How to Eat Right While You Hike

English: Kofa Mountains, southwestern Arizona

Take along some of these snacks to help you eat right as you hike! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Most hikers spend time mapping out their course, putting together their pack, and making sure they have everything they need to venture out and make it back safe and sound.  But oftentimes, all this preparation and planning doesn’t include much forethought into food.  We may consider how many calories we need or grab some snacks that are light and easy to eat, but when taking to the trail, our taste buds are often the last thing on our mind.

Unfortunately, not thinking through our nutritional needs before strapping on our pack can lead to real problems down the trail.  Proper food planning ensures more than just the creature comfort of having a full belly; it is also a safety concern that must be thought out every time you lace up your boots.  Not having the food you need can leave you nauseous, dizzy, and too fatigued to get yourself back to civilization.

Whether you are setting out for a day trip or one that will last a little longer, these hike friendly options will help keep your plate full of delicious light-weight food that does more than just meet your daily requirements.

Tuna and Crackers

This is one of the top hike-friendly foods.  Buy the tuna that comes in a pouch for less weight and ease of use.  If you don’t like tuna plain, you can opt for the pre-mixed tuna salad version or bring along some small packets of condiments like mayo and mustard.  Just make sure you have a way to keep it cool so it doesn’t spoil on the trail.

Cheese and Crackers

Another great hike-friendly food is hard cheese and crackers.  Like the option above, it provides both protein and carbs and is easy to eat.    Choose hard cheese that will withstand the heat and add some flavored crackers to tempt your taste buds.

Peanut Butter….and Crackers

Peanut butter is another great way to get some healthy protein and fat while on the trail.  You can eat it with crackers, celery, or put it in a squeeze tube and eat it all by itself.

Dried Fruit

While apples and oranges can provide a sweet, refreshing treat on the trail, they add extra weight to your pack.  Get the same flavors by bringing along a bag of your favorite dried fruit like apple rings or banana chips.  These fruit snacks are easy to eat and make less of a mess than if they were fresh.

Peanuts, Raisins, and M&Ms

Handy snacks that you can pop in your mouth without having to stop walking.  Mix the three together for a sweet snack that is packed with protein.

Rice and Ramen

If you are out for more than just the day, you may need to cook your food.  Choose items like these that can be cooked using water and a single pan.  This will help limit the extra weight you have to carry in terms of cooking equipment.  Toss some spices and a summer sausage in your bag and you can easily make a tasty meal to fuel you up for tomorrow.

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