Camping with Soylent 1.5

Continuing the discussion from Backpacking with Soylent and Soylent for camping / survival?:

there’s an older thread about using Soylent for camping but its old so i want to get fresh ideas here in about a month i am going camping for a week now that means i have to carry a week of Soylent which is quite a lot of space in a pack. So i am a little concerned about how it ll stay for the day if i mix a days at a time, or should i stick with what seems to be the better solution making each meal as its needed.

Any ideas, comments, or tips are welcome and appreciated.

This recent thread links four other backpacking/camping/hiking threads.

The problem is, there are at least ten threads. Most often a good idea to bump an old thread rather than start an 11th thread.

Hi @Ric, @steve_dips – both of you have valid points. I think in this case, it makes sense to split the difference, in a way: I’m going to close out some of the older threads (even the “fresher” one is 2 months since the last activity, and over half a year since creation). I will also edit in a “continuing the discussion” to the original post in this topic. This allows users to refer to the still-valuable information from the old topics, while starting fresh on a backpacking thread for 1.5! :slight_smile:

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It would be best to prepare individual servings as needed. Soylent tastes pretty yucky warm and seems to go bad quite fast if not refrigerated.

I actually prefer 100%Food for camping trips because it tastes fine even if you don’t have cold water to make it with. Soylent, in my opinion, is only good cold. Unless you make Soylent loaves instead of having it as a liquid.


Try it unrefrigerated. You might decide it tastes just fine. Making it a serving at a time is best, if you’re able, for this purpose.


I am currently working on a solid DIY version of Soylent specifically designed for camping trips. It should have the following properties:

  • High caloric density so it’s lightweight
  • Modular shape so it can fit anywhere and does not require specific packaging
  • Not lacking important micronutrients but not necessairly 100% complete (since camping trips are of short to medium duration)
  • High in Sodium, Potassium and Magnesium to compensate the loss of electrolyte due to perspiration.
  • Have enough protein to cover at least the daily needs in essential amino acids
  • Have a taste as neutral as possible
  • Have extremly low water content for long time unrefrigerated conservation
  • Should not require cooking or washing dishes

What I’ve came up with is a paste (texture like Play-Doh) based on almond, cashew and sunflower butter. I add maltodextrin sirup, complete milk protein, waxy maize, chia seeds, salt and potassium. It’s about 63% fat, 23% carbohydrate and 14% protein.

I have made a few tests but I struggle to find sunflower butter in Europe so I have to make it myself. I have been using Potassium citrate as Potassium supplement but the taste is very salty and it upsets my stomach. I’m waiting for a delivery of Potassium Gluconate and Potassium Aspartate for tests.

The taste is nice (except that it’s a bit too salty at the moment). It’s not neutral but it’s not identifiable (you can’t taste the almond nor the cashew). So I assume that it would be possible to eat large quantities of it without getting bored (which is the inconvenient of peanut butter on tortilla bread, the classic long hike stapple food).


I’ve just started making this bread, it’s keto though so it may not work for you. How long does your recipe last without refrigeration before it starts to turn? I’d be concerned pressing this passed 5 days before it starts to go bad.

Thanks for the link! I have thought of a bread too but the fact that the paste does not require any baking is appealing to me. Plus, I can just stuff a freeze bag with it, put 10 lbs of equipment on it and I don’t have to care for it being smashed…

For now I’ve let my last test rest for 9 days (no covered, it just sits in bowl on a shelf in my kitchen). It doesn’t seem to spoil… I’m eating a little bit everyday to check. But since everything is dry, I don’t know how it could go bad. Like a jar of peanut butter…
I have read somewhere that almond butter goes rancid very rapidly but again, I haven’t noticed anything with my preparation…

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Have you entered this into the DIY tool? That may make it easier to complete your missing micros, and folks here like being able to see the details.

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How lightweight? How much does 2000 calories weigh?

Most fats are 8.8 calories per gram, so a minimum of roughly 227 grams. To give some actual food examples, 2000 calories of peanut butter is about 340 grams, and 2000 calories of toasted sunflower kernels is about 323 grams. Somewhere in that range is “lightweight” to me.

