FREE Backcountry Calorie Calculator

Author Cody Wright
FREE Backcountry Calorie Calculator

The importance of nutrition when hunting

The proper nutrition while in the backcountry is essential to long term success. We have conducted studies on backcountry hunters and guides to better understand the real world effects of nutrition when in the field.

We have been tracking basal metabolic rates, daily caloric needs, differing caloric burn rates, and the effects sustaining a caloric deficit has on performance in the backcountry, and the results may surprise you.

The additional impact that backcountry hunting adds to our nutritional needs is far more than most people expect and can take a tremendous toll on whether they come off the mountain successful and healthy.

Changing your perspective

A large percentage of hunters are taking in far less calories than what they need in order to sustain a functional performance level, let alone their normally high level of performance, trying to shed a little weight in their packs. With the additional metabolic stress of high altitude, harsh terrain, cold temperatures, and heavy packs; you are burning far more calories than what you're used to.

This Backcountry Calorie Calculator was created to help you determine the right amount of calories you need on the mountain to keep performing at your best.

It's built in Google Sheets so you can use it on any device, and it employs what's known as the "Pandolf" equation, which was developed for the military as an estimate on how much energy it takes to hike with a heavy pack on.



With the Backcountry Calorie Calculator you can:

  • Calculate how many calories you'll burn each day based on your bodyweight, pack weight, distance, elevation gain, and average hiking speed.
  • Determine your daily food intake based on your burn rate to manage your caloric deficit.
  • Build your backcountry food plan to have more energy, more endurance, and more success on your next trip to the backcountry.

When paired with our Backcountry Hunting Gear List Template, you will be able to have everything from specific meal lists, macronutrient breakdown, and food+water+gear weight at your disposal.

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