Love to go hiking, but do not have a pack mule to bring a four course meal? Packing hiking friendly foods for a long hike does not have to break your back in the process. Snacks for a day hike need to be lightweight, as your backpack seems to get heavier the farther you hike. They should also be nutritious to give you energy as you expend energy on your hike. The fat in your body slowly burns as you hike to provide you with the energy you need to keep on hiking, so you need to supplement this with food. If you hike without an addition of food for an entire day, your body will start consuming your muscles for its fuel and this will leave you fatigued and slow down your hike so it may not be as fun. Here are some ideas on what type of foods are ready to eat while hiking and do not weigh a ton when hitting the great outdoors.
Avoid taking meals that have to be prepared. Nothing slows down a hike more than stopping to mix ingredients together on a trail. Instead try taking foods that are already prepared and prepackaged in individual serving sizes. This also cuts down on the weight that has to be carried on the back. Many of these foods can be found at the local grocery store and are somewhat inexpensive in price.
Store bought trail mixes may not be all they seem. Most of them are packed with a high calorie count of which over half of them are in the form of fat. You can make your own trail mix to suit your individual taste and package it in baggies for your hike. The ingredients of trail mix can vary. Raisins, mixed nuts, pretzels, crackers and candy coated chocolate pieces can be combined in various ways to make a delicious and satisfying snack that has enough calories, carbohydrates and protein to keep you going and the best part, it can be customized.
All kinds of dried fruit pack a punch of carbohydrates for energy. In addition, since they are dehydrated they are light in weight and take up very little space in your backpack. Some favorites among dried fruit are apples, apricots, raisins, cranberries, bananas and pineapple.
When eating dried fruit on the trail, remember that you also need to carry some water to go with it. Dried fruits don’t have enough moisture content in them to keep you hydrated, which is very important on a warm summer day.
Tuna Fish and Crackers
For those that need extra protein or are allergic to nuts, a great alternative to take hiking is tuna fish. Tuna fish is available in easy to tear open pouches with a single serving inside of them.Tuna fish can now be found in a variety of flavors such as spicy chili pepper, zesty lemon and misquote barbecue. It is high in protein to help you on your hiking adventures. Buying tuna fish that comes in the foil packets are much lighter in weight, single serving in size and there is no need to pack a can opener. Crackers of any kind provide grains as a source of carbohydrates on hikes. Pre-packaged cheese or peanut butter and crackers are a good choice.
Remember to carry extra zipper bags that you can put your empty tuna fish packages in, so you won’t have to put up with the lingering odor in your backpack.
Energy bars and old fashion granola bars are a wonderful choice to take along on a hiking trip. They come in individual serving sizes and are generally lightweight. There is a large array of energy bars on the market today and now even have extra vitamins such as B vitamins that help maintain energy levels mixed in them. They contain a lot of calories for energy and are high is protein and carbohydrates. But, one thing to watch out for is if they have chocolate mixed in them because when the chocolate becomes warm it begins to melt and has the makings of a messy meal on the trail.
You may need to try a few brands and types before you find the one that satisfies your hunger and your taste buds, as some are not as great tasting as you would expect.
Dried meats in the form of jerky can really satisfy your hunger on the trail. They take a lot of chewing as you trek along. Beef jerky is the most common flavor, the least expensive and the easiest to find. However, if you are adventurous you can try venison, pork alligator, buffalo, alligator, turkey, duck, lamb and many other exotic meats.
You will also need to supplement yourself with water while eating any type of jerky, as it is usually high in salt content for a preservative as it is dried.
Hiking is a great way to get exercise and enjoy all the beauty that nature has to offer. When hiking all day and the hunger pains hit, remember to take hiking friendly foods that are packed with nutrition and will not break your back or bank account in the process. Pack light snacks and enjoy your hike in the beautiful landscape that abound with nature, wildlife and excitement. The trails are waiting for you.