Food for Hiking

Planning your food for hiking is an important thing to factor in when you are preparing to go hiking. Especially if you are going on a hike that is more than one day. There are many options to choose from. You should always make sure you have food that is going to give you enough fuel to complete your hike. Good nutritional value, high protein and non-perishable foods, are things we always take with us on long hikes.

As much as we would love to take luxurious meals for each day, this just wouldn’t be effective as the weight of these meals in your backpack would make the hike unbearable. You want to try and take as many lightweight hiking meals and snacks as possible.
In this article we hope we can help you plan your food for hiking.

Lightweight backpacking meal tips

Remove packaging:

Ensure to remove all packing your food comes in if it makes it bulkier. Things like coffee and tea, don’t take the boxes/ container. We always take things like this in zip food bags (normal food bags will most likely burst), this allows us to have more space when packing other essentials things.

Pre make some of you hiking meals and hiking snacks:

Dehydrating your own food is a great option as well but I know this isn’t easy for everyone as you need to have a food dehydrator and know what you are doing. We don’t have this so a couple of our go to pre-make meals are:

Tuna pasta with veggies and salad (of course this would be this first night meal/lunch)
Red sauce herb pasta

Make your own hike bars:

homemade hike bars

Something I do for every hike is make my own hike bars. 

1. They are not full of unnecessary sugars and junk
2. I know exactly what is in them
3. More value for money than buying commercial bars
4. I believe they are more nutritional value

My quick hike bar recipe is oats, honey, peanut butter and walnuts.

Top Tips

1. If you are at a fast food place or café, the normally have sachets of sauce, salt and pepper grab a few each time you are to there save them up for you trips. Trust me it’s a life saver no matter how careful you pack your own salt and pepper they WILL end up everywhere! Same goes for tea and coffee if you’re at a hotel or something pick a few of the sachets up.
2. Always have some of the Belvita biscuits in your bag they are great for energy and quick snacks on the go.
3. Think ahead and always try to have a cold lunch as it will save you time and energy. We always plan for a cold lunch and a hot dinner
4. Take instant hot snacks cup of soup, noodles etc
5. Take a variety of nuts: Almonds, walnuts, maybe even some raisins and seeds
6. Chocolate bars
7. Instant Porridge packs for breakfast

image of mixed nuts

Hiking food ideas

Everyone wants to ensure they have more than enough food on board when setting off on their adventure. So we understand, you are probably here because you are thinking what is the best food for hiking? What hiking meals can I make? What food to pack for hiking? Hiking food ideas?

Well we hope in our lists below will help answer these questions for you. Of course we can’t recommend the best food to take hiking as it differs for each person but we will certain let you know the things that have worked for us.

Breakfast ideas for hiking:

Instant porridge packs
Hiking bars
Tortilla wraps with peanut butter
Nuts and seeds
Tea and coffee

We tend to have a quick cup of coffee and a homemade hiking bar. Just to save us the effort of cooking before we head off. Normally we end up have a quick snack on our way like some nuts before lunchtime just to keep us going.

Lunch ideas for hiking:

Tortilla wraps with peanut butter or cheese
Instant noodles
Tuna pasta (premade)
Bagels with peanut butter
Red sauce herb pasta (premade)
Any type of pasta that can be premade and ate cold
Crackers and sliced cheese

Sometimes we do sit down and take the time to cook our lunch on the hike if we don’t have many days of hiking. But 9 times out of 10 we have a cold lunch so we can spend the time resting and get ready to set off again. We find that if we stop to cook and prepare lunch we really don’t want to keep moving.

Dinner Ideas for hiking:

Any non-perishable/freeze dried food packs – They are a huge variety of these but they aren’t cost effective
Just add water hiking packs – They are a huge variety of these and they are more reasonably priced
Rice with dried vegetables
Pasta with sliced cheese
Instant mash
Instant noodles
Couscous with dried vegetables

These are our go to hiking meals and snacks, Of course they aren’t luxurious meals but if you are going on a 3 day or more hike you need to be travelling as light as possible and these types of food will really get you through.

Things to consider

Try to really plan ahead and consider what you will eat each day and what you are going to do with the waste. For example if you are happy to take canned tuna on your hike, something you might not think about, is what you are going to do with the smelly open can. If there aren’t any bins around for some time. You will have to carry the empty cans around until you find one.
This goes for all items that have waste, beer bottles etc. Be mindful and think 5 steps ahead when packing your food for hiking.

We really hope our Food for hiking article, will help you with planning your next hiking trip!

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