Food tips for hiking and trekking

hiking food tips

Food tips for hiking and trekking

Are you planning to go hiking or camping? Figuring out your nutrition needs in the wild is important. There is a lot to consider besides just grabbing an energy bar or a water bottle. Here are some tips that will help you in the food department while on a outdoor adventure.

Make a plan

Any outdoor activity requires more energy than your usual daily activities. In order to be able to enjoy and endure the increased need for energy, your body will need more water and food. You will need to prepare and have a plan.

food tips for hiking plan

The key factors for decision making process include:

  • Length of the trip
  • What type of food and beverage you will carry
  • When you will eat or drink
  • Will you need equipment for food prep
  • Can you bring a cooler

If you are going out in the nature during hot weather, you'll need to pack plenty of fluids.

Staying hydrated

If you are an avid fan of Man vs Wild, you remember how important is to stay hydrated thanks to charismatic Bear Grylls. Water is the most essential thing you will carry. Humans can function rather well without food, but without water… not so much.

food tips hiking water

Drink at least a liter of water before a hike (1 - 2 hours before), this way you will pre-hydrate yourself and have less to carry. Then, you should pack 2 cups of water for every hour you will spend outdoors. So, if it is a 4 hour hike, you should bring 2 liters of water per person.

What about food?

In order to keep your energy up, you will need to combine a mixture of proteins, fats and complex carbs. With the carbs being the major nutrients source (about 50%), keep fats at around 35% and the rest is protein.

You may be thinking: ‘’But protein is for muscles, why so little’’. Yes, proteins are for muscle building. But for muscle usage, carbs is where its at. You need energy, not bigger biceps.

It is not impossible to bring perishable foods, if you have a cold source to keep them under 5°C. But coolers are bulky, so you would be better off with food sources such as:

  • Trail mix
  • Nuts, walnuts, almonds
  • Dried fruits and vegetables
  • Granola bars
  • Whole-grain tortillas
  • Tuna cans
  • Dry foods (pasta, noodles, rice)

food tips hiking

How much food to bring?

Your needs for food during hiking will depend on some factors. Mainly how long are you going for, your age, how large is your group and the weather (people usually eat less when it is warm). A good rule of thumb is to pack around 1 kg of food, 3 meals and 2 snacks per person, for a whole day.

These five meals are better for constant activity, rather than three large meals. You already know how a big meal can make you feel groggy and tired - you do not want to feel that way on your hike.

Depending on the food you want, think what you need to prepare it. If you want rice, you'll need water, a pot, water, bowls and plates, eating utensils and fuel for the fire. Think about all the weight you ‘ll be carrying and plan accordingly.

few grams of spices can drastically affect the flavour of the food. So if your plan is to cook, bring salt, powdered garlic, pepper, etc.

Do not forget about food safety rules

Wash your hands before and after you eat. Wet wipes or hand gel are a must. Keep your food stored properly, don’t summon trash pandas or affect the environment. Clean up after yourself and throw the trash at designated places.

food tips hiking

On our tours, you do not have to worry so much about food. We start our hiking day with a delicious breakfast, and after the hike, we ‘ll have a traditional gourmet dinner at our camp. Reserve a hiking tour and come to experience the untouched beauty of Montenegro.


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