Foods to eat during short hikes

What To Eat During Short Hikes? A Guide To Packing Healthy Quick Bites

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Hiking is an arduous physical activity that requires robust stamina. Eating the right food before, during, and after a hike significantly boosts your performance. So, you have to choose proper food that contains lots of calories, carbs, proteins, minerals, and other nutrients that your body needs to survive and recover from the hike. 

This guide is aimed at providing you with multiple ideas on what to eat with no cooking, just grab-and-go options that you can carry with you during your day, weekend, or short hikes along with other helpful tips.

What To Eat During Short Hikes?

Things To Consider Before Buying

Packing healthy and energy rich fruits for the hike
  • The food you choose has to be one that is healthy, nutritious, and rich in energy and calories.
  • Snack packs that are lightweight and easy to carry

How To Pack?

  • Get rid of all the containers and packaging to minimize weight and space.
  • Transfer the contents into reusable ziplock bags or lightweight utensils to avoid spilling.
  • Store them in an easily accessible place in your backpack (at least the ones that can be eaten with as little effort as possible).

How Much Food To Pack?

This depends on your appetite. But there are certain external factors to consider before you determine the quantity:

  • Hike duration. The longer the hike the more sustenance you need.
  • The weight of your backpack. Ask yourself, if it is too heavy. Whether you’ll be able to carry it and effectively hike for however long the hike is?
  • Hike difficulty level. If the terrain is too rough you need to consider packing more high-energy food that does not weigh much, and just enough to snack on if the trail is on a more level-landed terrain.

How To Be A Zero Waste Snacker On A Hike?

  • Packaged food = plastic waste. Buy things in bulk quantities or buy from shops that use minimal to no plastic packaging.
  • As much as you can, use your utensils or zip-lock bags, to ensure that they can be reused later.
  • Bring back the waste with you so that you can dispose of it in the right manner.
  • Always carry your own water bottle, and as much as you can, refrain from using plastic mineral water bottles.

Packing List

mix of nuts and dry fruits
  1. High-carbohydrate snacks like bananas, energy bars, or pieces of candy
  2. Dried or fresh fruits
  3. Granola and trail mixes
  4. Assorted nuts that contain a mix of cashew, badam, pistachio, and peanuts.
  5. Seeds like sesame or pumpkin.
  6. Roll-ups like ‘Rotis’ or tortillas with hazelnut butter, peanut butter, or any spread of your choosing.
  7. Energy gels and protein bars
  8. Cookies, crackers, and rice cakes
  9. Snacks like chikki, jaggery, and roasted channa
  10. Candies and dark chocolates
  11. Local foods like Poha, Upma, oatmeal, and parathas for breakfast

Above all, hydrate frequently. Add electrolytes to your water or drink energy/sports drink if you feel giddy, exhausted, or more drained than anticipated.

Important Things To Remember

  • Listen to your body. You are the only person who knows your body and its needs better than anyone else.
  • No alcohol or cigars. Refrain from them entirely. Use the hike and the prep for the hike as a chance to quit. If you are completely unable to or if you don’t desire to then at least refrain from using them for at least the last 24 hours before going on a hike.
  • A hike is not the right time for you to experiment with new food products. Ask for or check the ingredients before purchasing food from someone or somewhere new. If you’re allergic to certain food items or food groups, always check before consuming, no matter how demanding the situation is. Also, take it from us, the last thing you need is food poisoning. 
  • Always carry water purification tablets or water filters. Don’t ever take or even entertain the risk of consuming contaminated water.

Disclaimer: We make these recommendations based on our experiences. These recommendations may not be relevant for high-altitude and ultra-long-distance trails. For more personalized and professional advice, kindly consult with your nutrition or dietitian. These pointers are ideal as great starting points for short-duration and day hikes.

Hope this blog gives you a brief yet comprehensive idea of how to plan your consumables during hikes. If you have more recommendations, please comment below.

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