Hiking Meals Ideas for Beginners: Easy & Nutritious
When we are hiking for just hours, maybe an energy bar can be enough, but when we are hiking for days, meal planning for backpacking or our food becomes a crucial thing because it’s what maintaining our energy level.
This article will tell you what you should bring with you taking into consideration weight, energy, and availability.
HIKING MEALS IDEAS
GOOD BACKPACKING BREAKFAST IDEAS
If you don’t want to clean up after yourself, an energy bar can be enough.
If breakfast is important for you (and you should), a hot coffee, eggs, pancakes, and meats are things that can boost start your hiking day.
Pancakes, oatmeal with dried fruits, powdered eggs, or cereal with powdered milk are a good idea for breakfast because they are both easy to prepare and lightweight.
Powdered eggs are rich in flavor, lightweight, and easy to prepare.
GOOD BACKPACKING LUNCH IDEAS
Tortillas and bagels are great choices because they are relatively dense in calories.
Hard meats and cheeses are also something that you should consider taking with you on your hike.
Jerky, bagels with cream cheese, dehydrated chicken or turkey, tortillas with peanut butter, canned tuna, pita with dehydrated hummus, ramen noodles are all good backpacking lunch ideas.
GOOD BACKPACKING DINNER IDEAS
If you prefer convenience over affordability, you can get some freeze-dried meals like Mountain House, they are lightweight and tasty.
If you are like me and these options are not easily available in your region, or for whatever reason, DIY dinner ideas are your only option.
Instant Mashed Potatoes, Instant Mac & Cheese, Ramen noodles with dehydrated vegetables, Stuffing, Instant Soups, Macaroni and cheese with bacon bits, pasta with pesto and cheese, Pasta and Rice Sides, Chicken and Tuna Packets are all some good backpacking dinner ideas.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
HOW MUCH FOOD DO I NEED?
This depends highly on your weight, fitness level, gender, and your habits.
Around 700 g of food per person per day is something that you should consider carrying and feeding yourself with.
Because these number differs mostly, it’s better for you to take short hikes to know if you eat less or more when you are outdoor.
WHAT TYPE OF FOOD IS CONSIDERED GOOD FOR HIKING?
Food with a low glycemic index is preferred during hiking because it slowly releases its energy.
Other than the energy, your hiking meals should also be quick and easy to prepare.
WHAT ARE THE BEST FOODS FOR HIKING?
What food to take with you depends on the duration of your hike, if you plan to stay for up to 2 nights, you may be able to bring with you fresh food, if you plan to stay more than two nights, you should consider dry, freeze-dried, and dehydrated foods because it doesn’t contain water that makes it rot.
Personally, I mix between some quick-to-expire rich in flavor foods and other things that can last longer, and I start with the quick-to-expire foods.
Another thing that you should take into consideration is that flavors become important during hikes because it’s the things that you can use to treat/motivate yourself with after long hours of walking.
WHAT ABOUT SODA FOR HIKING?
Because you are going to carry it on your back for a long time, it does not worth it. But if it’s an overnight hike, you can treat yourself with it.
CAN I HAVE CHOCOLATE WITH ME DURING A HIKE?
Chocolate is something that a large number of hikers take with them during hikes, it can give you energy and motivate you during your shortstops.
Be careful that it melts in your bag when the weather is hot.
WHAT ABOUT WATER?
Knowing your water sources during your hike planning is something that will help you avoid carrying unnecessary water because you will know exactly your needs.
IS THERE ANY DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SEASONS FOR MEALS PLANNING?
In winter, our bodies need more energy to keep us warm.
For hydration, our bodies need more water in summer than in winter. Electrolyte packs are something that can help keep your energy and salt levels up during outdoor activities.
CAN I COOK MY OWN MEALS DURING HIKES?
If you are talking about simple things like scrambled eggs, yes.
If you are planning on making something advanced and you are still a beginner hiker and you are also not familiar with cooking in your home, I don’t recommend you that because you can easily need an ingredient that you forgot and you may end up upset for the night and this could waste your hiking trip.
HOT MEALS ARE THEY EASY TO HAVE?
During multiple-day hikes, having hot meals is something necessary because eating just cold meals may be boring.
Best backpacking stoves (LLink), is a good guide to founding the one that suits your needs.
IS THERE ANY TIPS FOR BACKPACKING FOOR STORAGE?
The smell of food attracts animals like rats, so make sure you double close your hard plastic bags to avoid them accessing them during the night.