Gardening with Allen

Nutrition Advice for Outdoor Adventures

Going on outdoor adventures can bring a lot of clarity of mind and feelings of freedom. The great outdoors is where most memories are made. You are away from the constant buzzing of city life, potentially out of phone signal range, and just at peace with the world around you.

Going on a hike or camping trip can be an exciting adventure, but it can also bring up many questions around what to pack and what to eat. Making sure you have enough provisions for the duration of the trip can be a stressing point and may take away some of the enjoyment you should experience.

Luckily, we are here to provide you with some tips and advice on how to keep up with healthy nutrition throughout your trip.

Plan the trip properly

When you go hiking or camping, you don’t want to be carrying too many heavy food and water provisions. However, you also don’t want to run short, and you need to make sure you have emergency rations in case you’re out longer than you planned.

You can ensure you have enough supplies through proper planning. Account for the length of the trip, what food and beverages you’ll need, how and when you will eat and drink, what tools you will need (like a can opener), and if you can take a cooler with you.

While it is important to stay hydrated, you also need to ensure you replenish electrolytes throughout the trip. So, it might be important to bring a sports drink alongside your water rations, to ensure you don’t dilute your blood too much.

Consider fasting

It may feel counterproductive, but fasting can help you reduce rations while also promoting good bodily function.

Implementing an intermittent fasting routine, as mentioned on, can boost your energy and metabolism. In addition, it might make your trips more productive, since you set aside specific times for eating, rather than taking frequent food breaks.

By following a 16-hour fast schedule, you can eat at 5 am, participate in your adventurous activities all day, and then eat again after the sun sets in the late evening. This means you maximize on the daylight hours. The only breaks you will need throughout the daylight hours are for rest and rehydration.

Food safety

Being in the great outdoors means having to be extra careful about food safety practices. You might not have access to soap and water, and thus when preparing food, you will have to find other ways to clean your hands and wash your fruit and vegetables. 

Carrying hand sanitizer and anti-bacterial wipes can help in washing your hands and utensils before, during, and after food preparation and eating.

Remember that perishable goods cannot be out in hot weather for more than an hour or in mild weather for more than two hours. Thus, if you are carrying raw meats, ensure you cook them properly. Even your steak will need to be well-done in this case, to kill any disease-causing bacteria and prevent you from getting food poisoning. 

Energy-dense meals

A final necessity, since you will be more active than usual outdoors, is to eat energy-dense foods. Here, you will benefit less from junk food. You will need foods like nuts, wholegrain bread, fresh fruit and vegetables that don’t require refrigeration, and complex proteins.

These foods help you feel fuller for longer, meaning you will make fewer stops for foods, and helping you along the way if you choose intermittent fasting as a way of managing your rations. These foods can also help you carry less food with you, lightening the burden of your supplies, and making more space for rations of water and electrolyte-rich sports drinks.

Allen Wilson

Allen has been writing about gardening for over 30 years. He is a retired professor of Horticulture.