(links needed) 4 Ways to Eat Healthy When Backpacking

Jul 13 , 2019

Bridgette Hyde

(links needed) 4 Ways to Eat Healthy When Backpacking

Don't make assumptions and don't settle but instead prepare.

In large robust US cities it is already really difficult to have a shared meaning of healthy eating. It gets really hard really fast to eat healthy when you are traveling to the remote country side and developing countries. Most of the most beautiful mountain passes in the world are next to small towns, developing countries, and national parks. These places are not in the middle of heavy distribution centers or robust economies and they are not deep in conversation about healthy eating, nutrition, or super foods. So how do you eat healthy when you are demanding the most from your body and carrying everything on your back? 


1. Bring it with you, shop local.

Tour agencies don't really know your diet requirements and they will have a different understanding of "healthy" compared to you.

  • Ask the agency for a sample menu. Get a general idea of their plans and style. Most likely you will learn their plans to feed you pasta, bread, butter, chocolate, cookies, with a little proteins and fruits. 
  • Pack your own supplement of meal helpers. What do you love that is nutritious? Avocado helps every meal, so bring some. Here are my favorite staples that I am willing to pack in myself or give to the porters/donkeys/cars to haul for me. 
  • Avocado, peppers, apples, blueberries, black berries, cherries, dried fruits, nuts, protein power, oatmeal / quick oats, granola, peas, carrots, broccoli, beets.
  • Daily during the tour just take your fruit or veggie to the table and add it to your meal. Your tour mates will be so jealous you might be able to sell it! 


2. Pack your own protein from home.

Run, hike, and climb all day and you will burn your calories. Carbs are important and easy to find. Protein is also very important and really hard to find but not if you use these favorite hacks. 

  • in the shape of bars. US grocery stores are loaded with very low quality protein bars that are actually repackaged candy bars and the left over trash from the dairy industry (whey protein and protein isolates). Internationally protein bars are equally hard to find with quality ingredients and a decent protein count. It took me years to find these high quality manufactures and I wouldn't chance leaving home without lots of these bars stuffed in my pack. This is my back up food for when I am picky and won't eat the local food or sick and just want quality comfort food to bounce back. I have never regretted bringing lots of these quick foods. Shop our store for a curated collection of protein bars. 
  • in powdered form. Just like bars, powered protein is mind field disaster of finding quality and knowing the difference. While traveling it's very unlikely you will find powdered protein unless you are in very developed areas like Aspen Colorado. So put it in a ziplock bag and bring it with you. Don't forget the scoop! Shop our store for a curated collection of protein powders. 
    • Need ideas on how to use protein powders? Check this out. 
    • in package form. Meals to go at home have come a long way thanks to food delivery services. While your traveling you will certainly stop your food in a box delivered to your doorstep but you can have the same results. Combine the power of real nutrition, a full meal, and a resealable bag and you have high quality food that travels straight up that mountain but won't cost you any weight in the backpack. Shop our store for the best selection of meals to go. 

    3. Make fresh food upon arrival. 

    • When you arrive in town go shopping for fresh fruits and vegetables. This selection travels well, is nutritious, and fills the needs in our suggested meal plans:
      • avocados, beets, peppers, berries, apples, bananas,
    • At the hostel, AirB&B, or any table you can find assemble and pre-cook some items. Don't precook everything because you are adding water to most vegetables when cooking and that means adding water weight to your pack which should be avoided. 

    4. Fill the nutrition gaps with vitamins.

    • Even at home, in your kitchen, on your dinner plate you are lacking really great nutrition because of really big topics like genetically modified, hormone additives, pesticides, poor quality soil, and things not up for discussion at this moment. But if you choose to think it, understand it, or even buy into to it then you can assist yourself in getting really great nutrition and then achieve great mental and physical performance.  
    • Leaving the US means leaving behind highly treated water of which you are used to. Remember you need 64 oz or 2 liters of water a day. You will be drinking their water which can have numerous effects. Prepare and prevent as many of these effects as possible by adding back the missing vitamins and minerals in pill form. This will help your system handle the new bacteria and missing minerals from the food chain of which you will eat. 

    What you can depend on is bread, coffee, and chocolate.

    US is the exception of bread of course. US has bread just not fresh bread from a bakery like you will generally find in all the mountain towns. No need to carry bread, the treat of traveling is getting bread from the local bakery.

    Coffee is everywhere too but the non-dairy creamer is hard to find depending on the country. The lactose intolerant will love the coffee with coconut milk already in the package, we sell it in the store because it's the good stuff and worth carrying. 

    Discovering local chocolate is definitely part of the joy of traveling. A chocolate bar in the backpack is a staple item. When you arrive at your destination pick up a new chocolate bar at each town or shoppe.

    Don't just settle for poor nutrition while running, hiking, and climbing all over this beautiful world. This is the time you should make the efforts to feed your body for performance to make your trip excellent.

    Nutrition impacts performance and recovery. Feel excellent in the body so you can create great poses for pictures and tell the story of epic endurance. 

    Eat. Sleep. Play.



    Purchasing protein products, food, and gear from Hydeouts Adventures significantly helps a single woman earn a living and transition out from homelessness, darkness, and into the light. Thank you for your consideration. 

    Photo credits: Bridgette Hyde with David Zacarias, UIAGM guide. Shopping for an ice climbing expedition.