Portaging is one example of the kind of calorie burning work the backcountry demands.

Portaging is one example of the kind of calorie burning work the backcountry demands.

Eat hearty to survive in the backcountry

Stats Canada says that 57 per cent of the population is overweight. Twenty-five per cent of them are considered obese, an increase of 50 per cent since the 1970’s. Well, when you consider the aging population, a more lethargic lifestyle, and lets not forget the computer generation who sit in front of a computer 24/7 playing games. They no longer know how to communicate with their bodies. Not only does government tell you how to walk, talk, now there are those making miniature fortunes telling you how to eat.

It’s no longer about a life of quality, but a life of quantity, live longer and be happy. Statisticians should get a life. Don’t drink, don’t eat fatty foods and you’ll live a whole two more years according to the gurus of healthy living. Great. Don’t enjoy that big juicy slice of chocolate cake now, so you’ll get to drool for two more years while watching Wheel of Fortune when you’re 95. No thanks. Live and experience life and if that means you die at 75 rather than 77, so be it.

There’s one place those anal-probing statisticians don’t belong as well as those so called dietician experts, and baby that’s in the backcountry. Low carbohydrate diets are similar to when they came out with all those light products, no sugar and low in fats, I can remember the first time peanut butter came out on the shelves with the low fat variety, give your head a shake.

Tired of hearing about all those diets, just head over to the local food market and stock up on carbohydrates and calories, and head on out.

In the backcountry your body has greater energy demands. Double your normal caloric intake. You will burn them off in no time. During hot spells while hiking or performing heavy exercise you will feel less hungry. It’s important to force yourself to eat. It’s important to get the calories your body requires to perform.

During your activity eat small amounts frequently, snacking when taking breaks. High energy foods such as carbohydrates are digested and absorbed the quickest. Examples of this high energy food include trail mix, dried fruit, fresh fruit and granola bars to name a few.

There are several convenient meal selections for dinner. Magic Pantry is one choice. You only have to add to boiling water. It’s not as light as dehydrated or freeze dried meals but it’s not as expensive either and has the same benefit.

Bedtime snacks are my favourite, the fattier the better, you achieve more energy per pound eating fats, and they’ll give you warmth through the night. Nuts, peanut butter, chocolate or honey are good choices. For those with beards make sure that honey or chocolate is cleaned off afterwards or you may find some nocturnal character attempting to feed off your beard stealing your desert before you can lick it off in the morning. Something to do with scents. Even the wildlife know a good meal when they see one. Forget about bears. Believe it or not, deer mice will infiltrate your beard by the tens in an attempt for a good lick at peanut butter and cracker crumbs. Now if you’re worrying about the hantra virus, populations of 10,000 per square kilometre have been recorded in young forests. Better have a deer mouse proof tent along with you. All that worrying will assist in burning off a few more calories. In the backcountry – MORE IS BETTER.

Lawrence Woodall is a longtime naturalist living in Port Hardy.

 

Just Posted

North Island Gazette
EDITORIAL: What to do about homelessness in Port Hardy

‘people suffering from homelessness deserve to be treated with dignity and compassion’

North Island Eagles logo
North Island Eagles give update on the upcoming 2021-2022 season

The North Island Eagles minor rep hockey teams are getting ready for… Continue reading

Ma Murrays 2021 virtual ceremony screenshot
North Island Gazette wins big at 2021 Ma Murray Newspaper Awards

Zoe Ducklow and Bill McQuarrie both won gold at the online ceremony

Port Hardy council has agreed to cancel Canada Day celebrations in wake of the discovery of the remains of 215 children being found on the grounds of a former residential school. (North Island Gazette file photo)
Council votes to cancel Canada Day celebrations in wake of mass grave sites being found

Coun. Treena Smith made the motion for the chamber to not host Canada Day celebrations this year

Port Hardy Fire Rescue responded to an early morning fire around 3:50 a.m. on Sunday, June 13. Two porta-potties were on fire at the Visitor’s Centre on Hastings Street. Anyone with information is asked to contact the RCMP at 250-949-6335. (Port Hardy Fire Rescue photo)
Firefighters respond to early morning fire near visitor centre in Port Hardy

Two porta-potties were on fire at the Visitor’s Centre on Hastings Street

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

For more than a year, Rene Doyharcabal and a small group of neighbours in Langley’s Brookswood neighbourhood have been going out every evening to show support for first responders by honking horns and banging pots and drums. Now, a neighbour has filed a noise complaint. (Langley Advance Times file)
Noise complaint filed against nightly show of support for health care workers in B.C. city

Langley Township contacted group to advise of complaint, but no immediate action is expected

A nurse prepares a shot of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Yukon Convention Centre in Whitehorse on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mike Thomas
Vancouver couple pleads guilty to breaking Yukon COVID rules, travelling for vaccine

Chief Judge Michael Cozens agreed with a joint sentencing submission,

An inmate in solitary confinement given lunch on Tuesday, May 10, 2016. THE CANADIAN/Lars Hagberg
22-hour cap on solitary confinement for youth in custody still too long: B.C. lawyer

Jennifer Metcalfe was horrified to hear a youth had spent a total of 78 straight days in isolation

Flowers and candles were laid on the driveway of the Weber home, where Kerri Weber was found dead in November 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Greater Victoria man to stand trial for death of his wife last November

Ken Weber is charged with second-degree murder of his wife, Kerri Weber

The discovery of a missing woman’s body in Nanaimo earlier this month is now being treated as homicide, say Nanaimo RCMP. (File photo)
Discovery of woman’s body in downtown Nanaimo now being investigated as a homicide

Amy Watts was found dead near Albert Street and Victoria Crescent on June 3

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens as Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents the province’s latest budget, April 20, 2021. The budget projects $19 billion in deficits over three years. (Hansard TV)
B.C. government budget balloons, beyond COVID-19 response

Provincial payroll up 104,000 positions, $10 billion since 2017

COVID-related trash is washing up on shorelines across the world, including Coldstream’s Kal Beach, as pictured in this May 2021 photograph. (Jennifer Smith - Black Press)
Shoreline cleanup finds COVID-related trash increased during height of the pandemic

Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup reports litter from single-use food packaging nearly doubled

Most Read