When planning for a day hike, it is essential to note how to pack for proper nutrition. Regardless of the length of time a hike may have, packing proper nutrition is crucial to replenish what’s been lost along the way– and stopping for lunch provides a huge help. But what to pack without making the activity more burdensome and without sacrificing safety?
To give you an idea, here are some day hiking lunch ideas to remember.
1. Bring pre-packed perishable food. Think of egg sandwiches, tuna salad pouches, burritos or meat-stuffed tortillas, poultry, smoked salmon, beef jerky, and the likes. You may even throw in a small bag of frozen fruit, a banana or an apple, hard-boiled eggs, rolled omelets, rice rolls, and so on. The idea is to have the right storage to hold these perishable foods for you.
An insulated container with an ice pack can be too dragging though. Instead, go for food-safe vacuum packed containers like this one from Chefcoo . This convenient and lightweight thermos help to keep your meals at the right temperature keeping them fresh up until lunch time and beyond. You may even add a hot soup particularly when hiking during cold, dreary winter or fall.
2. Fresh fruits and vegetables are topnotch choices for day hiking lunch breaks. These whole grains and complex carbohydrates make you feel fuller for longer period of time while releasing energy in a slow and steady fashion to fuel your hike. Make sticks of carrots, apples, oranges, pears, and so on. Pack broccoli, tomatoes, grapes, berries and plums, too. Whole grain crackers like these individualized packs of Lance Whole Grain Peanut Butter Crackers also makes a great snack without making your stomach too bloated for you to go out and about continuing the hike.
3. Get additional energy and strength to go on with the day hike by packing protein-rich foods. Shelf-stable tuna pouches, cheese slices and whole grain crackers are filled with protein and fiber making you feel fuller yet lighter. Feel free to bring along a jar of peanut butter, bite-size roasted chicken, and so on. Protein-rich foods add more strength to your muscles to help go on with the hike no matter the terrain or weather condition.
4. Don’t lose out on healthy fats when energizing your hike during lunch break. Cheese and nuts are great choices as they burn slowly giving your body steady energy to fuel a hike. The Eden All Mixed Up Too, for instance, has nuts, seeds and dried fruit which makes a great complement to a sandwich during a hike’s lunch break. Pepperoni and salami as well as beef sausages are excellent choices, too. When packing cheeses, go for the hard kinds like cheddar or provolone safely tucked in an insulated container.
5. Don’t forget- hydration. We normally consume 2 liters of water daily on normal conditions. A 5 or 10 mile day hike though, requires more replenishment. Think of other factor like terrain and weather conditions. Your own pace will eventually point out how much water you will consume but the essential thing is– you need to have enough water with you. Dehydration can kills. Lugging out 2 gallons of water can be difficult though. This makes a water filter necessary for you whenever on a day hike, on top of your hydration system in place. This LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle is a revolutionary breakthrough in hydration systems. All you need to do is find a water source like stream or pond, fill this bottle up, allow to sit for a few minutes and drink to your heart’s content. This BPA- and Phthalate-free leak-proof water bottle and filter removes 99.99% waterborne bacteria and protozoa.
Remember to bring rehydration salts though. You may be losing out on sodium and electrolytes as you sweat leading to dehydration or, worse, low blood pressure. Keeping a pack or two of NormaLyte Oral Rehydration Salts can optimize absorption of electrolytes in your system.
Bottom line is: Stopping for lunch while consuming the right type of food is a must for every hiking adventure. Aside from replenishing energy lost, it will also help stoke up your strength for the long haul back. With the right equipment and these day hiking lunch ideas, your next adventure will definitely be well worth it.