There is something so special about a day of hiking and enjoying nature at one of Minnesota’s countless State Parks. When planning these day trips, it’s important to prepare to fuel your body so you can maintain energy and feel great for your entire adventure. Here are some ideas to help you pack light and stay energized during your next day of hiking and exploring!
Who doesn’t love some good snacks?! Instead of reaching for a bag of chips and a candy bar, you need to pack snacks that won’t weigh you down and will give you the boost of energy you are looking for while hiking. We recommend packing a few apples, some beef jerky, and a healthy trail mix to enjoy when you need something to curb your hunger for a bit. These snacks are also lightweight and can easily be added to your hiking pack without too much concern about keeping them cool.
There are a few options for picnicking at the park. You can either pack a cooler with your food and leave it in the car while you hike, or if you are planning a longer hike, you will want to pack a lunch that you can carry in your backpack.
If you are packing a cooler for the car, you have a bit more flexibility with what you can bring. A great meal could include a pasta salad, crackers, meat and cheese, a bowl of fresh fruit, and some dark chocolate covered nuts.
If you plan to eat mid-hike, you need to pack a bit smarter as you can’t pack anything that needs to stay cold. You can pack a can of tuna or chicken to put in a tortilla wrap, or some bagels with peanut butter. You can also pack a meal replacement protein bar to really fuel you for the second half of your hike.
Maintaining hydration during long hikes is essential to your health and performance, but you don’t want to feel weighed down by several bottles of water. If you’re a dedicated hiker, we recommend using a CamelBak Hydration Pack as these are a hands-free solution for carrying your water with you. Also, take time ahead of your hike to identify opportunities to refill your CamelBak or water bottles.
Using these tips for packing for your next hike will help you to stay fueled and energized while you enjoy the beautiful nature we are so fortunate to have here in Minnesota!