How to Be Prepared for a Backcountry Hunt

Over the years, I’ve heard a lot of stories about backcountry hunts ending early.

But it’s not what you’d think.

It’s usually not a life threatening injury… or a Grizzly Bear Attack… or dangerous weather.

Instead, the most common story I hear about is about a guy struggling with pain, a nagging injury, or running out of energy.

Either the knee is flaring up again… 

Or their lower back is causing problems…

Or their energy bonks and they run out of gas.

The first or second day of the hunt they can get by with pills from the med kit, but by the 3rd or 4th day, the pain or energy just gets so bad they have to shut it down early.

Many times it’s the main reason they didn’t fill their tag that year.

And the worst part is, most of those types of problems are preventable if they just knew what they were up against.

Because if they did, it wouldn’t keep ruining their hunts.

That’s why I put together this article about the biggest thing standing in the way of having better performance in the mountains: Inflammation.

Chronic Inflammation Is Your Enemy

Inflammation is actually a healthy immune response in your body. It’s usually a good thing when you have a new, acute injury. 

It’s like the first responder to the scene of the accident.

It helps your body with the healing process and things like pain, swelling, redness, and warmth are all signs it’s doing what it’s supposed to do.

Acute inflammation is short and only lasts a day or two. 

But chronic inflammation is when things get bad.

Inflammation becomes chronic when it’s a constant low-level physiological response happening in your body all the time.

Here’s the problem: Chronic inflammation is when your body no longer has the ability to turn off the inflammatory response and it starts damaging healthy tissue in your body and you start to feel bad.

Think of it like starting a small fire to stay warm in the mountains… but the wind suddenly grows it into a huge forest fire, burning 100,000 acres.

Here are some of the common red flags for chronic inflammation:

  • Nagging pain in the body, especially the joints or muscles
  • Old injuries that flare up during exertion
  • High blood pressure or blood sugar problems
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Not recovering from workouts
  • Low energy, or not feeling as strong as you used too
  • Skin problems or red, bloodshot eyes
  • Gut issues like constipation, diarrhea, and acid reflux.
  • Weight gain

If your body is not performing like you want it to in the mountains, inflammation is the first place to start looking and it’s something that’s not talked about enough in the hunting circles.

The Two Fastest Ways to Stop Inflammation

MTNTOUGH is continuously researching backcountry performance in “The Lab” here in Bozeman, Montana.

For those guys that are struggling to get results and keep having setbacks with pain or injuries, we always look at inflammation first. 

The two most common ways to turn it off are:

1) Working Out Consistently

Heading into the mountains for a multi day hunt when your body isn’t used to working that hard is going to contribute to inflammation in the body and cause your symptoms to flare up.

Instead, moving your body and getting it used to moving on a daily basis is the most important first step.  

Even if it’s just an at home bodyweight workout, training consistently is going to keep your inflammation lower heading into hunting season and keep it low during longer hunts.

2) Eating Clean

At MTNTOUGH, we don’t prescribe a specific name brand diet. Instead, we want you to focus on eating real food.  It’s all about burning clean fuel in your body and building the custom nutrition program that’s tailored to your body type.

Processed unhealthy foods are the biggest contributors to inflammation.

With the type of training you’re doing we need to keep inflammation down and keep your energy levels up… eating bad food is only going to hold you back.  

Don’t put in all that work at the gym and then eat processed foods that erase that progress or end your hunts early.

Clean up your diet before season so you start feeling better and continue to eat healthy in the backcountry so your inflammation stays low.

Feel Better This Hunting Season

If you want better performance this upcoming hunting season, don’t ignore inflammation.

It’s the most overlooked reason guys run out of energy or struggle with pain and injuries in the backcountry.

Start by cleaning up your diet now so you feel better and knock out some 30-minute workouts at the house or while you're traveling.

And right now you can grab our two latest MTNTOUGH programs for 20% OFF to help with that.


30 Workouts. 30 Minutes. No Gym. No Equipment. At Home. On the Road. Anytime. Anywhere.

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Get the nutrition your body needs to and elevate your performance in the gym and in the backcountry.  

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- Dustin