On a hiking tour, it’s vital to begin the day with a healthy and filling breakfast and prepare some great snacks to keep you on the move. By fuelling your body with carbohydrates and proteins, you can tackle and enjoy the mountains all day. If you’ve not decided where to explore, start by choosing a route that fits your level of experience. Here’s some inspiration for hiking routes in the U.K. and the U.S.
Once you know where you’re going, it’s time to plan your food breaks so you can have lunch with a view – it’s a unique perk of hiking!
Oats are rich in fiber and good carbohydrates, and can be enjoyed cold if you mix the oats with milk or a milk substitute and leave to soak for 8-12 hours before eating. It’s an excellent option if you’re looking for lasting energy, and it’s highly customisable. Try adding nuts, protein powder, or nut butter to up your game and top off with honey or maple syrup for a tasty and fulfilling breakfast.
If you’re an egg-eater, then consider boiling a few eggs ahead of your hike for an easy protein boost on the mountain. A single egg contains six grams of protein and is rich in amino acids and vitamin B. Plus, they come with their own biodegradable ‘packaging’ (shell)!
Go for fruits that are rich in carbohydrates and natural sugars. Crisp apples are a good option for munching on in hungry periods. Bananas are also an excellent choice, as they are rich in potassium and vitamin B6. Make sure you pack them right at the top of your backpack to minimise bruising.
You can find a wonderful array of dried fruits at the supermarket now, from banana chips to sweet dried strawberries and citrus fruit like mango. Be aware that these can be quite high in sugar despite the ‘healthy’ label, but they are definitely a good option for hikers with a sweet tooth as they are easy to pack and chew whilst you walk.
If you have time to make your own trail mix then this can be a great snack to personalise to your own tastes. Get creative with your components and challenge yourself to make something uniquely delicious. Possible parts could include nuts, seeds, dried fruit, dark chocolate chips (less likely to melt!) or popcorn for a sweet mix. You could also try a savoury mix, too.
Whole grain pasta is a great way of storing carbohydrates in your body. You can mix it with lean meat and nuts to make it more delicious. However, keep the sauce light since too many carbs will make you feel tired and lazy.
A smooth blended soup is a great way to pack veggies into your food on the move, and should stay hot in a thermos so it’s perfect for lunch or dinner. Pair your favourite soup with some oatcakes for a hearty meal on the mountain.
Ensure you pack plenty of water and fluids for your trip, as staying hydrated is essential for any type of exercise, but you might find yourself far away from water sources. Hot drinks in a thermos are also a good idea for a cold day. Coffee is a popular option, but bear in mind its effects on your body aren’t always good. Many fruit teas are decaffeinated, and you can choose from a wide variety of flavours.