Going on a long hike? Maintaining a diet that is full of essential vitamins, minerals, carbs, protein and fat will ensure you have enough energy to finish and enjoy yourself.
There’s nothing quite like being outdoors and experiencing nature. Hiking is a great way to exercise, take in new scenery and explore new areas. When hiking, your body needs lots of fluid and food to stay hydrated and energized.
If something goes wrong, you’re probably a long way from help. Ensuring you have the proper supplies is essential.
However, it’s not always easy to decide what to take. After all, you have to carry the vast majority of it by yourself, so you don’t want to be overburdened with weight. Below are a few foods to consider bringing along when going on hikes that last more than a day.
1. Dried Fruits
These foods can add taste and variety to your hiking meals. They are also great for snacking on while on the move because they provide important nutrients and energy.
2. Seeds and Nuts
When hiking through nature, you’re going to be using a lot of calories. Nuts and seeds are a great way to replace those calories in a small, convenient package. From cashews to peanuts to sunflower seeds to pumpkin seeds, variety of different seeds and nuts are available to get you through your hike.
3. Dry Foods
Will you have access to an open flame to heat things over? Then foods such as pasta, instant rice, soup mixes and drink mixes are lightweight and easy to prepare. They don’t take up a lot of space in your pack, so you can bring as much as you need. They also give you the option of creating delicious meals with easy-to-carry ingredients. In addition, the carbohydrates will help you keep up your energy levels so that you can reach peak performance.
Other dry foods to consider packing include oatmeal, grits or powdered breakfast drinks. Again, these are lightweight, so they’re easy to transport, and they will give you the nutrients your body needs to continue down the trail.
Protein is an important part of your diet, especially when exercising, because it supports your immune system and repairs damage at a cellular level that may occur while hiking. When it comes to deciding what to take in your pack, consider nonperishable foods such as jerky, packaged tuna or chicken, or salami. They don’t require refrigeration, so they won’t spoil while you’re on the trail.
You might also consider protein powders or protein bars. Both of these are easy to transport and will give you a much-needed energy boost and maintain a healthy body while you’re outdoors.
5. Prepackaged Meals
Currently, there are various companies that offer prepackaged or freeze-dried meals to take on hiking trips. They are lightweight, full of recommended daily values of nutrition and perfect for those on the go. Their taste may be something to get used to, but if you’re on the trail and don’t have access to restaurants, it probably won’t take long for these meals to taste delicious.
For your next hike, the right foods will help you go longer and recover faster. Be sure to pack these five to keep on moving.
Scott Huntington is a writer from central Pennsylvania. He enjoys working on his home and garden with his wife and 2 kids. Follow him on Twitter @SMHuntington