One of the major concern in hiking is the food. If you carry too much food, it will make your backpack heavier and cause problems on the trip. And without proper water and food can be dehydration and other health problems. So, you need proper food ideas along with other hiking knowledge before setting up a trip.
Along with keeping the essential outdoor gears, one should keep proper foods with them. At least they should have a perfect plan for eating during their trips.
- Hiking Food Ideas and Tips
- What are the best 20 snacks for hiking?
- 1. Orange slices
- 2. Trail mix
- 3. Pancakes
- 4. Banana
- 5. Pasta
- 6. Peanut butter and jelly sandwich
- 7. Carrots and hummus
- 8. Dried mango
- 9. Craisins
- 10. Raisins
- 11. Pretzels
- 12. Applesauce squeeze packets
- 13. Dates
- 14. Energy bars
- 15. Beet juice
- 16. Frozen grapes
- 17. Chocolate covered almonds
- 18. Dried cheese
- 19. Popcorn
- 20. Energy balls
- Before you go away
Hiking Food Ideas and Tips
While hiking and being in any other outdoor camping trips, one should have basic knowledge of hiking foods. Keeping the necessity in mind we are going to discuss some important aspects of food and water during hiking. Let us look at these ideas and tips below.
1. Freeze-Dried Food
You can make your trip much less enjoyable by fretting too much over food. Perhaps the most common option is freeze-dried food. It carries little smell, and it comes in convenient envelopes that allow you to cook it by merely adding boiling water. This means you don’t have cooking pans to wash or store.
Also, these foods tend to keep the ingredients intact for a longer time than other normal foods. So, you don’t have to be tensed there either.
2. Dry Pre-Packed Meals and Snacks
Dry pre-packed meals (often pasta- or rice-based) offer an affordable alternative to freeze-dried foods. You can supplement these meals by bringing pita bread, bagels, tortillas, and dehydrated salsa. Do not bring salt; most backpacking food already has plenty of salt.
Take plenty of snacks. In case you don’t bring enough other food, you’ll have something to keep you going. Avoid fresh fruit (because it’s heavy), and canned meats and fish when camping in bear country.
Get calories from the following sources: 40% from carbohydrates, 30% from protein, and 30% from fat. On trips above 10,000 feet, you should increase your carbohydrate intake to 70% of your calories.
3. Make Your Own Food
There are many ways to prepare one’s own food easily. There are tons of recipes on different books and articles over the internet for doing that. However, I will cover two important aspects here.
If you are heavily into extended backpacking trips, consider purchasing a food dehydrator to make your own food. You should be able to recoup the cost by not having to purchase expensive, commercially available dehydrated foods.
You can also make a tasty backpacking dinner by filling burrito shells with couscous or tabouli. Add some fresh vegetables on the first and second nights, and eat like a queen. Using a proper rescue knife for cutting the fruits can make delicious recipes during your hike. This recipe includes proper ingredients to keeps strength in tough hiking situations.
On extended trips, purposely pack one meal that is larger than needed (twice what you expect to eat in an average meal) and save it for later in the trip, when you are sure to eat it all.
4. Use Stoves in Mild and Cooler Environment
If you generally camp in mild climates, consider using butane canister stoves. They light easily, burn hot, and are lightweight. If you plan to hike and camp in areas with colder temperatures with the possibility of summer snow, it is probably better to use a white-gas stove. You’re probably not going to be able to fry potato fries on it, but you can always get one of the air fryers for that.
Technology may make butane stoves more usable at colder temperatures, and it may be possible in the future to forgo white-gas-burning stoves. However, using white gas arguably produces less wasted metal canisters than butane.
Regardless of what stove you purchase the most important thing you need to know is how to use it. After you purchase a stove, take it apart, put it back together, and see if you can purchase replacement parts. Start it, clean it, repair it, and light it prior to leaving home.
You can make most stoves work if you keep them clean, maintained, and know how to fix them. You may have to rebuild all or part of a stove after a while. It is actually really easy to do with following some simple steps.
5. Water Requirement
Water is essential for any kinds of situation. A good-quality water bottle should be an essential part of any backpacker’s equipment. They should carry at least a bottle of water. Although plastic bottles are fine, an aluminum bottle has the advantage of being stronger and can be placed on a fire or stove to heat the water if necessary.
In warm climates, do not put the bottle in your pack where it will be next to your back, as this will warm the water and make it less refreshing to drink. You may consider a portable water cooler in this case. In cold climates, do not fill the bottle right to the top; you will need to allow some movement of the water to prevent it freezing. In cold climates, do keep the water bottle close to your body – your heat will also stop it from freezing.
What are the best 20 snacks for hiking?
The proper snacks will give you the energy you need to hike. A perfect snack for hiking includes healthy carbs, like the ones you find in fruits, veggies, or whole grains. Carbohydrates represent the primary energy source for strenuous activities like hiking.
