Planning your next trek or trip and craving some healthy snacks and travel-friendly meal options? BeWild! has you covered!
If you love outdoor adventures, you know how important it is to stay hydrated and well nourished. During such physical effort as hiking or trekking — and even while traveling in general — our bodies need more nutritious food and a lot of beverages to stay in good health.
Whether you’re planning on joining one of our day hikes from Vancouver or you’re venturing off anywhere else in the world, we’ve got some tips for tasty, healthy foods to keep you well-fed, strong and filled with energy.
So, get ready for some delicious snacks with BeWild!
Pack plenty of fluids
Activity-based excursions require higher fluid needs than usual, so it’s crucial to stay hydrated. It’s better to pre-hydrate by drinking at least 4 cups of water before a hike so you have less to carry.
After that, plan for about 2 cups of fluid for every hour of hiking. Remember to bring clean drinking water. A good idea would be bringing a filtering bottle; that way, you can access water from a fountain or spring and ensure it’s clean and safe to drink.
This is especially important during hot-weather adventures!
Even if you don’t feel thirsty, drink plenty of water especially on hot days. Staying hydrated will also help keep you energized during long hikes.
Enjoy fresh foods
Packing fresh food is always a good option for day hikes. You can bring perishable foods — such as fruits, veggies, your favorite sandwiches, meat products and dairies — for a fast, refreshing snack.
Pasta salad can be an easy, healthy meal! Just be sure to bring a small cooler or ice pack to keep the perishable foods properly chilled to 5°C or below.
It’s also better to eat these foods first to avoid them going bad.
Pro tip: Snack on fruits that don’t require refrigeration, like bananas, oranges and apples.
Opt for trail mix
Trail mix is an excellent idea to keep your strength and energy up during an outdoor adventure.
Seeds, nuts, nut-based bars, nut butter packs, dried fruits and veggies, energy bars, granola or granola bars, dried meat and salmon jerky…they all make for a great snack while trekking.
Pack cheese for some proteins
Cheese is full of protein, calcium and calories and can add richness to many meals. It also keeps well for many days if packed and stored accordingly for hiking.
First of all, choose a hard cheese such as Parmesan or Grana Padano. Then, remove any plastic packaging, slightly moisten a cloth and wring out completely. Wrap the cheese in the slightly damp cloth.
After the cheese is secured, pack it in the center of your bag or backpack, surrounded by other soft items such as clothes, a sleeping bag or a tent.
You can keep it fresh for 2-3 days if you’re going for a longer hike.
Dry foods are any traveller’s best friend! There is an array of options that are not only healthy and delicious but also filling. They are some of the best lightweight hiking foods, too, and take up very little space in your bag.
Here are just a few dried foods you can take with you on your journey:
- instant soups
- refried beans
- instant potatoes
- pasta/ramen/couscous/rice noodles
- mac and cheese
- instant oatmeal
- instant grits
- peanut butter powder
- powdered milk and protein powder
They are easy to make and, if you get creative, you can make nutritious, tasty meals combining them with dried veggies, beans or spices.
Packing food for longer hikes or camping
It can be more challenging to pack food for a few days but we’re here to help you plan accordingly.
If you have a cooler or ice packs (strongly recommended especially for longer trips!), the first day you should eat any perishable foods.
After that, pick easily-packed basics that will sustain you, such as easy-to-carry foods, ready-to-eat cereal, fruit or vegetable puree in squeezable pouches like applesauce, poultry pouches, canned fish, canned beans and meat.
Remember to include spices to make your meals taste better! Individual packets of ketchup, mayo, mustard, taco sauce and soy sauce also work wonders.
If you can boil water, then opt for dehydrating foods such as meat (ground beef, ham, shrimp, tuna, crab, etc), macaroni, risotto, and the like.
Don’t forget about lasting energy! The best foods for multi-day tours or camping will be nutrient-dense and high in protein.
Try to limit sugars, which offer only a quick boost of energy, and instead choose proteins and complex, slow-release carbs. Healthy fats that are digested more slowly can also provide energy for a longer time: peas, beans, whole grains, vegetables, cereals, olive oil and nut butter.
For a quick, sweet campfire snack pack Marshmallows!
Pro tip: Always remember your leave no trace principals and dispose of waste properly, “if it doesn’t grow here, it doesn’t go here”.
Driving and travelling on a plane, bus or train
Similar healthy food rules apply to car rides, plane, train or bus travels.
Since you’re usually bound by the baggage limit, choose food packs to keep your backpack lighter (ready meals – pasta, chilli, tuna or salmon), instead of bulky and heavy canned food.
You should also bring a water filtering bottle to fill in at the airport, gas or train station. Hydration isn’t just for those hiking or trekking, it’s so important for all travelers!
Try to avoid easily spoiled foods like fresh fruit and veggies. Instead, opt for apples, bananas and oranges, or dried veggies, nuts and — if you have a sweet tooth — protein bars are a great option.
For something salty, bring crackers or salted nuts.
Choosing food for travelling takes a bit of preparation but we hope these tips make packing easier and quicker for you!
Just focus on nutritious, healthy, preferably lightweight foods and you’ll be good to go and enjoy your hike!
We’d love to have you join us on the hiking trails of British Columbia! If you have any questions about our full-day tours from Vancouver, get in touch.