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Backcountry Nutrition

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Casey Wirth

on 6 April 2014

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Transcript of Backcountry Nutrition

Nutrition - The Basics
Learning Objectives
- simple sugars (candy, fruit, nuts, flour, etc), complex sugars (potatoes, pasta, whole grains), dietary fiber
Nutritional Components
Recognize the basic components of nutrition and understand the nutritional requirements of participation in backcountry activities.
We want you to...
Special Considerations
The more restrictive the diet, the more difficult it is to get all the necessary nutrients.
Dietary Restrictions
Caloric Needs
The amount of energy needed to fuel basic life functions i.e. heart beating, breathing, hormone production.
Resting Energy Expenditure
Rationing Systems
Bulk rationing is recommended for multiweek expeditions
Ration Planning
NOLS Nutrition Pinnacle
Seasonal Considerations
Additional Way to Estimate Daily Caloric Needs
Backcountry Nutrition
Become familiarized with calculating caloric needs for participation in backcountry activities.
Learn about menu planning vs. bulk rationing systems and know when each system is most effective.
- "building blocks" of muscle, 20 amino acids, 9 are essential, nutritional "N"
- most dense energy source, makes food taste yummy and filling (cheese, nuts, seeds, oil, dairy, etc), takes a long time for the body to break down
- 3-6 liters per day
Vitamins & Minerals
- helps the body absorb, process, and gain energy from carbohydrates, fats, and proteins
The Backcountry Diet
3-6 liters of water per day
Variety of foods
Thermic Energy Expenditure
The amount of energy needed to support the body during periods of physical exertion i.e. hiking, paddling, winter camping
Calculating Caloric Needs
One day of "chilling" with three hours of rock climbing at Horse Pens 40.
Menu planning is recommended for trips that are five days or less
Factors to consider:
Group size
Trip duration
Purpose of trip
Exertion level
Nutritional balance
Cost & availability
Steps to Bulk Rationing
Calculate the amount of food (in pounds) that would be required for a 10 day trip in June to the Grand Canyon with 15 participants.
Combinations for complete proteins
(all 9 essential amino acids).
Step 1: Determine the ppppd
Step 2: Figure out the amount of food needed for the trip.
Total food = # people x # days x ppppd
Step 3: Break the total poundage into food groups
Lists the breakdown of poundage of different foods
Step 4: Calculate the total pounds of each food category needed
Category multiplier x # people x # days
Step 5: Start building the menu
Decide specific types of food based on each category
Use the multiplier listed to calculate the amount of each category needed for the trip
Keep in mind participant preferences and dietary restrictions!
- Lacto-ovo-vegetarian = cheese, milk, eggs

Resting energy expenditure is increased due to the need to keep the body warm
Higher calorie intake with increased fat, sodium, protein, and carbohydrate needs
Water consumption is also vital to metabolism and the ability of your body to stay warm
22 yo male, 180 lbs (82 kg):
((15.3 x 82 kg) + 679)
2694 cal
4,628 calories


(20 Clif Bars)

18 yo female, 130 lbs (59 kg):
((14.7 x 59 kg) + 496)
1946 cal
3,309 calories


(14 Clif Bars)
-No animal products consumed
Step 1: 1.5 ppppd
Step 2: 10 x 15 x 1.5 = 225 pounds of food
Step 3 & 4: Example)
Breakfast = .24 x 10 x 15 = 36 lbs.
What can you do?
- No barley, rye and wheat products
Alternative flours
Dried fruit
Plan ahead and create a balanced menu
Common nutritional concerns
- Protein deficiency
- Various mineral deficiencies
- Carbohydrate excess
It's OK, I'll just have pasta.
Full transcript