Tips & Tricks

A Backcountry Skier’s Guide to Staying Fueled

We caught up with Hive athlete and avid backcountry skier TJay Gerber, who lends us some advice on backcountry ski preparation and fueling:

Before we get started on how to stay fueled while traveling in the backcountry, make sure that you get educated on traveling safely in the backcountry and be aware of avalanche dangers. Specifically, get the gear, education, and training before you go out and explore. Know Before You Go will lay it all out for you!


My weekend excursions always start with planning on where my friends and I are heading. Once we get a consensus on where the best powder and safest area will be, I start loading up the backpack. Preparation is key and consists of packing all the required items – beacon, shovel, probe, multiple clothing layers, first aid kit, and perhaps my favorite food and snacks! This is where Honey Stinger and I originally became best friends. I became tired of the same old snacks that left a bland taste in my mouth and that took awhile for the energy to really hit my legs. I found Honey Stinger’s products delicious, but also the perfect size, calorie/carb ratio, and ‘eatability’ efficiency to keep me moving throughout the day. What is ‘eatability’ efficiency!? Read on, young padawan…


When I’m skinning uphill covering 3,000 – 5,000 vertical feet over the course of many miles, I need to make sure I have easy access to energy so I can concentrate on the reason I’m there – skiing! I keep Energy Chews and Gels in my hip belt pockets so I can grab them easily before heading back up for another lap. The gels and chews fit easily into the pockets and the chews are also extremely easy to pop into my mouth while wearing gloves. I’ll frequently take a few chews as I’m nearing the bottom of the slope so that when I transition back into touring mode, I have enough sustained energy to take me back up to the top. It also helps ensure that my friends aren’t waiting on me at the summit!


After all the hooping and hollering has subsided for the day from the powdery turns we found, it’s time to turn off our beacons and load up the car. Inevitably, we’ll start chatting about the plan for tomorrow. Will our objective be to gain a new summit? Or will it be to get powder turns and multiple laps? Either way, I need to make sure my body is prepared for more uphill battles! The best thing for my taste buds and sore muscles is the Dark Chocolate Mint Almond Protein Bar. Rewarding myself with dark chocolate that ALSO helps me recover? It’s a win-win.

Whether you’re backcountry skiing, snowshoeing, or making hardcore snow angels, it’s extremely important to keep your energy tanks full so you can make the most of your day. Staying hydrated and having enough calories throughout your adventure will enable you to succeed in your goals and aid in muscle recovery later that day. Whatever your passion, get out there!



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Twitter: @tjmgerb