Eat Great and Fuel Your Body Right on Your Next Hiking Trip

Nutritional Tips to Tackle Your Hunger While Tackling that Peak

Heading out to get your hiking fix? As you’re making your gear list and checking it twice, make sure keeping your hunger in check while keeping your body healthy and fueled is among those things you consider when planning your outing. Here are a few tips to make it eating right as easy as the experience is awesome.

What’s your plan?

Grabbing a protein bar and one bottle of water won’t quite cut it for a daylong excursion, so make sure you take into account how long and far you’re going, how physically taxing that will be on you and your crew, how much you can carry, if you need utensils or tools, and when and where you’ll eat.

Hydrate, hydrate

Water is as just as vital to a good hiking experience as good boots. Just as you make sure your pack and gear is ready for the adventure, you can make sure your body is ready, too, by hydrating in advance. Good advice is to drink four cups of water before you head out. That will allow you to carry less on the hike and ensure you won’t run the risk of dehydration.

While on the hike, a good guide is to make sure you have at least two cups of water for every hour you plan to hike. If you can carry a little extra weight, taking a bit more than that is never a bad idea.

And if you want to try any tasty freeze-dried meals or snacks, such as the ones below, you’ll need a bit more water, too.

What’s on the menu?

Even if you’re just heading out a day hike, you have options -- and lots of them.Try some granola or ready ready-to-eat cereal. Take a pouch of tuna or jerky, even a turkey and Swiss (if you can keep it cold and maybe skip the mayo).

Freeze-dried (no, not those crazy coffee crystals your grandmother used for her daily cup) also is a great alternative. There are lots of options that are easy as well as tasty. It also is great for those overnight car camping or backpacking trips.

Warm up your morning with some mango sticky rice or Indian rice pudding. For lunch, how about some chicken cashew curry or lasagna to keep you fueled. Or elevate your trail meal to a level worthy of the peaks you’re exploring with pesto salmon pasta or fettuccine alfredo.

Just want a snack? Dig into whole-grain chips and salsa or savor some peanut butter.

If you need to feed a sweet tooth, how about hot apple cobbler, coconut key lime pie or dark chocolate cheesecake?

Depending on what you plan to eat, don’t forget the condiments. All those packages you got with your last GrubHub delivery -- soy sauce, Parmesan cheese or mayo (see turkey and Swiss above) -- will come in handy.

Keep it clean

Make sure you pack in and out what you’ll need for your meal and clean up. Disposable wipes, bowls or plates, utensils, a pot for cooking and trash bags should be on your pre-hike checklist.

Stay safe out there

Make sure you whatever food you take is kept at the proper temperature or heated to the proper temperatures (Google it if you aren’t sure.). Likewise, don’t leave your perishables in the sun, and leave them at home when the region is experiencing one of those 90-degree scorchers. And wash your hands as often as possible; those wipes are perfect.

Get going

Armed with a options for better-than-fine outdoor dining, now all that’s left to do is pick the day or weekend, load up the Jeep and explore.

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