Top Nutrition Tips for Eating in the Great Outdoors

It’s no use just grabbing some energy bars and a bottle of water. Your nutrition is important so here are a few tips before you next head outdoors. 

Plan Ahead

Remember that your food and water requirements will be higher than usual so pay attention to what you pack. Things to consider include:

  • The length of the trip
  • What foods and beverages you'll carry
  • How you'll eat and drink
  • What food-related tools/utensils you'll need
  • The potential weight of your rucksack

Stay Hydrated

Before you head off, make sure you are fully hydrated. This way you’ll have less to carry. As a general rule, drink to thirst and make sure you include electrolyte powders or tablets in some of your water. It is possible to drink too much; listen to your body.

If You’re Out for a Day

You can pack perishable foods such as sandwiches and/or fruit. The more you’re carrying the heavier the weight so choose items that are relatively lightweight and nutrient dense, including:

  • Trail mix
  • Nuts, seeds, nut-based bars or nut butter packs
  • Energy bars, chews or gels
  • Granola or granola bars
  • Poultry, salmon or meat jerky

And If You’re Out for Longer

On the first day you'll be able to eat perishable foods but after that, you’ll need to plan your meals carefully. Any of these shelf-stable, easily packed items are always good options:

  • All the foods mentioned above
  • Ready-to-eat cereal
  • Fruit or vegetables in vacuum-packed or squeezable pouches
  • Soups
  • Bottled water, plus electrolytes

Note: If you take freeze-dried meals we suggest a small stove and fuel tablets to heat water. However, many freeze-dried meals can also be prepared with cold water although they don’t taste as good and the rehydration time is much longer.

And Always Remember Food Safety

Always follow good food safety practices — from packing to plating up. Perishables cannot be kept out in hot weather for more than one hour; in mild weather for more than two hours. Bring these essentials as well:

  • Disposable wipes, moist towelettes or biodegradable soap
  • Bowl, if needed (this can be used for food or hot tea/coffee)
  • Cooking pot
  • Eating utensil (spork)
  • Biodegradable rubbish bags
  • Portable water filters or water purification tablets

And follow these food safety rules:

  • Wash your hands often. This includes before and after eating
  • Throw out any spoiled food each day

Finally, go outside and enjoy yourself!