Keeping our bodies fueled while engaging in outdoor activities is harder than it appears.
Why? One reason is serious outdoorsmen and women don’t like to stop. We are constantly pushing the envelope — trying desperately to squeeze every minute out of every day.
Taking time to stop and pound calories is time we could use to chase a distant bugle or climb over a ridge to an unsullied alpine basin.
Second, toting food, especially on extended backcountry sojourns, can be difficult. It takes lots of planning and preparation to make sure we have enough sustenance in our coolers and packs to keep us energized and provide proper nutrients.
Beef jerky, such as Old Trapper Beef Jerky just may be the ultimate snack item for hunters. Besides being loaded with protein — the building block of life — jerky is easy to carry and takes up little room. Every cell in the human body contains protein, and you need adequate amounts of it in your daily diet to help your body repair cells and make new ones.
Hunting can be a rigorous affair. We walk, we climb and we repeat; often with very little sleep in between.
We need protein to repair the damage we are doing and to keep us going day after day. Besides helping to repair cells and make new ones, protein helps with fluid balance, vision and ensures proper transportation of vital substances throughout the body. In short, it’s a crucial element to your hunt.
You can store jerky in your pack, truck, tent … the list goes on. It doesn’t have to be in a refrigerator, and its shelf life — if unopened — is up to two years.
My advice: Buy a few packages here and there throughout the year and store them in a plastic tote. You’ll be surprised how much meat you can stockpile if you drop a few dollars on jerky every time you get paid. Then, when it comes time for that hunting trip, you have plenty of snacks ready and waiting.
One 10-ounce bag of Old Trapper Beef Jerky, for instance, contains 10 one-ounce servings of jerky. Personally, I like to tote a full bag in my pack’s main compartment at all times.
I also like to divvy up servings into smaller bags before my hunt. I carry these in my pack’s waist belt pocket and snack regularly throughout the day. When you can eat and walk at the same time, that’s a good thing.
One serving of Old Trapper’s jerky provides 11 grams (22 percent) of your daily protein needs. There are 10 servings per container in each 10-ounce bag. There’s also a healthy dose of sodium (varies depending on flavor), which can prevent cramping. While jerky is by no means sugar-heavy, it does contain sugar, which is great for quick energy.
I keep jerky in my pack, truck, tent, and the like. Old Trapper’s many flavor offerings (Old Fashioned, Hot and Spicy, Peppered and Teriyaki) are super tasty. I tend to start snacking when there’s a bag nearby.
When hunting, that’s not a bad thing. Rarely do hunters take in enough calories each day to replace the ones they burn.
On average, the backcountry wanderer will burn between 4,000 and 5,000 calories per day. Most will replace less than half of those calories, which can take its toll on the body and mind, especially on a multi-day hunt. By day three or four of a hunt, you’ll probably be exhausted and your mental focus can begin to slip. Old Trapper’s jerky provides 70 calories per serving and zero of those calories are from fat.
Is jerky only good for the backcountry goer? Absolutely not.
As previously mentioned, it may just be the ultimate hunting snack. When you’re sitting dawn til dark waiting on that buck of a lifetime, it’s difficult to stay focused. One of the best ways to boost mental concentration while on stand is to hydrate and take in some calories.
Eating is also a good mental boost when hunting in cold conditions. The same holds true for the turkey ground-blind sitter or those waiting in a 120-degree blind hoping a pronghorn will come in and slake his thirst.
In addition to offering throngs of jerky options — including its popular Beef Steak and Beef Sticks — Old Trapper also provides protein-packed nutrition in its Beef Steak strips. Offered in flavors of Old Fashioned, Peppered and Teriyaki, these steaks also take up little space and provide tons of nourishment; one steak has 22 grams of protein and 140 calories.
Beef Sticks are another great option. My go-to is the Original Deli Style Beef Sticks. One serving provides 150 quick calories, and each 15-ounce pack contains, roughly 15 servings. That’s a total of 2,250 calories per pack. Stuff it in your backpack and go. Another staple is the Original or Jalapeno Beef & Cheese Snack Stick.
Nutrition is essential to a hunt and jerky products are a good choice. It’s amazing — especially at those moments when you hit rock bottom on a hunt — how a great tasting snack can lift your spirits.