Nutrition is essential for any outdoor activity, but it can be especially important when hiking. Proper nutrition is needed for maintaining energy levels, keeping your body hydrated, and ensuring overall physical well-being during a hike. So, whether you’re planning a day hike or a multi-day trek, it’s important to understand your body's nutritional requirements and how to meet those needs while out on the trail. This guide has been written to help you navigate these challenges!
As mentioned above, one of the most significant challenges when hiking is providing yourself with an adequate diet on the go, especially when you need to carry all of your food with you for multiple days (absolute nightmare!).
Freeze-dried meals are a fantastic and convenient solution to this problem. They are lightweight and easy to pack, making them a perfect option for hikers. Additionally, they are quick and easy to prepare, which is essential for maintaining energy levels and staying on schedule while hiking. They are also designed to provide a balanced diet that is rich in essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals - Fantastic!
When choosing freeze-dried meals for your hike, you will need to consider various factors such as your calorie needs, dietary restrictions, and personal preferences. With a wide range of options available here at Valley and Peak, there is sure to be a freeze-dried meal that meets your nutritional requirements and taste buds.
Some amazing tasting and nutritious freeze-dry meal options that I’d recommend include the following:
Expedition Foods Porridge with Strawberries
This fulfilling and performance fueling porridge has a light dry weight of just 94g, and a calorie intake of 450 per single serving.
Allergen Information: Contains milk and oats.
Summit to Eat 5 Bean Cassoulet
If you’re looking for a vegan freeze-dry meal option, look no further than this delicious 5 Bean Cassoulet by Summit to Eat. This meal has a dry weight of 102g, as well as providing you with 601kcal.
Allergen Information: Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Vegetarian, Vegan.
Real Turmat Couscous with Lentils and Spinach
Couscous with Lentils and Spinach is a fantastic vegetarian option meal, with a taste that’ll have you considering buying some just to eat in the comfort of your own home. This meal has a dry weight of 121g, and the energy of 508kcal.
Allergen Information: Contains wheat, milk, celery & soy.
In addition to freeze-dried meals, there are several other foods that are essential for maintaining your energy levels and overall health while hiking. Some of the most important foods that provide this energy and the nutrients that the body needs include whole grains, protein-rich foods, healthy fats, and fresh fruits and vegetables - All of which are relatively easy to carry.
Helpful Tip: Warm your hands up on the outside of the food pack as it heats up your food; that way you get a good meal plus some toasty warm hands!
When it comes to hydration, it is important to drink plenty of water before, during, and after your hike - especially in hot and dry conditions, where your body is at increased risk of dehydration. With this in mind, we offer a great range of outdoor hydration systems, including water packs, bottles, and water filter systems from expert brands in outdoor hydration such as Hydrapak, Katadyn and Platypus.
Some brilliant examples from these brands include:
HydraPak UltraFlask Speed
The Hydrapak UltraFlask Speed is the ultimate collapsible water bottle, perfect for outdoor activities. Lightweight and durable, it collapses for easy storage when not in use.
Katadyn Micropur Forte MF Tablets
Katadyn Micropur Forte MF Tablets provide safe drinking water on-the-go. Effective against viruses, bacteria, and protozoa, these tablets are essential for outdoor enthusiasts and international travellers.
Platypus Quickdraw Microfilter System
The Platypus Quickdraw Microfilter System is a fantastic and popular lightweight and compact water filtration solution for backpackers and hikers, with a simple design that makes it easy to use in the field.
In addition to water, it can also be a good idea to carry sports drinks, electrolyte tablets, or other hydration aids to help keep your body hydrated and replenish lost electrolytes.
In short, hiking is an especially important time to be taking control of your nutritional needs. Luckily, there are some fantastic options that make this super easy for you to stay on top of, such as freeze-dried meals and hydration aids, which can help you stay healthy and energised while you explore the great outdoors.
Learn more about camping and nutrition in our blog “Eating… It Seems Straight Forward But How Do You Consume Calories When Out Camping?”.