One of the biggest questions for everyone planning a hike off the beaten track is certainly 'Which or what food to take?!'
Energy bars? Power bars? Expedition food? Just-add-boiling-water-(and-still-being-hungry-at-the-end)-meals? Nuts? Raisins? Peanut butter? Living chickens? Pemmican?
The list is long, and outdoor food is booming business.
I had it all. I had the power bars, the so-called expedition foods and boiling-water-bags, the bags of all kind of nuts & even the goblets of peanut butter. There was not one product that could satisfy me totally. Even not the chicken. And I lost a lot of money, too.
So for years I did like everyone: I survived. But, all changed... THE DAY I GOT MY DOG!
You want a nice story, here you got one.
We love our dog, and from his first day with us we wanted him to live the best life he could, giving him love, shelter, cats (hehe) and good food.
The first things weren't a problem, it's the last that got tricky.
It's no longer a public secret that the animal-food industry is yet a lot worse than it's human equivalent. A lot of people make big money selling big rubbish using & misusing the love people have for their pets 'they love it, the'll pay for it!'
We digged a bit in a lot of classic dog-food brands and what we discovered was disgusting, hateful, inhuman & some 100 more negative adjectives. It was like 'What you always wanted to know but what you really don't want to know...'.
A lot of people don't seem to care your dog (or cat) will suffer after having swallowed their rubbish. Not their problem. An example: 'classic' dog-food contains 20 to 30% meat (if you're lucky) - or 'meaty' products like skin & bones (hum). More than 50% are so-called 'carbohydrates' and the cereals used are most of the time inferior quality - read: contaminated by microtoxins.
Your dog is carnivore, you know. The natural diet of a wolf (his ancestor) contains 70% proteins and 30% cereals, roots & vegetables that he swallows indirectly by eating the stomachs of his prey.
1) He's got a digestive system that's not build to transform huge amounts of cereals. It will take him hours to digest. Of course he will swallow it, IT'S A DOG!
2) Since cereals are not part of its natural diet his body is not armed against this army of microtoxins. He's fully equiped against rotten meat, but defenceless against moldy corn. No need to make a picture.
I know, Instructables is not the platform to put the finger in the stinky purulent wound of the pet-food-industry, but dear pet-loving friends: think twice before buying the classic so-called 'good brands' thinking 'if it's expensive, it'll be good'.
Well no, it's not. But, the good news is that a few brands are different from the others.
A few brands are making dog-food with healthy (human-food-quality) meat instead of meat-like-(I'm not entering in details)-rubbish (more than 70% meat in the chunks), with healthy cereals instead of moldy waste (less then 30% cereals in the chunks) and with fresh vegetables instead of chemical additives. DOG FOOD - HUMAN FOOD QUALITY
So our Rustyboy is eating healthy.
Wazza link with outdoor stuff?!
Well, while doing the food-research one idea came into my crazy mind: 'Why not using Rusty's 'good' dog food as a trekking snack?'
You know, in ol' times expeditioners used to take 'pemmican' - fine ground dried meat mixed with animal fat - on their journeys into the great frozen wild (one time I tried to make this stuff by myself but it took really a long time to make and after ten days in my backpack it started to smell rather weird...). Proteins & fat: all you need to survive.
So, my opinion: no need to gather expensive expedition stuff if you have acces to high quality dog food!
Here's a link to my favourite brand
. Read and judgde for yourself.
When we see 'Man vs Wild' we all find it cool Bear Grylls eating all kind of stuff. So, some (good quality) dog food won't kill you, believe me.
Did I say we all should start eating dog food every day?
Of course not, common sense!
But the 'expedition environment' starts where civilisation ends. No rules, being efficient is staying alive.
A friend of mine wouldn't believe my speech of dog food vs outdoor snack and so he made a bet with me 'you'll never gonna eat a plate full of chunks!'
Poor boy, he lost again, paying me a crate full of beer ;) The pro's of good dog-chunks
- it's tasty & really not bad
- with a handful of chunks your hunger is gone - high 'fill-factor'
- it's easy to transport - you can make small portions
- since it's dried it's long storable
- combined with some dried cereals & nuts you've got all you need to go outdoors
- it's a lot cheaper than 'classic' expedition food - 25$ for 5 kg, something like that So, I know which food I'll carry with me on my coming deep-snow-big-fun-hike this winter.
And... I can even take Rusty with me!