: Tips For a Perfectly Balanced Trail Meal

Hiking is a great way to stay physically active; however, having the right food on the trail is also important. Eating right on the trail is important to keep your energy levels up while you are enjoying the outdoors. Whether you are just a day hiker or an experienced backcountry adventurer, having the right meal plan and snacks will make your outdoor experience even more enjoyable. In this article, we will cover the basics of eating right when hiking, what to bring on the trail and some tips for keeping the right balance in your meals.

What You Should Bring on the Trail


Protein is essential for energy and maintaining muscle. Good sources of protein for hiking include nuts, nut butter, and energy bars that contain a good amount of protein. Depending on the type of hike you are going on, you may benefit from bringing protein-packed snacks such as jerky, tuna, salmon, eggs and other protein-rich snacks. Try to have at least one source of protein per meal.


Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy, so they should be included in your trail meal. Some good sources of carbs are pasta, rice, and high-energy grains, such as quinoa and oats. These carbohydrates can help keep your energy levels up for longer hikes.

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Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of essential vitamins and minerals for hiking. Fresh fruits and vegetables can be difficult to bring on long hikes, so bring dried fruits, such as raisins, and vegetables that are easy to pack, such as carrots and celery.


Though fats can provide us with some energy, they should not be the main focus of your meal plan. Good sources of fats are nuts, avocados, olive oil, and nut butter. Not only do they provide a good source of energy and healthy fats, but they can also be a tasty addition to any meal.

Water and Hydration

Keeping your body properly hydrated while hiking is important, so make sure to bring plenty of water with you on the trail. You can also add electrolytes to your water for extra hydration. Sports drinks and electrolyte tablets are good for this purpose and can be found at most outdoors shops.

Tips for

Pack Light

Try to pack light. The last thing you want when on the trails is to be weighed down by all the food items in your pack. Try to just bring what you will need for the day on the trail.

Nutritious Meals

Having nutritious meals on the trail is essential for keeping up your energy levels throughout the entire day. Try to have a balanced meal combination of proteins, carbs, fats, and fruits and vegetables. Avoid sugary snacks, as they will give you a sugar rush followed by a sugar crash.

Grazing and Snacking

Grazing and snacking throughout the day can be beneficial for keeping your energy levels up. Bring snacks such as trail mix, dried fruits, and energy bars for snacking along the trail.

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Food Safety

Food safety is important both on and off of the trails. Make sure to cook meat thoroughly and avoid eating wild berries or mushrooms that you find on the trails.

People Also Ask

What should you eat while hiking?

When hiking, it is best to bring foods with a good balance of protein, carbohydrates, fats, and fruits and vegetables to keep your energy levels up.

What are the best snacks for hiking?

The best snacks for hiking are foods that are filling, light, and nutritious. Some of the best snacks for hiking include energy bars, trail mix, dried fruits, nuts, and nut butter.

How much food should I bring on a hike?

The amount of food you should bring hiking will depend on the length of the hike and how many people are going on the hike. It is best to bring enough food for each person for the entire duration of the hike, plus some snacks.

What is the best hydrating drink for hiking?

The best hydrating drink for hiking is water; however, electrolyte tablets, sports drinks, and other electrolyte-rich drinks are also great for additional hydration.

Are energy bars good for hiking?

Energy bars are a great snack to bring on hikes, as they are high in protein and carbohydrates. They are usually smaller and lighter than other snacks, so they are easy to pack.

Final Words

Eating right on the trail is essential for having an enjoyable outdoor experience. Having the right food and snacks will help keep your energy levels up, allowing you to make it to your destination with plenty of energy. Plan ahead and bring foods with a good balance of protein, carbohydrates, fats, and fruits and vegetables, and you will be sure to have a great time!