Budget Backcountry Nutrition 101

Monkeying around in the mountains burns an incredible amount of calories.
As backcountry bums, we get to eat as much as we want of whatever we want with minimal consequences.
While the rest of Western Civilization gets miserably fatter, our own gluttony makes us blissfully stronger... at least in theory.

Nothing beats starting off a day in the hills with a tall glass of oj, a pitcher of water, six cups of coffee, biscuits and gravy, eggs Benedict, and a syrupy stack of huckleberry pancakes... especially if it's all served up by a friendly 30-something-mountain-town-career-waitress.

And Dog knows we all love capping off a day in the hills with buffalo wings, nachos, a fat burger, and six to ten pints of  brew.  Worst case scenario?  Food Coma and a DWI.  Best case scenario?  Food Coma and Erotic Massage.

Sadly, even with local hookups, stoking your internal furnace at the tavern gets pricey.  DWI's aren't cheap either  Generally also expensive is mentally lubricating a local beauty into an erotic masseuse willing to overlook the skid marks in and funk emanating from your long johns.  Hence, poaching a hot tub becomes mandatory, and potential legal fees multiply.


Also, those tubs are fucking filthy.  Many a monkey butt has been there before yours.

Thus, the clever backcountry bum dines at home and out in the hills.  Hygiene can slide, commitments can wait, whole years may blend together into a blissed-out state-of-stoke... but ya gotta stay fed.

Most active folks don't eat enough throughout the day.  You burn serious energy hiking, biking, climbing, shredding gnar, and acting rad in the parking lot.  Think 300-400 calories per hour.  Spend a mere five hours getting after it and you need to eat at least double what the typical schmo eats.

Dehydration and hunger pangs are often mistaken for exhaustion.
Eat more.  Drink more.  Play more.
Less cramps.  Less burn.  Less fatigue.

Also, if you get hurt, lost, or otherwise benighted you'll more happily pray for the dawn on a full stomach.
Over the course of along cold night, a couple crusty old candy bars could save your life.

Most nutritionists over-complicate matters with a lot of scientific mumbo jumbo.  They also recommend foods the typical mountain bum can't afford.  You know the stuff: organic free-range everything.  Well, that's all fine and dandy.  If you can afford it, do it.

This article is for bums.  You know who you are.  Onward!



Breakfast is the most important meal of the mountain bum's day.  Consider the following  guidelines...

*Drink plenty of coffee or tea so you'll poop heartily before leaving the land of flush toilets.
*If at all possible, have a banana and an orange and an apple.  Fruit is healthy.
*Drink a grip of water.  Pee clear all day.
*Eat heartily... if things go wrong it could be your last real meal for a while... if things go really wrong it could be your last meal ever.  Enjoy it.
*If you wake up lacking appetite or stoke, consider herbal stimulation.
*Eggs, peanut butter and breakfast meats are your best friends.  Pile on the carbs, but a good source of protein is key.
*A little grease never hurt anyone.  Just wash it down with Emergen-C Heart Health.
Lastly, no one expects poachers at a continental breakfast.  Score an official looking bathrobe.  Feign cluelessness.  Reap benefits.  Worst case scenario, you get kicked out.  Best case scenario, you stroll through the lobby with a full tummy, coffee-to-go, a pack brimming with gratis goodies, and drooling Tougar digits.

A Tougar is a Cougar on vacation.



Dinner after a day in the hills is crucial too.  You need the calories, but a careless approach can break the bank...

*If stuck dining at home, consider eating breakfast twice.  Eggs are cheap and delicious.
*Throw a weekly pot luck.  People mess up their kitchens and bring food to your place.  You'll have to wash a few plates but the booze and leftovers will pile up.
*Best-case scenario is a dinner party elsewhere.  Always be friendly, and you'll be booked solid..
*Odds are you work nights at a restaurant anyway.  Demand dank shifties.  Remember, with the right attitude, even the worst service industry gig can be a bucket of fun.
*Fuck it, go out to eat.  Just be thrifty about it.
*Yep, life is short.  Go out to eat.  Bullshit with friends.  Chase tail.  Enjoy it, but choose parties wisely...

The most important thing to remember regarding dinner is that grubbing hard and then passing out doesn't do you much good.  Generally, this sort of behavior makes you a fattie.  Be sure to go out dancing or get in a little exercise of some sort before passing out.  Use your imagination... just keep your pants on in public.



Enough nonsense.

The real pseudoscience of backcountry nutrition comes into play when deciding what foods to pack.

Obviously sporty outdoorsy food is great... but expensive.  So-called junk food does the trick equally well.  Candy.  Cookies.  Bulk berries and nuts.  Cheapo granola-bar-type-stuff.  You're not going to live forever, so there's no reason to eat like it.

