Backpacking high miles with Soylent

I have a previous post about this topic speculating about it’s use. Now I have real world experience to share.

I have been using Soylent backpacking for a few months and many trips. My last trip Was backpacking Eagle Rock Loop In Arkansas. This trip is often done in three days but due to my work schedule, I had to do it in two days. We chose to hike near 20 miles the first day (Saturday) and the remaining miles the second day (Sunday). Because of a few wrong turns we ended up going 21 miles Saturday and 7.7 on Sunday.

I premeasured half bags of Soylent to take on the trail and brought extra oil to supplement the Calories a bit. I used a whole oil bottle with half a day’s Soylent in a one liter Nalgene bottle.

Saturday morning I ate a Mountain House breakfast (600 calories). During the day Saturday I drank my Nalgene of Soylent. On the last hill I felt a lack of energy. I usually feel this way when I need to eat rather than feeling hunger. I waited til dinner to eat since I didn’t want to mix more Soylent on the move. I had a Mountain House dinner (800 calories). I have been finding it difficult to eat dinner on the train with Soylent since I still feel full but I clearly needed the calories.

Sunday I woke and drank a third of my Soylent made with water treated with a Chlorine tablet at camp the previous night. Since we had a light day planned, I didn’t feel the need to drink more. We started on the trail at 0715 and I was hungry by 1000. I didn’t drink the remaining Soylent since there wasn’t a convenient way to get to my water bottle. My pack doesn’t have water bottle pockets and I use a Dromedary for water.

I have thought about using a bladder for Soylent but I don’t want to clean the hose. Since Soylent doesn’t have preservatives and I can’t control the temperature that I store it at, I’m afraid of rot.

One other person in our group had a DIY Soylent. Her version is higher calorie and keytogenic.

I plan to add even more oil to my Soylent on long trips to increase the calorie count and I need a way to sip it on the trail. I think the solution is to get a pack with external water bottle pockets.

I have tried to combine a whole packet of Soylent in a single liter of water and that sludge is a terrible mess where I find myself adding water as I go. Getting the balance of calories needed and calories consumed is more difficult that way.

It’s a process of minor adjustments that make it work for me.


Since Soylent at room temperature is a pretty good growth medium, I think you’re very right not to put it in a bladder dispenser.


haha Yeah, I’ve thought the same thing, asympt.

Thanks for the post, OP. I plan on using Soylent heavily while backpacking/camping. I tend to just chug my Soylent, so I won’t be eating it “on the go”; no need for carrying it around ready to eat, for me.

True. You cannot comfortably “eat” that.
However I’m mixing 600ml (20oz) of water with half bag of Soylent and it’s pretty good for consistency. It’s less than usually recommended, but I find it more “filling” and enjoyable.

This is interesting too. Add less water to make it more ‘filling’.

I always use 40 oz of water in my everyday soylent, so the same ratio. I like that consistency. It’s not as thin as milk, but not so thick that I feel like I’m leaving too much on the side of my glass.

It works out to three 16 oz glasses, which is the size of my glass. Very easy to portion.

It also seems a bit more peanut buttery, which I like.

If you are backpacking, be sure to add salt!

Setting up a bunch of Ziploc baggies full of Soylent, with flavors mixed in (for me, Splenda and vanilla powder) seems like a do-able backpacking proposition. Once they get past this initial set-up phase and we can order individual bags, oil bottles, etc., it will get much easier. Then you can just pack extra oil bottles, maybe one per meal or something like that. I use a bear canister when I backpack which is heavy and bulky but would make it very easy to have Soylent meals set out and ready to go. I use a UV filter for my water purification, so there are no flavor issues, either. I look forward to trying this out in the late Spring, when my personal backpacking season begins. (It’s still just dayhikes for me in the winter.)

Thanks for the posting. Very informative. I also recommend against using Soylent in a bladder, for any number of reasons.

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I use a spectra bear bag instead of a canister. It’s lighter a packs better. It doesn’t seal out scent though.

I just use soylent farts to keep the bears at bay.

(honestly, I just use a Z-packs bear bagging kit - they make awesome bags and stuff for backpacking)


I used Soylent last fall for a 3-day hike in the Colorado Rockies.

