Hiking is a great way to get outdoors, enjoy some fresh air, and get some exercise. But if you’re planning a hike, it’s important to pack the right food to fuel your adventure. That’s why we’ve put together this list of 50 easy day hike lunch ideas. From PB&Js to pasta salad, there’s something here for everyone. So whether you’re looking for something quick and easy or something a little more gourmet, we’ve got you covered.
A classic for a reason, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are quick, easy, and Portable. Plus, they’ve got plenty of protein and carbs to keep you fueled up for your hike. Also, try switching up the type of bread or peanut butter for some variety.
2. Protein Shake
A day hike is the perfect opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors with friends or family. And there’s no need to rough it when you hit the trail – just pack along a protein shake. They provide a delicious and nutritious way to keep your energy levels up, whether you’re hiking to the top of a mountain or simply strolling through the park. Because they are enriched with vitamins and minerals, you’ll know you’re doing something good for your body as well as enjoying a delicious treat.
3. Olive oil
If you’re planning a backpacking trip, you might be wondering if you should pack some olive oil. After all, it’s a bit of a weight to carry and takes up valuable space in your backpack. However, there are many good reasons to bring olive oil on your trip. For one thing, it’s an excellent source of nutrition. It’s packed with healthy fats and antioxidants that can help your body recover from the stresses of hiking. Fats give you dense nutrition, and when you’re hiking, you burn a lot of calories. Additionally, olive oil can be used for cooking or as a skin moisturizer. And if you’re worried about spillage, you can always pack it in a sealed container. So next time you’re planning a hiking trip, don’t forget to pack some olive oil!
4. Healthy fats
In addition to being a great source of energy, healthy fats are also essential for maintaining body temperature and keeping you satiated. Pack some nuts or seeds, avocados, or even some full-fat yogurt.
5. Dehydrated meals
If you’re looking for something more filling than just snacks, consider packing a dehydrated meal like instant oatmeal or freeze-dried meals. Just add water and you’ll have a hot meal ready in no time. If you bring a portable camp stove with you, you can boil water while on the trail. That way, you can have a nice warm meal.
6. Granola bars
An easy way to get complex carbs and some added protein, granola bars are a great option for hikes of any length. Just be sure to choose bars without too much sugar so you don’t end up feeling sluggish halfway through your hike. We like Kind bars, because they have minimal ingredients, so you can know that your food won’t have too many preservatives or industrial food ingredients.
7. Pasta salad
A filling option that doesn’t require cooking, pasta salad is perfect for longer hikes when you need something more substantial than snacks. You can make it ahead of time and pack it in a plastic container so it’s easy to transport. You can add chickpeas or black beans to your pasta salad for some extra protein to keep you full for longer.
8. Fresh fruits
A great source of natural sugars and antioxidants, fresh fruits are perfect for a quick snack on the trail. And since they’re so easy to pack, you can always have them on hand for when you need a little boost. It’s good to pack fruits that are a little bit tougher, like apples, and not things that are more delicate, like plums, which will probably get squished in your backpack.
9. Dried fruits
A lighter option than fresh fruit, dried fruit is still packed with nutrients and makes a great snack. When you’re packing for a day hike, it’s important to include snacks that will give you sustained energy throughout the day. Dried fruit is an ideal option because it is lightweight and easy to eat on the go. Plus, it contains natural sugars that can help to keep your energy levels up. Dried fruit is also a good source of fiber, which can help to regulate your blood sugar levels and prevent fatigue. When choosing dried fruit for your hike, opt for varieties that are low in added sugar and devoid of preservatives. And be sure to pack enough for the entire day – you don’t want to run out of snacks halfway through your hike!
A good source of vitamins and minerals, vegetables are a great addition to any hike lunch. You can pack fresh veggies raw or cook them ahead of time and pack them in a container. If you’re planning to bring vegetables on your next hike, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, choose vegetables that will hold up well during the hike. Root vegetables like potatoes and carrots are good choices, as they won’t bruise or break easily. Second, prepare the vegetables before you leave by peeling and slicing them into bite-size pieces. This will make them easier to eat on the go. Finally, be sure to pack the vegetables in an insulated bag or container to keep them fresh. With a little planning, you can enjoy a delicious and nutritious meal even when you’re miles from home.
A classic hiking lunch, soup is easy to make ahead of time and can be packed in a thermos for a hot meal on the trail. Just be sure to choose a lighter option like vegetable soup so you don’t end up feeling weighed down.
An easy way to get all the food groups in one meal, sandwiches are a hiking staple. You can make them ahead of time and pack them in a Ziploc bag or wrap them in aluminum foil to keep them fresh. There are endless possibilities when it comes to fillings, but some of our favorites include roasted turkey, avocado, and sharp cheddar cheese; hummus, roasted vegetables, and feta cheese; or peanut butter, banana, and chocolate chips. For bread, we like to use a sturdy whole wheat or sourdough loaf. If you’re looking for something a little lighter, pita or flatbread can also be used. And don’t forget to pack some condiments! A good mustard or vinaigrette can really take your sandwich to the next level.
