– Guest post and photos by Joey from Nature Rated –
Just because you are away from home, does not mean that you have to compromise your good eating habits. When backpacking, it’s easy for prepared food to spoil quickly and it’s quite challenging to access healthy food. This leads you to resort to eating unhealthy food. Of course, you do not want to carry so much food that it weighs you down, so you may consider bringing junk instead.
Eating healthy as a backpacker does not have to be a daunting experience. Here are nine tips that would change your backpacking diet and cooking for the better.
1. Reflective insulation cooking
When you are out there in the woods and still wish to cook using less fuel, a reflective insulation cook pot and lid solved this. You can cook more meals from the heat within the foils. Reflective insulation is not only compact and pliable but also resistant to cracks and tears likely to occur in the woods.
This cooking method does not limit the amount of food you cook, meaning you can also eat well while backpacking. Consider this hack next time you are going backpacking.
2. Know your native plants
Did you know that native plants could be a lifesaver? Before you set off, investigate which plants are edible and which are poisonous. You will be amazed at how much the wild fruits, mushrooms, and roots can come in handy. These fruits and plants enrich you with vitamins. It’s a good idea to have a good guide book on edible plants, it will help you identify the good from the bad.
3. Carry Instant food
A great hack for a backpacker is instant food. They’re a must-pack when you are preparing for an expedition. Potatoes are a great instant food staple and instant rice and noodles supplement any meal. These foods are rich in carbohydrates which provide energy. Instant food allows you to save time on foraging for food when you’ve settled down and made camp for the day.
We’re a big fan, they’re easy to prepare and light to carry and they make a hiking or camping trip much easier to plan. You can also get full meals which really creates a home from home. Just imagine: A light backpack full of nutritional food, a full mushroom stroganoff at the camping site, a hammock tent which you can pitch anywhere, and you’re at one with nature. Bliss!
4. Bring sun tea with you
To achieve the most delicious sun tea in the woods, pack herbal tea bags in your packing list. Put the bag in bottle of water and put it in the outside pocket of your backpack for a few hours. Peppermint, ginger, chamomile, lemon balm and rosehip tea are a few examples of what you can be enjoying.
Sun tea keeps you hydrated too, it’s a great alternative to just water. It is also an essential remedy in case you catch a cold during the trip, or if you get an upset stomach.
5. Instant coffee
Simply mix instant coffee with water, shake it and voila! You are good to go! Instant coffee does not have to be hot, before consumption. If you love coffee, you have your nest right here.
6. Have Energy bars handy
Energy bars are light to carry and they are nutritious. Pick the ones with a reasonable caloric density for your trail and try to avoid ones which contain a high sugar content. They’re great for when you need an energy boost and have a few hours to go before meal times. Make these bars and a handful of nuts your snack time buddies.
7. Prepare dried fruits and vegetables before the trip
You can never go wrong with dried fruits and vegetables. Before leaving for your trail, prepare dried foods and vegetables. The fruits are best for your breakfast recipes and snack time.
The nutritional value that dried fruits and vegetables are high enough to keep you strong for the engaging activities of the backpacking trail. If you supplement the fruit with nuts then you’ve got snack time sorted.
8. Always hydrate
The number one hydrator is water; you need plenty of water as a backpacker. Thanks to nature, you may not need to carry loads of water if you carry filters. Natural spring water is the purest and cleanest. You only filter to release the possible dirt caused by disturbance in the water.
Never take water from stagnant ponds as there is a risk that the water is contaminated beyond filtration. If you’re unsure about the water then it’s best to boil it and filter it to destroy bacteria in the water.
9. Smart packaging
As a backpacker, you are likely to travel long distances, meaning you need your food to stay as fresh as possible. To keep your food from spoiling, you could employ hacks such as vacuum sealing the meal. To avoid your bread going moldy stuff it in the mesh water bottle pocket so that it is exposed to air. It also stops it from smashing. It might go stale but it should keep and sustain you if you need it.
As a backpacker, you have to keep your calories up, and the best way to do that is to consume food that is healthy and nutrient rich. Backpacking is awesome and there is no better fun than that with good food!
I’m Joe. I run Nature Rated. I love spending time in the outdoors. Whenever daily life gets me down, I head to the nearest lake or river with my kayak and my camera, and I spend time recharging my batteries. I hope you’ll love my no fluff to the point reviews and that they’ll help you choose the right gear for your next adventure!