Hiking Food Ideas for Beginners [Easy Meal Plans]

Hikes can be awfully torturous if you are not well prepared. Starting from exercising to eating, you need to be ready for everything.

Now, if you are a newbie, there are tons of things that you have to learn. One of them is conserving and preserving the food. That is why knowing about hiking food ideas for beginners is so important.

Everyone has a misconception that during a hike, people do not conventionally eat anything. The truth is that hikers have to eat something to ensure they can do the highly taxing activity.

So, my friend, do you need tip-and-tricks on what can you do about the food when you are on a hike? You are in the right spot then!

Why Is Healthy Food Necessary While Hiking?

Well, the answer to this question is pretty obvious! You need the food to maintain the energy to do work.

Food is the chief source of energy for us human beings. Actually, it is the only source of energy for us.

If a person does not eat for a week or more (depending on the stored fat), he/she will not survive. Now, when you are backpacking, you will be involved in tons of stressful activities.

To hike efficiently, you have to make sure that you have enough food in your system, and the only way you can achieve that is by packing some food in your backpack. It will ensure you have enough food to replenish your energy.

Also, food is not the only thing that you should be carrying. You need to bring an ample quantity of fluids.

During a hike, perspiration is an ordinary thing, and it will happen in a vast amount.

Therefore, if you do not drink enough to make up for the fluid your body loses, it could be dangerous!

Hiking Food Ideas For Beginners

Apparently, you cannot carry anything during a hike. Imagine you decide to make pizza.

Sounds good, but you have to make sure that you are intaking food and drinks that will help you achieve the goal for the duration of the hike.

Now, if you do not have a degree in the medical field or a professional dietitian, it might seem impossible.

Do not worry; you will find all the necessary meal plans right here. All you need to do is choose the ones that are ideal for you.

For Breakfast

hiking breakfast

In a day, breakfast is one of the most important meals. Without a proper breakfast, one would face difficulty in living throughout the day, let alone backpacking.

Hence, if you are going for a long hike trip, making sure that you have an adequate breakfast is mandatory.

  • Cold Cereal

Who does not like cereals? It is one of the most accessible variants of heavy breakfast without needing any stove. All you have to do is pour it into the bowl, and you should be good to go!

  • Dried Fruits

Fruits are one of the best forms of nutrients. They provide necessary calories and whatnot.

Now, if you plan to carry normal fruits, that might not be a wise decision. You see, without any preservative, it is not possible to keep these in edible conditions.

So, the best alternative is dried fruits. By the way, the misconception that dried fruits lack their original nourishment is a hoax.

  • Oatmeal Bars

Similar to cereals, oats are another type of heavy metal. However, carrying two similar dishes is not a wise decision.

Instead, we suggest that you bring oatmeal bars. They are fulfilling and taste amazing. We recommend that you carry two-three bars for every meal when you are backpacking.

  • Ground Eggs

Do you need your eggs before breakfast? Well, you can have them if you carry ground eggs with you.

Yes, it might not be the same, but the taste is pretty comparable and contains an identical amount of nutrients.

  • Fresh Fruits

Well, we have said that carrying fruits for long hours may make them go bad. It is true, but if you take adequate precautions, you can reduce bacteria formation.

Thus, allowing you to have fresh fruits even after hours of hiking.

  • On-Spot Oatmeal

If oatmeal bars are not enough, then this is the perfect alternative for you! With this product, there is no need to do anything.

All you have to do is put the dish in a bowl, and it will do the trick.

  • Pop-Tarts

Everyone likes something sweet for breakfast. Sugar not only releases dopamine but also provides a great number of calories.

Hence, treating yourself with a bit of dessert might be the best solution if you want to energize yourself. Forget about your workout diet whenever you are on a hike.

The hike itself is going to be equivalent to a weeks’ worth of powerlifting.

For Lunch

After a long day of hiking, you deserve a good lunch. Now, going on a hike is not like your regular trip.

Going to a restaurant and having a meal is not an option, so you must keep an ample quantity of food.

  • Nuts & Seeds

Well, these are one of the most caloric-dense dishes in the world. A small number of nuts and seeds will allow you to go on the trip without any issue.

  • Butter

Some might think that butter is more of a breakfast dish, but in a place where going to restaurants is not an option, butter (especially nut butter) can be a great solution.

  • Pouches

Everyone needs their dose of protein. And there is no better option than fish pouches because fish is one of the cleanest forms of protein. If you are not a fan of fish, you can carry chicken pouches.

  • Beef Jerky

Beef provides a substantial quantity of protein, and beef jerkies are the easiest protein forms that you can carry easily.

  • Tortilla & Bagels

If you like wrapping your food in something, then tortilla is the best option. And, after you are done eating, bagels will quench that additional need.

  • Cheese

Now, cheese is the thing that goes with almost everything. Cheese enhances the flavor of everything, starting with rice to sandwiches.

So, if you want, you can carry cheese. Also, one good thing about cheese is that you do not have to worry about its preservation that much.

For Dinner

hiking food for dinner

After a long hike, everyone wants to lay off and chill. Well, dinner time is the perfect moment for that.

Furthermore, having a good dinner will ensure that you have a good sleep after a stressful day.

  • Fast Potatoes

You have to replenish your energy at night to get ready for the return trip or the next course.

So, to make sure you have fulfilled your energy needs, we suggest that you carry some instant potatoes in your backpack.

  • Cold-Dry Meals

Go to you any supermarket, and you will see cold-dry meals on the shelves. They offer a complete course and get you ready for the next day.

  • Noodles

You can carry corn spaghetti, instant noodles, or ramen for dinner. They taste exceptional and will ensure you feel full.



Apart from hard food, you also need fluids, lots and lots of it.

The constant sweating will cause a high imbalance of liquids in your body, which you have to replenish if you want to continue the journey.

So, here is a list of all the drinks you can carry when you are on a hike.

  • Coffee

Coffee is one of the best refreshment drinks known to humankind. However, when you are outdoors, you cannot make your own coffee.

So, what is the solution? Instant coffee!

  • Tea

The only thing that rivals coffee is tea. So, if you are a tea person, you can pick suitable instant tea and take it with you on the trip.

  • Grounded Electrolyte Powder

During a hike, one of the most dangerous things that can happen to you is electrolyte imbalance.

Hence, the easiest way of ensuring that does not occur is by carrying a powder of electrolyte. You can simply mix them with water and drink.

  • Juice

When you are on a trip, why don’t you treat yourself with a little bit of juice? All you have to is pack the juice and take sips whenever you want.

  • Water

On a trip, one of the most important sources of electrolytes in water. In short, you have to carry at least three to four bottles of water on a backpacking trip.

  • Chocolate Mix

Give yourself a little reward after you have gone through a strenuous hike. Make yourselves hot chocolate or anything you want with a chocolate mix.

Final Word

Our hiking food ideas for beginners guide contains a hefty amount of information.

Nonetheless, everything we have provided within the article has all the essential info that will tell a newbie how to plan their meal during hiking.

Lastly, make sure you learn how to find food in the wild, just in case, if you are lost or face any problem.

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