Another easy option for a meal on the trail, burritos can be made in the morning. A burrito is the perfect food to pack for a day hike. It’s easy to eat on the go, and it’s packed with the nutrients and calories you need to keep your energy up. Plus, there are endless possibilities for fillings, so you can customize your burrito to suit your taste. Here are a few ideas to get you started. For a hearty burrito that will stick with you, try filling it with beans, rice, and meat. Chicken, steak, tofu, and ground beef are all good options. If you’re looking for something lighter, try a vegetarian burrito with beans, rice, and veggies. Add some spice with salsa or hot sauce, or cool things down with guacamole or sour cream. And don’t forget the cheese! Whatever filling you choose, make sure to wrap it up tight in a sturdy tortilla. Then enjoy your burrito on your hike – it’s sure to hit the spot.
Like burritos, quesadillas make a great meal for hikes. But since they’re smaller, they’re easier to pack and won’t weigh you down as much.
You might not think of pizza as a good option for a hike, but it can actually be pretty easy to make ahead of time and bring on a hike. I actually like cold pizza so this works for me.
A hearty option for colder hikes, chili is easy to make ahead of time and can be packed in a thermos to keep it hot. Just be sure to pack some crackers or bread on the side so you can soak up all the deliciousness.
An easy way to get complex carbs and some added protein, noodles are a great option for hikes of any length. You can pack them dry and cook them on the trail, or cook them ahead of time and pack them in a container.
18. Fried Rice
Fried rice is a dish that can be enjoyed at any time, but it is especially good as a day hike meal. For one thing, it is relatively lightweight and easy to pack. In addition, it contains a variety of nutrients that will help keep hikers energized throughout the day, including protein, carbs, and vegetables. Finally, fried rice is simply delicious, making it a welcome treat after a long day on the trail. In short, fried rice makes an ideal meal for anyone who enjoys spending time outdoors.
19. Slices of bread
An easy way to get complex carbs and some added protein, bread is a great option for hikes of any length. You can pack it in a Ziploc bag or wrap it in aluminum foil to keep it fresh.
A lighter option than bread, crackers are still packed with nutrients and make a great snack. Plus, they won’t weigh you down as much as bread would.
A good source of complex carbs and fiber, pretzels are a great snack for hikes. Plus, they’re easy to pack and won’t weigh you down.
A filling option that’s packed with complex carbs and fiber, popcorn is perfect for hikes. You can make it ahead of time and pack it in a Ziploc bag or container, or cook it on the trail using a portable stove.
A salty snack that’s easy to eat on the go, chips are a great option for hikes. Just be sure to choose a healthier option like baked chips instead of fried chips.
24. Meal bars
A filling snack that’s packed with complex carbs and fiber, meal bars are perfect for hikes. You can find them in a variety of flavors, so there’s sure to be one that you’ll love. These can help keep your energy level up.
25. Protein bars
A good source of protein and fiber, protein bars are perfect for hikes. They come in a variety of flavors, so you can find one that you’ll love.
26. Peanut butter
A good source of protein and healthy fats, peanut butter is perfect for hikes. You can eat it straight from the jar or spread it on crackers or bread.
A good source of complex carbs, jelly is perfect for hikes. You can eat it straight from the jar or spread it on crackers or bread.
A good source of healthy fats and complex carbs, Nutella is perfect for hikes. You can eat it straight from the jar or spread it on crackers or bread.
29. Trail mix
A filling snack that’s packed with complex carbs, protein, and healthy fats, trail mix is perfect for hikes. You can make your own mix or buy a premade mix at the store.
30. Hard cheese
A good source of protein and calcium, hard cheese is perfect for hikes. You can eat it straight from the package or eat it with crackers or bread. The pre-sliced ones are nice and convenient, or you can slice it at home and bring it with you in a ziploc bag.
31. String cheese
A good source of protein and calcium, string cheese is perfect for hikes. The packaging makes it easy to eat on the trail, and are great for long hikes because it gives you protein for extra energy.
A good source of protein and calcium, yogurt is perfect for hikes. You can eat it plain or add fruit or granola for a filling snack. Sinc it is perishable food, you might want to eat it early in the day, like for a mid-morning snack.
33. Almond butter
A good source of healthy fats and protein, almond butter is perfect for hikes. You can eat it straight from the jar or spread it on crackers or bread.
A good source of protein and healthy omega-3 fatty acids, tuna is perfect for hikes. You can eat it straight from the can or make a quick and easy sandwich.
A good source of protein and healthy omega-3 fatty acids, salmon is perfect for hikes. You can cook it ahead of time and pack it in a container. Or you can eat salmon sushi, like nigiri or sashimi, which is how my family likes it.
If you’re planning on bringing chicken, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, chicken is best if it’s properly cooked before you leave. This will prevent any food poisoning incidents while you’re out on the trail. Second, be sure to pack it in an insulated bag or container. This will keep the chicken cold and fresh for hours. Finally, if you’re short on time, you can always pack rotisserie chicken from your local grocery store. Just make sure to remove the skin and bones before packing it up. With a little advance planning, packing chicken for a day hike can be a breeze.
