Will Hike for Food

So you have some outdoor adventures coming up this summer?! …

Have you thought about what you will do for food??

Too often this question is left unanswered, until you’re packing to leave. The default is a drop in at the grocery store on your way out of town for a handful of protein bars, trail mix, Gatorade and maybe a bag of chips for the ride. Sub-par nutrition for the activity you about to embark on.

With this food approach, at the minimum you are gone half a day hiking moderate terrain in moderate conditions and it’s no big deal; other times you are gone for one or more days of high exertion in variable weather and find yourself dehydrated, fatigued, and in the long run malnourished or sick in the days to follow.

My advice is to BE PREPARED for all outdoor adventure occasions with nourishing food to maximize your experience and come back home refreshed from the experience.

camp food

Here are some tips on where to start. Also check out my past article Camping Fare for more ideas.

Day adventures

Outdoor activity is best fueled with low fiber, high nutrient and energy dense food with adequate water content. Preparing your own food is the best way to accomplish this.

Example meals/snacks

  • boiled eggs
  • ants on a log (celery and peanut butter with raisins)
  • nut butter and banana sandwich, maybe with some honey?!
  • cheese sandwich
  • smoked salmon wrap
  • homemade energy bites or granola bars
  • dried fruit
  • nut mix

Camping adventures

Camping for multiple days of daily activity, with a cold food storage available to you.

Prep ahead

  • Cut veggies and fruit
  • Cut cheese or meats into slices
  • Put bulk items into smaller containers: nuts/seeds, crackers, granola, jerky, cheese, hummus, condiments, etc.

Make ahead, with option to freeze in advance (and double as ice packs in the cooler!) These heat up great as one pot meals on stove top or over fire.

  • Examples:
    • Chili, stews, soups
    • Pasta and sauce
    • Pancakes/waffles
    • Burritos
    • Rice and beans
    • Sausage and potatoes (add veggies for stir-fry in camp)
    • Tuna/salmon/egg salad or dip
    • Lasagna
    • Enchiladas
    • Casseroles



Bring plenty; carry more than you think you will need when you are out and about, or know there is an alternative source available to you.

Know before you go:

  1. Is there somewhere to fill up drinkable water? At your camp? On the trail?
  2. Should you carry a water filter or iodine tablets when away from camp?
  3. How will you carry water during activity?

Best rule is to drink water every 20 minutes, with food every hour

Fluid sources besides water:

  • Cooked meals
  • Fruits and veggies
  • Coffee or tea
  • (dry bars and trim mixes will require more fluid intake)

Get out there and enjoy the outdoors!


Health Snapshots

Below I would like to share with you some of the pictures that I have been posting on instagram. You can follow all my posting there, @nutritionbyjules, to see more fun photography of all things health related- food, cooking, gardening, recreation and activity! These are also streamed to my Facebook page and Twitter if you use these social media outlets!


From the garden!


Art of the ride. Lavender in the spokes.


In light of my recent blog on how to butcher and prepare pork, I acquired some local leaf fat and made my first attempt at rendering lard. It was a fun experience! The multiple steps are depicted here in this picture:

Step I= cut the leaf fat into cubes (as best possible).

Step 2= place fat cubes in crock pot on low with a little water at the bottom and let fat melt overnight. I ended up letting it stew for about 20 hours. I also used too much water, which ended up separating from the fat when I strained it.

Step 3= strain the leftover chunks, or cracklings, from the liquid fat. I used a stainless steel strainer, which ended up not being big enough and I had to strain multiple times/batches to get through it all. I think in the future cheese cloth would work better. The cracklings can be saved and used as well.

Step 4= let the fat cool into a creamy white, soft but solid form. Keep in jars to use as you would butter for cooking and baking. Extra will freeze nicely. I ended up with 5 small jars from one chunk of leaf fat.


Hemp milk latte. Hemp milk is a great protein source and alternative to highly processed cow’s milk. It also contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. As it is becoming more and more popular you will find it in more places for purchase. This latte was made at Backporch coffee roasters in Bend, OR.


Soaked almonds. Nuts, among other plants, have phytates, phenols and other inhibiting agents that bind the nutrients in the food and can have toxic effects when consumed in excess. Soaking helps loosen these to protect the body from their potential damage and to release nutrients, allowing the body to better utilize them.



A few fish meals. Salmon cakes, Oregon rock fish tacos, wild caught salmon with Brussels sprouts and fresh Alaskan halibut stew!


Just for laughs. Humor is good stress relief. Goof it up!