Stopping at the gas station or bagel shop en route to the mountains is equally pricey.  A better bet is buying in bulk and stockpiling goodies.  Buy discounted Halloween candy through December.  Christmas treats until February 14th.  Valentine's closeouts should keep you satisfied through Easter... and my bet is Cinco de Mayo will blow up this year and keep you fed through summer skiing.

These three simple guidelines should keep you satisfied out there.

1) Calories: more is better.
2) Fluids: more is better.
3) Performance Enhancers: more is usually better.  Avoid all "energy drinks", getting too drunk, stoney stupors, and regularly tripping your face off.

But seriously, after devoting five years of my life to backcountry skiing/climbing/monkeying, I have a few actual, non-nonsensical suggestions:

If you've never eaten an Almond Joy in the mountains, you have not truly lived.  Good fresh, better smashed...  cottonmouth-friendly... perfect ratios of carbs/proteins/fats... chewable at temps where any other candy bar shatters teeth... the entire taste-experience reminiscent of a tropical beach... they come in pairs so you can share with your buddy... the little white cardboard support is perfect for firestarting, exchanging digits with backcountry beauties, and emergency wiping.  Buy em' by the case.  You'll never find anything better.

Swedish Fish were specially formulated for Nordic Ski Commandos during WWII.  Entire battalions of Swedes subsisted on nothing but Swedish Fish for months on end.  Since Sweden didn't choose a side in WWII, those Nordic Ski Commandos just fucked around out in the mountains... just like you and I.  Pay homage to their legacy and eat the Fish.  Additionally, unlike mere gummies, the hearty Swedish Fish can live unprotected in your pocket or at the bottom of a pack for months on end.  Wipe off the lint and enjoy.


Mmmmmmmm... Heaven.  10,000,000 Ice Fishermen can't be wrong.

Calories?  Check.
Fluids?  Check.
Performance Enhancers?  Check.
Delicious?  Indisputable.
A Meal in a Can.  In Ireland young mothers call this "Formula".

If you can afford nothing else, make an entire loaf of bread into PBandJs.  You can do a multi-day tour on this alone.  The more smashed up they get, the easier they slide down.

Go to the bulk bins at the store.  Fill a bag with everything that looks good.  Remember the ID# for the cheapest bulk food and self-checkout.  Enjoy.

Nothing beats a hot drink on a cold mountaintop.  Get the nicest thermal bottle you can find and remember to fill it daily.  Tea with Scobs of Honey.  Emergen-C Hot.  Irish Coffee.  Mexican coffee.  THC-Infused Hot Buttered Rums.  Mushroom tea.  The sky's the limit.

Better cold than hot.  Cheap, filling, and depressingly-shocking to those uber-health nuts you just passed on the boot pack.  Properly-torqued, the lid doubles as a spoon.

If you've got the hookup, sushi is the ultimate backcountry snack.  A recycled single shot bottle makes the perfect soy/wasabi receptacle.  Speaking of which...

Don't go an overnight with liquid courage.  The woods are scary at night.  Then again, the flask is a cheaper option for spirits and libations.

Gatorade is weak Kool-Aid with a little salt and potassium in it.  Buy Kool-aid powder, sprinkle a little salt into it, crush up a Centrum or two, and presto!  If you want an "Energy Drink" smash some NO-DOZ into the mix.  You've just saved yourself a grip of money.  You've also saved your metabolic pathways from the ravages of artificial stimulants like TAURINE.

Cold pizza is always a welcome addition to any backcountry calorie stash.

The best thing you can possibly eat in the backcountry is a root beer float.  Make one in your Nalgene just before leaving home.  Even the hateriest hater on the hill will crack a satisfied smile if you can convince them to take a swig.


Variety is the spice of life.  Mix it up.  Enhance your backcountry experiences with dank eats.

Any suggestions?


Perfect Kiting

Last week it dumped hard and then high pressure rolled in setting up a powerful inversion.  In the valley life stopped as temps dropped to -30F,  meanwhile at 10,000 feet folks skinned and hiked shirtless through a perfectly-still, +30F, crystal blue sky.

All that bitter cold air in the valley is heavy so it flows like water down the path of least resistance.  This provides strong steady wind in the rolling terrain near Ririe, Idaho.  It blew 30+ across fields of powder, and thanks to the previous reconnaissance of the Jackson Hole Kite Mafia (notably Wayne and Will), I was there.

Now -30F is cold and 30+ mph winds doesn't make it feel any warmer.  As this video starts, Wayne's driving through a foggy river bottom at -30F.  Surreal conditions.



It's really quite heavy being back in the Oooosa.

