Updated: Dec 7, 2019
With the cold season hitting us, especially here in Canada, it is becoming more and more important to put some thought into what to pack for your trail meals. In the following, I will give you some of my ideas for a nutritious snack for a snowy winter day hike.
So why is it important?
Although the cold air can be very refreshing and energizing, it does also demand a lot of energy from your body. So, you do not want to be short on calories in your trail meals, since this will end most likely in a bad mood, nagging, unwanted breaks, and delays in the schedule. It is just going to end in an overall bad experience, because no one likes to hike hangry or with someone who is hangry.
To be able to focus on the beautiful environment around you, and to be able to push your body to its fullest strength, you got to feed yourself and treat yourself. Do not be greedy!
I like to give my trail food a bit of thought in advance. Especially for the wintertime. Better take a bit too much on your day hike than too little. (Since it is just a day hike, you do not have to worry too much about the weight). This gives you the opportunity to get a feeling for how much food you will need, for example if you are planning a multi-day hike. Apart from easy packable snacks such as bananas, nuts, trail mix, or dates, I usually like to prepare some baking goods to take.
Here are some examples what we take and prepare for our guided tours:
Home-Made Banana Bread
This is a very quick and easy recipe. I just mash up some bananas, mix it with whole wheat flour, oats, honey, oat milk, some dark chocolate cream, an egg, and some baking powder and bake it in the oven for about an hour.
Home-Made Energy Balls
This is also an easy and quick recipe. I just mix some cut dates, coconut flakes, almonds, honey, oats, and a bit of peanut butter and roll small balls.
Delicious and nutritious!
For lunch I prefer to prepare some bagels just because they are very easy to transport and to eat. I either have a bagel with eggs, avocado, lettuce, and a variety of veggies. For the cold season, I like to spice it up a little. For a bit of a spicy lunch I mix some tuna with sriracha mayonnaise, salt, pepper, and some Caribbean curry paste.
The big advantage of just going out for a day hike is that you do not have to worry too much about the weight you are bringing. If you have never done winter hiking or winter camping, it would be a good idea to go on day-hikes first, so you can experiment with your food options and find out what works for you the best. It is a good way to get a feeling for your body and its needs.
What are your options for a nutritious trail snack in the winter time? Did you have the 'getting hangry' experience?