Trail Food For Backpacking

Trail Food For BackpackingHiking is a great pastime, but many people forget or fail to plan their meals properly.  Especially on those day hikes, people forget that just because it is a short hike, doesn’t mean that you can’t get lost.  Throw a few extra snacks in your pack, just to be safe.  Not only that, when you get to a scenic overlook, you will have two great experiences; good food and a great view.   Lack of good nutrition on the trail can lead to many ailments; dizziness, nausea, or cramps can rear their ugly head.  So, the next time you hit the trail don’t forget some great trail food for backpacking.

We all have our own personal trail snacks that we love, so picking one of these as the best would be a waste of time.  So, if you can keep an open mind, review the list and pick out your favorite.  You might even find one that you hadn’t thought about.

Weighing many factors, these are some of my favorite choices of trail food for backpacking:

  • Peanut Butter: Not the easiest food to deal with on the trail, but if you get some squeeze tubes from the local hiking shop, it can be a wonderful treat.  By itself, it is a great source of protein, but with some type of carbohydrate, like a bagel, a slice of bread or crackers and you have a nutritious, delicious snack.
  • Fresh Fruit: It is best to choose a fruit that is a bit harder.  That way it can withstand the rigors of the trail.  Pears and Apples are probably best at withstanding the barrage of jolts.  Fruit is a good source of vitamins and the carbohydrates don’t hurt either.  Remember to pack out your core.
  • Tuna With Bread or Crackers: This is one of my favorites.  I love tuna, raw or cooked.  If you bring a can of tuna, make sure it has the quick open lid.  I prefer the new tuna packets.  If you get some mayonnaise to go with it (hint: get those little packets) or maybe even some mustard too.  Mix it all together and put it on a slice of bread, in a pita or on a cracker.  What a great treat.  You can try the same idea with packets of shredded chicken.   I know I am going overboard, but if you find some relish packets as well, then you have a great chicken salad sandwich.
  • Granola: This is a great source of nutrition on the trail.  There are a multitude of varieties available today.  It seems like a new one arrives on shelves every week.  Plain, with cherries or blueberries you name it, they’ve got it.  They have a lot of carbohydrates and some fat to balance it out.
  • Dried Fruits: Whether you make them yourself with a food dehydrator or pick up a bag, these are great tasting and hold up well while hiking.  They have a rich taste and are full of energy.  Just find your favorite:  Bananas, pears, pineapple, apple, raisins or cranberries.  There are many others to choose from.
  • Trail Mix (GORP): This is probably the perfect trail food for backpacking.  It is inexpensive, easy to pack, little waste and tons of varieties.  Just pick your favorite ingredients; Raisins, peanuts, dried coconut shavings, almonds, granola, apricots (really any dried fruit).  You can also add some chocolate ingredients, but I would only advise those if you are hiking on a cooler day.  Nothing is worse than stopping for a snack and finding a glob of sticky goo in your re-sealable bag.
  • Energy Bars: This is another one of my favorites for one reason, convenience.  Just open up the package and eat.  You can hold it in your hand and not make a mess.  The manufacturers have mixed in great nutrition with good taste.  They give you energy and fill you up.  I have tried a large number of types and come up with a few that I like.  Tastes vary so much with these, probably the best thing for you to do is pick up three or four, one of each type and try them on the trail.  The price of these can get rather expensive.  I try to pick them up at a grocery store, rather than on the way to the trail at a gas station (they will charge you a lot for these items and their selection is normally pretty slim.)

So, don’t forget to plan your meals and try my favorite trail food for backpacking.

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