Hiking can be great exercise as well as a way to enjoy beautiful scenery and fresh air. At times, hiking can entail a nice leisurely walk through gentle hills, while at other times it includes challenging terrain.
In any case, though, it is likely that during your hike, you may begin to get hungry or need a quick boost of energy from a snack or small meal. When preparing for your hike, then, it is essential to bring along certain foods that can help to replenish your drive as well as that can be easy and lightweight to carry.
Considerations When Packing Food for a Hike
Because you are exerting energy on your hike, you will want to pack foods that not only taste good, but that will provide you with the nutrients and other healthy essentials that you will need. Some things to keep in mind include:
- Nutrition – Hiking is a truly athletic activity. Therefore, you will require stamina and endurance – especially for longer hikes. So be sure to keep nutrition in mind when purchasing and packing your edibles.
- Carbs – Carbohydrates are essential for hikers. This is because glycogen – the storage form of glucose – is important for maintaining both strength and endurance. Foods that contain lots of carbs will also help in providing you with important vitamins that your body needs.
- Fat – While most of us want to stay away from fat, there are times that it is important – at least if it is the right kind of fat. Fat can help in restoring your energy as well as in storing protein for your muscles.
- Protein – Our bodies need protein in order to repair muscles, maintain blood flow, and to boost our immune systems. When we do not have enough protein, our muscles tend to feel strained, essentially causing fatigue. But be careful here, though, as too much protein may cause dehydration.
What to Pack
Keeping in mind the health related benefits, it is a good idea to pack specific types of food and beverages – yet in doing so, you must also remember to keep it lightweight and easy for you to carry.
Some of the most important foods to have along on your hike include:
- Dried Fruit – While fresh fruit is equally important for our bodies’ health, taking dried fruit with you on a hiking expedition is smart because these items tend to be more durable. Dried fruit can be easily placed into small zip lock bags and carried in your backpack. Some examples include raisins, dried apples, and dried cranberries.
- Granola – Granola is loaded with both the fat and the carbohydrates that your body needs – especially when being exerted on a long hike. This food can also assist you in that needed energy boost when the time comes.
- Energy Bars – Another great source of energy is energy bars themselves. These items are also full of necessary carbs and fat – and they are very tasty, coming in a variety of different flavors.
- Fresh Fruit – Fresh fruit is also a winner on the list of great hiking foods. There is really no comparison to consuming a nice crunchy apple or juicy orange. Be sure that fruit is packed accordingly, though, as some items like bananas can tend to become bruised if they get crushed or are rolling around in a backpack for a long period of time.
- Peanut Butter – Peanut butter can provide a number of nutritional benefits – especially protein, fat, and carbs. One tip here is to try and find peanut butter in squeezable tubes as versus taking a jar and a knife. You may also want to include crackers as a side item with the peanut butter.
- Hard Cheese and Crackers – If you do plan to bring along crackers, you may also want to include a small bag of hard cheese. One of the top cheese picks among hikers is sharp cheddar, as it gets high marks for being durable when carried in a pack.
- Water – Certainly no hiker – or any athlete, for that matter – should be without water. Water can not only help to keep your body cool, but it also prevents you from becoming dehydrated – a condition that can become serious if not tended to early. In fact, when we start to feel exceptionally thirsty, it is often a sign that our bodies are already dehydrated – so be sure to drink an adequate amount of water throughout your entire hike in order to keep your body in top shape throughout.
About the Author:
Janet Lynch loves to discover new recipes from her favorite diet food delivery. She can also be blogging her way across many health and wellness sites.