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Salty Snacks when Paddling

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What do you take for salty snacks?

I recently paddled a section of the Peace River and forgot to bring anything to replace salt lost due to sweating during the day. I was fine, but the experience caused me to think about salty snacks to eat during the day.

Salted nuts? pretzels? chips? crouton?
 
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I've never worried much about it. I'm usually not sweating all that much and figure there's enough salt in my regular diet. I usually end lunch with a handful of lightly salted almonds but otherwise don't normally snack unless I'm skipping a meal or won't be able to eat later than usual and need something to tide me over.

Alan
 
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Cashews. On both campers and day trips. Calories and protein aside mostly because they are my favorite nut.

On a day trip, not for salt, a banana. Again, because I like them, and they come naturally wrapped. Yeah, there’s the peel to take home, but I’m usually picking up some garbage along the way in any case.
 
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When we r headed out on multi-day trips particularly in warmer weather, we will pick up a couple of those small plastic ( 4 oz.?) squirt bottles that you flavor water with…..there are usually a couple flavors of “sport drink” full of electrolytes…..a couple squirts into a nalgene full of freshly filtered water and you have a Gatorade like drink…..

Mike
 

Glenn MacGrady

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Electrolyte loss through perspiration is more of a concern in Florida, where Erica paddles, than in northern climates. An alternative to salty snacks is to bring along packets of Gatorade powder to mix into drinking water. Gatorade was invented at the University of Florida College of Medicine specifically to replace electrolyte loss among perspiring athletes in the Florida heat.
 
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I have canoe raced in the Adirondacks in 90+ degree temperatures with high humidity, while heavily sweating. I have even crossed the Arctic circle one day with a 90 degree air temp when paddling on the Yukon. Most canoe racers I know do use gatorade. Most, myself included, cannot tolerate much of the stuff straight and will dilute it up to 1/3 GA, 2/3 water to keep hydrated. The usual food snacks that marathon racers crave and consume will likely contain sufficient salt.
 
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Interesting question and thread, Erica. You already have some good response, but I thought I would join in just for fun.

When i was a boy scout in California, out troop, #257, often went on long mountain hikes in the hot sun. Our scoutmasters always distributed daily salt tablets. When I started going on my own backpacking trips, I never again worried about salt depletion, even on long hikes with a heavy pack.

I moved to Vancouver in 1975, and met Kathleen in 1976. We enjoyed long backpacking trips until we became canoeists in 1987. We have never even thought about taking any supplies specific to counteracting any potential salt depletion. We do, though, on our canoe trips, as others have mentioned, take a daily baggy each of our own gorp, which contains a variety of ingredients, including mixed nuts, which are salty and very tasty. In our kitchen bucket, we also have small salt and pepper shakers, although i normally don’t use very much salt. I don’t think Kathleen and I are generally working extremely hard for extended periods, or sweating profusely, on our canoe trips. I certainly might be medically naive or ill-informed, but after nearly 60 years of not worrying about salt, I won’t start worrying now. Besides, I likely have only one planned two-week canoe trip left, out on the Barrens, and it will be leisurely. Not even any portages.
 

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I should add that on overnight trips, as a non-cooker, I mainly eat commercial freeze-dried meals in the morning and evening, which have an abundance of salt.
 

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after nearly 60 years of not worrying about salt, I won’t start worrying now.

The way I look at it, my heart, circulatory system, cholesteral levels and likely plaque build-up therein are quite different from what they were 60 or even 6 years ago. That doesn't make me specifically worried about salt, but it does for a number of other things. I sure wouldn't be portaging a heavy tandem canoe in the barren (of hospitals) lands, and am vicariously relieved that you won't either.
 
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I always take cashews and Pringles.

I eat cashews in my day to day life but Pringles come along just for trips. Something about those make sense in the woods and I use the empty container for trash, or to keep my long handled spoons from migrating in my barrel.
 
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Electrolyte loss through perspiration is more of a concern in Florida, where Erica paddles, than in northern climates. An alternative to salty snacks is to bring along packets of Gatorade powder to mix into drinking water. Gatorade was invented at the University of Florida College of Medicine specifically to replace electrolyte loss among perspiring athletes in the Florida heat.