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Some more comparisons.

Soylent: 460g
My DIY: 500g

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It’s about 350g for 2000 calories, similar to peanut butter.

I have made a recipe using the DIY tool but since the concept is still very primitive I thought that it was too early to post…

[EDIT]: I have made a mistake: I quickly calculated the weight based on the macros as I was driving. Looking at the actual recipe, it’s closer to 400g for 200 calories. But having more fat (per 100g) than peanut butter, it should be more calorie dense, hence lighter than peanut butter for 2000 calories. I have to do the maths…

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Someone might improve your recipe, and you could reap the benefits!

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So you save about 1.5 pounds over a week. Not bad.

See my edit. I don’t save much compared to Soylent, because it is pretty calorie dense already. I save a lot compared to real food. Let’s not forget that I also completly remove the need for a cooking stove and other cooking accessories.

The main advantage (in my opinion) of this recipe compared to Soylent is not the weight: it’s the form or the texture. A paste is much more convenient than a liquid: no preparation whatsoever, no cleaning, long conservation in eatable form.

Let’s imagine having Soylent on a hike. You have to stop for lunch. You mix the powder with the water:

  • Option 1: you only prepare 500 kcal so you have to eat it all, and
    clean your bottle (so you need to be close to a water source or waste
    a lot of your precious water). Your meal does not taste very good
    because the water is not cold. You have to do the same in the
  • Option 2: you prepare 2000 kcal in which case you have to carry
    the extra water weight (the water than is mixed with the Soylent
    you have not drunk) and your evening meal will be warm Soylent (ewwww)

A paste is as convenient as a Snickers bar, without the melted chocolate :wink:

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It’s not that I want to keep it for myself, it’s just that I’m reluctant publishing a recipe which is still in alpha testing.

But there is probably no harm collecting comments…

The price is not accurate since I converted everything to US $ but the price is still displayed in €.


I’ll be camping next weekend, and I’ll be mixing my Soylent on a per meal basis using water running off the edge of a glacier.

Can’t wait!


Please continue to update us on your “backpacking” Soylent !. I backpack in the Sierra Nevada mountains, all year-around. The water from melted snow or snowmelt is always cold, but that is not enough to make me want to take Soylent on a backpack trip. Soylent is too heavy. Soylent is also messy, and that creates hygiene risks. I have an 8 day trip coming up. I may try out your recipe. I can get most of the ingredients locally, at much lower cost than you quoted. Let us know if you come up with a carnivore-version. Dried chicken or pork/beef jerky could be lightweight and tasty additions. (What about soy-based artificial bacon bits?) I guess that adding dried meat, gets us far from the original concept of Soylent, but using any plant material is already a bit far from the tree, as some others have pointed out. When backpacking. I just need nutritious, lightweight food and lots of it. So, keep up the good work!

Hi @patrick !

Thanks for your interest! I have updated the recipe and I’m still awaiting some ingredients… I will update you guys as soon as I get new insights.

You are welcome to try it if you can source the ingredients locally. The main issues with the current recipe are:

  • How is the potassium gluconate going to influence the taste? For now, I have only tried with potassium citrate.
  • How is the 1gr of kale powder going to influence the taste. I have never tried it but apparently, it’s quite strong.
  • Because it takes so much potassium gluconate to deliver the appropriate quantity of potassium, the texture might be a bit off. After a few tests it seems that the Play-Doh texture lays where the ratio of all powders (except maltodextrine, which is in form of a sirup) and all butters is around 0.17. Right now, this ratio lays around 0.22. The easy way to solve this is to add a little bit of oil but then it makes the recipe even more rich in fat and as a consequence lower in carbs and protein.

If you do test this recipe, please let me know your opinion on these issues…

About the meat jerky addition: this recipe is designed to be the “bulk” of your nutrition on the trail. It doesn’t mean that it should be the only thing you eat. So adding meat jerky and dried fruit is up to you…
Meat jerky or dried fruits wouldn’t mix well with the paste, I think. Plus it would give it a taste that would be too identifiable.

Let me know what you think!