39 Day Hiking Food Ideas

It should be on everyone’s bucket list to go on a one-day hike at least once in your life! I enjoy it because of the freedom, clarity, and peace I receive. On top of this, hiking is an excellent way to get your cardiovascular endurance up and helps you become more productive and overall happier.

However, although hiking is an immaculate way to receive many benefits for your overall health, you need to know what you can bring on your beautiful hiking trip. For example, if you are hiking in the woods vs. in the desert, you may need a different variety. So, what is the most crucial thing to bring on a day hiking trip?

The most important thing to consider while going on a day-hiking trip is to bring water, high-protein, high fats, and nutritious foods.

In this article, we will provide multiple ideas for you to have on your day trip. Afterward, we will answer some frequently asked questions essential for you to know before going on a trip. With that being said, we encourage you to continue reading below.

What Should I Consider When Packing a Day Hike?

There are many things to consider when packing for a day hike, like water and food. Other things are the weight of the materials you bring. For some people, having freezer-dried snacks and food is more feasible than bringing multiple soups or moister snacks. Either way, follow these tips below before packing:

  • Pack high in protein snacks
  • Keep high-perishable foods in a cold place
  • Check the weather beforehand
  • Plan warm meals or snacks for cooler days
  • Plan colder meals or snacks for warmer days
  • Pack foods you like to eat
  • Choose high in fats, protein, fiber, and nutrients to ensure your body is satisfied
  • Use lightweight containers
  • Have plenty of water to remain hydrated
  • Keep a first-aid kit in case of emergencies
  • Consider bringing some filtered straws in case you run out of water

Food Ideas for Day Hiking

Here we have our food ideas before going on a day hike.

1. Dried Fruit

Dried fruit is an excellent way of saving space, weight, and it helps satisfy your needs. You can invest in freeze-dried or dehydrated fruit like apples, strawberries, bananas, peaches, etc. Drying fruit with a dehydrator or freeze dryer might be best because it retains most nutrients.

2. Fresh Fruit (Kept Cold)

Some people love to have fresh fruit on their journey still. In that case, it is more doable than going on a few day’s hike because you can put it in a small cooler with these dry ice packs to ensure they stay nice and cold. Nothing is better than having a good cold treat on a hot day!

3. Nuts

Nuts are an excellent source of protein, and many are high in omega fatty acids. For example, walnuts have a lot of omega-3 fatty acids, ensuring you are getting the calories needed to provide your body with energy to continue on your day’s journey.

4. Sandwiches

You can make many different sandwiches that include many different meats, vegetables, and sauces. For example, you can create a chicken bacon avocado sandwich with tomatoes, lettuce and mayonnaise as toppings on pretzel bread. Overall, the possibilities are endless!

5. Protein Overnight Oats

Ever heard of protein overnight oats? Well, now you have. Create an excellent protein snack that requires no cooking. You can soak oats in yogurt, water, or milk that gets absorbed overnight in the fridge. Make it protein-rich by adding Greek yogurt, protein powder, nuts, seeds, etc.

6. Jalapeno Pickled Eggs

For those who love hard-boiled eggs but do not want to go through the trouble of boiling them, at least while you are traveling, try making jalapeno-pickled eggs. However, if you have spicy things, then make them without the spicy. Still, that might be a fun snack on your day hike!

7. Hazelnut Butter

Suppose you are packing fruits and nuts on your hiking trip. In that case, bringing some hazelnut butter might be wise. It contains a very creamy texture and will be a delicious treat. You might want to eat it with a spoon as a snack if you do not feel like stopping.

8. Peanut Butter

Aside from hazelnut butter, peanut butter is an excellent alternative which contains 8 grams of protein every 2 tablespoons (tbsp). You can make multiple snacks from peanut butter alone, and we will provide some examples below.

9. Beef Jerky

Did you know you can make beef jerky at home with a dehydrator? You only need pork butt roast, desired seasonings, brown sugar, meat tenderizer, soy sauce, and balsamic vinegar. However, if you do not feel like making it yourself, there are excellent alternatives on the Internet.

10. Pumpkin Seeds

Nuts provide you with protein and energy, and pumpkin seeds will help reduce cholesterol levels and blood pressure while being a good source of fats, antioxidants, zinc, and magnesium.

11. Garlic Peanuts

Whoever does not like garlic must not like having flavor! All jokes aside, adding garlic peanuts to your day journey will make for a tasty treat.

