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Great Packed Lunch Ideas for Hiking Trips

Hiking is a popular pastime, perhaps due to its simplicity. It offers one a chance to explore nature, de-stress and unwind, whilst also promoting a healthy lifestyle through exercise. However, an issue many hikers face is the dilemma of what to pack in regards to food. All provisions are carried in a rucksack, meaning food often needs to result in an acceptable compromise between weight and nutrition. As all supplies are carried by the hiker, canned, jarred and otherwise heavy goods are not a good idea. There are some foodstuffs more tailored to the hiker’s needs, food that is higher in sugars and healthy fats (don’t worry, you will be using all the energy you consume!) are ideal as they will help successfully fuel your journey. Some recommended foods to include on your hiking trip will hopefully be outlined below.


The classic lunchbox staple is flexible and can suit anyone’s dietary needs. Good hiking sandwich fillers include jams (for the sugar content), cheese (make sure it is a variety of cheese that can withstand being in a backpack for a long duration of time without spoiling. Hard cheeses such as cheddar are sensible), and preserved/cured meats such as salami. It is recommended to keep sandwiches in a hard box or tin to prevent them becoming squashed, however, if this does not bother you, than any convenient compartment in your rucksack will suffice for storage.

Fresh Fruit and Vegetables

This only applies on short hiking trips, on longer journeys fruit and vegetables are likely to spoil in your rucksack. Carrots are a favourite to include by hikers. When cut into prepared beforehand and cut into strips, they serve as a convenient and fulfilling snack. In terms of fruit, avoid anything which will bruise easily, or anything which takes up a lot of space. Apples and oranges will serve you well.

Dried Fruit and Nuts

Trail mix is synonymous with hiking. Lightweight and full of energy, the combination of nuts and dried fruit, such as sultanas and raisins, has been used by hikers trusted by hikers for decades. The are many prepared trail

English: Dried fruit and nuts on a platter, tr...

mixes available in supermarkets, but why not save on money and create your own?

Pre-Cooked Rice

Rice is full of carbohydrates, which will help energise you throughout your hiking experience. Brown rice is a healthier option than the white variety and is a better source of energy. Cook some rice before you depart on your trip, perhaps with some peas, sweetcorn, beans and other veggies that provide slow release energy. Store in a sealed container (the lock and store variety are ideal) and then you are good to go.

Dry Crackers

Rye crackers and cream crackers are a good inclusion in any hiking lunch. They offer the perfect snack and can withstand long durations in a hot backpack. Include hummus, butter, jam and other spreadables in a separate plastic container if they come in jars. Crackers are great as they can offer you savourey satisfaction, or be a sweet treat with the adequate topping.

Eating lunch on hiking trips is about being intuitive. Due to being limited on backpack space, consider food which can easily be eaten with your hands, thus eliminating the need for cutlery. If cutlery is necessary, carry the bare minimum. Also, you should try and eat food straight from its container or packaging. Bowls and plates take up unnecessary space. Also, if hiking with a group, distribute the carrying of food between people. One person take a container of rice, one take a bag or container of trail mix and so on. This way, rather than having individual portions crammed into your rucksack, you will find it is more convenient to carry a group sized portion, if packed correctly. For those who are really short of space, substitute regular bread in sandwiches for mountain bread or tortillas.


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