I portioned out 3 baggies per day ahead of time, I forget exactly how much in each baggie - but my container is a Thermos that holds 20oz and I measured out however much makes a good ratio in that size of a container. The baggies tucked very nicely into little crevices around the other items my pack, and no one at the airport asked me about them, which was a relief.

To prepare it, I poured the powder in and then filled the Thermos half way with water from my Nalgene bottle. Shook it up, then added a third of a bottle of oil, shook it up again, and then filled the rest of the way with water and shook it again.

i did end up with some lumps that didn’t get mixed in all the way, and I had to deal with the fact that I was usually drinking it very soon after making it, so it wasn’t very cold and hadn’t had time to “set” which is what I’m used to, but it served me very well for the whole trip.

My pack has two bottle-holders, one on each side, so I kept Soylent on my right and the Nalgene on the left. I also had a bladder that I tucked in the top flap so the water bottle was only for making Soylent, and the bladder was for sipping while hiking. My pack weighed 35# as we went up the mountain the first day and progressively got lighter of course :wink:

I did have to ask my b/f to hand me the bottle though because it was in an awkward place for me to reach back and get it myself, it was kind of right behind my elbow. But it was not that often that I needed it while we were actually moving.

The part I found funny was that I had to carry a bear canister stuffed with “regular” food for the other people on the hike because they didn’t have room for it all in their packs - so I carried not only my food, but some of theirs as well.

The part that was not funny was that this was Soylent 1.0 (or maybe 1.1, I can’t remember any more) and it was … let’s just say for the sake of the other people on the trip, I tried to stay down wind. Even with Beano and the strongest simethicone over the counter gel caps, I was bloated and not very comfortable esp. toward the end of the day - but that was nothing new to me at that time. Thank goodness v 1.3 is so much easier to digest!

Excited about 1.4 because we’ll be able to do away with the oil bottles, hooray!! I think hiking on it will be a walk in the park :wink:


The backpacking implications of v1.4’s changing to powdered oil is about my favorite feature of the new blend. I have been concerned about the flavor of warm, “fresh” Soylent compared with how I’m used to preparing and drinking it. Then I remember it’s backpacking, where the food is never good anyway, you’re smelly and gross in every way, and civilized life and its corresponding culinary standards are not relevant. Efficient, healthy infusions of sustenance are more than one ever expects to hope for when living on the trail.

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So true.

I remember thinking as the rest of the group had to heat up their water any time they wanted to cook a freeze dried pseudomeal, “those suckers” LOL as I chewed my lukewarm lumpy beige miracle drink.


haha Thanks for that, equemily.

I’m loving the change of no oil in 1.4 - however, I’m not impressed with the protein drop. It doesn’t jive well with my body type + mass + activity level at all. Looks like I’ll need to supplement my supplement now. lol :wink:

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I’m going on a hiking trip this weekend; perhaps 20 miles or so over two days. Now that Soylent version 1.4 does away with the oil bottle, I’m really considering an attempt to consume an all-Soylent diet over the weekend. Does anyone have experience with 1.4 full non-refridge weekend/shake a meal on demand while hiking?

No, but I’ve tried making my Soylent in the kitchen, not measuring, just dumping Soylent in water and stirring until it looked about right. It was great! I don’t see how hiking or tap-dancing would change the taste much.

Is there any reason why adding protein powder to the soylent mix is less ideal than the protein already being included? I’d imagine anyone who was very physically active (i.e., anyone who lifted weights) would have to use an additional protein supplement anyways, so it doesn’t seem like a big deal to have to use a little more.

Soylent 1.3 and before had more protein and didn’t need added protein or at least not as much anyway. Now it does which adds previously unneeded calories.

Well, how much protein an individual needs is highly variable, and while it may have been enough protein for you it likely wasn’t enough protein for other people. And while the current version of Soylent doesn’t have enough protein for you, it likely still has enough protein for many other people. I hear what you are saying about the calories, but I find it hard to fault the product – which is designed to fulfill the needs of many people – for changing to be slightly less ideal for you.

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The higher protein of previous versions was enough for a wider range of people.

Yes there are reasons. No offense, but I’m not interested in debating them in minutiae again. What matters is that some people have different needs/preferences, and previous version(s) seemed to cover a wider range of people. (thanks horsfield)