Taking a Hike the Primal Way

Earlier this year the Primal Labrador (PL) introduced me to the Bibbulmun Track which he has been walking off and on for several years. This is a long distance walking trail in Western Australia running from Kalamunda to Albany and is 1,003.1 kilometres long. The name comes from the Bibbulmun, or Noongar people, Indigenous Australians from the Perth area.  We did a short section back in March as a day walk, so that I could see how it felt to hike approximately 17 Km in a day with just a light pack… it took us about 5 hours at a very pleasant strolling pace. We took homemade jerky and some muesli bars and nut bars as snacks.

In May, we tackled going from Mundaring Weir to Brookton Highway, a distance of 51 kilometres, over two nights and three days. This became one night and two days as we decided with the forecast for severe storms coming that when we arrived at the 2nd hut for day 2 at 1pm, we would push on and do the last 10 Kms that afternoon and go home a day early.

At the beginning of May, before the hike, we became very busy rearranging our house, and with other things going on we didn’t spend enough time planning or preparing food for the trip.  As a result, we took mostly commercially processed and packaged food, and we both took far too much. The PL started eating the bad food several days in advance, much to his chagrin.

We took:

3 Freeze dried meals, 2 double serves each, gluten-free for me, for night-time
12 packets of cuppa soup!
2 packs of 3 slices of semi dried bread each
Muesli bars – 18 (PL)
Choc nut bars – 12 (me)
Homemade Beef Jerky- 6 x 80 gram packs each
Dried fruit boxes – 3 each
Yoghurt covered fruit (PL)- 1 bag
Gluten free biscuits for me – 3 x packs of 3
Breakfast was our seed mix – 6 serves each

I added whey protein powder as a substitute for coconut/almond milk and just stirred it up with water… as I totally forgot to include the powdered milk… oh dear… we drank black tea on this trip. 🙁

The total weight of food that each of us was carrying was ridiculous, hovering around the 3.5 kilogramme mark! and for only 3 days out…

Even before we began the hike, the PL was already becoming a sugar addict again, munching on the muesli bars through the day, with hints of energy spikes and mood swings becoming more noticeable (Don’t tell him I said that! 😛 ).

This drop out of fat adaption became even more pronounced with the discovery of a large bag of jellybeans at the first hut that another hiker had left for the next people who come along… Anthony morphed into the Primal Labrador – sucking up almost every last bean, in a state of blissed-out sugar induced euphoria figuring he’s already misbehaved, so he was going to make the most of it. He loved jellybeans in the old days when he was significantly overweight – before he went Primal… I had to fight him, just for a meagre handful. 😛

By the last 10 Kms of this trip, he was sugar crashing badly, and although I had opted for the seemingly better option of nut bars rather than muesli bars, I too was feeling the beginnings of sugar cravings and the onset of a sugar crash. This was particularly pronounced for both of us given that it had been many months since either one of us had a significant amount of sugar. (My work Christmas party was where I first saw the Primal Labrador emerge when I watched him devour 7 huge servings! I guess when you used to weigh over 160kg, you have room in there somewhere…

We actually gained a little weight during this trip, despite all the walking we did! It took us about a fortnight to recover foodwise… as we both had to go through all the sugar withdrawals again… it was so very easy to slip back into old ways.

You’ve probably worked out by now if you’ve been reading other posts that neither one of us gives up or is bothered when we make a mistake, we just make changes and off we go again. This trip we resolved to plan much better and not to buy any commercial food if possible, or where we did it would be low carbohydrate and sugar-free.

So here is what I have spent the last weekend doing in preparation…

Making and dehydrating two evening meals (Chicken Teriyaki Stirfry, and a BBQ Beef Stew)
Creating seed biscuits for the PL, (he doesn’t like nuts)
Creating seed and nut bars for me
Dehydrating jerky straps
Making and semi dehydrating 2 loaves of bread.
I reworked our morning seed drinks, with coconut milk powder for him, and with milk powder for me, and included a 500ml shaker bottle we can use to mix them in.

This is a longer trip of 3 days and 2 nights with a total distance of about 75 kilometres, yet our food weighs in at about 2.4 kilogrammes for the PL and 2.1 kilogrammes for me. It might not seem like a lot, but believe me, every gramme counts when you have to carry it on your back!

There is a small amount of commercial food, with cuppa soups for lunch, the dried fruit bags, as energy snacks if we need it, and the gluten-free biscuits for me, a treat to have with morning tea, as these were a practical and light option.

Without the inclusion of sugar, our energy should be an ongoing all day output and not the up/down level of sugar laden food.

Pictured above the PL has –
Back row:
Evening meals and Breakfast
Middle row:
Lunches, 2 cuppa soups and 4 slices of bread
Front row:
Jerky straps, biscuits, fruit bags, and chocolate topped cocoa seed biscuits (2 pack)

I have –
Back row:
Evening meals and Breakfast
Middle row:
Lunches, 2 cuppa soups and 4 slices of primal bread
Front row:
Jerky straps, biscuits, fruit bags, and chocolate topped caramel seed and nut bars

We each have a small bag with tea bags, powdered milk and Stevia as well.

When the Anthony made the swap to Primal, part of his research was how there is a significant push within the ultra-marathon community for low carbohydrate slow release energy foods (low G.I.), but this will be the first time I’ve been eating only Primal foods while hiking, so it will make an interesting comparison when we get back next week…

Until then, I hope you all stay safe and have an awesome weekend too!

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