Hiking is not just an activity that is going to stretch your mind. After a few kilometers out on the trail, the first pangs of hunger are bound to start pulling your attention away from the gorgeous sights and place it firmly on whatever snacks you have packed away in your backpack.
Whether or not you started your morning with a big breakfast, you are going to rely on a few snacks to keep your energy up and mind sharp, even if you are taking on a short hiking trail in Mpumalanga. But knowing exactly what to pack is very important, because some foods are only going to make you feel full, and while they might give you short boosts of energy, you could very well end up feeling flat within a couple of minutes.
To help you stay strong during your hike, and to help you avoid a sugar crash, these are some of the best snacks that you can take along with you.
- Bananas and Peanut Butter
These two snacks are vitally important.
Peanut butter is filled with proteins, and the healthy kind of fat, which will keep you fueled throughout the day. You don’t have to bring along the whole peanut butter jar. There are plenty of chocolate bars and energy bars packed full of peanut butter that will do just as well. If you can’t eat peanuts, you can substitute peanuts with any other kind of nut.
The other energy filled food is the banana. Bananas are rich in potassium, which makes them perfect for treating muscle cramps and tiredness.
What snack list is complete without biltong? It is light to carry and since it is full of protein, it has the power to keep you going. The protein is ideal for keeping your blood sugar levels healthy and the snack is going to provide additional support for your muscles. Keep in mind though, that biltong is full of sodium, so if you don’t drink enough water while eating it, you could end up with dehydration or cramps.
For a natural sugary treat, bringing along either dried or fresh fruit is a must. Natural fruits can keep dehydration at bay and it is easy to carry. If you are concerned about the fruits being bruised or damaged along the way, you can always swap out fresh fruits for the dried variety.
- Trail Mix
The name is quite apt, a mix made just for the hiking trail. Trail mixes are a classic for hiking backpacks the world over. They are lightweight and filled with a variety of things, often including dried fruits, nuts and seeds. Some mixes also have a few chocolate treats.
Or muesli. This particular snack is really delicious and often includes rolled oats, seeds and nuts as well as granola. These mixes will keep you going and they can be eaten as is, or with yogurt. If you have a way to keep your yogurt chilled, adding it to your backpack is a wonderful option.