How to Eat Healthy While Backpacking

When you’re backpacking, you’re often presented with tasty treats and new, unusual foods. Backpacking poses more of a challenge than other types of travel because you’ll likely be tight on money.

Food that contains higher fat content is usually cheaper than healthier foods. Also, while you should try local favorites, you should try to limit how much you have of these new foods to help you keep up healthy eating habits.

What can you do to eat healthy while backpacking? In this article, we’re going to talk about some of the things that you can do to achieve healthy eating habits even when you are backpacking.

Stop at Local Stores

Finding and shopping at local grocery stores is an effective and cheap way to be healthy while on the road. Why might this be? Because, for one thing, you spend less money at the supermarket than you do dining out since you’re purchasing food that will give you more than a single meal. Groceries also offer fresh food which allows you to make a healthy meal, rather than one full of sugars, fats, and preservatives.

shopping basket

Grocery stores are also a great place to restock your pack with healthy snacks, like fresh fruit, mixed nuts, and granola bars.

Something that you can do is to shop the outside aisles of the grocery store. This is because the inner aisles of the grocery store are full of junk food, while the outer aisles contain fresh fruit, fish, vegetables, and dairy.

Try to Get Lodgings with a Kitchen

If you can find and shop at a grocery store, the ability to access a kitchen is preferable. It doesn’t matter if you’re staying in a hostel, hotel, or with a local, you should try always to take advantage of the kitchen when you can. By using the kitchen, you’ll be able to fix perfectly portioned meals for the day and create a healthy eating habit of not dining out as much.

cooking in kitchen

Some meal ideas include rice and stir-fried vegetables, whole wheat toast with scrambled eggs, green salads, yogurt with fruit and granola, whole wheat pasta with a tomato-based sauce, and so much more.

If you’re backpacking trip is taking place in the wilderness, make sure to grab food that you can quickly put together into a meal later on. Hiking doesn’t mean that you can’t eat healthy as well; there are many meal options available to you from dehydrated foods and freeze-dried to dry pasta and canned meats.

Always Eat Breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meals of the day; it offers you a significant boost of energy in the morning. One of the biggest benefits of breakfast to backpackers is that it increases your energy. Breakfast can also improve concentration, memory, and mood; it can also make you feel more awake and can help burn off body fat throughout the day.

healthy breakfast with eggs

If you find that you’re often skipping breakfast only to become ravenous by lunch, you might need to rethink your choices. To keep your mind focused on your hike and not on food, try always to remember to eat breakfast.

Avoid Snacking on Junk Food

Junk food might appear to be appetizing, and it can make you feel full at the moment, but what happens when that goes away? Snacking constantly throughout the day on food that lacks nutrients and fiber isn’t good for your body; it will just make you hungrier.

salty snacks

Sitting down to enjoy a full meal, even if you’re in the wilderness, is incredibly beneficial to your health. If you must snack during the day, choose fruit, nuts, or a protein bar to maintain some of your energy. Snacking on healthy food is completely fine during your backpacking trip – especially while you’re hiking. However, eating junk food will only cause you to feel tired and slow you down.

Eat your Calories, Don’t Drink Them

The best way to maintain a healthy diet while on the road is to avoid drinking things like fruit juice, soda, and energy drinks. This is because they lack the necessary fiber to make you feel full and satiated, plus they only become empty calories.

fruit juice in glasses

Instead of drinking your calories, try eating them. This means that if you’re a huge fruit fan, try eating an orange or apple to get the same juice but with more benefits and feel fuller longer.

Bring a Water Bottle

One of the essential things that you can do to maintain a healthy diet is to stay hydrated. It helps you feel more energetic and fuller, while also helping keep headaches away.

water bottle with backpack

If you’re heading on a backpacking excursion, always take a water bottle. If you’re going to be in the wilderness, also try to bring some water filter because it’s always crucial to treat the water you find in the wilderness. There are many water bottles that you can find that has a water filter built into them.

By having a water bottle with you, especially one with a water filter keeps you from having to buy bottled water – not to mention constantly, plus you’ll be helping the environment.

Avoid Being Too Hard on Yourself

You’re backpacking for life experiences and enjoying yourself, so don’t beat yourself up if you don’t stick to a crazy diet regiment or continuously eat healthily. Cut yourself some slack and indulge once in a while! There are some theories that indulgence is part of having a healthy diet because as with anything there is a balance.

going up hill with backpack

Some of these tips might seem pretty obvious – which they are! It’s not hard to keep yourself feeling healthy and full while on the backpacking trails, but it’s crucial that you do. It would be best if you had much energy when backpacking so that you can explore all the incredible places you might encounter, and that won’t happen on a diet of junk food. If you actively decide to take care of yourself, then everything else will fall into place.

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