Travels of all types work up an appetite. Trekking along trails and cruising down the open road both call for snacks you can pack easily and eat on the go. Not just any food will do. You need foods that provide enough energy for long hauls and steep climbs, and that won’t weigh down your pack or your stomach.
Don’t rely on rest stops for fast food and vending machine fare. Before you take a hike, take our advice on how to optimize your excursion.
Efficient and Delicious
Nutrient-dense foods are the number one travel companion for your appetite and energy alike. Lean proteins like certain types of fish give you a lot of the nutrients you need relative to their caloric content. For shorter hikes or the first day of multi-day hikes, ready-to-eat tuna salad pouches are perfect. Produce like kale and blueberries are also good sources of nutrients. And, if the thought of kale nearly scares you off the trail, dark chocolate packs plenty of nutrients, too.
Of course, the foods that immediately come to mind when you’re planning your trip are popular for a reason. Healthy snacks for road trips and hikes, like trail mix, granola, and jerky are always a good choice because they’re filling and portable.
Steer Clear of Sugar
Sweets may offer a satisfying energy boost, but the jolt quickly fades. That’s the last thing you want because, whether you’re hiking or driving, you need to stay alert. Keep sugary foods and drinks to a minimum to help maintain steady energy.
Your Hydration Destination
Drink plenty of water before you set out for your hike and make sure you bring enough to drink along the way. A general rule of thumb is to carry about 32 ounces of water for every two hours of hiking. Bringing Giant Eagle’s eco-packaged water is a great way to stay hydrated while being a steward of the environment you’re actively enjoying.
Regular hydration is important for long drives, too, even if it results in frequent bathroom breaks. Be sure to pack a few bottles in a small cooler you can easily access.
Take care to thoroughly plan the amount of food you’ll need based on the time and distance of your journey. When you think you have enough, add a little extra on top. By having more than adequate nourishment on hand, you can better enjoy every leg of your hike or avoid having to make pit stops that delay your arrival at your vacation destination.