When I think back to some of my favorite memories hiking, backpacking, camping, etc, they all involve memories of food and the friends or family I was with. Whether taking a break and having a snack, starting or ending your day with a meal. Food can make or break your trip, especially if you have children or are introducing someone new to being outdoors.
Why Food Is Important
First off, simple nutrition. Just hiking not backpacking you can easily burn 400 plus calories an hour and more if you are carrying gear, you are in the mountains, or biking. Sure most of us could stand to lose a little weight but if you want to perform well and be able to enjoy your day with the energy needed your going to have to replace those calories. If not after a couple of days you will start to feel run down.
Besides keeping your energy levels up the addition of calories can help keep you warm in cold weather, during the day but especially at night.
Good food is always appreciated but a week or weekend of being out in the cold and rain can start wearing down even the hardiest soul. Having good tasting, warm and filling food can make or break a trip. Especially with children. I have found that the complaining usually ends when it’s time to eat. Later when the story of the trip is retold about how much it rained or how cold it was, is immediately followed by how much fun it was and how good the food was.
I have hiked and camped with many people in good and bad weather. Most of my favorite memories involve somewhat miserable conditions and plenty of warm food. Eating dehydrated meals on backpacking trips in the mountains or hot chili camping at -15 degrees fahrenheit.
Each type of activity may require a different set of skills and equipment, For example, I love Dutch Oven cooking, but I wouldn’t pack one for hiking or backpacking. For some canoeing activities and some camping locations this may work out well.
There is one thing that these all have in common and that is preparation. Planning ahead and having what you need. Preparing for and processing your food before you leave home. Also sanitation and safety.
Food preparation safety is one thing but we also need to be careful of how we store and carry the food. Being careless can cause animals to come visit and investigate. If your lucky you will just lose your food and damage equipment and not lose a life.
When we are careless with food storage we can cause the wildlife to also lose their life. Store your food safely and securely. This of course is dependent on your location.
Please join me as I share some ideas on food preparation, recipes and other ideas. I am in no way a professional, just someone who loves the outdoors and good food. I have for many years prepread my own dehydrated meals for backpacking and I love dutch oven cooking.
If you have a suggestion or recipe please leave a comment or contact me and I will pass it along.