I love regular walks with my family and can attest to the numerous benefits of getting out into nature. Every weekend, my husband and I, our two large Dobermanns named Samson and Delilah, and our daughter Theia take to the trails to destress, connect and get fit. And, of course, it’s important to us to be eating right while hiking or walking to keep us energized and satisfied along the way.
When you’re out on a walk or hike, keeping your energy levels up is important to prevent fatigue and maximise your time outside. You are snacking while on the trail can provide a quick boost of energy and keep you going strong, whether tackling a steep incline or just strolling through the countryside. Skipping snacks can lead to hunger pangs, lethargy, and even nausea, ruining outdoor fun.
While snacking can be a great way to stay fueled during a walk or hike, it’s important to snack smart to benefit the most. Choosing the right snacks can provide the nutrients you need to stay energized and focused while satisfying your hunger and preventing overeating. In this article, we’ll explore some of the best snacks for a winter walk or hike and what to look for when choosing foods for a winter hike. We’ll also discuss the benefits of snacking while on the trail and how it can make walking or hiking more enjoyable and productive.
In this article, I want to share some tips and ideas for eating right while hiking or walking. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just starting, snacking smart can make your experience more enjoyable and productive. So, join me as we explore the best snacks for a winter walk or hike, what to look for when choosing foods for a winter hike, and the benefits of snacking while on the trail.
Best Snack Options for Eating Right While Hiking or Walking
When you’re out on a winter walk or hike, choosing snacks that will energise and satisfy you in the cold weather is essential. Here are some of the best ways to be eating right while hiking or walking. Make sure to pack some of these snack options for a winter walk or hike in your hiking rucksack:
- Nuts and seeds: Almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds are all great options for a snack that provides a balance of protein, healthy fats, and carbs to keep you fueled.
- Dried fruit: Dried fruit is a convenient and portable snack that provides natural sweetness and energy. Raisins, apricots, and cranberries are all excellent options.
- Energy bars: These are quick and easy snacks that boost energy and nutrients. Look for bars made with whole, natural ingredients that don’t contain too much-added sugar.
- Jerky: Jerky is a good source of protein that can help sustain energy levels during a long hike or walk. Choose a brand made with lean meat that doesn’t contain too much sodium or preservatives.
- Trail mix: Trail mix is a classic snack that combines nuts, seeds, and dried fruit for a tasty and energizing snack. You can make your trail mix by mixing and matching your favourite ingredients or purchasing pre-made mixes.
- Energy gels or chews: These are convenient, portable snacks that provide a quick hit of carbs and electrolytes to fuel your body during a hike or walk. Choose a brand that doesn’t contain too much-added sugar.
- Hard-boiled eggs: They are a good source of protein and healthy fats and are easy to pack and transport.
- Sandwiches or wraps: If you want something more substantial, pack a sandwich or wrap made with whole grain bread or a tortilla, and fill it with protein-rich fillings like chicken, turkey, or tofu.
To make your trail mix, choose a variety of nuts, seeds, and dried fruit that you enjoy and mix them in a container or bag. Consider options low in added sugars and sodium when choosing a pre-made trail mix.
Staying hydrated during a winter walk or hike is also important, so bring plenty of water or other beverages in your hydro flask or water bottle. Also, consider bringing a thermos flask of a hot tea or cocoa to warm up and stay hydrated at the same time. With these snacks and hydration options, you can tackle any winter walk or hike with energy and enjoyment.
What to Look for When Choosing Foods for a Winter Hike
When choosing foods for a winter hike, it’s essential to consider the nutrients that will provide you with the energy and warmth you need to stay comfortable and energized. Carbohydrates are an important energy source and can help keep you warm by increasing your body’s metabolic rate. Examples of high-carb foods include whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
Protein is important for building and repairing tissues and can help you feel full and satisfied. Foods high in protein include nuts, seeds, eggs, and meats.
Healthy fats are a concentrated energy source and can help keep you warm by providing insulation. Foods high in healthy fats include nuts, seeds, and avocados.
