When you are planning a long hike or camping trip, you can’t just grab some energy bars and a bottle of water – there is a lot more to hiking nutrition like that. The longer you are planning to be out walking, the more food and water you are going to need, and energy bars are not always the best solution. Hiking nutrition is important to plan and carefully consider, hence I have compiled this handy guide. It contains the top five snacks that will keep your energy up while you are out hiking, so make sure you have a good read and prepare yourself for your next trip. With these snacks, you’ll be hiking like a pro.
Things to Consider
When you are out hiking, your needs for food and water and greater than when you are going for a normal walk. There are a few things you should take into consideration before you prepare your snacks and head out:
- How long will the trip be?
- How much space do you have for food?
- Are you able to bring a cooler with you?
- Will you need any cutlery (like a spork)?
- Do you have enough space for water?
While this guide has a primary focus on the importance of snacks, staying hydrated is also essential. You should be carrying a lot of water with you, especially if the weather is going to get hot and humid. Before you leave for your hike, it is recommended that you drink around four glasses of water to book your hydration levels.
By doing this, you will not have to carry as much water with you, and you won’t feel thirsty as quickly. However, after drinking your four glasses and heading out, you should try and make sure that you drink an additional two glasses of water every hour to keep on top of your hydration levels.
Can I Bring Perishable Foods?
In this guide, we are only looking at the best snacks for your hike as opposed to foods that you should bring for trips that last a few days. So yes, it is possible to bring things like sandwiches, as long as they are kept cool either by an ice pack or a cooler. There’s nothing worse than a warm sandwich to put you at risk of food poisoning.
The other issue with perishables, aside from getting warm and squashed, is that they are not always the best sources of energy. So while you are welcome to pack sandwiches, make sure you consider the snacks below as well. After all, the snacks we list here tend to be lighter in your pack as well, which can offer some relief.
The Top Five Snacks
Without any further ado, here are the top five snacks that will keep your energy up while you are out hiking.
While the most classic jerky flavour is beef, it also comes in poultry and fish forms as well. High in protein, it is the number one snack to take with you. After all, dried meat has been a staple for survival throughout history. In fact, it was initially created to keep people nourished while travelling for trade, immigration, or general exploration.
It is popular due to its long shelf life, low-fat levels, and the fact that it is packed with essential nutrients. Just make sure that you bring lots of water with you, as the one downside to the majority of jerky brands is that they can leave you feeling a little thirsty.
You might think that jerky is only really found in North America, but most British supermarkets have several jerky brands available. Make sure you pick it up for your next trip to keep your energy levels boosted.
This is not only a delicious snack, but also a pretty versatile one. You can eat granola in a variety of ways while you are out hiking, all of which provide you with excellent levels of energy and nourishment. Here are some of the most popular ways to eat it:
- Granola bars
- Granola clusters
- Raw granola from the bag
- Granola dipped in yoghurt (dried)
- Raw granola and yoghurt (fresh)
Generally, if you decide to purchase granola bars, they are usually packed with a variety of other ingredients to help boost your energy levels – alongside some delicious fresh fruits. Raw granola and fresh yoghurt are probably best eaten before you go hiking, but if you have room for a Tupperware tub and a spoon, then you could consider bringing it along with you.
#3 Trail Mix
The classic hiking food, and one that everyone’s dads told them to take on every trip, trail mix is probably the most well-known energy booster. For a good reason too. Trail mix incorporates all of the best foods for a good burst of energy when you need it most. Here are the classic ingredients:
- Nuts (of your choosing)
- Dried fruit (most commonly raisins)
- Seeds (sunflower seeds are a good choice)
- M&Ms chocolate (original)
With these classic ingredients, you can easily make your trail mix yourself, and at a very low cost. Many camping and hiking stores will have their own trail mix on sale, but this tends to be incredibly expensive, especially when compared to the price of making it yourself. Plus, trail mix takes about 10-seconds to make.
The great thing about trail mix is the fact that it is rich in natural sugars and fats (aside from the M&Ms of course). These help your body to burn calories and replenish your energy levels quickly, while also containing essential nutrients and omega-3.
#4 Energy Bars
These are another staple snack that you should be bringing with you on your hike. They are an excellent energy booster, and also contain essential nutrients to keep you going. Energy bars also tend to be quite filling, despite their often small appearance.
In the UK, Tracker bars are some of the most popular for people to take with them, and they come in several varieties – the most popular being nuts, and chocolate with nuts. There are some energy bars that are created for working out at the gym, and others that are made for hiking outdoors.
Bars that are made for the latter reason tend to be low in sugar and high in protein, as well as containing no GMO. They are healthy and packed with energy, ready to support you on your hiking trip. They also tend to be non-perishable, so make sure you choose carefully when you go to the supermarket.
#5 Fresh Fruit
While this is a perishable item, it is also packed with natural sugars and essential nutrients for slow-release energy throughout the day. Things like apples, bananas, oranges, and berries can be great for keeping your energy levels up, and can even assist in hydration.
When you go to store them, however, make sure you wrap them in a cloth or a tea towel so that they stay safe and are less likely to perish during the day. If fresh fruit isn’t something you want to risk taking with you, however, then dried fruit can often be a good substitute. Things like dried apricots, cherries, and dates are all great choices.
Hopefully, you have found this guide useful and have also decided to take some or all of these snacks with you on your next trip. It’s really important to eat the right foods while you are hiking, and so bringing the correct snacks is a great start. Of course, it is also essential to keep yourself hydrated on your journey, so make sure you bring plenty of water with you too.
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