That’s why we drink Powerade in Tallahassee 😁

I like salted nuts, beef jerky, kippered snacks on ritz crackers or triscuits, and beef jerky. Beef jerky is on that list twice on purpose.

When I’m working outside all day, I cannot eat a full meal, so I snack throughout the day on the afore mentioned salty delights. Add a block of cheese and an apple and I’m content. But mostly you pound water all day 🥵
 
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I dont care for paddling in conditions where I will genuinely be concerned about electrolyte loss through perspiration, but having worked several jobs where it was a real issue, I can tell you that the common branded stuff is NOT going to help you in a depletion emergency. Mio, Gatorade, and the like are a "topping off" solution, not a repair.

For true imbalance, you will need more than small amounts of sodium to properly restore cellular function. Potassium and magnesium are likely to also be in short supply, and they are harder to find in substantive quantities. I usually have a couple dry mix packets in my first aid kit that each contain 1000mg sodium, 300mg potassium, and 80mg magnesium. Compare that to a Gatorade packet and you will see what I mean.

I dont like to recommend specific brands because of a variety of marketing / trade name gimics, but if you research "fasting salts" you will get several good products that are designed to provide solid amounts of soluble electrolytes at reasonable cost. THEN add a squirt of Mio to make it more palatable.

Word of caution: don't "slug" these salts, especially on an empty stomach. Space it out over a half to full hour. Explosive decompression may result.

*edit* The above post is NOT intended to be a daily use recommendation. It is insurance against an semi-serious situation.
 
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That’s why we drink Powerade in Tallahassee 😁

I like salted nuts, beef jerky, kippered snacks on ritz crackers or triscuits, and beef jerky. Beef jerky is on that list twice on purpose.

When I’m working outside all day, I cannot eat a full meal, so I snack throughout the day on the afore mentioned salty delights. Add a block of cheese and an apple and I’m content. But mostly you pound water all day 🥵
I'm amazed it took until post #14 for jerky to show up. We buy our beef by the quarter and we get the tougher cuts made into strips for jerky. If it's chilly, lunch will be cup-a-soup or ramen, both of which contain enough salt for about 10 people. Pepperettes are another staple - usually good ones can be found on the highway 60 corridor east of Algonquin - lots of Polish and Mennonite communities.
 
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Electrolyte loss through perspiration is more of a concern in Florida, where Erica paddles, than in northern climates. An alternative to salty snacks is to bring along packets of Gatorade powder to mix into drinking water. Gatorade was invented at the University of Florida College of Medicine specifically to replace electrolyte loss among perspiring athletes in the Florida heat.
Absolutely not. It is a huge concern when travelling in the open areas of recent forest fires in the Boreal forest if you have frequent portages as we did and portage clearing. We learned from experience that dehydration happens actually faster there with less humidity.. Where there is open Canadian Shield rock the temps get above100 in the sun and we all had salt caked skin and nausea and cramps..We were snacking on Gorp but not much and we had to remember to eat some of it every half hour or so. And of course keep up the water. We were drinking maybe a quart a day and that wasn't enough. FIltering was a PITA in the days before gravity filters but we had to remember to do it more often. We upped our liquids to just under three quarts a day and felt much better.
Our other defense was to try and slow down evaporation by wearing cotton twill shirts. Not jersey but wetting down long sleeve dress shirts (from Goodwillof course)

The hottest I have ever felt was in Fairbanks Alaska in early July.. It was only 91 but with a low humidity and sun directly overhead it was an oven.
 
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We were drinking maybe a quart a day and that wasn't enough.
I would think that would be the whole problem right there. I get slowly get dehydrated over multiple days if I'm not drinking 2-3 quarts/day, and that's just my regular day at home, which usually isn't very strenuous.

From my personal experience if you can keep up on water then extra salt isn't necessary. But if you're not drinking enough water you can't overcome that with salt intake.

Certainly there are situations where it might be necessary, and Yellowcanoe's could be one of them, but that's not normal tripping for most of us. For most activity, even strenuous, I just don't think it's needed.

Alan
 
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