Beef is a great source of protein and nutrients, making it an ideal snack for a day hike. Unlike other protein sources, beef is easy to store and does not require refrigeration. Beef jerky is a high-energy food that will help keep you going during a long day on the trail. In addition, beef provides essential vitamins and minerals, such as iron and zinc, which can be difficult to obtain from other foods. So next time you hit the trail, be sure to bring along some beef jerky for a nutritious and delicious snack.
Turkey is a perfect food to take on a day hike for several reasons. First, it is lightweight and easy to transport. Second, it is packed with protein and other nutrients that will help to keep you fueled during your hike. Third, turkey is relatively low in fat, so you won’t have to worry about carrying extra weight. Finally, turkey is a great source of energy, so you’ll be able to keep going even when the going gets tough. Whether you’re hiking up a trail or just taking a leisurely stroll through the park, turkey is the perfect snack to keep you going strong.
A good source of protein, eggs are perfect for hikes. You can hard-boil them ahead of time and pack them in a container, or scramble them and bring them in a Tupperware container. Hard boiled eggs are the perfect day hike food.
Tofu is a great option for day hikes because it is lightweight and easy to pack. There are many different ways to use tofu on a hike, so you can get creative and experiment with different flavors. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
-Tofu stir fry: This is a quick and easy option that can be made ahead of time and reheated on the trail. Simply stir fry some veggies and tofu in a pan, then pack it in a tupperware container to bring with you.
-Tofu salads: Tofu makes a great addition to any salad, and it will hold up well in your backpack. Try adding some diced tofu to your favorite greens and topping with a light dressing.
-Tofu wraps: Another easy option that can be made ahead of time, tofu wraps make a satisfying and portable meal. Fill a wrap with cooked tofu, veggies, and your favorite condiments, then roll it up and enjoy.
A good source of protein and healthy fats, hummus is perfect for hikes. You can eat it straight from the container or use it to make a quick and easy sandwich.
Avocados are a delicious and nutritious fruit that can add a boost of flavor to any dish. But did you know that they can also be a great addition to your day hike snacks? That’s right – bringing guacamole on day hikes can be a delicious and effective way to fuel your body and mind. Guacamole is packed with healthy fats, proteins, and fiber, making it a perfect food to help you power through a long hike. The healthy fats will give you sustained energy, while the proteins and fiber will help keep you feeling full. And because guacamole is so flavorful, you won’t even miss the trail mix or energy bars! So next time you hit the trail, don’t forget to pack some guacamole. Your body (and taste buds) will thank you.
A good source of healthy antioxidants, salsa is perfect for hikes. You can eat it straight from the container or use it to make a quick and easy sandwich.
44. Candy bars
A good source of quick energy, candy bars are perfect for hikes. You can find a variety of flavors and types at the store.
A good source of quick energy, chocolate is perfect for hikes. You can find a variety of flavors and types at the store.
46. Gummy bears
A good source of quick energy, gummy bears are perfect for hikes. You can find a variety of flavors and types at the store.
On a hot day, there’s nothing quite like a cold, refreshing smoothie. But did you know that smoothies can also be a great source of energy for a hike? Unlike sugary drinks, which can cause a sugar high followed by a dreaded crash, smoothies are packed with nutrients and fiber that help to sustain energy levels. Plus, they’re easy to carry and won’t weigh you down. And if you’re looking for some flavor inspiration, here are few ideas to get you started: strawberry and banana, chocolate and peanut butter, or mango and pineapple. I like to make green smoothies, which have berries, spinach, protein powder, and water. Make the smoothie at home in the morning, and pack in a water bottle.
48. Sweet potatoes
A good source of complex carbs, sweet potatoes are perfect for hikes. You can eat them plain or add toppings like butter, salt, and pepper.
Oatmeal is a nutritious and filling food that will give you the energy you need to keep going. It’s lightweight and easy to pack, and it doesn’t require any cooking. Just add some hot water and you’re good to go. Oatmeal is also an excellent source of complex carbohydrates, which are essential for endurance activities like hiking. It’s a good idea to add mix-ins like walnuts and blueberries to add nutrition and flavor. So next time you hit the trail, don’t forget to bring along some oatmeal. It could make all the difference.
Quinoa is a nutritious grain that has become increasingly popular in recent years. Not only is it a good source of protein and fiber, but it is also gluten-free and packed with vitamins and minerals. For these reasons, quinoa makes an excellent choice for a day hike. It is lightweight and easy to pack, and whole grains will help to keep you feeling full throughout the day. When preparing quinoa for a hike, be sure to cook it ahead of time and pack it in a lightweight container. You can also add some chick peas and green peppers for extra protein and flavor. Whatever you do, just be sure to pack enough quinoa to keep you going until the end of your hike.
No matter what type of food you’re in the mood for, there’s an option on this list that will suit your needs. And since all of these day hike lunch ideas are relatively lightweight and easy to transport, they’re perfect for hikes of any length. Just remember to pack enough water in your water bottle so you stay hydrated throughout your adventure! Enjoy your hike!
What do you like to pack for food on your day hikes? Let me know in the comments below!