When it comes to food I am a bit of a picky eater. Not that I don’t like a lot of foods, but that I am picky in regards to the quality of my food. When I hike, it isn’t always easy or the most convenient thing to be picky about my food, but it does often times make a difference in how I feel and how I am fueled while hiking. Whether it is a long backpacking trip or shorter day hike, here are some recommendations to keep up you going on the trail:
Pre-package your own snacks – I love using baggies to pack my own snacks for the trail. Think creative trail mixes. They are easy and I can choose the items I like to eat and leave out the ones I don’t. I can also pack several bags from the items I buy. Almonds, walnuts, cranberries, I’ll pass on the M&M’s and add in coconut and shredded whole wheat. Check out Pinterest for ideas and recipes on different mixes you can make and remember you don’t have to stick to a recipe. Get creative over there, Chef Gordon Ramsey!
Check out a few ideas for trail mix recipes HERE!
Tin-Foil Tacos – This is a personal favorite and one that was discovered very much by accident. We had made some breakfast tacos one day while starting to head out on a hike. Chorizo and scrabbled eggs…Yes, Please! We packed a couple of extras in some tin foil for the road trip, but forgot we had placed them in our bag until we had already gotten to the trail head. Not wanting to waste time we left them in our bag and hoped they would be OK until our first break. Well, that break didn’t come very quickly and several hours later we found a log to sit on. To our surprise the tacos were still warm and delicious. This was just the beginning of our trail obsession with tin foil tacos. Now a few things to keep in mind before you try this:
Taco Shells – Don’t try hard shell tacos…just don’t, trust us! Flour shells will hold up better, but corn shells are usually our preferred shell of choice. Double up on corn shells. It will hold up better.
Don’t use anything too greasy or juicy – Avoid things like salsa and sour cream and tomatoes. Keep those toppings for the made at home tacos. If you use beef or chorizo, make sure to drain and pat dry with paper towel. We prefer a steak, onions, and cilantro. Greasy tacos will not keep very well in a backpack, will destroy your shells and you will end up with a mess on your hands (literally!).
Jerky – Jerky is always a popular treat on the trail and for good reason. It’s light, doesn’t need refrigeration (usually) and comes through with lots of protein to keep your energy up and some sodium to replenish what you are sweating out on the trail. The only problem is a lot of times, jerky is so processed it’s not actually meat that you are purchasing or it is loaded with WAY too much sodium which is just unhealthy and unappetizing. Like those mystery sticks you buy at your super market (I’m looking at you Slim Jim!) or the jerky is also loaded with so much processed sugar that you don’t burn it all on the trail and it brings you crashing down. Make sure, if you are looking for jerky, you find one that works best for you and your needs, but realize you may have to spend a little more money. We love some of the jerky our local butcher makes (Teriyaki Turkey Jerky from Sobe Meats), but it has to be refrigerated which isn’t the best on longer trips. We learned the hard way on a road trip through the high desert one summer. We recently discovered Windward Jerky and fell in love with their products. They use Grassfed Beef (which is what drew us in) and very low (1g or less) sugar in their jerky, as well as low sodium. We’ve tried A LOT of jerky and Windward Jerky has been our go to recently (Alaka’i is my personal favorite). https://www.windwardjerky.com/
The items listed above are just some of our favorite things to pack for the trail. As we said before though, get creative and find out what works best for you. Keep your energy up and make the most of your time on the trail!