Staying hydrated during a winter hike is also essential, even if you’re not thirsty. Choose foods high in water, like fruits and vegetables, and bring plenty of water or other hydrating beverages. Electrolytes, like sodium and potassium, are also crucial for maintaining hydration and electrolyte balance. Foods that are high in electrolytes include bananas, and you may want to consider bringing an electrolyte drink mix to help replace any that you lose through sweat.
Pack various snacks to meet your energy needs and preferences, and choose nutrient-dense options that are not too high in calories.
The Benefits of Snacking While Hiking or Walking
I was snacking while on a walk or hike can provide numerous benefits. It can help maintain energy levels, prevent dehydration, keep the brain fueled and focused, prevent hunger, and replenish nutrients that may be depleted during physical activity.
When snacking, choosing nutrient-dense options that provide the fuel your body needs without overloading on calories is essential. Good choices include fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and protein-rich snacks like jerky or hard-boiled eggs.
To snack smart, pace yourself and choose snacks that are easy to transport, such as pre-packaged portions or foods that won’t spoil quickly.
In summary, snacking while walking or hiking can make your experience more enjoyable and productive. Choosing the right snacks can keep your energy levels up, stay hydrated, and replenish essential nutrients. Try some of the snack options suggested in this article and share your experiences. Snacking smart has undoubtedly made my walks and hikes more enjoyable and productive, and I hope it does the same for you.
When hiking in the winter and cold, what do I need to get from my food?
When you are hiking in the winter, and it is cold, it’s essential to choose foods that will provide you with the energy and nutrients you need to keep your body fueled and warm. Here are some things to consider when choosing foods for a winter hike:
Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates are an essential energy source for your body, and they can help keep you warm by increasing your body’s metabolic rate. Choose foods with complex carbs, like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
Protein: Protein is essential for building and repairing tissues and can help you feel full and satisfied. Choose foods high in protein, like nuts, seeds, eggs, and meats.
Fat: Fat is a concentrated energy source that can help keep you warm by providing insulation. Choose foods high in healthy fats, like nuts, seeds, and avocado.
Hydration: Staying hydrated during a winter hike is essential, even if you’re not thirsty. Choose foods high in water, like fruits and vegetables, and bring plenty of water or other hydrating beverages.
Electrolytes: Electrolytes, like sodium and potassium, are essential for maintaining hydration and electrolyte balance. Choose foods high in electrolytes, like bananas, and consider bringing an electrolyte drink mix to help replace any you lose through sweat.
Packing various snacks is also a good idea, so you have options to choose from and can mix and match based on your energy needs and preference.
Why should I snack when walking or hiking?
Snacking while on a hike or walk can provide several benefits. Here are a few reasons why it’s a good idea to snack while you’re out and about:
Energy: Snacking can help to keep your energy levels up and prevent you from feeling fatigued. This is especially important if you’re planning a longer hike or walk, as you’ll need to replenish the energy you’re using up.
Hydration: Snacking can also help to keep you hydrated, especially if you’re eating foods that contain water (like fruits and vegetables). This is important because dehydration can lead to fatigue and other problems.
Brain power: Snacking can help to keep your brain fueled and focused, especially if you’re snacking on foods that are rich in nutrients like healthy fats, protein, and complex carbs.
Hunger prevention: Snacking can help to prevent hunger and keep you from getting “hangry” (hungry + angry). This can help to keep you in a good mood and make your hike or walk more enjoyable.
Nutrient replenishment: Depending on the intensity and duration of your hike or walk, you may be depleting your body of certain nutrients. Snacking can help replace these nutrients and ensure your body has what it needs to function correctly.
Snacking while on a hike or walk can help keep your energy levels up and hydrated and focused, prevent hunger, and replenish nutrients. Just be sure to choose snacks that are nutrient-dense and not too high in calories so you don’t end up overloading with junk food.
What are some quick snacks to take on a hike or walk?
Some quick snacks for a hike or walk might include fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and protein-rich snacks like jerky or hard-boiled eggs.
How do you make trail mix?
To make your trail mix, choose a variety of nuts, seeds, and dried fruit that you enjoy and mix them in a container or bag. These should include almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds. These are all great snack options that balance protein, healthy fats, and carbs to fuel you.
I hope these suggestions help ensure you’re eating right while hiking or walking! Let me know if you have any other questions.
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