Soylent for camping / survival?


#21

Does anyone drink/use their Soylent hot? I often boil my water for treatment because either the weather is cold or I want my morning tea or coffee.

A 2000 calorie packet doesn’t come close to the calorie requirements of backpacking. How many packets per day do you use, normally?

How much water does each packet require?

Is mixing effective in a ziplock bag? This might cut down on weight and cleanup.


#22

Soylent is better chilled.
But there’re some DIY-blends that supposed for hot consuming.
Most popular - Chocolate blend if you fill it with hot water, milk or instant coffee.
There are some soup versions also, check Powdered Foods Marketplace for alternatives.


#23

I think hot soylent would be pretty vile, but maybe adding in some cocoa powder to the mix would be worth a try? I know some folks use cocoa to great success in the cold mixes.

This just comes down to your personal caloric requirement. If you’re a 200lb adult male through-hiking the Appalachian Trail with a heavy pack, you’re going to need a lot more calories than a 130lb college girl on a 10 mile day hike. You’d probably want anywhere from an extra 2000-6000 calories based on those two metrics for an eight hour day (4000-8000 calories, or 2-4 bags of Soylent).

I know a few long distance hikers but haven’t done more than a day or two myself, so I’m not sure how many hikers are actually packing and eating that many calories or if they’re usually running on a deficit. There’s a good chance that Soylent isn’t quite calorie-dense enough to want to pack four bags per day for a multi-day hike, but an actual hiker would need to weigh in on this. You can get a rough estimate from any number of calorie calculator sites; here’s a link to one - http://www.fitwatch.com/phpscripts/viewexercise.php?descr=backpacking%20with%20moderate%20load&mets=8.0

The pitcher holds 2 liters and it is tastiest when it is dilute, but you could probably trim that down a bit for a denser slurry if you want to save water and drink more calories faster. It’s less water than you’ll need to stay hydrated though, so that problem might just solve itself.

You could probably pull it off with a nice big freezer bag, but it wouldn’t be as good as a hard container. On the trail you might just be happy with any slurry, though, even a clumpy one.


#24

Thanks for the fast and informative reply. I think I’ll use my official version of Soylent for Monday through Friday work week and switch to a DIY for the trail to meet my caloric needs.


#25

If you can put together a palatable DIY with a much higher calorie density that will probably be your best bet. I think Soylent would be amazing for a one or two day trip with a light pack and short-moderate distance, especially if you can get a nice big thermos or two with some ice cubes to keep it chilled for the duration and bring some jerky, trail mix, or other traditional trail snacks to supplement. Longer trips though, it’s probably just too bulky.

It would probably be more viable on a multi-day river or water trip where storage isn’t really an issue apart from portaging. I’d love to see someone make an attempt at it and give some feedback though.


#26

Most backpackers run a deficit; the longer the trek/duration, the higher the deficit. A short trip (up to, say, 4 days) then we’re talking about even. Many (myself included) eat like a pig the day before leaving or at least for my last meal before leaving. I also tend to pack at least 1 big meal that gives me 1 day of calorie surplus. From my experience, those sort of things tend to be common.

For a short duration, Soylent would be perfect. (would have loved it on my 3 day trip to Gwillim Lakes / Lucifer Peak a few weeks ago! Link to pic) For longer term, I would likely still use it (I still need to test it, mind you) but would probably supplement it more. With what? I’d go with GORP (trail mix) - calorie dense, small “package”, and you get that extra salt. So, for a weekend trip, Soylent + a little GORP. ~5 days, Soylent + more GORP reliance. A week or more, Soylent, lots of GORP, and a good freeze-dried meal for once every 5 days, to get that occasional surplus. Could also throw in / sub a Clif bar or three (or similar) type of deal. I imagine that type of setup would be about perfect for my body type + fitness level. I hope I’ll find out for sure next summer!

Hopefully this post helps with any ideas and thoughts you folks may have.


