How to Pick Food for a Hiking Trip

How to Pick Food for a Hiking TripPlanning food for your hiking trip is actually among the most important elements of your preparation. Many novice hikers don't realize that you need as much as double your normal caloric intake to fuel your body and keep warm out on the trail. Not packing enough of the right foods can lead to problems when daily rations don't fulfill your needs, or when extra food is consumed early in the trip. Keeping a few simple rules in mind will make sure you stay energized and well nourished on your trip, be it for a day or a week at a time.


Difficulty: Easy

Step 1
Choose foods high in carbohydrates and caloric content. Pastas, nuts, butter, cheese and sardines are a few excellent choices. If your hike will last more than a day or two, cheeses and other products must be vacuum packed or dried to stay fresh longer.
Step 2
Bring snack foods like nuts, energy bars and cereal. Many hikers carry trail mix, which is typically a mixture of nuts and dried fruits. The proteins and natural sugars make for a healthy boost of energy while fueling your muscles for miles of trail.
Step 3
Carry extra food in case of emergency. Whatever kind of food you bring, a good rule of thumb is to carry 25 percent more of it than you think you need for the time you plan to be out. Weather, injury, and illness are just a few examples of things that may extend your trip against your wishes, and the extra food can be the difference between discomfort and emergency.

Tips & Warnings

A heavy pack forces your muscles to work harder to cover the same distance, so keep the weight of your foods in mind. Dried foods weigh less. For example, dry pasta or instant soup is a much lighter choice than canned soups.
Carry plenty of water, as much as a gallon per day you plan to hike. A water filter or filtration tablets make it possible to resupply while on the trail. Check a map of the area you plan to hike and know where the resupply sources are along your route.

Article Written By Christopher Williams

Christopher Williams has spent over 11 years working in the information technology, health care and outdoor recreation fields. He has over seven years of technical and educational writing experience, and has brought strong skills and passion to the Demand Studios team in articles for eHow and Trails in 2009.

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