Lunch during a day, overnight or multi-day hike should be nourishing, energy-packed, and easy to prepare on the trail. When you are setting out, you can make sandwiches for the first day and some of the options below for your extended adventures.
Here’s some great hiking lunch ideas
A mix of nuts, dried fruits, and chocolate chips provides quick energy and is easy to snack on while hiking.
Nut butter sandwiches
Single-serving nut butter packets (like peanut or almond butter) provide a protein and energy boost. These classic sandwiches are easy to make, pack, and eat on the trail. Opt for whole-grain bread for added nutrients. You can even spread nut butter on crackers or tortillas.
Wraps or tortillas
Fill tortillas or wraps with tuna salad, chicken salad, or your choice of cold cuts and veggies. They’re portable and don’t require refrigeration.
Hard cheese and crackers
Bring slices of hard cheese (like cheddar or Gouda) and whole-grain crackers for a satisfying and protein-rich lunch.
Couscous or quinoa salad
Pre-cook couscous or quinoa and mix it with dried vegetables, nuts, and a vinaigrette dressing. This can be eaten cold and provides complex carbohydrates and protein.
Instant ramen or noodles
Choose lightweight, quick-cooking ramen or noodles and add dehydrated vegetables and spices for flavor.
Hummus and veggies
Carry single-serving containers of hummus and pack carrot sticks, cucumber slices, or bell pepper strips for dipping.
Packet soup or stew
Some packet soups or stews can be heated over a camp stove or fire, providing a warm and satisfying meal.
Energy bars and protein bars
These are convenient for quick refueling during breaks.
Instant mashed potatoes
Lightweight and easy to prepare, instant mashed potatoes can be a filling and comforting lunch option. Add cheese, bacon bits, or dehydrated vegetables for extra flavor.
Jerky and jerky-based snacks
Beef or turkey jerky, as well as jerky-based trail snacks, are protein-rich and great for keeping your energy up.
Instant rice with tuna or salmon
Prepare instant rice and mix it with canned tuna or salmon for a high-protein, easy-to-make meal.
Salami can be a good option for a hike lunch, especially if you enjoy its flavor and it fits within your dietary preferences. Salami has a long shelf life and doesn’t require refrigeration for short periods, making it convenient for outdoor activities like hiking. Salami is calorie-dense and provides a good amount of protein and fat, which can help sustain your energy levels during a hike. It’s easy to carry and doesn’t require any preparation or cooking, making it a convenient trail snack. Salami has a distinct and savory flavor that can add variety to your trail meals. However, salami can be high in salt, so be mindful of your sodium intake, especially if you’re sweating a lot during your hike. Make sure to stay hydrated.
Remember to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water or electrolyte drinks during your hike, especially if you’re consuming salty or dehydrated foods. Tailor your lunch choices to your dietary preferences and any specific nutritional needs you have.
What other great ideas do you have?