The purpose of eating food along the trail is to provide quick energy to keep you going in between more substantial meals. Trail food should be lightweight and easy to access. Ideally, you want to pack a combination of different foods, including sugary foods for quick energy and high-protein food and snacks that facilitate the production of saliva, which will help to conserve the liquids you are packing.
On a long, arduous hike, you should be able to get a quick burst of energy when you need it. Simple sugars work best for many people because they can be easily digested. These sugars can be consumed from snacks like M&Ms, chocolate chips or Fruit Roll-Ups. Another easy way of getting this quick burst of energy is with a box of raisins or dried fruit like banana chips or apricots. Foods that you have dried yourself will reduce the amount of chemicals and preservatives in them. All of these types of trail food are very lightweight and can fit easily inside the pockets of your pants or jacket.
Carbohydrates are another efficient source of energy. Crackers alone are cheap, provide a lot of carbs and don't weigh much, but you can add some much-needed flavor and texture taste as well as a dollop or two of protein by bringing along a small pop-top can of tuna. A can of spray cheese is another lightweight product that can add some carbs to your diet as well as satisfy hunger pangs so you don't have to stop your hike to prepare a full meal.
To keep your muscles from getting sore and tired during a long hike, you should consume protein along the way. Nuts are a good protein source. Bring along nuts in a baggie. Bring cooked bacon cut into bite-size pieces to top off your crackers. This provides taste as well as a healthy dose of protein.
Bring along a few pieces of hard candy to suck on to avoid dry mouth and stimulate saliva production. The sugar in candy is also a good source of energy when your blood sugar gets low.
Article Written By Timothy Sexton
Timothy Sexton is an award-winning author who started writing in 1994. He has written on topics ranging from politics and golf to nutrition and travel, and his work appears online for Zappos.com, Disaboom and MOJO, among others. He has also done work for "Sherlock Holmes and Philosophy." He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of West Florida.