Best food to take backpacking and Hiking – Hiking Food Guide.

Are you planning on a short or multi-day hiking trip to the mountain or nearby national park? Can’t you resist yourself from hiking at the weekend? Then, you know how hiking really helps you to build a better version of yourself. As you hiking regularly you know, preparing food for a hiking trip is an adventure. There are certain types of foods that fuel you for your arduous journey. Choosing the right and nutritious food is crucial. Food is fuel for the body. If you can choose the right food and pack them with you, You will be supercharged while hiking. Choosing the wrong food can cause your backpack and you’re heavier on the trail and would make your hiking miserable.

Read along to know more about what food to pack while hiking. You will get a clear idea of hiking food and snacks from this article. This article I wrote mainly for beginner hikers, as well as a mature hiker, will get a vast knowledge of the idea of food that helps you moving forward and the healthy benefits of the food.

How to Prepare for a Hike
Earl Shaffer – “Carry as little as possible, but choose that little with care.”

How to plan hiking food for a short or a day hike?

Best hiking foods keeps you energetic and doesn’t make your backpack heavier. Instead of choosing sugary or fatty food, choose foods with protein, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates that will fuel you up for last long hike. If you plan ahead and bring a good nutritious packed meal that you can enjoy while on the trail to keep you energetic.

Here is a short list of things to consider before planning a hike.

  • Choose any fatty food up to 250 calories per ounce and carbs and protein is 100 cal per ounce. We go hike to get fit, So why eating high fatty and sugary food.
  • Pack food that easy to prepare, Don’t take more hassle and in enough calories dense with high in healthy fat, protein, and complex carbohydrate.
  • Pack at least 3k calories meal per day for an average person or based on your calorie needs while hiking.
  • Pack enough water for the entire hike. You will need about 2 to 4 liter of water for a day hike. Water also depends on the weather and your hiking pace. Bring enough water as you need. Water keeps you hydrated on the trail. 
  • Focus on Energetic food. The best food for hiking is filled with nutrition and gives lasting energy. Don’t pack any beverage or sugary drinks or high fatty food, go for lasting energetic food, which provides a good amount of protein, healthy fats and micronutrients. Get some complex carbohydrate that will digest slowly and give you a steady supply of energy
  • You will burn lots of energy. So, it’s important to eat an energetic snack bar in between. You could use a calorie burn calculator to know your calorie needs and bring food accordingly.
  • Choose lightweight food. It will reduce your backpack weight. It is best to pack dried meals or other lightweight energetic foods.
  • Pack food you love eating. There are so many foods which are lightweight, filled with high nutrition and you don’t get bored eating. Choose these types of food that you enjoy. After a tiring hike to the peak and when it’s time for your meal, you will feel grateful for the delicious meal that you love eating.
Cindy Ross
“Returning home is the most difficult part of long-distance hiking. You have grown outside the puzzle and your piece no longer fits.”

Some More tips on choosing the best foods to take backpacking and hiking.

  • For a multi-day hike, choose food that you could make or prep while hiking. Also, Consider taking more freeze-dried easy meals. Dried healthy snacks you could prepare at home or buy from the trail entrance, where many vendors sell different kinds of food they cooked which are hiking friendly. I always buy noodles and bibimbap from the local store before embarking on hiking in Korea.
  • You could pack cheese. It lasts longer without refrigeration. Sausage like a roll of salami is extremely in calorie-dense and delicious in eating. also, last far longer.
  • Olive is a healthy fat source and you could add in almost anything. it is also high in calories.
  • You will crave more salt while hiking because of all of the sweating and puffing. Bring salty food.
  • A nutty candy bar is heavier in calories than normal energy bars. 
  • I find dark chocolate is also a great replacement for sugary snacks. I like eating dark chocolate on the trail. It is also a high-calorie food.
  • Eat a healthy, calorie-dense breakfast and loads of water in the morning before you start hiking. It will speed up your hiking. Don’t drink too much at a time. 

