Food is something that is an unavoidable must-have that every backpacker needs in his backpack. Though, when you are traveling, carrying food can get quite tricky. Especially, when trying out different cuisines across your hike, is on your top to do list!
But, we may list down some reasons that make it essential to carry your own stash of food:
- Firstly, travelers who follow a strict diet, or have dietary restrictions, need to carry their selected food items. Mostly, diabetics need to be very sure of their food timings and the items that they are eating. Also, people on weight loss diets need to be very careful about what they are picking up while on the road.
- Secondly, when you want to save on food and spend more on your travel, you can carry lots of homemade items which can fill up your tummy while on the run and save you the big buck on fast food and restaurant bills.
- Packing your food seems a much healthier option, avoiding unnecessary bingeing, and having your meals at the right time. Also, you can be very sure of the quality of the food that you are consuming. Moreover, when you are allergic to some foods, it is best to know what you are eating.
Let us learn a few hacks that may make this task a lot easier than it sounds.
Bring on all the dry items
By dry we mean things which can be preserved for a very long time. The best buy is nutrient-dense dried fruit, granola bars, dates, healthy cookies, Cereals that can be had with packaged milk.
These foods tend to be hassle-free while packing, are easily available at grocery stores and can be restocked while on the go. They can easily fit into containers and are anti-spill. Nonetheless, they give you great energy and keep you satiated for a longer time.
Stock up on all that travel cutlery
Pack for cutlery which you intend to use in your car, and also if you are staying in a lodging, make sure if they have a mini kitchen or at least the facility where you can do minimal cooking or have it done by someone. Accordingly, you will need a set of cutlery.
Disposables are great for the car. But, you can carry a set of your own plates, spoons, a knife, and a few bowls, if you can arrange to wash it somewhere.
If you plan to cook in your hotel, then you may do with a few utensils like a frying pan, a mini cooker, a cutting board, some containers, and a sponge and a dish wash liquid. Do not forget to carry a fancy glass for your special bottle of Angry Orchard, to travel in style.
Some ready to eat food options
If you want to get rid of that nasty habit of bingeing on fast food every night when out on a hike, you can have many on-the-go options like carrying oatmeal, which can be mixed with milk and nuts. Voila! That is a great healthy and portable breakfast. Try hard boiled eggs, that is if you are carrying a cooler along. They are the best whole protein sources that can fill you up. Whole wheat or sandwich bread is great to carry along in your picnic basket. You can apply peanut butter, nut butter, jam, pile it up with veggies, cheese or eggs and make a ready meal on the go! Fruits are another group of foods which are easily available and storable. You can make amazing fruit and peanut butter salad combinations, or combine it with canned corn. The fiber in it will make sure you have a healthy gut and do not binge.
Protein bars are another wholesome and on-the-go food item that will make you ask for more.
Foods that need to be half cooked
Powdered food items may fall under this category. Things like noodles, pasta, sweet potato, and rice. These just need to be whipped up in a pressure cooker, or lightly sautéed with some veggies here and there and you have a meal.
You can do this when you have a mini kitchen or some kitchen facility in your lodging. Having an electric kettle can come in very handy when you need to pour hot boiling water to make instant noodles, soups or pasta.
Packing your drinks in the right style
Bringing in glass bottles would be a total waste of your energy during a trip. It would be best to carry your beer in cans. In case of warm weather, you can pack it in the middle of your backpack. In case of cooler temperatures, let it remain on the outward areas of your sling.
Also if you are hiking anywhere near cool springs, placing those cans for about 30 mins in the stream could get you a marvelous drink. If you want to desperately carry your bottle of Dimple Pinch, then we suggest you wrap it in a newspaper, roll it inside a towel and then cushion it with your t-shirts before placing it in your rucksack. Or simply you can just use your thermos/steel bottle to store it.
When you are off hiking up in the woods or the countryside, its very much likely that your food will attract all kinds of species like rodents, bears, squirrels and the list goes on.
For your and your food’s safety, invest in a bear-proof cooler or locker. Bear canisters are another foolproof locking system which is animal proof. Also, most of these are designed to fit in your backpack. You can even carry these coolers easily on your dr650. Bear bags are another effective and low -cost accessory. These are high- density polyethylene bags that these creatures can’t tear open. Yes, bears can be such a menace!
Some simple snack recipes that will refuel you!
Seasoned banana chips are a great dried food option. It is very simple to make them. Just shop for a few raw bananas from your local grocery market. Slice them up. Deep fry them. (The deep frying is a bit on the heavier side, but a few chips can be just fine). Season them with salt or pepper. You can store these in air tight containers and you are ready to go!
You can go overboard on these munchies, so be very careful!
These are a power-packed snack option. All you need to do is toss some healthy seeds like sunflower, chia, nigella, watermelon and pumpkin seeds. You can add dried fruits of your own choice and a light seasoning. You have a protein-licious, anti-oxidant rich, energy dense and downright healthy snack made right from home! These are great travel buddies and satiate those anytime hunger pangs.
Some light and golden popcorn
Popcorn is what comes to the mind when one is in leisure. Yes, they can be very light and healthy travel buddies. Easy to store, and light to carry, they make a yummy snack too. Flavor these with seasonings of your choice and you are all armed for your next adventure!
One can never go wrong with these. They are filling and healthy snacks. There are many tutorials from where you can search thousands of granola bar recipes. The easiest being, mixing up oats, peanuts, dried fruit and honey or dates. These are the basic ingredients. Rest, you can all add according to how elaborate is your own recipe. You can wrap these up in cling sheets and pack up in airtight containers. They come in as very handy snacks.
Keep it simple and hygienic. You do not want to pack up all that food and then just let it spoil. Be smart in the ingredients you choose and the containers that you store it in.
Jessica Smith has been writing for a few years now. She is a writer by day and reader by night. She was a very quiet child but writing always inspired her and that is why she began writing in her free time. She loves reading, be it a newspaper, a book or anything. She also loves cooking, traveling and dancing. She wants to be a successful writer as writing is her passion.