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Climbing Fuel

June 25, 2012

Meals in bags, climbing style! Photo by Karen Kilian.

Physical effort takes fuel.  Not unlike a car, if you’re going to go somewhere, you need the gasoline to get there.

Deciding what type of food to bring on a climb can be quite a task. It seems easy, but you need to bring food that is:

  • Nutritious
  • Delicious
  • Lightweight (ounces = pounds and pounds = pain)
  • Small

As for composition, check out this article that discusses different types of fuel needs. The author is a fellow work-out friend of mine.

It is important to take time before your climb and try out different types of trail food. You don’t want to be on the mountain eating something that you do not enjoy tasting.  I went to the store and bought a bunch of different types of quick snack foods in order to try them out. I’ve never been a fan of the gel food, however, I found that they have changed over the years. I found some I liked in my sampling.

There are also many different types of snack bars on the market. Trail mix is another great choice. Trader Joe’s has a product called “handful of nuts” which is a handy little packet of different types of nuts and small bits of fruit.

The most important aspect of snack time on summit day is that you need to be efficient at:

  • Getting your pack off
  • Slipping into your summit jacket
  • Finding your food
  • Eating your food

This is much more taxing than it sounds.  It’s dark, chilly, maybe windy, and you could spend the whole 10 minutes searching for your food if you aren’t organized. Been there, done that. Tailor your summit day food so it is contained in easy to open packets (for example, some string cheeses can be frustrating to tear open), are easy to eat, and food that you look forward to munching. You can put your snack food into plastic baggies ahead of time.

Find your favorites now, not on the mountain.

If you like it, you will eat it, and then you will have the fuel needed to get to that summit!

One Comment leave one →
  1. chic_hiker permalink
    June 26, 2012 7:36 am

    Excellent advice, Karen! Thanks for this great post.

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