12. Mason Jar Salads

For salad lovers, you would not want to miss making a mason jar salad. Although it would need to be kept in a cooler area inside your backpack, it provides multiple nutrients to keep you going. Make sure to put the wet ingredients on the bottom of the jar to ensure it does not remain soggy.

13. Sausage Rolls

Suppose you love sausage rolls but are curious if you can also enjoy them on your hiking trip. In that case, we are here to tell you that you can bring them along with you! Put them with your cold food to ensure they do not go bad.

14. Roasted Eggplant Dip

Make or buy your eggplant dip for the curvy roads ahead. Not only is it high in fiber which keeps you full longer, but it will also help reduce cholesterol levels and support your overall immunity by being high in vitamins and minerals.

15. Hummus & Chips

Having hummus and chips is an excellent way to ensure you keep yourself healthy and have a tasty snack. Not only that, but there are many varieties you can choose to purchase or make hummus, so make it personal by getting or making what you enjoy the most!

16. Mushroom Jerky

Who does not love a good portabella mushroom? Well, you can make or purchase your own mushroom jerky. This is especially good if you are Vegan or do not wish to eat a lot of meat along your journey. Some people may get a hurt stomach, so looking for those different alternatives is a must during these times.

17. Thermos Soups

Suppose you are traveling during the winter or fall time. In that case, consider bringing thermos soup. You can heat it during the morning before your hike, but you do not have to worry about heating your food with a fire or something else.

18. Brownie Bites

Brownie bites are an excellent way of having something sweet during your day hike. If you are making your own, consider putting nuts or a specific type of seed (like chia or flax) to ensure your body gets energy at every taste.

19. Banana Muffins

Make your own banana muffins with some of that leftover starter sitting in the fridge (at least, if you make sourdough, that is!) Otherwise, you can buy or make banana muffins to enjoy a sweet sensation.

20. Protein Shake or Drink

You cannot go hiking without a protein shake or drink. In that case, bring your drink or make some along the way with your favorite protein powder. Either way, this will help keep your energy up.

21. Hard Salami

Hard salami goes well with almost anything, especially in sandwiches. However, bring hard salami if you prefer to eat something other than bread or grains. The best part is that you do not necessarily need to refrigerate it. However, once it is opened, we recommend sealing it tightly back in the bag you opened.

22. Rice & Beans

Rice and beans is one of the easiest yet most affordable meals, especially when traveling or hiking. We recommend putting it in a thermos to remain warm all day. You can even go so far as to add chicken, beef, or tomatoes into the mix to ensure you get more nutrients and protein.

23. Dehydrated Eggs

If you have never had dehydrated eggs, it works by hydrating and cooking them. These eggs are effortless to prepare and are great for camping and backpacking.

Other Excellent Foods to Have

Aside from what we mentioned above, there are other terrific options to bring along with you. Here they are below:

  • Trail mix
  • Sardine or salmon in foil pouches
  • Dehydrated meals
  • Pretzel roll, cheese & Turkey
  • Pasta salad with chickpeas
  • Bagels with cream cheese or peanut butter
  • Fruit leather
  • Nutella wrap
  • Peanut butter & jelly
  • Banana pudding cups
  • Strawberry oatmeal muffins
  • Peanut butter fudge with pretzels
  • Chicken salad
  • Tuna salad
  • Energy bars, gels or chews
  • Whole grain tortillas

What Should I Not Eat Before a Hike?

Do not eat any greasy or fatty foods before hiking. If you are hiking during the daytime, having your daily coffee in the morning might not be the best idea either. Otherwise, your stomach will hurt, and your body will feel dehydrated. We recommend drinking mushroom coffee, matcha tea, or dandelion root coffee if you need your morning energy. However,

Is It Better to Hike on an Empty Stomach?

No, it is not better to hike on an empty stomach. It is imperative to eat something beforehand. Otherwise, you will lack energy and will only get too far once you have to stop and eat something.

Can You Bring Gatorade on a Hike?

Yes, you can bring Gatorade on a hike. However, we recommend you use it sparingly as it contains many sugar and unnecessary ingredients. There are many other electrolyte drinks or alternatives you can choose from. For example, make your electrolyte drink by looking here.

Final Thoughts

Finally, you can choose from many day hiking food ideas. However, the most important thing to remember is to stay hydrated and not wait too long to eat a meal or snack of your choice. Lastly, pack stuff you will eat, not things you think are good for you.

Overall, we hope this article was helpful to you and provided you with many ideas. If you have any other questions about hiking, look no further, as we are your go-to website for any answers you seek!

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