Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Our Top 10 Trail Foods

As mentioned yesterday in "Take A Hike!", we are pretty avid hikers around here. If we have a sunny weekend you can pretty much guarantee we are out on the trails at least one of the days. We have had a lot of trial and error on what kinds of foods work best when hiking, so today I will share our top 10.

1. Trail Mix. This little snack is appropriately named, because it was designed, by hikers, to take with you out on the trails. You can pack this little handful off yumminess with any kinds of flavors you desire and can make it quite a nutritional powerhouse. It's perfect for a quick jaunt or longer treks. Keep this tip in mind: if you are hiking in a cooler climate people tend to like the sweeter ingredients - M&M's, dried fruit and chocolate covered almonds - if you are in warmer climates stick to a more salty fare - nuts and pretzels work great.

Note: if you are hiking in very hot weather leave out anything that melts, or you will have a big, globby mess.

2. Chicken Strips. If we are going up and packing a lunch, this is one of our favorite things to take. We buy a big back of breaded chicken strips, cook them up an hour or so before we go, and pack them up. They taste great cold, give you the protein you need, and are a substantial food to keep your energy up: plus, they don't smash like a sandwich will.

3. Peanut Butter Crackers. Ritz and peanut butter - what a great combination. The perfect little food for a snack break. It has the protein in the PB to keep your energies up, salty crackers to keep the water retention while exercising and they taste yummy.

4. Granola Bars. Whatever your flavor, they work great. Super easy to just throw in your pack, small and lightweight. All the goodness of trail mix, but easier to eat.

5. Pretzels. Especially if, like mentioned above, you are hiking in warm weather. Your body will really need the salt, and they are the perfect munching size.

6. Tuna and Crackers. If you are wanting to go out and pack a lunch with you, instead of just snacks, tuna and crackers works great. To keep things from spoiling, get the small cans of tuna that can be opened without a can opener and some of those small packages of mayonnaise or relish (you know the ones they pack in box lunches?). Mix the two together when you are ready to eat and spread on the crackers.

7. Fruit. One of my favorite things to eat, with my chicken strips of course. Fruit is refreshing after a hard hike: it's sweet and juicy. Any kind will do. Apples and pears will fare better in your pack without getting smashed then say strawberries or grapes, but we have taken it all. Depending on what time of year you are hiking and where you are going, wild berries are the best treat. We eat a lot of blackberries, blueberries and huckleberries here in the Pacific Northwest. Just be sure that you know what you are picking! There are a lot of berries that are not good for the health. When in doubt, DON'T EAT IT!

8. Cookies! Yum. Nothing completes a great trail lunch like delicious (I prefer homemade) cookies. The best part? You just burned a bunch of calories getting to where you are so you can eat them guilt free. I love that!

9. Power Bars. If you are going for any length of time power bars are a bit better to pack than granola bars. They have more calories and nutrients added to them to give you the energy you need when on the trails. You will burn more calories per hour on a good trail than you will taking a stroll around the neighborhood, so those calories will need to be replenished or you will get tired.

10. Cheese Sticks. This is Jess's favorite thing to pack - she is our cheese hound. They are an easy, non messy, food to eat and kids love them.

Now you know what to pack to head out and enjoy nature. Pick some of your favorites and get your pack ready. Tomorrow I will give you some tips to make sure your hike is as enjoyable as possible. 

picture taken by keepingtime

No comments:

Post a Comment