I’ve had a lot of questions over the years about what we eat when we are mountain hunting. When it comes to mountain hunting, I have one priority: coming out of the hills with the best ram or billy I can. All my decisions are made with that goal in mind. I am not out there to relax or have Smores over the campfire. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good Smore and a little Forty Creek around a campfire now and again as much as the next guy, but these are bonuses and saved for after a successful hunt (the Forty Creek) or with the family (the smores). Much of what to eat on a hunt depends on personal preference, but for our team, eating is all about keeping the machine fueled to be ready for whatever is coming at us next and keeping the packs as light as possible. We rarely stop for food breaks specifically but rather fuel on the go. Typically, we refuel and hydrate while glassing, as refuelling then won’t take away from the hunt. We are not out for a picnic when we are hunting but rather work under a well-thought-out plan that usually doesn’t include the pleasantries of other hunting styles.
Breakfast and dinners are usually the same – oatmeal/granola/coffee to start the day and some high-calorie freeze-dried meal to get some of the calories we’ve burned replenished after a long day. During the day, it is an ongoing feast of lightweight, portable snacks, electrolyte replacement and occasionally a protein powder or meal replacement powder. I aim for about 1500 cal of snacks per day. We usually pack some sandwiches for the first day or two, followed by a buffet of your typical trail mix, jerky, and bars. In all honesty, our team has consumed a lot of Snickers bars and Cheetos over the years, but we’ve replaced much of that with some healthier pre-packaged bar options (Pro-bar, Picky bars are favourites) and snacks we make at home that fuel us much better. I have noticed that the more processed junk I eat while hunting, the harder it is to get off the sugar when the season is over! The more sugar we eat – the more sugar we crave.
When picking snack foods, there are a few critical criteria:
- the items must travel well and not fall apart in your pack.
- they should be edible at the temperatures you will be hunting at
- they should provide a variety of flavours
- give you the energy you need to keep going.
I’ve included three of our team’s favourite snack recipes. These are high carb, high fat snack bombs that will get you up that next mountain – because you never know whether that book ram is waiting for you on the other side!
No-Bake, Chewy Peanut Butter Granola Bars
*Makes 8 bars
- ½ cup peanut butter
- 1 ½ tbsp coconut oil
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ⅓ cup flaxseed
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- ½ cup Stoked Oats, Run of the Mill
- Quick Oats or regular rolled oats
- ⅓ cup chopped nuts of choice
- ¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 2–3 tbsp of chopped nuts of choice, chocolate chips, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds etc.
- ½ teaspoon coconut oil
- Add peanut butter, coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla and cinnamon into a medium saucepan and place over low heat. Stir frequently until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
- Remove from heat and immediately stir in flaxseed, chia and oats. Fold in chopped nuts and shredded coconut and stir until combined.
- Line a 9×5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper and pour granola bar mixture in. Spread mixture out evenly and press down in the pan very firmly. Press remaining toppings on top.
- Place bars in the freezer for 15 minutes or until the mixture has hardened. Remove bars from pan and cut into 8 bars. Bars will last up to 1 week in the fridge.
Monster Energy Balls
- ½ cup nut butter of choice
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- ½ cup Stoked Oats, Run of the Mill Quick Oats or regular rolled oats
- ¼ cup flaxseed meal
- ¼ cup finely shredded coconut
- Splash vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup M&Ms or Smarties
- Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and stir well.
- Roll into balls – you may need to dampen your hands, as these can be sticky! Store in an airtight container for several days, or freeze for up to one month.
Power Hunter Muffins
*Makes 12 muffins
- 2 cups almond flour
- 1.5 cups Stoked Oats, Run of the Mill Quick Oats or regular rolled oats
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking soda
- Pinch sea salt
- ½ cup dried fruit, chocolate chips, nuts, seeds of choice
- 3 eggs or 3 flax eggs
- 2 cups grated apple, carrots, zucchini, beets (your combo choice)
- ⅓ cup melted butter or coconut oil
- ½ cup maple syrup
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper muffin cups
- In a large bowl combine almond flour, oats, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, dried fruit etc of choice
- In another bowl whisk together the eggs (or flax eggs), melted butter/coconut oil, maple syrup, grated apple/carrot/zucchini/beet mixture
- Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until just combined
- Scoop into muffin tins and bake for 25–30 minutes
- *1 flax eggs = 1 TBSP ground flax + 3 TBSP warm water and let sit for 5 minutes.
- *Regular whole wheat flour or spelt flour can be used but requires a little more butter or coconut oil and reduce the oats slightly. Highly recommend trying the almond flour though – super moist and flavourful!
- *Adapted from Run Fast, Cook Fast, Eat Slow
A good opportunity to snack.