Hiking is about meditation as much as it is about exercise. Sometimes you just need to get out and that takes a little prep work. Short or long, your excursion will require some energy refueling. And the first thing that comes to mind is trail mix, right? But trail mix isn’t one of the best hiking foods out there.
When you pack your food for an outing, the two things to balance are weight and energy. You want to be sure you’re not feeding yourself just to haul your food. If you can hike without a heavy bag or a heavy stomach, you’ll maximize your energy. So, you’ll be able to hike farther and longer, too. So here are some food ideas that will fuel your next hike.
Rice for B Vitamins and Iron
Rice is one of the top hiking foods because it can last more than one day. However, short grain white rice is going to be your best bet. It won’t take long to cook and it’s the highest in starches and carbohydrates. Also, they enrich rice with B vitamins and iron.
It’s also the best rice for improvising since it goes well with a variety of spices or fruits. Rice is lightweight and comes in ready-to-go packs. So, keep them on hand for those spontaneous trips that you don’t want a lot of prep work to take.
Peanut Butter for Healthy Fats and Protein
Peanut butter is great for a day hike. It is high in protein and healthy fats. Like rice, you can prepare it in a variety of ways. Ants on a Log or on rice cakes is a nice snack that doesn’t take a lot of room in your bag. It also doesn’t require heavy containers.
Both fit in sandwich bags to make for light cargo. You can substitute peanut butter with almond butter to sort out your allergy problems. And best of all, you can find peanut or almond butter in travel packets, which makes both good hiking foods to pack.
Chicken, Salmon or Tuna for Protein on the Go
Chicken, salmon or tuna is best for a day hike. Better yet, this type of protein also comes in packets, so you don’t have to pack heavy cans. Avoid packing canned foods. They aren’t good hiking foods since they are heavy and difficult to store.
To prepare ahead of time, just combined with cream cheese on rice cakes. If you’re tired of rice cakes, bagels will work. That way you have a blend of protein and carbohydrates that will take you through the day.
Oatmeal for Complex Carbs
Oatmeal can last for days, so it’s good for a long hike. Also, this could be for a day hike if you want to have it for breakfast before heading out. But, if you want hot oatmeal, you’ll need to boil water. Like the rice, it’s easy to flavor and tasty. Also, like rice, oatmeal is rich with B vitamins and complex carbohydrates for long-lasting energy.
If you plan your trip ahead of time, you can have your oats for a day trip by preparing peanut butter no-bake cookies. There are many easy camping recipes you can try the next time you go hiking. Just base them on your favorite foods that are also healthy and provide energy. And always remember to bring plenty of water, especially if it’s hot outside. Packing the right hiking foods will keep you going strong.