2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.

Also on

Enter Zip Code

Backpacker Magazine – Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011

Ski Strong: Stay Fueled

Conquer cold with proactive hydration and calorie-packed nutrition.

by: Evelyn Spence

Stay Fuled: Alpine Pasta
Stay Fuled: Alpine Pasta

>> Altitude accelerates dehydration because it’s desert-dry, so you breathe harder (and if you’re taking Diamox, you pee more). In fact, water loss through respiration alone can occur twice as fast at altitude than at sea level. Try to down three to four liters of water per day.
>> Hydration bladder tubes may freeze, and as temps drop, even insulated hoses and bite valves may ice up. Fill your reservoir with warm water and route the hose close to your body. After drinking, blow into the bite valve to push the water down the tube and back into the reservoir.
>> Really cold? If it’s below 15°F, ditch the bladder for double-walled or wide-mouth bottles (tucked into an insulated sleeve or deep in your pack). Water will stay liquid longer in a wide bottle. Tip: Add electrolytes (and comfort) by packing at least one bottle of hot, sweet tea.

>> If you’re day-touring at moderate altitudes (below 8,000 feet), try for a ratio of 50 percent carbs, 30 percent fat, and 20 percent protein. Going higher? Change the ratio to 65:25:10. Burning fat requires more oxygen than burning carbs, so a lower-fat fuel mix is less taxing to exploit.
>> Plan to consume 3,000 to 3,500 calories per full day. Exertion at high altitude (usually above 8,000 feet) can cause low oxygen levels in the blood (hypoxia). As a result, your body shunts oxygen from your digestive system to critical organs like your heart, lungs, and brain—which will dampen your appetite. Plan to eat at scheduled times or at specific landmarks, to ensure you’re consuming enough calories. Shivering? Up your intake even more. Shivering can burn up to 400 calories an hour.
>> Nutrient absorption can drop 15 percent at altitude, as a result of hypoxia. Stay energized by eating whatever tastes best. Bring both salty and sweet snacks so that if your appetite flounders, you have tempting options. If your energy is flagging, it’s more important to get calories in any form than to worry about where they come from or their fat-carb ratio.
>> Need a boost? Pure sugar is absorbed quickly. Carry a handful of jellybeans or hard candies (they’ll be edible at any temp) for your summit push. Energy gels can freeze.

Subscribe to Backpacker magazine
Sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter
Address 1:
Address 2:
Email (req):
Reader Rating: -


Jul 23, 2012

Cristi Day
Dec 26, 2011

Where can I find the,"alpine pasta" recipe??? Thanks!


Your rating:
Your Name:


My Profile Join Now

Most recent threads

Trailhead Register
Falling in the backcountry
Posted On: Aug 20, 2014
Submitted By: overthehillwalker
Anyone else planning a JMT hike this summer?
Posted On: Aug 20, 2014
Submitted By: Scot

View all Gear
Find a retailer

Special sections - Expert handbooks for key trails, techniques and gear

Check out Montana in Warren Miller's Ticket to Ride
Warren Miller athletes charge hard and reflect on Big Sky country, their love for this space and the immense energy allotted to the people who reside in Montana.

Boost Your Apps
Add powerful tools and exclusive maps to your BACKPACKER apps through our partnership with Trimble Outdoors.

Carry the Best Maps
With BACKPACKER PRO Maps, get life-list destinations and local trips on adventure-ready waterproof myTopo paper.

FREE Rocky Mountain Trip Planner
Sign up for a free Rocky Mountain National Park trip planning kit from our sister site

Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions