10 Portable Foods you should carry with you while camping
When camping, especially if there will be physical activity, you should carry food that is nutritious, energetic, and lightweight.
When trekking at altitude, for example, that can of chickpeas may start to feel like it’s in pounds rather than ounces. You’ll need enough sustenance to keep yourself nourished while spending time outside.
Relying on freeze-dried meals or other pre-packaged foods might be troublesome since they are frequently high in salt. According to research published in Nutrients, this can promote water retention, particularly in the hands and feet, and raise blood pressure in the short term.
10 Portable Foods
Fortunately, there are many options for nutritious camping cuisine that will keep your body nourished and your energy levels up, allowing you to appreciate everything the natural world has to offer.
Table of Contents
1. Dried Oatmeal Packets
Oatmeal contains complex carbohydrates that provide adequate and long-lasting energy before a day of hiking or exploring, explains Hoerr. They’re also lightweight, compatible, and simple to set up at a campsite.
According to a study from 2022, high-quality carbohydrates are still a strong energy source for activity, and while protein and fat are still vital, carbs remain a key macronutrient to maintain energy during high-intensity exercise since they are broken down quickly.
2. Dried Fruit
The intense sweetness of dried fruit such as raisins, dried apples, and prunes makes it an ideal trail snack. According to Jackie Newgent, RDN, of Brooklyn, New York, dried fruit also provides a rapid carb fix to fuel exercise. The fruit retains its vitamins and minerals during the dehydration process, so you’ll be eating a nutrient-dense snack.
The nutrients are more concentrated ounce per ounce, which means they’re packed with beneficial bioactive compounds, Newgent adds. However, check the ingredients because some sugars and preservatives may be added, and it’s best to get options that only contain the fruit. She advises avoiding sweeteners like corn syrup or sucrose, as well as preservatives like carrageenan and potassium bromate.
3. Tuna or chicken packets
The idea of individual packets continues. These are wonderful nutritious meals to go camping since they fit easily into tiny areas in a pack and can be slipped into jacket pockets for snacks when you need them the most.
Listen to your body for signs that it needs more food right now, Hoerr advises. You may be feeling dizzy, or the activity may be more difficult than it should be. Those are symptoms of a lack of vitality. Tuna and chicken packets are shelf-stable and contain so many delicious flavours that you can eat them on their own.
4. Protein Powder
If you don’t consume meat or follow a plant-based diet (such as a vegan or vegetarian diet), protein powder can help you obtain your protein fix. Protein powder is particularly perfect for trekking because it is lightweight and can be mixed with the water you already have. Of course, you don’t have to bring the entire container: Simply place a few scoops in a sealable plastic bag for convenient transport.
“Ideally, spread your protein out throughout the day, Allen recommends. “For example, if your daily protein requirement is 60 grammes (g), aim for 20 at each main meal rather than trying to load up all at once.
5. Peanut Butter Pouches (10 Portable Foods)
According to Hoerr, nut butter is energy dense, which means it can increase your calorie intake without making you feel bloated. According to Hoerr, they’re nutrition dense since they’re high in heart-healthy fat, protein, fibre, vitamins, and minerals.
Hoerr noticed that adding a packet of individual pouches is more practical and less messy than attempting to consume from a jar, she adds to her morning muesli kept her going through elevation-gain treks until midday on a recent trip trekking through Yosemite.
6. Shelled Pumpkin or Sunflower Seeds (10 Portable Foods)
Seeds of any sort are a light snack, and these two alternatives are especially light, making them a fantastic healthy food choice for camping, according to Hoerr. Bonus: Nuts and seeds provide nutritious fat that keeps you satisfied for longer.
Furthermore, foods like sunflower seeds might assist to alleviate inflammation. According to a review, sunflower seeds include phenolic acids, flavonoids, and tocopherols, all of which have been linked to anti-inflammatory benefits. Although inflammation is an essentially natural process to some extent, too much of it has been related to a variety of disorders, including arthritis, asthma, atherosclerosis, and autoimmune diseases, according to another analysis of evidence.
7. Energy or Granola Bars (10 Portable Foods)
Prepackaged granola or energy bars are one option Hoerr usually brings camping since they’re easy to find and can be smushed at the bottom of a bag and still be ready to eat. However, if you’re looking for snack-size granola bars or protein bar alternatives at the grocery store, be prepared to spend some time. With so many alternatives, it may appear that this should be your first camping so that you can read every label.
8. Electrolyte Tablets (10 Portable Foods)
Consider your water levels when trekking. Even at a slow pace, it’s an endurance event, according to Hoerr, especially while carrying equipment. She advises drinking more water than you believe you need, especially in chilly regions where you may not sense thirst as much.
Consider replenishing electrolytes lost via perspiration in addition to water. Hoerr like Nuun pills since they are easy to store and can be placed into a water bottle as needed, although there are other options available, such as Ultima and Tailwind.
9. Fiber-Filled, Precooked Quinoa Quick-Prep Grains
Grains that take time to cook might feel like a hassle when you depend on a cook stove, so Hoerr focused on quick-cooking choices like quinoa and instant brown rice for her Yosemite trip.
If you’re weary after a walk, for example, you may make a nutritious meal in less than 15 minutes if you use quick grains and a packet of chicken or tuna.
Why are whole grains being introduced in the first place? Quinoa, for example, is high in fibre, which aids digestion an issue that many people have while travelling, whether to a camp or a spa. According to the USDA, 1 cup of quinoa has 5 g of fibre, which accounts for 18% of your daily fibre needs.
10. Dark Chocolate (10 Portable Foods)
Dark chocolate tastes better after a hard day of trekking, whether you mix it with nuts, seeds, and dried fruit or enjoy a few squares as an after-hike treat. Are you worried about it melting? You should be fine unless it’s really hot and humid. Dark chocolate has a higher melting point than milk chocolate because it contains more cocoa per unit of milk fat.