As a hard-charging thru-hiker — when I would hike sunrise-to-sunset, take very few breaks, and cover 30 to 40 miles day after day — food was simply fuel. I carried items that were calorie dense, required minimal or no field preparation, and could be eaten on the go. So I ate a lot of bars back then — energy bars, candy bars, granola bars, cereal bars, and Pemmican bars. And to keep my energy level sustained, I ate precisely on two- to 2.5-hour cycles.
With many more of my backpacking days now in a guided trip setting, my approach has evolved. Our trips are more about smiles over miles, and both clients and guides appreciate a dedicated “lunch,” when there’s enough time to prepare a meal, rest, and maybe tend to things like laundry and bidets.
I’ve found two personal lunch favorites:
- Ham sandwich on a bun with cream cheese, for the first day or two; and,
- Avocado with a salty and crunch carbohydrate, like Pringles or Fritos, for later in the trip when the safety of deli ham is more questionable.
But there are many other options, and I recently asked on Instagram for additional favorites. Here are the responses: