Eating To Stay Strong on the Mountain Trails

An average person burns 500 calories per hour, while hiking. At a fast pace, a hiker can cover 5km per hour while hiking up a mountain. When you average out a 25km day, (5-7 hour hike) lord knows your legs will demand FOOD—and not just crackers but good, nutritious proteins and carbs. Sure, a sandwich will do the trick, hey it’s just a day hike, but there are some things that you can pack on a budget that will have you running up those inclines in no time.

This ain’t no food blog, and please allow me to digress… In an interview with a man who was stranded at sea, he said he survived living on the fish that he caught. The first few days, he ate like a food blogger in Tokyo, cutting out of the fattiest parts of the fish and indulging. However, soon after, his body craved more nutrients, the inner-cortex (the survival part of his brain) kicked-in and made him crave things that he never thought he would like to eat like the eyes, organs and bones of the fish.

Okay, okay, I’m not marooned nor do I ever let myself get close to starving, but let’s think about this inner-cortex thing… variety is important. Sometimes I need more that a ham sandwich to get me through a hike. P.S. I try to avoid prepared food and preservatives.

Some food things that give me the best trail results and add an extra bounce in my step:

  • beans
  • eggs (hard boiled travel easy)
  • peanut butter or nuts
  • bananas
  • apples (or other fruits. that don’t bruise easily…)
  • tuna
  • rice
  • quinoa
  • cheese
  • Veggies and Hummus

I know, sounds kinda like a strange, yuck list, but here are a few ideas:

Rice, peas, beans, tuna, pesto. Pack boiled eggs and fruit.


Yucky picture, but okay on the climb. (Packed in the jars that the beans came in. But, soak overnight and boil beans if you can!)

Boiled eggs are great and done the night before saves those precious morning hours when you are scrambling to pack everything into your ruck-sac.


Keep fruits and veg on hand and try to make good choices.


Plan and shop for a healthy dinner ahead of time to avoid going straight for bread and chips… or, maybe that’s just me.


Or, just get pizza! Whatever, you’ve earned it!!! You know your jam, now get climbing!

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