#27

Thanks @smeggot! I suspected as much but have never actually gone in on a longer backpacking trip. Anything more than three days and I prefer a kayak or canoe and maybe a friendly current :smile:


#28

I haven’t been on a 5+ day trip in a few years, myself. And I really miss going canoeing for days in Algonquin Park (I’ve moved) - packing isn’t much of an issue in a canoe. Even have room for beer! :smiley:


#29

Beer may or may not be a determining factor for my preference haha


#30

Are you planning on eating Indian food as well or just Soylent?


#31

The best way to add calories for backpacking is to add extra canola oil. You’re getting the nutrients in your soylent, and oil provides a lightweight and calorie - dense addition. You can’t do better in calories per pound carried.

Also, I have not tested hot water in official Soylent, but it’s not good in my whey-based DIY. After mixing, I can nuke it up to “warm” and enjoy, but too hot, and it starts getting blobby. It happens because the protein cooks. Like egg whites beginning to solidify.


#32

Another reason, beside water treatment, to consume warm Soylent is to keep it from freezing. I’ve been on winter trips where the time from boiling to freezing is short.

I think I’m going to go with the official version of Soylent at work and try a DIY for the trail with a higher calorie content. Can someone recommend one to try? I’ve been sorting through the 3000+ list and it’s a bit daunting.


#33

I guess it depends on your definition of backpacking. if you mean hiking overland by foot then no, probably not. where I come from thats called hiking or tramping. for me, “backpacking” is traveling, and living out of a backpack, which may or may not include walking. it might mean traveling by bus or train. for me, I expect 2000kcal (2 million calories) will be ample for my trip, as I will be traveling by train.


#34

it would be trajic to travel to the land of masala dosa, samosa and naan bread, only to ignore the delicacies. so no, I will not be existing only on Soylent. I expect I will have a decent meal every few days, if it looks like the food has been freshly prepared.
my main reason for the soylent is the 12 hour train rides, and logistics of finding food in odd places at appropriate times.

what I am hoping to do is travel with nominally 10 days worth of soylent in my backpack (5kgs) and expect that to cover about 2 weeks, ie 4 days I will be eating native. I will punctuate my journey by sending on 10 days worth of food to places I know I will be staying, and I will do this 4 or 5:times covering the 60 day period. if for some reason it doesn’t arrive, I may have to go a week or two on local food till I reach the next drop point… which is better than lugging 30kgs around with me.


#35

I seriously think you should try using regular Soylent and augmenting with your oil of choice. Fats are very good long-term hiking fuel, it’s why oily nuts are excellent trail food.

Each liquid ounce of oil adds 248 calories of slow-burning fuel to your trekking diet. It’s pretty easy to bring a bottle of oil and augment your Soylent.

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fats-and-oils/7947/2

If you want to bring up the carbs, too, you can bring and add extra whole oat flour.

Both are easy to buy.


#36

I took regular Soylent with me backpacking last weekend. It worked perfectly. It was a really short trip though (only 5 miles per day). This stuff is great for backpacking. It’s easy and I was done with my meal before everyone else caught up for lunch.

My future trips will be longer. next weekend I plan to hike about 16 miles per day. We’ll see how that goes. As it is, I plan to drink it when I feel hungry in snack fashion rather than like a meal. My body knows when it’s hungry.

Is there any risk in drinking more than a day’s worth of Soylent in a single day? My thought is, I’m probably using more nutrients of everything on the trail.


#37

Consuming more than one bag a day is about as dangerous as eating more than 2000 calories of muggle food in a day.


#38

That’s what I want to hear - great! I’ll be using it for a few trips next year - looking forward to it.

Thanks for the info.


#39

How did you prepare it while backpacking?


#40

I broke the amounts up into single meal servings before I left home. I left the oil in the original container and guessed at the amount. I mixed it briefly before consuming in a Nalgene bottle and a mixer ball. I just guessed at the amount of water. Nalgenes are graduated but mine is wrapped in duct tape for general use.

I used it again last weekend. I hiked with a heavy pack over rough country. I went 17 miles on Saturday at a 2.3 mph pace (including lunch and breaks) and Sunday I went 12 miles at a 2.6 mph pace. I felt great each day.