On short hikes you can normally bring any snack you fancy, but long hikes require a bit more planning. The foods you eat need to provide enough nutrition and energy to keep you going, but that isn’t all; it also needs to be easy to prepare and fairly lightweight.
Breakfast Meal Ideas
Oatmeal is a great breakfast option since it’s filling, delicious and easy to prepare. You can also bring instant oatmeal packets which are even easier.
Seeds and Nuts
Seeds and nuts are a great source of easy-to-transport calories and protein, and you can choose from a wide variety options, including cashews, almonds, pecans, walnuts, peanuts and pumpkin seeds.
Fruit is a great breakfast option, and you can either eat it plain or add it to oatmeal or yogurt. Consider dried fruit as it is much less delicate than fresh fruit.
Lunch Meal Ideas
Bagels are a great lunch option as they are filling and less delicate than bread, which often gets squished before it can be used. Other great options are tortillas, pitta breads, and flatbreads. Simply add some healthy fillings such as hummus, peanut butter or avocado.
Tough meats like beef jerky and salami make a perfect hiking lunch as they don’t need to be refrigerated and require minimal preparation. They are also a great source of sodium and protein! Canned meat or fish, such as tuna, is also a good option if you have the means to take the cans back out with you.
Cheese isn’t the lightest food to pack, but it is very satisfying as it contains lots of fat and calories. It also requires little preparation and works well with most other food options, especially if you are planning on making sandwiches. It’s worth noting that you should buy hard cheese rather than soft cheese, as it has a longer shelf life—and is less likely to explode in your bag!
Dinner Meal Ideas
Freeze Dried Meals
Freeze dried meals are a popular food option for hikers as you simply add hot water, ideal for a tired hiker after a long day. There are dozens of different meals you can choose from, including chili con carne and mac and cheese.
Instant Rice or Noodles
Instant rice and instant noodles only take a few minutes to cook and are very filling. You can also choose from a variety of flavors, and the bowl or dish is easy to clean up as there is no cream or cheese sauce.
Lentils make a great hiking tea as they are rich in fiber, iron, protein and calories. They take a few minutes to cook, but they are delicious and can be mixed with either meat or vegetables.
Instant potatoes are much easier to cook than normal potatoes, and they are a great source of carbohydrates and sodium.
Many people struggle to eat healthy food when hiking, but you can avoid this by packing dried vegetables to eat with dinner. They are light and easy to carry, and you can mix them with rice, noodles, lentils or potatoes.
Water is the best, most versatile and necessary beverage you can bring with you on a hike.
Tablet Supplements Or Powders
You can add tablets or powders to your water for extra electrolytes, which will enhance your hydration. Simply add the tablet or the power to your water bottle and drink away.
Many people bring instant coffee or hot chocolate on their hikes to drink in the morning and evening. Chamomile tea is also a good drink option for the late evening.
Granola bars make a great snack as they require zero preparation, they are light and filled with nutrition and protein. Be sure and pack out all your wrappers!
Hummus is a very popular snack option as it goes well with almost anything and is filled with fiber, protein, carbohydrates and calories.