Whether you are going on a day outing backpacking in your local forest or are going to spend a few days in the wilderness it is important to eat well. Of course, when thinking of foods to bring along it can become challenging. The key is to get the most nutrition and fuel possible while keeping the total carrying weight in mind. Fortunately, there are several options when it comes to meals and snacks for hiking that will give you the calories and protein you need without becoming too much of an added burden on your backpack.
One of the most popular food choices for when you are spending some time out in the wild is nuts. This can be any type of nut that you particularly enjoy, or you can create your own mixture. While in bulk they can be somewhat heavy, you have to remember just how much energy they can provide you with. They contain a good deal of protein, calories and are chock full of healthy fats. They also are typically high in manganese and magnesium which can help to keep you focused and motivated.
Another great option is dried fruit. You can typically find this in your local grocery store in the health food aisle. Typically you can find a variety including bananas, tropical fruit, and apples. If you find that this option is more expensive than you would like to pay you do have the option of dehydrating your own fruit. The only drawback is that you will need to be sure that you plan in advance and have the right equipment on hand. However, if you are dedicated to the backpacking lifestyle, then it just might be an investment that you will want to make.
Chocolate is another big favorite. It is easy to eat while you are on the move and it will provide your body with much-needed carbohydrates and calories. When eating healthy, many wouldn’t think of this option, but the fact is that backpacking burns so many calories each hour that it is important to bring along foods that will ensure that you do not become physically exhausted while you are out in the wilderness. Of course, a huge drawback to this option is the fact that chocolate melts, so it may not be advisable in hot weather unless you have a cool, dark place to store it while hiking.
Now, if you haven’t yet caught on, many people choose to mix all of the above into what is aptly commonly referred to as trail mix. Of course, this is a personal preference. You can find this mixture in stores, but you can customize your own and by doing so you can actually save a considerable amount on your food budget for the trip.
If you are planning to spend a few days on your backpacking excursion you will need something more comprehensive and nutritious. Fortunately, many companies have filled this need thanks to an increase in interest in outdoor activities. You can find a wide variety of ready to eat meals that have been created to ensure that you get the nutrition that you need without the extra weight.
These ready to eat meals can even meet a wide variety of dietary requirements. There are now meals that are vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free and more. The key is to take the time to research the options that you find. Countless companies claim to offer good meals for a fair price, but of course, they are not all of the same quality. Read through the reviews before you make a purchase to be sure that you are getting something that you will actually enjoy.
If you are looking to save some money and know that you will be spending a great deal of time outdoors you may want to consider purchasing your MREs, (meals ready to eat), in bulk. This can save you a considerable amount for each meal. The added benefit is that the food options that you would want to bring on such a trip are shelf-stable and usually have a long shelf life, and they are great in other situations as well. This could be anything from a power outage to being stuck in inclement weather. Just keep an eye on your supply to be sure that they don’t go to waste.
The best way to decide what foods you want to bring with you is to consider the energy that they will provide compared to how much they weigh. The higher the nutrition levels with the least amount of weight is going to help you to eat well while not having to carry a great deal along with you. Now start your meal planning so that you can have the confidence that your body will perform optimally while you enjoy what nature has to offer.