"We'll be the biggest thing to hit these little kids.  Bigger than guns, bigger than INTERNETS."
-Atmosphere tweaking the lyrics of his track "Bigger than Cigarettes".

There's so much going on, so many people perpetually connected.

I'd write about it, but I can barely live it down.

I've got less-all-encompassing projects to complete anyway.

Get it up.  Keep it up.



Dan Reeder.


Baby Boomers

I look at the elders available ahorita and don't see much worth savoring.

Ninety Nine of 100 took the better parts of hippiedom and dropped the hassles.

Now, they want to live forever as comfortably as possible.  That's just some greedy shit.



It's really all about LEGITIMIZING your EXISTENCE.  Not so hard to do... well, yeah it is.

I moved here young, dumb, and full of cum... now not so young... a little less dumb... but nevertheless full of cum.

You know, Freud was pretty damn dead on when he reduced human consciousness to human sexuality.

Why do you do what you do?  But really though...

Hence, we're RAPING this gorgeous little planet.  Too easy.

Is another option really presented throughout the WEST?  Nah.  Well, I guess you can jerk off with your computer.

I head outside to piss this beer outta me and see beautiful little flakes falling in Jackson... this means it's dumping hard on the hills.

The best ART I can make is a gorgeous committed line... it lasts mere moments and the track remains maybe a day... PERFECT.

Embrace your impermanence and live ready to die young.

That's the best we can do for tomorrow.




Now, as fate would have it, I'm rolling out on this.

Truth told, I learned a small slew of lessons on my sailing trip...

1) Most people haven't a fucking clue.

2) The ocean warrants solely RESPECT.

3) 28-year-old, Too-Smart Catholic GENTS are boxes of rocks starting out but that guilt will drive them to WISDOM or DEATH.

And if you know something I don't, please tell me about it.  I'd love to hear it.

I know I'm riding a FATEWAVE cuz shit is coming to me... five free meals if four days... the sickest tour/ski setup fell into my lap (THANKS JOSH) and connections just keep flowing...


We're setting whole new standards of ridiculousness ahorita... so enjoy it.

I've never been BORED in Jackson... from day one until NOW.

And all I can say about a place that can induce this level of stoke is that it's LEGIT.

The natives didn't truly settle here because the climate proved too harsh but fuck if you can't ski some SHIT here with the aid of modernity and a bit of sweat.

You thinkin' tomorrow?

Nah, Man, we got TODAY... and that's about it.





Behave Yourself

I've got a quiver of strange stories, it's just a matter of pulling back the bow and taking aim...

But, on account of reentry, fear of failure, and my other flaws, I've got a bottleneck.  Regarding reentry...

Information Overload, which all y'all are alternately suffering/enjoying, truly exists.  There's just too much goin' on.

Here's a tripper.  I just got off the phone with a buddy named Ryno.  We're going out for sushi in 20 minutes.

I haven't talked to Ryno in 2-3 years.  Haven't seen him in 4.

But today, while doing almost exactly what I wanted to be doing, I encountered a powerful possession of his: a ski helmet he rocked daily during my first winter in Jackson Hole.

It's a typical, black, slightly-dated ski helmet only discernible from any other by a small sticker on the back.  That sticker is of a menacing, obviously-deranged clown.

Anyway, the helmet caught my eye in a very unlikely place, I explained it's significance, and it was given to me.

Then, upon arriving home, I find an email... the first in three years... from none other than the bearer of the helmet, Ryno.  He's in town for the next week... temporarily vacating his Residency, a first year graduate from Medical School.

We entered different schools simultaneously. He stuck with it.  I didn't.   Before that, we'd spent a year as roommates living in Jackson.

In fact, when I rolled into Jackson on a dreary May morning, for lack of a clue I stopped at McDonald's and picked up a paper.  In classifieds I found rooms for rent and started making calls from the Snow King Pavilion.  The first person I talked to in Jackson was Ryno.  The first person I met was Ryno.  And the first thing we did together was move me in.

That's a hell of a coincidence with a hell of an important person... and I'm late for dinner.


Awwwwwww, Shit.

You gotta be kidding me.

Now, I hate an external schedule as much as your next freedom-lover...

...but paid to watch the sea of humanity swim by?


That's the best gig in the world.

Now, I've seen some people and I'm familiar with the concept of the melting pot....

...and let me tell you...


Ya'll got too much on your minds...
too much in your minds...
This whole CULTure is a fuckin'

So let's talk.

Now, life isn't meant to be so complicated.but over the course of seven hours I've met seven...


That's fine.  I've lost my motivation, anyway.  Got shit to ski tomorrow, anyway.

Sweet Dreams.