Before refrigerators were invented travellers known as Voortrekkers would cure meat with salt and vinegar and then hang it up to dry, taking out the moisture, while the vinegar would inhibit bacteria growth. This form of meat preservation was crucial to the survival of the Voortrekkers as they migrated from the Cape Colony into South Africa during the Great Trek. Today, modern day hikers use biltong for many of the same reasons.
Biltong is nutritious and provides energy
When hiking it’s not always possible to stop and prepare an entire meal, but it’s also very important to eat foods that are rich in protein and high in nutrients. Because biltong is typically made from grassfed beef it is low in saturated fat, but high in omega-3 fatty acids, which act as a good type of fat. It also contains linoleic acid and high levels of vitamin E. Eating foods like biltong will ensure that you have the energy and nourishing benefits needed to take part in any demanding physical activity.
Biltong is convenient and lightweight
The last thing that a hiker wants to do is lug around an exhaustingly heavy backpack. When you’re travelling by foot, convenience and simplicity is key. Not only does biltong not require any cooling or refrigeration of any kind, nor does it require any type of cooking method, but it is also extremely lightweight. Since the meat is dehydrated, there is no moisture contained that makes it heavy to carry around. It will not take up very much space in your backpack either.
Not only do hikers need to be fully energized and healthy, but they also need to travel simply and efficiently. They need to pack foods that will provide them with the nutrients they require, while also being an easy and reliable snack. That’s why biltong is perfect for hikers.
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