Essential Foods for Long Hikes
Hiking is a wonderful way to get active while exploring the wonders of the natural world. It is also a fantastic test for our bodies and minds, which is why many people now look to take part in much longer journeys. A long hike – such as an overnight excursion or even a two/three-day event – is not something to be taken lightly, however, and the correct preparation is vital.
While the quality of your equipment plays a key role in this regard, you must also make sure you’re prepared for when times are tough, and you need that extra bit of energy. Therefore, the food you bring with you is crucial to not only the success of your hike but also your enjoyment of the whole experience! If you’re unsure of what meals or snacks to bring with you, take a look at our simple guide to point you in the right direction.
Before anything else, ensuring you have enough water for your journey is essential. Some hiking trails will have locations where you can refill bottles, but if not then you will need to create space for an ample water supply. We are advised to drink around two litres of water on a typical day, so when you include a day of hiking, you begin to understand the amount of water necessary.
A key here is to pre-hydrate by drinking more water than usual before you start. This will give you some early insurance while also reducing the amount of weight you have to carry on your back! The amount of water you’ll need depends on things such as terrain, distance and time, so the balance between having enough fluids and not being weighed down by excess can sometimes be hard to find.
Chocolate and Energy Bars
It is something that many hikers swear by, and while it should not be your only source, a sudden sugar boost every so often can be really handy during a long excursion. Sugary snacks like these are great at producing a quick spike in energy, something that can prove invaluable during the later stages of a hike, so consider having two or three of these with you during your excursion.
Another hugely popular pick-me-up that you’re likely to desire during any long hike, particularly on overnight or multiple day adventures, will be a cup of coffee. For many of us, this is the way we like to start our mornings, and it can provide a much-welcome boost to morning morale if you have some available! Keeping coffee fresh can be awkward, however, so it is worth investing in a quality portable coffee maker such as AeroPress if you want that perfect cup while enjoying the view on your hiking journey!
Nuts and Seeds
As mentioned above, while chocolate can be useful for a quick fix, it is certainly not enough to keep you going through a long hike. Like any physical activity, the correct nutrition is crucial, and that means taking on more calories, carbohydrates and proteins than on an average day. When it comes to this, few foods do as good a job for your body as nuts and seeds.
Full of proteins and fats, a healthy selection of nuts will not only leave you feeling satisfied but will also produce a steady flow of energy as you hike, as opposed to the sudden jolt that you get from energy and sugar bars. A trail mix is enough, or any mixture of fresh nuts and seeds will produce the desired effect.
If you are taking part in a very long hike, then there will likely come a time when you need to sit down and recover with a larger meal. Like with water, weight has to be taken into consideration here, so prepare in advance and minimise the number of ingredients or utensils that you need to carry for this.
Pasta is a classic choice, and for good reason. A fantastic source of carbohydrates, pasta (particularly wholegrain) will help to give you more energy for the next leg of your adventure. Combine with an easy-to-carry protein, such as canned fish, for the perfect recovery food – just make sure you give your body enough time to digest it before you exert yourself too far!
Hopefully, this list of potential hiking foods will help you decide on the perfect ingredients for your big hike! Remember, our range of Trekking boots are the ideal partner for any long-distance hike, so why not browse our range of footwear and hiking accessories today? Alternatively, prepare for your next trip by reading our blog on the basics of good hiking!