Since I am spending a week out hiking, I thought it might be nice to share some information of hiking and food. I have let you in on a little secret of mine. One reason I love to hike is because of all the great food options I wouldn’t normally eat on daily basis. When I hike, I tend to eat slightly higher calorie/carb items to keep me going up the mountain.
I am lucky to have a medical person in my family that has always taken a keen interest in nutrition. While I am far from a nutritionist, I like to know what my body is going through and what I need to do to replenish it. I always tend to pack all three major food categories: fats, protein, and carbs. Each is useful in it’s own way. This being said, always eat healthy on the trail. Nothing is going to weigh you down faster than scarfing down on high sugar/high fat foods like candy bars, potato chips, and soda. Fats are the slowest to burn and provide a longer spout of energy, protein also take awhile to burn but is great for keeping your muscle’s going, and finally, carbs are great for quick energy. If I ever feel like I am tiring a bit, I pop some carbs in my mouth and I am usually good to go.
Of course, you always want to pack enough water!
Dried Fruit: I love to eat fruit on the trail because it is a good source of Carbohydrates and can help give you quick energy. However, I don’t always like to carry fruit because of easy bruising and the extra weight. Dried fruit is an awesome way to go. You still get the benefits yet it is easy to carry, you only need a little, and mixes well in trail mixes. Just a word of caution though- if you are buying dried fruit, check your labels. I have had a hard time finding dried fruit without high fructose corn syrup. Always go for the least amount of ingredients (usually one- the fruit!)
Nuts: A great source of both fat and protein. My favorite (and has been a lifesaver) are roasted no-salt almonds. I love the slightly smokey taste that pairs great with dried fruit. I think I have eaten more almonds and dried apricots than I care to admit.
Trail mixers with all of the above!
Chocolate covered nuts: I know that I said no candy bars, but I love these because there is just sometimes I can feel my blood sugar drop. With these you get the protein/fat of the nuts and the carbs from the chocolate.
Cheese/Crackers/Peanut butter: Again, cheese/crackers and peanut butter/crackers gives you that great trifecta of all three food types.
Granola bars/energy bars: The obvious go-to. I actually don’t eat a lot of energy bars but I tend to carry them just in case I need the energy. I also love to make my own granola bars.
My best advice: make sure you take plenty of food and water. Even if you think you are only going to be gone for an hour- you never know what you may run into!
Do you have a favorite trail snack? I’m always looking for new ideas!