Backpacking with Soylent

I do a bit of backpacking, (he says modestly) which means I spend at least one weekend a month in the woods. I would not say I am an ultralighter, these are guys that will saw the handle off their toothbrushes to save an ounce, but I can say, I carry about six or so pounds supporting food. I use a MSR Dragonfly stove, there is a fuel bottle with that, a cook kit, the food itself… you know where this is going.

Anyone use Soylent in backpacking? I of course am not going to take my pitcher out on the trail! I’m thinking of filling a bunch of empty 12 oz water bottles with Soylent, and doing a weekend with it as my sole food. I, of course, would do hydration seperately. Any thoughts? I was thinking of freezing most of them, as I have seen good results here about frozen soylent, a little worried about seperation, but a shake is as good as a nod as they say.

This could be awesome for backpacking, I mean, even if I don’t go full Soylent, and use it for Breakfast and sometimes lunch, I think this is a thing that the food is designed for, right?

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I think it certainly would work. You’d need more than the usual amount of Soylent though as 2000 calories are probably not going to cut it for hiking all day. I’d probably add at least another meal for each day, and don’t go light on adding in the sodium.

However, I am curious if it would actually end up saving you space and weight compared to what you have now. Liquids can end up adding a lot of weight, and you would be bringing plenty of it. Just something to consider.

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If you’re drinking water that you find, rather than carrying all your drinking water with you, it would make sense just to pack the Soylent powder and mix a meal’s worth at a time. No need to let it soak for several hours - you can sacrifice taste for the sake of efficiency on a backpacking trip. :wink:


I have read several threads where someone took Soylent on a hiking trip. The general consensus is that it’s awesome. I agree that it would be better to bring the bags of powder, oil bottles, and a blender bottle and make the Soylent one meal at a time using a portion of your drinking water. Water is water even when it’s mixed with Soylent. As xmc said don’t be shy about adding extra salt to replace what you lose while sweating.


I have been using 100%Food for my hiking trips now for over 6 months, works like a charm. I just mix up a bottle as needed during the hike.

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Thank you for your thoughtful replies.

I think MXC has a point, that I really cook food on the trail for other reasons, so is a good reason to pack a stove. And yes, when hiking, I am buring sodium and more calories than usual. I’d think I’d carry 1.5 times my normal consumption, and plan water seperate.

Do you think I should add salt?


Yes you should add salt. A days worth of Soylent only has about 45% of the RDI of sodium. That’s not enough for a relaxed non-strenuous day.


Good to know, I mean when we are hiking I sweat out salt big time, I have salt rings on my clothing! I’m going to add about a tbsp of salt to my drink.

You may not like how it tastes with that much salt. I wouldn’t go higher than 2 tsps, personally.

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@livingparadox is right, 1tbsp is way too much. :stuck_out_tongue:
I have a dream of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada and right now Soylent is part of that plan! My idea is to supplement it with dried fruits and nuts. I’ve pretty much got my plan figured out, except I can’t decide if I want to bring a stove or not.

I know the thought of going without a stove is scary right?

OK I agree 1tbsp is a bit too much, I’m going to experiment this weekend.

I always end up carrying more gear than I need, I love gear, and totally am not by temperment suited to be an ultralighter. I am, though, considering giving up the stove and cook set for a couple of trips this spring, and see what happens. Hey with the weight I save I can bring my folding camp chair!


@toddbstevens The main reason why I am thinking of bringing a stove is for psychological reasons. The #1 reason people fail an epic cross-country 2,650 mile hike is they run out of money. The #2 (actually this could be #1 I don’t really know lol, but these are top two definitely) reason people fail such an adventure, is psychological. They just eventually lose sight of why they started such a hike, or other reasons. Having a hot cup of coffee in the morning or some hot cocoa at night could really help out in some kind of psychological way. (The old caveman sitting around a fire thing)

Your reply makes me think of the story I read which introduced me to the idea of long distance hiking, “A Walk in the Woods” by Bill Bryson (which has been criticized by the hiking community but I still liked it!). In it there is a joke that one hiker tells another, that you can start the trail without any equipment and gear up with all the discarded gear you will find on the side of the trail before the first big mountain (Mount Whitney I think?). Funniest part of that story is the guy said he found an espresso maker, and a machete, on the side of the trail.


Xander, I like that Bryson quote myself. I used to be a cuthroat light hiker. Sawed the handles off my toothbrushes, but now I have a wife, and I find myself carrying more gear just to make things, well, comfortable.

We did do 15 miles in the desert in Big Bend, and 20 in Shenandoah, so we are coming about.

You are right, I probably wouldn’t leave the stove. For the reasons you state. I for one also carry a heavy stove. A MSR Dragonfly. I like it because even hiking in Eastern Europe, you can find fuel.

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Oh and for all reading this, I’d be adding protien, sugar, salt and energy in that I would be carrying trail mix. I mean, what is backpacking without stopping to snack on salty delicious trail mix? Mine is almond and walnut heavy with raisins sunflower seeds, and goodness.No chocolate, my wife is alergic, so we do yogurt coated raisins.


I used Soylent during a two-day backpacking trip this weekend and I wanted to share my experience here. I only brought two pouches with oil and a small water bottle for mixing. The bottle I used is a bit less than a litter, but I would mix half of the daily portion in it and then add some more water later. The biggest problem was transferring Soylent powder into the bottle. I used a regular spork to scoop it out, but I think I’ll need to find a better way. This is still easier than cooking food with a stove. The only extra that I used was a gell pack with extra electolytes and I’d say it’d be wise to add some salt to the mix. Overall I was happy with my experience and I will definitely use it for my next trip.


I like the idea of no cook all-in-one soylent type food for backpacking, but am also considering some of the solid soylent forms like uber cookies. 2000 calories worth is about 600g per my scale so a little more than 2000 calories of Soylent. The obvious pro over solid soylent is no preparation. No soak time, if you skip soak time you don’t sacrifice taste. No messing with oil or powder. I’m not sure what the cons are. I mean, obviously if Soylent is in the cabinet it’s at hand. Also cheaper. But as far as nutrition or other considerations on a backpacking trip I’m not sure.

hey inod3, I for a time, also as an experiment, lived off a case of mainstay lifeboat rations that I got at an auction, and they actually were not bad. I’ll look into the uber cookies you speak of. Solids are a tempting thing, as it is less weight.

I’m a little curious as to why you didn’t use the serving spoon that comes with your Soylent. Also a blender bottle would work nicely.

Because the serving spoon that comes with the kit doesn’t fit into most water bottles and also because it’s a little heavy for backpacking. Ideally it should be a tube-shaped, long spoon that would fit in water bottles and also scoop decent amount of Soylent. (like ice scooper, but smaller) It would need to be make of plastic or titanium to keep the weight down. I couldn’t find anything appropriate online so I might have to make something for the next trip.

Yep - every last gram of weight counts, when backpacking.