Whether you're a hunting pro or just getting started, there's one thing that EVERY hunter needs to optimize for a perfect trip.
Having the right fuel on hand can make the difference between throwing in the towel early and a record-setting hunt.
While there's no perfect diet for hunting specifically, there are some ground rules to keep in mind that will make packing for your next hunting trip a breeze.
Calories Burned While Hunting
You'll burn a lot of calories on an active day of hiking and hunting, and even if you want to log a deficit, you'll need to eat more than usual.
While everyone's body burns at different rates, an average deer or elk hunter will log between 6,000 - 9,000 calories on an active day. Sheep hunters can expect to burn between 8,000 - 11,000 calories.
Because you'll need more calories than average, going out on a hunt on an empty stomach is not ideal. Throughout the day, you'll want to make sure you have plenty of snacks on hand.
What to Look for in the Perfect Hunting Snacks
A calorie is a calorie, but fat packs more calories per gram than any other macronutrient. You'll get nine calories per gram of fat, and only four calories per gram of carbohydrate or protein.
That makes high-fat snacks perfect for hunting! Choosing dense foods and snacks will save you space in your pack and will be lighter for you to carry while providing you with the calorie-dense fuel you need to keep going throughout the day.
Examples of high-fat and easy to carry snacks include nuts & nut butter, meat sticks, snack bars, and more.
Carbohydrates as Fuel for Hunters
It’s now widely accepted that carbohydrates are not the best quality fuel for your body. Because carbs are broken down so quickly in your digestive system, they are responsible for what many people experience as dramatic energy fluctuations.
But, if there was ever a time to load up on carbs, it's for a hunting trip.
If your body is already fat-adapted, you can stick to a low-carb, high-fat diet. But a hunting trip would not be the time to try keto or low-carb for the first time!
Glucose is immediately-usable by your body and will give you a spike in energy. That's why many hunters pack both high fat and high carb options.
The 6 Best Hunting Snack Options
The following snack options are perfect for hunting because they are healthy, portable and non-perishable. That means that you can get a welcome break from freeze-dried camp dinners!
#1: Macadamia Nut Butter
Nut butter, particularly from macadamia nuts for its quality fats and micronutrients, is perfect for hunting because of high-fat content and satiety.
But packing a jar of nut butter isn’t practical, and you can’t exactly throw it in your pocket. This is why FBOMB Nut Butter packets are perfect for any hunting trip. Not only are they extremely portable and easy to eat with no utensils needed, but they're denser than almost any other nut butter because of the macadamia nuts used. Plus, they’re delicious.
Every FBOMB packs approximately 220 calories and 22 grams of fat in one light packet.
For experienced hunter Jared Thomas, FBOMBs are his snack of choice.
"FBOMB is my go-to snack when I'm on the mountain. It's a quick and easy snack that gives me enough energy for the 10+ mile hikes; it doesn't make me jittery so I can stay steady in the spotting scope and also doesn't cause me to crash after. I eat at least two every day I'm out hunting."
#2: Meat Sticks / Jerky
Another favorite snack of hunters everywhere is jerky. But many convenient meat sticks are full of preservatives, fillers and artificial ingredients that frankly are never a good idea!
It also can be challenging to get jerky that is dense enough to pack conveniently.
That's why FBOMB Pork Sticks are ideal for hunting. They're the best meat stick available, made from crate-free hogs and naturally high in fat. Plus, the combination of high-fat with quality meat makes one delicious meat stick.
#3: Nuts & Trail Mix
Nuts like almonds, macadamia nuts, and cashews are high in fat and easy to eat by the handful. We think that FBOMB Nut Butter packets are even more convenient, but it never hurts to have nuts on hand for when you want something to chew.
To up your carb count, add some dried fruit, candy and granola to your nut mixture to prep bags of trail mix.
#4: Protein Bars
Protein bars and high-fat candy bars are favorites of hunters everywhere. They're easy to pack and easy to eat anytime.
Because hunting requires peak physical performance, make sure to read the nutrition label of the bar you’re thinking of packing for your hunt. Many traditional snack food options available pack their products full of soy products, corn syrup, sugar, and low-quality fillers and binders that will weigh you down.
If you want calorie-dense fast fuel without artificial ingredients that are better for you than a candy bar, check out Wildnerness Athlete's Pack Out Bar. Each bar is high in fat and a healthy source of carbs with only 4 grams of sugar.
#5: Cheese Crisps
You're not limited to nuts and meat when you're on the hunt. Cheese is a calorie-dense, high-fat option. And it becomes portable and super lightweight in the form of cheese crisps like FBOMB Krunch Cheese Crisps.
Keto Krunch packs satisfying cheese flavor and 170 in just seven crisps per serving. They're the perfect way to diversify your snack options.
#6: Water & Sports Drinks
There is nothing more important than staying hydrated throughout your day on the hunt. Make sure to take enough water on your trek; many hunters report carrying 100 oz per day depending on how far they have to go.
Sports drinks are another way to boost your calorie intake and hydrate at the same time. And stocking up on single-serving packets of electrolytes to mix in with your water is never a bad idea either.
We hope you found this post helpful. If you end up taking any FBOMB snacks on your next hunt, we can't wait to hear about it. Give us a shoutout on Instagram at @fatissmartfuel to tell us about it.