard has 1,849 calories, and 1 Cup of butter has 1,628 calories, probably because of the added water. The concept holds, however, that the more fat in your food per weight, the more calories. Popular fat additives for backpacking are cheese, nuts, and packets of olive oil.

About the pesto sauce above - check Sarah's freezerbagcooking website to see one of her latest recipe posts for backpacking pesto sauce.

Nia Schmald
(nschmald) - MLife
Re: Most calorically dense food with no dry heaving on 04/20/2009 16:55:41 MDT Print View

As others have said you want a good mix of protein, carbs, and fats. Get the highest fat content and the lowest water content for the most calorie dense foods. I shoot for a 40/40/20 ration of fats, carbs and protein respectively.

My foods are

Carbs
----
dried fruit
nuts
instant rice
couscous
pancakes/biscuits made on the trail

Protein
----
Nuts/peanut butter
cheese
salami
jerky

Fats
----
olive oil
ghee or clarified butter
cheese
salami
nuts

Any of these foods can be eaten on their own and taste pretty good (even the oil and ghee). For meals I combine a grain or pasta with some nuts, dried fruit, and salami with a spice mix (I like garam masala or italian seasoning + garlic and onion powder) and maybe some sun dried tomatoes or dried mushrooms. Add in some extra fat and I have a pretty tasty well balanced, calorie dense meal.

Zack Karas
(iwillchopyou@hotmail.com) - MLife

Locale: Lake Tahoe
calorie dense meal on 04/20/2009 18:20:34 MDT Print View

Thanks for the replies. I'm looking for the most calorically dense, well rounded meal so I'm guessing eating just lard is out.

I've always added olive oil to my meals when hiking to boost the fat calories and flavor of the dish. One of my favorite backcountry meals is mac n cheese, chorizo and olive oil, though the chorizo is heavier than I would like.

I'm trying to find good meals that can beat Big Sur Bars for taste, calories and weight. On short hikes, food is more function over form, but longer hikes are a balance of the two--especially when the hyper sensitive gag reflex has kicked in.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: calorie dense meal on 04/20/2009 20:11:28 MDT Print View

I'll go out on a limb here - the best for calories/fat are not always food you can eat long term in large amounts. Carbs have their place even if they are not as big in calories. They often take up more space as well.

Still, I'd rather cut weight in my gear than in the food I take. Food will get lighter over time, the gear won't ;-)

Joe Kuster
(slacklinejoe) - MLife

Locale: Flatirons
Most calorically dense food with no dry heaving on 04/20/2009 22:06:41 MDT Print View

I don't know the exact weight / calorie ratio, but Mike's Super Spackel recipie in the Bio-Groovy article has got to be up there. Tastey too, you can actually eat a decent amount of daily calories that way.

I can't stomach the concept but I've heard dog racers up north use sticks of butter rolled in brown sugar.....

Sarah Welton
(CampGirl) - F
Calorie Packed Menu on 04/22/2009 07:15:13 MDT Print View

One of the Packit Gourmet set menus focuses on calories:

http://www.packitgourmet.com/Calorie-Packed-2-People-p344.html

Check out the dessert (molten chocolate lava cakes). 1160 calories per two muffin cup sized servings!

Gregg Carsen
(chopper) - F
Calorie high meals? on 05/07/2009 18:16:17 MDT Print View

I have the same problems! But it looks to me that if you try to mix in various nuts this helps. Also some people like taling bagels along for the first few days.
But here is a link to way to much info for me but maybe you will find it helpful!
http://thru-hiker.com/articles/trail_foods.php
http://thru-hiker.com/articles/pack_light_eat_right.php

Robert Blean
(blean) - MLife

Locale: San Jose -- too far from Sierras
Re: Most calorically dense food with no dry heaving on 05/07/2009 21:18:21 MDT Print View

"I can't stomach the concept but I've heard dog racers up north use sticks of butter rolled in brown sugar....."

Also do not forget traditional pemmican -- the real thing is very high in fat (as opposed to some stuff that is sold as pemmican, but is mainly carbs).

As to butter up North -- in my experience, I can tolerate a *lot* more fat in really cold weather than I can in the summer. When cooking supper for four at -10* - -20*F it is no big deal to drop a stick of margarine into the dinner pot -- something I would not seriously consider doing in the summer.

--MV

Edited by blean on 05/07/2009 21:19:40 MDT.

josh wagner
(StainlessSteel) - F
spam on 05/14/2009 23:44:15 MDT Print View

they sell it in singles. 3oz for 250 calories, 200 calories from fat. it's already cooked so can be eaten a variety of ways. mmmm

Erich Langner
(Elrich) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
spam on 05/15/2009 01:48:14 MDT Print View

could be fun, but isn't hard to store? i can already imagine a disgusting greasy spam mess. also that doesnt seem very efficient, due to the high water content of spam. i like to bring parmesan cheese and summer sausage for fat. i sometimes bring sesame oil, can make an otherwise boring meal very tasty. a nice all purpose food to bring along is pea soup mix. its light, high in protein decent amount of carbs and fat. pea soup, dry refried beans and quinoa seems to me to be the most well rounded and light staples to bring.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: spam on 05/15/2009 06:54:39 MDT Print View

There are many trail foods that are over 100 calories/ounce versus the 84 calories/ounce for SPAM.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: spam on 05/15/2009 08:07:10 MDT Print View

The Spam Singles are actually good if used right. Is Spam gourmet? No, but it is awesome in lo mein, fried rice, etc. It is very fatty and high in protein. For meat cravers it work well and the Singles pack well.

Sure, legumes and grains are better, but lets face it....not everyone is into them. For every person who swears by say lentils there will 10 guys who want 'man food'.

M G
(drown) - F - MLife

Locale: Shenandoah
Re: Re: spam on 05/15/2009 08:09:07 MDT Print View

"There are many trail foods that are over 100 calories/ounce versus the 84 calories/ounce for SPAM"


Such as?

te - wa
(mikeinfhaz) - F

Locale: Phoenix
spam! on 05/15/2009 08:52:56 MDT Print View

ramen: 3oz, 300 calories.
wont clog arteries.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: spam! on 05/15/2009 11:00:02 MDT Print View

Pffftttt....you just need to combine the ramen and the Spam for Spam-tastic Lo Mein. Just saying......

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Re: spam! on 05/15/2009 11:44:07 MDT Print View

Canned meat. Disgusting.


Crushed potato chips are pretty good calories/weight.