Balancing energy/nutrition when on a Quick weekend hunting trip


Jun 21, 2012
Nor Cal
I find that when I bomb up to a hunting spot for a quick scout or hunting trip that my eating definitely changes. I find that I am "tired" when I sit down to try to glass. I suspect my blood sugar is low, and the Increase in Elevation are the main culprits. Of course a 6-8 hour drive to the trailhead contributes as well

My question is what foods are gonna combat that tired feeling? I'm reluctant to resort to the gels I use on long trail runs because of the sugar crash and insulin dump 45 minutes later. I'm hesitant to do the 5 hour energy drinks because I worry I am gonna get jittery and get the "caffeine scours".

My gut feeling is I need to eat real food more often during the day. What should those real foods be? Starch, Fiber, protein, fat?

What keeps you alert without keeping you awake at night?
Feb 25, 2012
Brighton Colorado
I have been using the Honey stinger gels and waffles this year. They give you the lift without the crash. All its sugar is derived from honey not corn syrup. I urge you to try this line and see if it works for you.
May 29, 2012
Lewiston ID
Packets of Honey... the best if not one of the best natural forms of sugar with no crash there is.
Although its no substitute for an actual meal, I notice the honey does a significant job of giving me a quick boost of energy and helps to keep me alert.

Would like to hear other opinions on your question though for sure.

Feb 26, 2012
Annapolis, MD
The Honey Stinger waffles are a good solution to your problem because they address the two things that you need to do, which are to 1) get slow digesting carbs (like the waffle part) into your body that will last throughout the day and 2) get some quick digesting/metabolizing carbs (like the honey) to give you the quick energy you need to cover being tired when you set down to glass. But they are not the only way to address the problem.

Let's look at the scenario you just gave us. Even at rest your body is still consuming calories and needs to be fed every few hours, even if you are just sitting behind the steering wheel of your hunting rig. It sounds like you probably drove straight through for 6-8 hours (two meals worth of time) and probably didn't eat much of anything or anything that your body really needed. Then you walked to your glassing location and probably just ate trail bars of some sort and water.

To give your body what it needs start out your day with a mix of slow burning carbs (oatmeal, granola, cold cereal, pancakes, Eggo waffles, etc.) and faster burning carbs that release their energy faster (unrefined sugars in the form of fresh fruit, dried fruit, honey, etc.). The slow burning carbs will give you energy throughout the day and the faster burning ones will fill your immediate needs. You can continue this pattern throughout the day to keep your fuel tank topped off. Also, mix in protein and fats throughout the day as you need those as well.

A pattern that works for me is:

~ Breakfast of oatmeal, milk or yogurt, and blueberries to start the day off.
~ Morning snack of fruit or grains or a mix (trail mix of raisins, peanuts, and unsweetened cereal is a favorite, maybe with some chocolate)
~ Lunch of some kind of carbs, protein, and non-starchy veggies (V-8 juice, pickles, green beans, broccolli, cauliflower, dehydrated or freeze dried veggies from MH, etc.), and some fat; this could be a tuna salad sandwich with a couple of pickle spears.
~ Afternoon snack similar to what I did in the morning.
~ Evening meal of the same mix as for lunch of carbs, protein, veggies, and fats.
~ Evening snack like the other snacks, but I like to include some kind of dairy then like cheese or more milk or yogurt.

This keeps me fueled and my metabolism up throughout the day and if I get hungry some more trail mix solves that problem since it is a mix of all the things my body needs (carbs, protein, fruit, fat, etc.).

Hope this helps. Just keep topping off your "fuel tank" and you should be fine throughout the day. I think you are winding up tired when you stop because you are "bombing" up to where you want to get and forget to keep eating.

Jun 10, 2012
John, when you come up next month i'll tell you more about fat and calorie loading prior to short backcountry hunts. Been doing this the past two years and you'd be amazed at how little food i need to take in with me for a 2-3 day hunt...........passthru can attest to this.
Feb 24, 2012
Rochester Hills, MI
Just load up the day before on some big meals and you won't be hungry! Even my big ass did that the first day and I didn't even touch my food, that was after a 7 mile hike and 2400 feet of elevation gain. And all my buddies know I LOVE to eat. It's funny watching me try to force myself to eat when on the mountain.