Hiking is a great way to experience the outdoors and make your way through some pretty unique and enjoyable environments. But because you can be on the move for hours at a time, it’s important to keep your energy up with the right foods.

With that in mind, we look at what you should consider when it comes to choosing the right food for your hiking trip.

Pre-hike preparation

Eating well in the lead up to your hike can be a great way to help you reduce the amount of weight you carry during the hike.

For example, you should have a large meal the night before, as well as a hearty breakfast filled with protein and carbohydrates before you leave. Also, make sure you drink plenty of water before you leave.

While you should still take food and water with you for the trip itself, leaving while well-hydrated and with a full stomach sets you up for your hike. It can also mean you don’t have to take breakfast foods with you, helping you to cut down on the total weight carried, making your hike that little more comfortable.

You might also consider preparing your food for the day beforehand, so you don’t have to take any pans or portable stoves, further reducing weight. For a shorter hike, you could prepare sandwiches, fresh fruits, hard-boiled eggs and cheese. With these foods, waste is kept to a minimum, but you have enough calories to keep your energy up throughout the day. You can learn more about having the right calories for a hike in our blog, Maintaining your calories and nutrition on a hiking trip.

Snacking on the go

Keeping your energy up during a long hike is important, as you’ll be burning calories almost constantly as the day goes on, thanks to constant physical activity and movement.

So it’s important to ensure you have some easily accessible and nutritious snacks on hand to eat while you’re on the move. For example, think about granola or protein bars, nuts, and dried fruit.

Preparing for a longer hike

Keeping the weight of all your food-related gear in mind is important for any hike. However, when it comes to longer hikes, such as a weekend-long expedition across a hill or mountain range, you’ll invariably have to pack more than for a day-long hike. Food packaging, seasonings and condiments, cooking gear, on top of your sturdy hiking attire – it all adds up.

In order to make the hike more comfortable, look for ways to keep weight down where you can. Try to avoid bulky metal cans or heavy glass bottles. Instead, consider pouring the contents of these containers into resealable plastic bags. This will help keep your total weight down, as well as give you more space to pack.

Convenience, carbs and keeping up morale

Foods that are high in carbohydrates are great when you’re trying to be as efficient as possible. Think about bringing plenty of rice and pasta, for instance, as well as a source of protein to mix into a meal. Porridge can be a great, nutritious breakfast too for longer hikes, as it can be eaten by adding hot water instead of milk.

You could also consider pre-prepared meal kits. These usually involve less preparation than other meals. Packaging is light so you can easily bring a range of meals with you without your rucksack being too heavy. Adding hot or cold water is also enough to give you a tasty and nutritious meal in minutes.

Sauces, seasonings and condiments are also important. Adding extra flavour and texture to a meal can help keep your spirits up when the hike gets tougher and the weather gets colder. Also consider bringing coffee with you, so you’ve got something warm to drink to energise you and help keep your spirits up.

How Summit To Eat can improve your hiking experience

The right food can be a great help when it comes to planning and undertaking a hiking trip. When you need to consider weight, ease of preparation and packaging, as well as taste and nutrition, it might feel like a bit of a balancing act. That’s why our freeze-dried meals can be the perfect addition to your next hike.

At Summit To Eat, we provide a range of freeze-dried meals which can help ensure you have access to nutritious, tasty meals during every hiking trip. This includes breakfasts, mains, desserts and side dishes. Our meals and ingredients are:

  • Freeze-dried to create a lightweight, easy to store meal
  • Easy to prepare – simply add water to the pouch and wait for the meal to rehydrate
  • Expertly cooked prior to being freeze-dried, ensuring they taste fantastic
  • Nutritious – bursting with carbohydrates and protein to give you energy and keep you feeling satisfied

To find out more about our range of freeze-dried adventure foods, take a look at our meals page or contact us to speak to a member of our team.