Want to ensure you bring the best food on a road trip or when camping? We share tasty, portable snacks and drinks to keep you fueled all trip long.
Planning a road trip? Going hiking this weekend? Excited about your upcoming camping trip?
There are countless ways to experience nature outdoors. But to have enough energy to enjoy it, you need to pack the right foods.
From simple snacks to entire meals, here are the best foods to pack for your next outdoor adventure, no matter what type of adventure that may be.
We all need a snack now and then, but bags of chips and cookies aren’t ideal for an outdoor excursion.
Consider these reasons why:
- They don’t provide enough fuel
- They do not contain healthy ingredients
- They’re likely to get crushed in your backpack
Opt for healthy snacks, such as trail mix, nuts, seeds, granola bars, and dried fruits when venturing outdoors.
These snacks are easy to munch on, easy to carry, and they won’t take up precious space in your gear bag. You can even stuff them in your pockets, so you have a snack close at hand at all times.
Proteins are fuel for the body. And the more adventurous your outdoor trip will be, the more critical it is to have a few good protein sources on hand.
Dried jerky, pre-cooked chicken pouches, and tuna pouches are all great options if you’re traveling without a cooler. They’re easy to eat, lightweight to carry, and are great for eating at any meal.
Canned tuna is also a good choice, as long as you remember to pack a can opener!
Peanut, almond, and other nut butters are also excellent choices. You can eat them alone or spread them on bread or crackers to make a simple ingredient into a hearty, protein-packed meal.
If you’re going camping with a cooler, don’t be afraid to pack fresh proteins as well. Chicken breasts and different cuts of beef are easy to cook over an outdoor flame, as long as you have the necessary tools to prep and eat the meal.
Fresh Fruits and Veggies
Fresh fruits and veggies are a picnic staple, but you can take them on more adventurous outings as well. As long as you pack produce that doesn’t spoil quickly, you won’t have to worry about keeping it refrigerated or even keeping it cold.
The best fruits for an outdoor adventure are bananas, apples, and oranges. Some of the best veggie options include bell peppers, snap peas, and broccoli.
You’ll want to be careful not to crush your fruit and veg in your backpack or gear bag. Consider packing them in a reusable container so that they remain separate from other items in your bag.
Bread and Grains
Bread and grains are filling, satisfying, easy to cook, and easy to carry — if you pack the right ones.
Instant hot cereal or oatmeal is ideal for breakfast. All you need is water and you can turn dried oats into a hearty first meal of the day.
Whole wheat tortillas and pitas are also shelf-stable options that you can pack for an outdoor experience. Fill them with veggies and proteins or spread them with nut butters for a yummy, satisfying lunchtime meal or afternoon snack.
Dried pasta, instant rice mixes, and couscous are easy-to-make options as long as you have clean water to cook with. And that can of tuna or pouch of chicken, and now you have a filling, well-rounded dish.
Though they can be fragile, crackers are also a great bread source, especially when you’re craving something salty.
Like with fresh fruits and veggies, you may want to consider packing them in an airtight reusable container. It ensures they don’t crumble or get soggy when you’re on the go.
Whether you’re hiking, camping, climbing, or fishing, you need energy, and energy bars are the perfect way to take in a quick meal when your body needs one.
Energy bars are excellent sources of carbs, fats, fiber, and protein. Even a small bar can supply you with 200 or 300 calories at a time, so they’re a great food to pack when you’re only trying to carry the bare essentials.
There are many different types of energy bars on the market, but not all are healthy choices. When shopping for energy bars, look for ones with minimal ingredients and that don’t contain many additives. The most nutritious energy bars are those filled with seeds, nuts, and healthy fats.
Don’t Forget Water!
Whether you’re indoors on a cold day or outdoors in the sweltering sun, hydration is essential. So ensure you have a supply of water with you before you embark on your outdoor adventure.
Pack enough bottled water to keep you hydrated for the duration of your trip. You can also pack a few powdered drink packets or tea bags for when you’re craving a beverage with some flavor.
If you don’t want to carry bottled water, have a source for gathering and boiling water. You should never drink water directly from a lake, stream, creek, or river.
Pack a fire starter or lighter, some kindling, and a pot to boil your water in. That way, you can collect water and boil it safely before drinking or cooking with it.
There are all sorts of delicious snacks and meals that you can enjoy when you’re spending time outdoors. But depending on your destination, you could find yourself in the company of bears, insects, and other creatures and critters.
And remember: no matter what you eat, be careful how you dispose of it.
Always carry food scraps and food wrappers in a sealable bag or container until you dispose of them in proper trash receptacles. And if there aren’t any trash cans along the way, carry your food scraps with you.
Meeting a bear or coyote face to face may be memorable, but there are other ways to make your outdoor adventure a trip you’ll never forget!
Adam Marshall is a freelance writer who specializes in all things apartment organization, real estate, and college advice. He currently works with Candour House to help them with their online marketing.