Energy and Food for Hiking
TheHikingShop.com suggests that for most long hikes, you should aim for 25-30 calories per pound of body weight, per day. If you’re going to do a shorter day of hiking (less than 2 hours) or covering less strenuous terrain, you can scale it down to 21-25 calories per pound of body weight, per day.
Instead of eating just three meals per day like you might at home, aim to eat throughout the day and consume 30-60 grams of carbohydrates per hour to keep your energy high and prevent hitting the wall.
These, of course, are just a starting point and you should adjust based on your own experience. If you’re going to do a longer backpacking trips or, do a few weekends quick trips to get a sense of what your appetite is like.
Jerky And Meat Bars
In our opinion jerky is the best hiking foods out there. Most varieties don’t wow in the calories per ounce department, but it’s tasty, satisfying, and full of protein. Other shelf-stable meats, such as summer sausage, also work well. My ultimate favorite and never get tired of Jack Links Beef Teriyaki (Jerky).
Endurance Tap Salted Maple Energy Gel with Caffeine
Salted Maple Energy Gel with caffeine is an easy to digest, all natural energy gel containing only four ingredients: Canadian maple syrup, Canadian sea salt, ginger and coffee bean extract. Created by Endurance Tap with the endurance athlete in mind, each 38g pouch is portable, compact and completely re-sealable.
• 100 calories, derived from natural, high-quality ingredients
• Easy to digest: our proprietary formula contains just the right amount of ginger to help aid digestion and prevent stomach upset
• 50 mg of sodium + all the minerals and antioxidants you need to perform at your best
• Even energy release: avoid the blood sugar spikes experienced with maltodextrin-based gels
• Highly water-soluble: no need to wash it down with water
Instant oatmeal is quick, easy, cheap, and totally customizable. Just add hot water. Pro Tip: Use the packet as your bowl. Just tear off the top, pour the water in, and stir. The bag will get hot, but won’t leak. Up the calories by adding coconut or whole milk powder, or stirring in a packet of nut butter.
Indulge the way your parents never allowed you to.
• Frosted Blueberry — 109 Cal/oz
• Frosted Strawberry — 109 Cal/oz
• Hot Fudge Sundae — 112 Cal/oz
• Cookies & Creme — 112 Cal/oz
Honey Stinger Waffles
A quick hit of energy, Honey Stingers Waffles are a great little maintenance snack. Perfect for when you’re feeling a little low-energy and need a little extra zip to get you up the next hill. They have a variety of flavors to choose from, and some even have a bit of caffeine for an extra little boost.
The solid, chewy form of a gel, there are a variety of energy gummies like Honey Stinger Chews, Clif Shot Bloks, GU Energy Chews, and Scratch Lab Chews These are great to have on hand if you ever start to feel yourself bonking. We think of these as a “Break Glass If in Need of Calories” type of emergency snack.
HARD CHEESE Calories per 100g: 121
Cheese can be a heavy food for some ultralight backpackers. However, it can provide a lot of calories and fat. Not to mention, it can really enhance the meat flavor. Aim for ‘harder’ cheeses – they are more shelf stable.
“If everyone in the world took care of each other the way folks do out on the trail, and if everyone approached each day with as much hope and optimism as hikers do, the world would be a better place.”
Get out and Hike!
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