Your hiking snacks have to be easy to carry and eat while on the move. They also have to withstand hours in your backpack. We want to remind you that snacks can only help you this much because hydration is essential when hiking. If the weather is very hot or you tend to sweat a lot, you should add a bit of salt to your water to gain back the essential electrolytes you lose when sweating. You can also make your sports drink and pack it for hiking.
Here are some of the most popular and efficient snacks to have when hiking:
1. Orange slices
It is effortless to slice up an orange and pack it in a Ziploc snack bag. The orange juice will hydrate you, whereas the fruit sugar will give you energy.
2. Trail mix
One of the best energizing snacks to have when hiking is a mix of dried nuts and fruits. Nuts are high in protein, fat, and calories and offer you lasting energy. Dried fruits such as raisins or bananas are easy to digest carbs and give you instant power. They are also an excellent source of potassium and will replenish your electrolytes.
Almost everybody loves and knows how to make pancakes. Pack some in your backpack as they’re tasty carb sources and prep. It’s easy to eat pancakes when hiking. You can add some fruits or syrup for more energy and even some nut butter for protein.
Bananas are rich in natural sugar, which we need in strenuous activities like hiking. They’re also loaded in potassium—it’s an electrolyte we lose when sweating. We need to stay hydrated during challenging physical exercises and replace the potassium that we lose.
We know it isn’t effortless to eat pasta when on the move. However, pasta is an excellent meal to have at lunch because it’s easy to digest and gives us energy. Since cold pasta isn’t tasty, you can opt for a pasta salad. Use your favorite type of pasta with some olive oil, veggies, and lemon juice.
6. Peanut butter and jelly sandwich
The protein and fat from the nut butter will fill you up and provide you with the energy and calories you need. Honey, jelly, and bread are excellent sources of carbs that work as a fast-acting source of energy.
7. Carrots and hummus
Like pasta, carrots and hummus aren’t easy to eat when hiking a steep hill. However, you will want to have a lunch break, so why not have some crunchy carrots and hummus? The hummus is rich in proteins and the snack will give you the energy you need to continue your hiking.
8. Dried mango
Dried mango doesn’t have added sugar and tastes sweet. It’s a tasty source of vitamins and easy to digest carbs. On top of everything else, eating dried mango will make you feel like you’re hiking in the tropics.
Dried cranberries, also known as craisins, are loaded with antioxidants to reduce inflammation. They also have natural and added sugar, so they boost your energy. They won’t go bad in your backpack because they’re shelf-stable.
If you don’t know it by now, the dried grapes, aka raisins, are an excellent source of fast-acting energy. They’re naturally sweet and easy to eat while on the move.
The salty snacks are excellent for hiking as they’re easy to digest carbohydrates and sodium that you lose while sweating. Throw a bag of pretzels when you go hiking.
12. Applesauce squeeze packets
You only need to pack the applesauce squeeze packets and have an easy-to-eat snack when hiking. They give tremendous energy.
You should consider dates as hiking snacks because they’re high in potassium and calories. They give you energy quickly, and you should stuff them with nut butter or almonds for more protein and energy.
14. Energy bars
Energy bars contain fat, carbs, and protein which translates into lasting energy. They’re easy to carry and eat while on the move. You can always make your energy bars at home.
15. Beet juice
If you look for various sources of potassium, consider beet for your hiking. They will efficiently replace the lost electrolytes. Studies revealed that beets improve blood flow, increase oxygen flow to the muscle, and reduce blood pressure. They also improve exercise tolerance during strenuous exercises.
16. Frozen grapes
Hiking in the summer can be tiring, and you will always feel better after eating frozen grapes as they’re refreshing and cool. They give you water for hydration and fruit sugar for immediate energy.
17. Chocolate covered almonds
Almonds contain two primary nutrients that give you healthy fats and protein. The protein will do good for your tired muscle. When hiking, always have some carb-rich chocolate because it maintains the energy levels high.
18. Dried cheese
Don’t raise your eyebrow thinking that dried cheese isn’t a good option when hiking. Many dried cheese snacks are high in protein and are incredibly tasty.
Popcorn is significant at the movies and a whole grain snack filled with protein and fiber. Instead of buying bags of popcorn flavored with artificial ingredients, buy some kernels and microwave them in a paper bag. You can improve the flavor with some salt and olive oil.
20. Energy balls
Energy balls are typically made with nuts and dates. They will give you great energy and are tasty too.
Before you go away
Always pick lightweight foods for hiking because you don’t want to carry a heavily loaded backpack. Light and compact foods are the best options. Make sure that you also estimate the calories you will burn every day. Consider your weight, backpack’s weight, the difficulty grade of your hike, and the length of the trail.
If you don’t want your backpack to get too heavy, make you pack enough food to replenish the calories you burn. You might want to pack a bit extra, in case you spend more time than expected. Also, hiking in the cold season will require you to pack more food because you need more calories to stay warm.