Hiking & Backpacking Food

Hello there! Welcome to GSU’s Outdoor Fun section. We appreciate your interest in a more sustainable world and hope you enjoy your future hiking and backpacking vegan snacks and meals!

hiking sandwich breakWhen immersing yourself in nature, it is important to think of your food as fuel. Focus more on calorie count and efficiency and less in food preferences.

When hiking and backpacking, the best foods to pack will be energy-high light weight foods. For instance, a sack of dried nuts, a peanut butter sandwich, or a protein bar: filling, high in calories, and non-perishable.

Whatever foods you choose to bring for your hike, respect the wilderness rules: DO NOT FEED WILD ANIMALS and PACK IT IN, PACK IT OUT!

  • Nuts: Almonds, peanuts, walnuts, freeze-dried meal for hiking cashews,
    pecans, pistachios, and other nuts are a great trail snack. They are high in calories, proteins, and minerals.
  • Energy bars: Cereal bars, cliff bars, protein bars, and power bars have a high nutritional value. They contain nuts, cereals, chocolate, sugar from natural sources, and added protein that boost your energy and can supplement a meal.
  • Sandwiches: Use wheat bread, which is far more nutritious than white bread. A peanut butter sandwich makes quick nutritious meal, high in healthy calories and protein. If you are going on a day hike, you can also make savory sandwiches, but make sure you choose your ingredients wisely. The following are some of the best ingredients for a protein-rich nutritious and delicious lunch sandwich: bean paste (hummus or cold refried beans), olives or tapenade, palm hearts, artichoke, avocado, tofu stakes, roasted bell peppers, lettuce, shredded carrots, cucumber, zucchini, vegan mayo.
  • Oatmeal and quinoa: Whole grain foodbackpacking snak break high in fiber, protein, calcium, and potassium. Instant oatmeal comes in several flavors, such as maple, apple, or cinnamon, and is ready in just a few seconds after mixing it with boiling water. Quinoa takes a little longer to cook, but it is also pretty light in weight, cooks fast and makes a very complete meal even by itself. Quinoa is rich in protein and contains all of the essential amino acids.
  • Protein powder: You can mix it with water and drink it cold, add it to your morning coffee, or combine it with your oatmeal.
  • Dehydrated or freeze dried foods: Easy to prepare and high in nutrients. Dehydrated fruits, such as apples, bananas or peaches make great on-the-go snacks and dehydrated or freeze dried foods, like pasta primavera, vegetarian chili, or curry are very easy to prepare comforting meals. Freeze dried foods can be homemade or manufactured and distributed by popular commercial brands, for example, Backpackers Pantry, Wise Outdoor Meals, or Mountain House. If you want to make your own ‘gourmet’ dried food, check PACKITGOURMET , ‘trail food beyond your wilderness expectations’.
  • Canned beans: If you are backpacking, relyingPolenta with vegan chili on heavy canned food might be a bad idea. However, if your route does not include a water source to replenish your bladder or canteens, canned food can be a good choice: it is ready to eat, won’t require extra water, and can be nutritious and comforting too. Vegetarian chili, lentil-vegetable soup and vegetarian baked beans are some of the best options.
  • Carbohydrate fillers: Polenta, quick cook pasta, or minute rice. Easy to prepare and ideal to mix with your protein rich canned goods, such us vegetarian chili, lentil soup or black beans. Polenta is definitely the best choice of the three. It cooks in one minute and contains fiber, protein, minerals and vitamins.
  • Electrolyte tablets: They contain sodium and potassium salts, which help rehydrate your body. Some popular brand names are: Gatorade, Nuun, or Hylytes.
  • Instant coffee: A hot comforting coffee in the early morning will help you warm up and get ready for a long day hike. Add some protein powder and make it an energy booster!

Note: To reduce food odors and keep animals away, it is recommended to keep your food in hermetic containers. When camping or backpacking, use bear canisters or hang your food from a branch to store your food overnight.

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