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Hiking Food Ideas

For many people, hiking is one of the great joys of life. During a hike, you immerse yourself in the natural world and can boost both your physical health and your emotional well-being. But a lot of traditional hiking food undermines both reverence for nature — producing a lot of waste and contributing to environmental deterioration — and personal health. In this article, we’ll explore healthy, convenient, and delicious plant-based hiking food options.

The Origins of Trail Mix

In the late 1960s, two different companies claimed to have invented trail mix. Harmony Foods filed a patent application in 1968 for a blend of dried fruit, nuts, and seeds for hikers. And California-based Hadley Fruit Orchards claims to have originated the “widely imitated” trail mix to sell to hikers in the nearby San Jacinto mountains.

In my attempt to get to the bottom of the mystery, I conducted extensive research, which consisted of 15 minutes of Googling. What I discovered, I’m certain, will throw the entire field of trail-mixology into turmoil.

It turns out that humans have been making nourishing, travel-worthy food mixes for, well, as long as there have been humans. Horace Kephart wrote about the beneficial weight-to-energy ratio of nuts, nut butters, and dried fruit in his 1906 classic page-turner, Camping and Woodcraft.

And I can just picture a brainstorming meeting conducted by a bunch of our paleolithic ancestors, storyboarding their creative ideas on the cave walls of Lascaux or Leang Lompoa. Perhaps they grunted “Eureka” as they grabbed a handful of nuts and dried berries to fuel themselves for a long day of gathering and hunting.

Whatever its origins, trail mix and other hiking foods are here to stay. And a few handfuls of GORP — “good old raisins and peanuts,” “granola, oats, raisins, and peanuts,” or not an acronym at all but an archaic term meaning “to eat greedily” (as in “Did you see him gorp that banana?”) — have sustained many a day hiker looking to pack maximum calories with a minimum of bulk and weight.

But there’s so much more to trekking and hiking food than trail mix. What about multiday hikes? What about enjoying a variety of foods? And how about including fresh foods, especially fruits and vegetables loaded with phytonutrients that can help our bodies heal and rebuild after a strenuous day on the trail? Can we find hiking food that not only nourishes our bodies but also protects and respects the environment?

( Excerpt taken from The Food Revolution Network)

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