Philosophy of the Maximum Two Hour Interval Between Eating

The Yamnuska Backcountry Kitchen believes in the philosophy of two-hour intervals between food intake while out in the backcountry. It’s the foundation of our backcountry food system. Just like drinking two litres of water at once won’t keep you hydrated for the day, neither will eating only a few big meals a day keep you fuelled properly while active.

Regular food intake is the most efficient way for our bodies to process what we consume to get the fuel & nutrition we need. Our backcountry food program implements this proven approach by structuring food around a regular eating plan of familiar, defined meals:

  • Breakfast
  • Mid-morning snack
  • Packed Field lunch
  • An afternoon snack
  • Soup and/or appetizer
  • Dinner entrée
  • Dessert

Following this eating plan means that at a minimum, we are consuming food every two hours or so. In our experience, this is the most effective way to deliver energy for a full day of activities.

Quantity and quality of food are critical to a wonderful meal experience in the backcountry. However, foods with empty calories or those without sufficient calories, can leave you low on energy. These foods are also often bulky or heavy so they come with additional consequences. The best way to be successful for high impact or long endurance trips – besides personal fitness levels – is to ensure you have enough calories and nutrition in your diet, and by keeping hydrated.

Energy shots and sugary snacks should not be relied on to give you the strength and endurance you need while in the backcountry. With our food programs we use a limited number of high-quality bars to supplement a balanced food plan,  but we do not build a menu around these types of snack items – we include them for convenience in the field.

Read the Nutritional Fact tables of all dehydrated, or freeze-dried, food products before you buy them. Just because they are advertised as lightweight and a meal portion, doesn’t mean they all have the calories and nutrition you need while active in the backcountry.


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