Some Food Tips and Ideas
All information regarding food is a guide only. We are all different, we all use different amount of energy, have different metabolism and different appetite. Therefore, you are the one who needs to make a decision on what food and how much of it you need to bring on the hiking tour you purchased.
When preparing food for your hike, there are number of things to consider.
It’s important to work out exactly how many meals you will need for the hiking tour you have purchased. Work out the number of breakfasts, the number of lunches and the number of dinners that you will need. On all one day tours and on the first day of all multi day tours, you will need to have breakfast prior to being picked up, as there will be no opportunities to have breakfast once we’re on our way. To check if you will need to pack lunch or dinner for a one day tour or the last day of a multi day tour, refer to your selected tour itinerary on our website. It will give you a ruff idea on where you should be around lunch time and dinner time. You will also need to consider snacks. I allow for one snack in the morning, one in the afternoon and one in the evening for each day of the tour, skipping the evening snack on one day hikes and the last day of a multi day hike.
On multi day hikes, you must have enough food for the number of days of your hike plus one extra day. However, be careful not to pack too much.
Don’t bring any canned food. Forget about the can of tuna you wanted for lunch or baked beans that you wanted to enjoy for dinner. Cans are heavy and bulky and remember that what you carry in, you must carry out.
Think about food that will give you energy, is quick and easy to prepare and if cooking is required, that it can be cooked in one pot.
You will need to consider the amount of water you need to bring to prepare your meals. You will find some helpful information on this topic under Water Requirements.
Open fire including gas stoves are not permitted on days of Total Fire Ban. Therefore, when hiking on hot days, it is advisable to also bring some food that doesn’t need to be cooked. That way you will have a back up if unable to use the stove.
Storing fresh food deep inside your backpack where it’s dark and cool, will keep it fresh longer.
Wash and clean all your fresh food at home to save your water on the hike.
Tip: as an example, if you purchase a packet of instant mashed potatoes, which serves 4, but you only need a serve for 2, split the contents in half into 2 zip-lock bags, cut out the recipe and pop it into the zip-lock bag you’re taking with you hiking, so that you know how to prepare it.
Porridge and cereals with water or powdered milk are ideal for breakfast. You can add some dried fruit and nuts for extra flavour and energy.
Pack your oats or cereal into small zip-lock bags, one serve per bag. Zip-lock bags are lightweight and can be re-used to store rubbish in.
The flavoured porridge single serve sachets are also a good option.
Mountain bread/flat bread.
Salami such as Hungarian, Sopressa or similar, Twiggi sticks and dried Chorizo sausage, stored deep inside your backpack will last few days. Pre-cut your salami into bite size pieces and store in a zip-lock bag.
Cheddar cheese cut into bite size pieces in a zip-lock bag or Babybel Mini cheese portions, stored deep inside your backpack will last couple of days.
Hard boiled egg in a zip-lock bag stored inside your backpack will last couple of days. Peel the egg at home to reduce weight and rubbish on the hike.
Salmon and tuna, smoked/cooked, can be purchased in sachets in most supermarkets. Please don’t bring cans.
Dehydrated meals – can be purchased from most outdoor shops, they are lightweight and quick and easy to prepare.
Pasta meals like the dehydrated Continental sachets, couscous, polenta or instant mashed potatoes. To them you can add dehydrated vegetables, salmon, tuna and/or dehydrated mushrooms.
Energy bars, dried fruit, nuts and seeds, muesli bars, nut bars are great for morning and afternoon snacks.
Fresh fruit is an ideal snack. It’s healthy and refreshing. Hard fruit such as apples, pears, lychees (skin on), mandarins, grapefruit and oranges are ideal as there is lesser chance of them getting squashed in your pack. But, remember they are heavy, so I tend to bring no more then 2 pieces of fruit even on longer hikes. Apples and pears you can cut into halves or even quarters and have a piece each day.
Baby cucumbers and cherry tomatoes are also great. They are refreshing and cooling on warm days. Stored in zip-lock bags deep inside your backpack, they will last few days.
Biscuits, M&M’s, chocolate, Shapes, are all great little treats at the end of the day. Once you’ve settled down, built your overnight accommodation and cleaned the dishes after dinner, it’s nice to relax with a cuppa and a little treat. Bring only what you will eat stored in zip-lock bags.
Few Jelly beans and/or snakes are good to have just in case you need bit of extra energy during the day. Place few in a zip-lock bag.
Other food to consider
Barocca, Gatorade powder, Powerade powder or similar are good energy boosts. Keep unflavoured water in your water bladder and energy drink in a separate water container/small bottle for occasional sips of extra energy. They are also great for taking away the taste of water purification tablets, if that’s what you decide to use to purify your water. Barocca tablets are easy to carry in their original container and the powders are best carried in zip-lock bags or an old Barocca container or similar. Just make sure the container lid is well sealed and tight, so that you don’t end up with sticky mess in your backpack.
Coffee – whichever you drink, can be packed into zip-lock bags, or the single serve sachets of cappuccino or latte are very handy.
Coffee whitener is really good as a substitute for milk in your coffee. Take only what you need for the hike in a zip-lock bag.
Tea bags are easy to pack and carry.
Lemon – if you like lemon in your tea, bring bit of lemon squeeze in a little plastic squeeze bottle.
Milk powder is an ideal substitute for fresh milk.
Sugar – the easiest way to carry sugar is in the single serve sachets you can purchase in a supermarket.
Honey – if you like honey in your porridge or your tea, purchase the little single serve tubs. That’s the smallest and lightest honey packaging you can get. However, they are hard to find. The other option is to put some honey into a little plastic bottle and seal it in a zip-lock bag.
Salt/pepper/herbs/spices are great to spice up your meals. If you wish to bring some, place them in a small container.
Cup a soups are great for many reasons. Lightweight, easy to prepare, warming on cold days, tasty and many flavours to choose from. Take them out of the box and carry the sachets only to reduce weight, bulkiness and rubbish.