Saturday, March 15, 2008

Hiking and camping comfort food

I mentioned in the past I have problems eating enough calories for optimal energy when hiking. A long trip of car camping and daily hiking almost always results in weight loss, not always bad but not really good either. I gain the weight back at home and get too tired to hike as much as I would like. When I'm trying to eat 'good' food this is even worse. So I'm going to try to emphasize comforts foods this year since I've lost 15 pounds since last September.

A standby of my hiking and camping diet is dried fruit and nuts, for me apricots and almonds are my favorite but I also enjoy many others. I do not like the peanuts and raisin mixtures, often with candy, that are common trail mixes. However, I can only eat so much dried fruit before unpleasant consequences occur. Nuts are more versatile but I want other items. I eat a lot of my homemade hardtack (recipe) often with individual snack packs of cheese. I like the hardtack with various canned meat or fish products but don't often carry them while hiking, messy and difficult to deal with leftovers. Of course I also like candy bars, usually Halloween size, and Wild Berry Power Bars. In the past, I've tried dried or fresh vegetables while hiking but don't really appreciate them.

For car camping, my breakfast mostly is a bowl of oatmeal or Cream of Wheat cereal, maybe some yoghurt, fresh fruit, and sometimes rolls. I also indulge myself and eat Twinkies or Hostess Cupcakes, the only time I can eat these items. Lunch is usually eaten while hiking and dinner may be similar to lunch or canned foods. The only time I eat canned stew or meat or fish is camping, at home they don't appeal to me. If I'm near a store, I may buy sandwiches for the trail or dinner if the weather isn't too warm. Potato chips, pretzels, and other horrible snack products also get eaten. Obviously I am not very careful about my diet when camping, the amount of vegetables eaten is minimal but I don't camp that much of the year to feel too badly about my eating. I wish though I could find more healthful options that I would actually eat.

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