Five best food to pack for hiking.

1. Oatmeal. 

Oatmeal is a good source of healthy fiber and complex carbohydrates. It gives you long-lasting energy. You could eat oatmeal in the morning before hiking. For a multi-day hike, instant oatmeal is a fast convenient breakfast. 

2. Eggs. 

You know eggs are the best. It has high protein, healthy omega 6 fat and gives you instant energy. A large egg contains 77 calories and 6 grams of protein. The egg is a nutrient-dense food that is recommended by many doctors to eat at breakfast. Eggs can be a more beneficial multiway or long hike, It helps muscles recover faster and build up endurance for a long-lasting hike.

3. Fruits.

I love eating food. it’s high carbohydrate and delicious sugars that make a great energy-boosting snack while hiking. I always take banana while hiking. They are a good source of complex carbohydrates that burn slowly and give stead supply of energy. You could use fruits with oatmeal or add into a bowl of yogurt. Yogurt is a good source of protein that goes well with high carb fruits.

4. Vegetables.

Vegetables are the main source of fiber and also have lots of carbs. Pack Sweet potatoes, Carrots or dark leafy greens. Sweet potato has about 50 percent of your daily recommended dose of manganese. Manganese helps break down carbohydrates. 

5. Lean Meats.

If you are a meat eater and love eating meat. pack lean meat such as chicken breast, that gives a good amount of protein without excess fat. Protein is a macro-nutrient for boosting your metabolism and fixing muscle mess.

What to eat before a hike?

Complex carbohydrates are key. it provides sustainable energy and digest slowly. For a morning hike, fuel yourself with a lightweight breakfast. Have breakfast with oatmeal, eggs or other pre-day hike foods like whole-wheat toast, low-fat yogurt, pasta, brown rice or vegetables.

What to eat during a hike?

Snacking during a hike is crucial to keep you energetic. It helps a lot for long day hikes. Have snacks while resting. For a day hike, You could pack a healthy meal for a launch. I love eating lunch at the peak by seeing the magnificent view of the mountain. Food ideas to eat during a hike. 

  • Nuts and seed.
  • Trail mix
  • Granola bars
  • Fresh fruits that don’t require refrigeration.
  • Freeze-dried veggies and fruits.
  • Beef jerky or dried meat.
  • Tuns are the best food for a through hike.
  • Cheese. Cheese last longer with refrigeration.
  • Fruits that are high in carbs like Apple, Banana or Even Sweet Potato.

What to eat after a hike?

After hiking meal should be high in protein and complex carb. You did a through hike, Sweats lots. Now, its time to recover. Eat food that helps you to recover fast. High protein and complex carb are always a boost for muscle mass and endurance building. 

Best Snacks idea to take hiking.

  • Peanut Butter – You know peanut butter or other nuts are good sources of healthy protein and fat as well as they are in calorie-dense. Proteins get you the energy your muscle needs to keep going and other nutrients of nuts keep you full. Nuts are a great source of micronutrients like magnesium, potassium, and Zinc. They are filled with vitamin E, B3, and B6.
  • Beef jerky– Dried freeze beef jerky is a great option for hikers. They are full of proteins. It’s high in dehydrating sodium that needs your body to keep going. Don’t overpack beef jerky. More beef jerky will make you more thirsty.
  • Energy bars. Pack energy bars that are high in carbs, fat, and protein. 10 grams of protein bars are the best options.
  • Cucumber Salad– You will sweat more in hiking. Cucumber is filled with water and they will keep you hydrated. With cucumber and some of the other fresh fruits would make a great healthy snack salad for hiking.
  • Banana and Sweet potato – These two food are my best favorite. I just love them eating and they are the best source of Complex carbs.

Thanks for reading, I hope you get the idea of what food to pack for hiking and backpacking. If you have any questions feel free to comments. I answer asap. If you have any suggestions, please let me know in the comments. Follow me on Instagram. 

Happy Hiking, Happy Backpacking.

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