Backcountry Nutrition – What to Eat on Your Multi-day Hike

Backcountry Nutrition – What to Eat on Your Multi-day Hike

Backcountry Nutrition – What to Eat on Your Multi-day Hike


When you’re out backpacking for days at a time, it is important to take food that gives you enough energy to power through the ups and downs of the trail. You also need to make sure that the food is nutritious and healthy so that it doesn’t wear you down. Make sure that the food that you bring with you provides the right type of energy.

Pack a Variety of Food

When you are out on a hike for days, you probably want to keep a bit of variety in your meals – eating the same breakfast, lunch and dinner every day gets a little dull. Keep snacks for yourself and be sure they hit all your taste buds. Pack something sweet, sour, salty, and whatever else works for you so that you have a variety of flavor for your hike. Peanuts, beef jerky, Clif bars and other candies are all great to bring on the trail, are easy to carry and are taste good as well.

Watch Your Calorie Density

When you start packing, focus on foods with less trans fat and those that have condensed calories. The following variety of food have condensed calories:

Nuts: Because of their high protein volume, nuts are great for the trail. They can provide you with a nice boost of energy while you’re hiking and you can get them in a variety of flavors.

Cheese: You can pair cheese with crackers as a light snack that can help keep you energized on your hike. It keeps longer than you’d expect it to, as well.

Tortillas: You can put anything on a tortilla and they’re a great option for dense carbs.

Tuna/Salmon: Pouches of tuna or salmon are a quick snack, easy to pack and are a great source of lean protein.

Always Stay Hydrated

Don’t forget to hydrate yourself throughout the hike. If you want you can even take protein powder with you and drink it to provide you with both protein and calories. Gatorade powder is also great as it helps replenish the minerals you lose on your hike.

Ian Campbell Ian Campbell is the founder of Love the Backcountry and a long time lover of adventure travel. When not writing about the backcountry, he can typically be found hiking, backpacking and camping in the mountains and looking to lay his head beneath as many trees as he can find.