Ten Things to Eat on the Trail
A list from Helen Auperlee, Merrell Executive Assistant.
- Kendal Mint Cake is sweeter than anything you would voluntarily put in your body at any other time than physical duress. It is also a mood-booster for when those last miles are dragging, or when the small children beside you are whining. Again.
- Spam. Hear me out: Although tinned meat in all its forms is, shall we say, an acquired taste, Spam is in the emergency meat category. First hitting the shelves of American grocery stores towards the end of the Great Depression, it filled a niche for affordable meat. It is also shelf-stable, which must mean backpack stable too.
- A thermos of tea or coffee. Some kind of alchemy happens to pre-made hot drinks that have been resting for a while in a thermos. I would hedge a bet that the resulting chemical reformulation makes for a more satisfying brew, but one you wouldn’t enjoy half as much if you weren’t foot-sore during a day’s hike.
- Baguette with boiled eggs. Thank my mother for this one. I have seen her pull a large piece of baguette out of her bag on a bench at the side of a trail and marveled at the ingenuity with which she had stuffed it with hard-boiled eggs.
- Dried fruit and nuts. This is such a sensible recommendation it hardly needs any supporting evidence.
- Dehydrated food. This is where I tell you that the longest, I have hiked carrying all my own supplies is 4 days. It was also the 1990s when REI’s collection of prepackaged, hydratable dinners wasn’t what it is today. I say do it if it appeals to you, I’ve just never known the need.
- Hard cheese. Remember that cheese doesn’t really need to be refrigerated, that in many places it’s considered anathema to cool it down. And if you have any baguette left, you’ll feel so smug that you brought cheese.
- Chocolate. For chocolate’s sake.
- Nut butter. I think, at a push, anything can be smeared with nut butter and made, if not more tasty, at least more nutritious. Hiking requires more energy export than your body may be accustomed to, so this is a good way to give yourself a calorific boost.
- Oats in all their forms are glorious. Granola. Energy balls. Stove-made porridge on a chilly morning with dew settling in your hair. Heaven.
All light weight and easy to pack, you’ll be thankful for all your yummy snacks on your adventure. Happy hiking!