Soylent for long-distance hiking and remote expeditions


#1

As a climber and skier I am really exited for the potential of Soylent in this area.

I hate preparing food for overnight camping trips. Spending up to 24 hours preparing and dehydrating a single dinner. Picking out chocolate bars with the highest kilojoules-to-weight ratio. Bland trail mix, stale porridge with powdered milk, runny salami, and very expensive commercial dehydrated meals, that although tasty, are nutritionally poor, and leave you bloated and slightly nauseous after a long hard day.

I have seriously considered living on rice, nuts, and vitamin pills for 7 day trips. I have climber friends who have spend more than a week living in a hut in the mountains on couscous and instant mac & cheese. Advice like ‘drink straight olive oil before bed to keep full and warm’ is taken seriously.

I think the potential for a cheap and nutritional product like Soylent in this market is huge. I’ve been waiting something like this for years. If it was commercially available, I would probably take it (in addition to more standard fare for variety) on every trip where I have to carry in food, and I think a lot of people I know who are into the same pastimes would to.


Soylent on Backpacking Trips
#2

I mentioned in another thread that I see a lot of potential for this in the military, on top of being lightweight and compact (30 days of food in less than 40 pounds), the very fast and effective digestion makes septic complications less likely in abdominal trauma.


#3

Having lived off of MRE’s before, I agree, Soylent is a much better alternative.


#4

I know I for one will be hiking this summer, a 3-day backpacking trip in August for certain. Not too hardcore but I’m hoping to have my Soylent very dialed in by then and field tested so it can be my food source.


#5

I was thinking about this today. Given what Soylent is, it’s pretty much by definition the lightest and most packable way of meeting your dietary needs possible – a backpacker’s dream. And it’s tunable for the multiple days of strenuous activity that a backpacking trip requires.


#6

Two things worth mentioning:

  1. Remember to adapt the recipe for the higher energy requirements. Three possible avenues here: just eating more Soylent, making a Soylent with higher fat/carb content, or making a carb-rich day Soylent and a fat-rich night Soylent.

  2. How do you spend 24 hours preparing and dehydrating a single dinner? The ‘24 hours’ I can believe, but the ‘single dinner’ I can’t. I would make a nutritionally-complete super-fatty super-thick stew (30 minutes to prepare, perhaps up to five hours to cook), then connect it to a vacuum pump overnight, bag up the resulting fatty goop and go rehydrating it for a half-week.


#7

How do you spend 24 hours preparing and dehydrating a single dinner? The ‘24 hours’ I can believe, but the ‘single dinner’ I can’t. I would make a nutritionally-complete super-fatty super-thick stew (30 minutes to prepare, perhaps up to five hours to cook), then connect it to a vacuum pump overnight, bag up the resulting fatty goop and go rehydrating it for a half-week.

Hyperbole on my part, I’ll admit, but we agree dehydrating meals is a lot of work. Often on a trip with multiple people, we’ll cook meals for everyone, so a ‘single dinner’ could be for four or more. And, I’d count five hours cooking plus twelve hours dehydrating in the preparation time. I also have a small and noisy dehydrator, so I try to not leave it on overnight, as it annoys everyone else in the house.


#8

Old thread I know, but I wanted to chip in and say I plan on using Soylent for this purpose as well! It would save having to take a stove with you on long distance hikes and would most likely be lighter weight and more nutritionally dense then other standard hiking food like oatmeal and granola. My current plan is to carry Soylent and nuts and berries to supplement the extra calories needed while hiking. Also Soylent would be easy to mail-ahead to dropbox supply yourself. I currently plan on hiking the triple crown of America’s long distance thru-hikes (Appalachian, Continental Divide, and Pacific Crest) and many other long-distance hikes all around the world, and I just may do it fueled by Soylent!

Xander


#9

This is off-topic, but… runny salami? Salami, like the hard dried sausage? How… how can that take on runny properties? Is there something about salami I don’t know?


#10

Salami is greasy and slimy and gets on your fingers, it also attracts bears.


#11

A week ago I field tested my DIY soylent, and spent 4 days camping and taking 4 hour hikes with a tent. I mixed it up with boiled river water on one overnight trip. Because it was my first week on soylent I did not want to over do it (eg just 4 hours hiking with a backpack). I felt it was an easy way to feed myself.


#12

I have a few questions on your experience.

  1. How did going from a regular diet to mostly Soylent affect your digestion and GI? I’d like to know if there are side-effects or discomfort that would get in the way of longer-distance backpacking (bloating, abdominal discomfort, etc).

  2. Were you able to mix it adequately without a blender or other mixer?

Thanks.


#13

In terms of digestion, no major issues except… If I remember correctly I did have an issue with the recipe that I fine tuned later - I removed the epsom salts that were acting like a laxative.

The recipe was not ideally suited to not having a blender but I coped. I ate the prunes whole, after drinking the liquid mix, it was a nice way of still eating something.

I would suggest you get used to it before leaving civilisation. There are better recipes in terms of not needing a blender, but I do often think I might revisit that one. The whole eggs made it pretty nice, with a chocolate flavour.

I am planning a major backpacking trip later in the year and am still working through the logistics of it - I won’t have access to the official formula as I live outside of the USA, so I will probably use a variant of my current recipe which has been in beta for several months now. It’s probably time I made it public as it is really nice.


#14

I’ll be bringing Soylent to the playa as a primary fuel for Burning Man this year. :smiley: Should massively simplify my prep process.


#15

Good thread, as this is a major reason I bought into Soylent.

(I live in BC and backpack all the time)


#16

I too am interested in light weight packing. I do day trips and camping weekends. I will enjoy watching my friends slave over a Coleman while I pack my tent! Say what…yep, I’m already finished with breakfast:)