Eating on the road – how to choose a nutritious lunch?

Backpacking is no longer a choice made out of savings – more and more often we decide to do it for a real adventure. There are also those who simply cannot imagine a two-week stay in an all-inclusive hotel, and mountain routes or forest paths are worthily replaced by seaside pools and deckchairs. So if you pack a suitcase on wheels only during business trips, or simply plan your first travel trip – check what provisions to take with you to make it light, delicious and filling.

Eating on the road is a complex and problematic issue. Selecting products, comparing volume, weight, caloric content – all this requires a lot of calculations. However, you don't have to spend a fortune in specialist travel shops – you just need to approach it wisely, and thanks to these tips it will be even easier.

Breakfast – a morning boost of energy

For most people, the first meal will be most meaningful during the day's hike. Breakfast on the route should be nutritious and filling. Giving it up is highly inadvisable, because if our body has nowhere to draw energy from, we will quickly run out of strength. The choice of meal largely depends on the length of the trip. If you're going on a 1 or 2-day trip, it's a great idea to take sandwiches with you – the ones you like the most. On cold days, classic sandwiches with cheese, vegetables and cold cuts will be a full-size meal, but if we are accompanied by high temperatures, it is better to give up the meat side dish – we will not risk spoiling the meal. During a longer hike, porridge with additives will be a great meal – in this option, we can opt for ready-made equivalents or a self-prepared mixture. Oatmeal can be portioned into ziplock bags, adding dried fruit and freeze-dried fruit to it – thanks to this, in the morning commotion, all you have to do is pour the contents into a cup and pour boiling water over it.

Snacks – or how to survive until dinner

During every trip, whether hitchhiking through Romania or on foot through the Bieszczady Mountains, there are worse moments. If they come from an empty stomach, it's a short way to a real crisis. Therefore, let's not forget to take simple delicacies with us – nuts will work perfectly in this role (they are filling and caloric, they will provide us with a lot of energy, taking up relatively little space), dried fruit, meat (especially kabanos sausages or dried beef) and sweets, such as chocolate, crackers or candies. It's also a good idea to stock up on protein bars, which are characterized by a high content of protein necessary for travel. Remember, however, that snacks cannot replace a wholesome meal, and when eaten without moderation, they will intensify the feeling of hunger.

Lunch or dinner – warm and to the point

During a short trip, we can opt for instant dishes, such as purée or powdered soup. In the long run, this is not the most beneficial solution, because this type of meal will not provide us with a sufficient dose of energy, and some travelers may be served stomach sensations. A classic canned food will work well as a dinner, while a hot meal works much better on morale on the road. A phenomenal dish to serve is baked beans: we stock up on onions, garlic, beans and tomato paste, as well as salt, pepper, marjoram and oil. Contrary to appearances, these ingredients do not require much space in the backpack (the oil can be poured into a small bottle), and when cooked together in a mess tin, they create a combination that makes you want to go further. Finally, let's treat the time after dinner as a moment of rest – let each participant of the expedition calmly eat and breathe, without haste. A great solution is to get a travel hammock , which can be quickly hung and folded in the right conditions. A hot meal will also work well as dinner, while the last course before bedtime, just like breakfast, can be put on a sandwich.

Food during the trip should be properly balanced – on the one hand, we need a much larger dose of energy, and thus more caloric products, but on the other hand, we should not have a feeling of heaviness after eating a meal. It's a step from there to an after-dinner nap. Let's check which articles from the list work best for us and our travel companions. Thanks to this, we will be able to enjoy the hike to the fullest.

Author: Julia Piwowarczyk, dietician at Wygodna Dieta.