I am very spontaneous and at the same time very indecisive which means I am not the best at planning ahead. When it comes to day hiking, in the past I had tended to bring very minimal food if any at all. I always thought a 4 or 5 mile hike was a good reason to go a few hours without grazing all day long as I am prone to when hanging out at home.
But as our hike's have become longer, into higher altitudes and with living in a colder climate I have realized the importance of being prepared on the trail! Not only is it a good idea to be well supplied incase something does go wrong, but it means we don't feel the need to rush back because we have plenty of food in our backpacks. And sometimes you really need an energy boost on that 18 mile hike.
Well, if I go a week without hiking I tend to forget what it was that l liked to prepare ahead so I have written this article not only for you, but also as a reminder for myself.
Here are some snack idea's you can prepare ahead with minimal effort or grab from the store and throw in your backpack the night before so you don't forget! The good news is that most of the entries below are fairly healthy options and great for vegetarians too.
Snack Idea's For Your Day Hike
Nuts (almonds, cashews, macadamia's)
Dried Fruit (we like mango & pineapple)
Fig bars are our current obsession and go to for hiking. They come in these cute little sizes and just one is surprisingly very filling! We usually buy them in bulk from Winco but you can order them on Amazon too. Click on any of the images below to order these energy bars online. Cliff Bars are also very popular and come in some really good flavors. We love the peanut butter filled and peppermint!
A Little More Satisfying
The good old trusty sandwich is great for lunch and won't take up much room in your bag (although it might get squished). Also rice crackers are a great option if you are sick of eating bread.
Cheese and Tomato Sandwiches
Peanut Butter Sandwiches (we like to get our peanut butter from the machine that grinds it up fresh)
Peanut Butter & Banana Sandwiches
Peanut Butter on Rice Crackers
Avocado on Rice Crackers
Dry Two-Minute Noodles
Cheese & Crackers
Bring LOTS of Water!
I think it goes without saying that you should always carry plenty of water with you when you're out hiking! No matter what kind of weather you are hiking in, staying hydrated will ensure your body is performing at it's best.
You can choose to carry your water in a bottle or in a hydration pack. If you choose to carry a water bottle, buying a reusable bottle is not only better for the environment but is also safer for you to drink out of as most good quality brands are BPA free.
You can see some of the more popular options and brands below.
Water Filtration & Purification
For longer day hikes, peak bagging or overnight trips, you may not be able to bring enough water so it is a good idea to carry a water purifier in your back pack just in case. Water is vital and it is best to keep some sort of filtration system on hand should anything go wrong.
Depending on where you source your water, purifying may or may not be necessary. Some argue that it is not essential to filter water from streams or rivers that are fed by fresh snow-melt. I am going to be honest and tell you if we are up in the high country and filling our bottles up from fast flowing rivers, we usually won't bother filtering the water. We have had a few comments on our youtube channel about our lack of water filtration habits but we spent two weeks hiking up in Yosemite and drank out of the river up top the whole time and never felt better!
Of course we would never drink out of a still-standing body of water or from a river that is far from the source without filtering first. We always carry potable water purification tablets in our back packs in case of an emergency but if we are going to be on longer hikes we will bring our water purifying bottles so we don't have to carry too much water with us.
Potable Aqua Water Purification Tablets
Water Purifying Bottles
LifeStraw Personal Water Filter
Have you got any snack idea's or tips for day hiking? Please let us know in the comments below and we can update this post with your suggestions!
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