As the fuel our bodies need to run, the food we select while hiking and backpacking is absolutely essential to the success of our journey. There are many prepackaged meals available for the hiker, but for a truly delicious and nutritious feast, you can easily whip something up your own.
The main aim with hiking and backpacking meals is to find something easy to prepare, light to carry, but delicious and nutritious at the same time. With a little bit of forward planning before your trip, you'll be able to have a meal fit for a king for every day you're on the journey so you and your body don't need to suffer.
These backpacking food ideas will keep you covered for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and the all-important snacks you'll need in between. By preparing them before you go and throwing them into a heavy duty zip-lock bag, you can save space and time by having it all there when you get hungry with some simple campfire cooking.
The best backpacking food for snacks is those you can eat on the go, whether you're enjoying a little rest or not. Here are some simple snack ideas that are both healthy and filling, giving you the fuel you need to make it to your next checkpoint.
As the most important meal of the day, the hiker needs to ensure they get it right. Your breakfast will give you the fuel you need to get your day started, so you want to ensure you're getting the right amount of calories and nutrition with eating too heavy.
The best way to achieve this and get your essential protein, carbohydrates and other nutrients is a simple egg scramble. This recipe can be prepared at home with all ingredients thrown into a zip-lock bag, and when you're ready to eat simply place in hot water for five minutes.
· ½ cup freeze dried eggs with bacon
· 1 ¾ cup instant mashed potato
· ¼ cup cheddar cheese and 1 Tbs dried milk
· 1 ½ cup water
The best way to ensure adequate nutrition and energy through a hike is to eat smaller and more regular meals, so it may not always be ideal to stop for a long lunch break. However, for those times when you need something more substantial and have the time to relax, this is a simple idea for a nutritious and tasty lunch.
This wrap might not seem like much, but the blend of peanut butter and banana will keep you full for hours. Have all of your ingredients ready and you can simply make this wrap up on the spot in an instant. When you're really hungry, feel free to prepare two and take one along for a snack.
Dinner is the time you can really relax and enjoy your hiking food, so you can spend a little longer preparing something if you like. This chicken quinoa meal will only take 15 minutes to prepare, but your body will be grateful for the flavors and herbs within.
Before heading off, pack yourself a three-ounce foil chicken tin and a zip-lock with the following ingredients:
· ½ cup quinoa
· ¼ tsp coriander
· ¼ tsp ground cumin
· ¼ tsp paprika
· 1 tablespoon lemon zest or juice
· 1 tbsp dried chives
When you’re ready to eat, boil a cup of water and then add your quinoa and spices. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, keeping an eye on the quinoa. Once tender, remove and toss through the chicken to enjoy.
These easy camping meals might seem basic, but they can provide you with the adequate nutrition your body needs for energy. Working out your daily caloric needs is essential before a hike, as everyone’s body will require a different amount. Hiking burns a lot of calories, so you need to be prepared for to make up this difference.
The best backpacking food should tick all of the boxes; nutritious, tasty, and easy to prepare. The aim here is to avoid carrying too many utensils or ingredients and having everything pre-packaged in single serving portions to reduce your load and the time it takes to prepare your meals.
Although you may be tempted to bring along a stack of fresh fruit and vegetables, these really aren’t efficient choices for the hiker. As the hiker requires short-term performance foods, you should focus instead on meals with high caloric values and protein and carbohydrates to get you through.
With a little bit of forward planning and these simple camping food ideas, you can ensure that you have the energy required to complete your hike. With adequate nutrition and hydration, you’re giving your body the chance to restore itself each night and keep it running throughout the day.