Like any activity, walking burns energy and keeping your body fueled with that energy is important.
I am often asked what kind of snacks people should take with them when out for a days walking and what I personally take with me.
There are a lot of options available to the walker and in this post I will talk about a few of the most popular. When picking snacks to take with you when out exploring, try to avoid food that is high in fat. Your body takes a long time to convert fat to energy and as such needs more water to do so.
What could be simpler than taking along some fruit with you? Not much to be honest and this is a favourite walking snack of my kids. Bananas provide a good source of potassium and an average banana comes in at only around 105 calories and because of the resistant starch they contain, they do tend make you feel full which is great when you don’t want to completely fill up.
Apples, oranges, cranberries and raisins are also great fruits to take with you. Raisins are a good source of energy and can be easily stored in jacket pocket. The other benefit of fruit is that the packaging (core, skins etc) are biodegradable.
Trail mix is my personal favourite. You can either buy packets of mix direct from the supermarket or you can make your own which is what I prefer to do.
Normally trail mix contains mixed nuts which are a good source of protein, carbohydrate providing dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, banana, coconut etc) and sometimes chocolate (m&m’s are common) or jelly babies.
Trail mix provides a good source of slow release energy and can keep you fuelled throughout a day’s walking and the only down side is that it is often fairly high in fat and calories.
Energy gels are common among runners and deliver a massive amount of carbohydrates to your body quickly. Gels have to be consumed with water. It is not advisable to give these to children. I tend to avoid energy gels as I find them to be unnecessary when walking but more and more long distance walkers are using them.
Cereal bars are often an addition to my snack kit when walking on the hills. Care has to be taken when buying these as often cereal bars contain a little too much sugar and salt to be healthy. They do, however, provide a great slow release energy.
Oat cakes provide a good amount of energy but need to be accompanied by a nice cup of tea as they are really dry.
The above is not a definitive list but these are the snacks that are the most popular among the outdoors community. If you have some suggestions of your own, please drop a comment in the box below.
Written by Sean Makin