Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what’s for lunch
Beside gear, fitness, willingness and opportunity, there are two essentials to completing a trail- food and water. Many trips, slips, stumbles and accidents, both minor and major, can be put down to simple dehydration. Remember, if you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Water is a big subject and requires serious consideration. A couple of links to some musings below…
Food is an important aspect when planning to hike a trail, even a day walk may warrant snacks or a little emergency food being packed. Both food and water are heavy, the latter particularly so. To get the best calorific value, and taste, and ease of preparation, and variety… while still being very aware of bulk and weight takes a little knowledge and forethought.
Three Points of the Compass has always struggled with a breakfast on trail. I am fine for a day or two but quickly baulk following that. For me, a mug of tea when rising and packing is enough, followed by bars of some form an hour or so later. Or, if opportunity presents itself, a proper halt later in the morning and I might even heat up water for another drink and may consider eating then. This is followed by snacks, bars or nuts usually throughout the morning until a lunchtime(ish) halt for something substancial. More on that below. Some form of snacking takes place in the afternoon while hiking and a main meal is enjoyed in the evening. That is the all important meal. It has to be substancial and combine good carbs and protein for muscle recovery. Throughout the day I am hydrating and especially so in the evening.
For just a few days on trail, it doesn’t really matter if the hiker is missing out on a few nutrients. However, on a particularly long hike over multiple months, a limited trail diet can result in the body being adversely affected by lack of some vitamins and minerals. Three Points of the Compass had a closer look at these here. Simply put, when in town, definitely seek out that burger or pizza, but ensure that as much fresh fruit and vegetables is also eaten when possible and take some heavier ‘real’ food out on trail for the first day. There remains some truth in the old adage- ‘you are what you eat’.
Breakfast on trail-
Lunch on trail–
Hydration and drinks-
- Bottle hangers- a DIY simple way to hang bottles from the pack shoulder straps
- HydraPak Ultraflasks
- Hydration system on trail– what works for me
- Oxo– a hot, hydrating, savoury drink at the end of a day’s hike
Food on trail-