In the first two previous articles of hunting in high altitudes, we discussed the dangers and the advantages of hunting up high; as well as, preparing for hunting high. Another important aspect of hunting higher elevations is taking care of your body so that you can maintain a long enough presence there to have an effective hunt. Nutrition is a huge factor while trying to endure the challenges of hunting where the air is thin.
We all know that eating junk food high in sugar can only give a temporary energy boost. A body needs to be fueled properly and there some special considerations that need to be adopted in a diet to help maintain physical stamina. Before we get into what to eat, one of the biggest health risks at higher elevations is dehydration.
We all know that when muscle tissue is fighting to recover being dehydrated is not beneficial to a speedy recovery. Water is great, but serious mountain hunters pack along other powdered mixes that contain electrolytes (potassium and sodium). Powdered sports drinks are readily available in various flavors.
Fueling the body with food is essential for obvious reasons and since carbohydrates are what the body burns when exerting energy, the intake of carbs is very important. Protein and carbs are a great diet at altitude. Peanut butter is a great source of protein and most people like its taste, but nuts and beef jerkey can come in handy too.
As far as carbs goes, oatmeal, freeze-dried pasta meals, crackers, breads and rice are all good light-weight foods that can be packed on mountain hunts. Energy bars are also popular now and there are literally dozens of companies that make them and the selections are numerous. I have never found an energy bar that I thought actually tasted good, but you can’t be too picky when you need energy.
One other trick that experienced mountain hunters like to do is to take along a powdered Vitamin C mix. This will give your body’s immune system a boost and help stave off any colds or symptoms of exhaustion. Vitamin C mix will also add some flavor to a bland mountain diet too. During long hunts, a worn out body tends to succumb to various system break-downs and Vitamin C will earn a hunter’s respect just like it did when sailors discovered it prevented scurvy.
Keeping your body properly fueled and protected in high altitudes is essential and easy.