View Full Version : Wfpb?

08-14-2016, 23:39
Does anyone have any experience hiking while on a Whole Foods Plant Based diet? I'm assuming that I'll have to pack all my food and the on trail options that I've read about don't seem overly friendly to the non-meat/non-processed food crowd...


08-15-2016, 05:44
Vegetarianism on the trail isn't hard. What you're talking about goes further. As I understand it, the whole food plant based concept means a large proportion of your diet should be fresh fruits and vegetables. There are several things that limit the use of fresh produce on the trail. You probably already understand this, but I feel like rambling, so here goes.

Availability: unless you can get to a real grocery store, you just won't find much other than maybe a banana (and what you find might be overpriced). You'll be lucky to find bread that pretends to be whole grain.

Durability: how do you carry a ripe tomato without it being squished? how long will a bag of spinach last in moderate temperatures? Plastic containers don't weigh a lot, but they're bulky.

Weight: this is the biggest problem. How far do you carry a cantaloupe? Will you carry the seed pulp and the rind (and the mushrooms that have gone slimy, and the banana skins, and the orange peels) to the next town to dispose of them in the trash? (I don't object to discarding some food waste off trail in the woods, like wilted spinach. It's just leaves.)

I've been known to carry an apple or a zucchini for several miles, but it's a treat, not the bulk of the meal. We still eat plenty of pasta, oatmeal, and mashed potatoes.

Perhaps the best way for you to pursue your goal is to explore what you can do with dehydrated foods. I have some in my backpacking pantry, but haven't mastered the art of rehydration. Often it's barely palatable. I haven't tried dehydrating my own food.

Sandy of PA
08-15-2016, 10:14
As long as you like plantain and nettles you will do OK for fresh greens, the rest of your diet, good luck. I struggle with whole foods, meat based diet myself. Lots of hard boiled eggs, cheese, precooked bacon and spam singles, plus raw nuts and dried berries. I carry Amish butter and 85% chocolate for addition fats.

08-15-2016, 11:03
I'm less concerned about carrying fresh veggies than about resupply. Dehydrated is fine and I can do that myself. I'm just curious about buying supplies along the way.

08-15-2016, 13:55
What food do you like to eat at home? Certainly, it would be easy to find nuts and nutbutters just about anywhere. Rice and beans are lightweight and easy to find as well. Quinoa and lentils? Probably a bit more of a challenge. If I were to go full vegan, I'd probably try to eat as much fresh food during town stops as I could and go with the already mentioned stuff on the trail. Come to think of it, that is sort of how I treat my food now. :-?

08-15-2016, 15:30
I eat a lot of whole grains & starches at home... and lots of fresh veggies. I plan on pigging out on veggies when I hit a town. Oatmeal, Rice, Quinoa, and Lentils (they cook quicker than beans!) are my mainstays and toting them down the trail really won't be a big issue... Just wondering about finding them along the way. Probably won't be a big deal for a section hike, but one glorious day, I'll be thru-hiking... That being said, I can dehydrate a lot of stuff... potatoes, and some veggies for on the trail and that'll help... Again, it's the resupply issue.

Thanks for the help!

08-15-2016, 16:48
Instant refried beans, unless they are overly processed for you. CHEAP! Just add boiling water, like instant potatoes. Easy to find in supermarkets - Jitney Jungle, Piggly Wiggly, Winn-Dixie, K Roger, etc.. You could carry a bag or two that will last from supermarket to supermarket. 7.25 ounce package yields 6 servings.
Skurka's recipe. Fritos optional.

Reality Check: Relax your dietary restraints for your hiking pursuits. You won't die.
One more source, maybe: Meals from Good To-Go.

Good luck and have fun.

08-15-2016, 17:17
When I'm on the trail, I will do what I have to do, to survive fifteen miles per day of caloric burn. I'll try to make healthy choices when presented with healthy choices, otherwise I'm going for caloric density. I may supplement with dehydrated greens and superfood pills, along with a multivitamin. Make no mistake, if what is available and within my budget is cosmic brownies and honey buns, I'll eat them. And depending on how depleted I am when I hit a town, if I hit an AYCE, I'm probably not always going for the salad bar first. Maybe on the second and third trips, but not the first. I think our bodies work a lot differently when we aren't sedentary. Sugar is sugar. Fat is fat. There are some carbs that are better for you, and the same with proteins. But at the end of the day, you have to eat from what is available.