There’s sitting-in-a-blind-all-day hunting and then there’s trekking-your-way-through-fields-forests-and mountains-in-pursuit-of-game hunting. If you’re a get-off-your-butt type of hunter, we salute you. And we also know that you work up a powerful hunger out there. Why is refueling so important – and what is the best food to take hunting

Be Choosy

Forget CrossFit, spinning, or HIIT. If you want to burn serious calories, go hunting. A deer or elk hunter carrying a pack over moderate to hilly terrain, for example, will burn between 6,000 to 11,000 calories over the course of a day.

If you don’t replace those calories, you risk fatigue, headache, and loss of concentration. And a rumbling stomach may take away your element of surprise! Further, lack of calories can be a serious problem when temperatures plummet. You need energy reserves, especially if you’re still out whitetail deer hunting in January.

The best foods for hunters are those that are high in nutrients and high in calories. You also need to be strategic: weight and size matters. For example, an apple has nutrients, but it’s relatively heavy and low in calories. It’ll take up precious room in your pack and won’t help you replace calories as efficiently as other choices. Select foods that are easy to carry and easy to open and eat.

6 Hunting Pack Food Ideas to Keep You Going

Our favorite foods to take hunting include:

  1. Jerky and Meat Snacks  Of course! Jerky is lightweight, easy to carry, and delicious. Our tender Beef Jerky and Steak Bites pouches have an average of 140 calories per package and our FATTY Hickory-Smoked Meat Sticks contain about 100 calories per ounce, making them great protein power-boosters when the midday doldrums kick in. Whether you’re craving the sweet and savory taste of our Original Beef Jerky, could use a kick in the pants from our Jalapeno FATTY smoked meat sticks, or feel like spicing things up with our Peppered Steak Bites, we’ve got you covered for your next hunting trip.
  2. Nuts – Peanuts, cashews, pistachios, walnuts, walnuts, and sunflower seeds are calorie dense (160 to 185 calories per ounce) and high in Omega 3 fatty acids and protein. They’re great for maintaining energy on the hunt. Mix it up. Create a simple trail mix to take advantage of the benefits of nuts while adding a bit of sweet from raisins, dried cherries, flaked coconut, and dark chocolate chips.
  3. Peanut Butter – Calorie dense peanut butter is a great picker-upper and hunger-fighter. You can find individual packages that are ideal for carrying in a pack, and you’ll get about 165 calories per ounce. Peanut butter also has a lot of protein and some healthy fats. Slap some on a flour tortilla for some carbohydrates and additional calories.
  4. Granola Bars – At 100 calories per ounce with plenty of complex carbs and good fats, a granola bar is a great lightweight addition to your pack that helps you maintain energy.
  5. Snickers – If you’re going to be burning 6000+ calories, you can afford to indulge in a Snickers bar! It does have sugar, but it also has 132 calories per ounce, carbohydrates, and protein. It can deliver a quick boost of energy, so try to time it for the home stretch of your hunt. 
  6. Water – No, it’s not a “food,” but water is essential on a hunt. If your pack has an internal bladder system, fill it up and use it. If not, pack water with you. It does add weight, but you’ll need to stay hydrated.

Stock up before your next hunting trip, and you’ll have all the calories and nutrients you need to keep up with the game! Shop Sweetwood’s extensive variety of mouth-watering products now.

What’s your favorite food to take hunting?

Steak Bites | Small Batch, Big Flavor | Sweetwood Smokehouse Natural Hickory-Smoked Jerky and Meat Snacks