Planning an unsupported trek in which you’ll have to carry your own food? Then you may have asked yourself ‘what to eat on a trek into the wild?’. Fortunately, this guide to food for trekking holidays will help you out.
Planning meals for unsupported treks
Whether you’re heading out into the hills for one or two nights or for a weeklong adventure, if you need to carry your own food a bit of planning is required. The right meals need to be packed with energy, lightweight and ideally tasty.
Already been on an unsupported trek into the wild? You’ll know that the quality of your trip will be directly affected by the food that you bring. And that it’s not easy to ration.
Bring too much and your pack will be unnecessarily and uncomfortably heavy. Not enough food and energy levels will be affected and it could be dangerous.
The type of food is also important. If it doesn’t contain enough energy then blood sugar levels will be as low as your mood.
In this guide to food for trekking holidays we aim to help you choose the right quantities and types of food to eat on a trek into the wild. Ultimately, the fuel you put in as important as selecting appropriate footwear and remembering to pack the essential walking gear.
What to eat on an trek into the wild
Choosing food for trekking holidays, always consider:
High energy content
When you’re in the outdoors, energy requirements inevitably increase. So it is important to choose food that is as energy dense as possible. Good choices include chocolate, dried fruit, nuts, seeds, and energy bars or gels.
Unless you’re a celebrity, the chances are you’ll be carrying your own food so keeping weight down is incredibly important. Freeze dried foods are a trekking standard and nowadays both choice and quality are incredibly high.
The days of tasteless unimaginative mush are behind us with leading manufacturers now producing quality meals. Freeze dried cuisine is no longer boring! From Thai curries to blueberry cheesecake…. almost anything is possible these days!
The last thing you want at the end of a long day on the trail is to wait around for hours to get fuel into a tired system. So bring food that is quick and easy to prepare.
Again freeze dried options score highly here. Many packs just require adding boiling water and 5 minutes later you are chowing down!
The longer your trip, the increased demand it will have on your body and this is where the science of what you are putting in becomes key. If you are hiking day after day then you’ll need to eat a diet high in carbohydrates to keep the onset of fatigue at bay.
Oats, rice, beans, couscous, pasta, potatoes, cereals and bread are all great sources of carbohydrate. When deciding what to eat on an trek into the wild remember to keep your palette interested with variety.
And don’t forget the liquids. Keeping hydrated when in the wild is of paramount importance so making sure that you carry enough plus a bit extra.
A good tip is to add an electrolyte tablet to your water bottle. Not only will it make the water taste better but will help keep energy at optimum levels.
Guide to food for trekking holidays
Now we know what we’re aiming for, we can begin to get an idea of what to eat on an trek into the wild. Below are some ideas of what the daily menu could look like.
Oats are not only lightweight and easy to prepare but they also pack a great slow release carb punch. They are a fantastic way to start any day in the outdoors.
Throw in some dried blueberries, raisins, cranberries and nuts to make for a really tasty and simple breakfast. Coffee and tea are obviously easy to carry, just don’t forget the powdered milk!
Oatcakes, crackers and crispbreads have great energy content and don’t go stale as quickly as bread. Top them with cheeses, salami, tinned fish, or even jams that come in squeezable tubes. If you can cope with the extra weight, peanut butter is literally bursting with nutrition.
As outlined above, freeze dried foods are the best option here with endless options produced by manufacturers. To make them extra tasty pack some seasoning or spices or throw in things like sundried tomatoes.
When it comes to snacking, little and often is the general philosophy adopted by outdoor enthusiasts. Snacks such as dried fruit and nuts, chocolate, trail mix, and energy bars/gels are all great options to get you through the day.
Guide to food for trekking holidays: Conclusion
To conclude, choice of trekking food will obviously be influenced by many things. Personal preference is a big factor as are the length and nature of your trek, and the size of your pack. But with so many options, there is no need to suffer out on the trail.
Always considering the most important factors of weight and energy content. You burn a lot of calories trekking and they need replacing to keep you going the next day. The good news is food always tastes better outdoors, so whatever you pack will be delicious!
We hope you found this guide to food for trekking holidays useful. Be sure to check out our trekking discounts as you could save a fortune on your next adventure.