Ideal for an activity led staycation.
If there’s one thing that’s for sure, next year we’re set to see a revival of the Great British Holiday as staycations soar next year (need we say why?). And for the sake of our planet, that’s a very good thing. Enjoying a staycation instead of a far-flung vacay helps to reduce your own impact on the environment and set a good example to others, too
Luckily for us, our island of isolation is alive with plenty of things to do, especially outdoor activities. From coasteering along Giant’s Causeway and rock climbing in Snowdonia to hiking in the Yorkshire Dales, there’s plenty to do if you’re the outdoorsy type – you could even travel the road from Land’s End and John O’Groats if your ambition stretches further.
However, such an excursion, and indeed any outdoor adventure, needs supplies. Otherwise, you might end up regretting leaving that house you’ve become so accustomed to over the last year. To keep you nourished and energised, here are 5 foods to pack to get you through that outdoor excursion, IDEAL for an activity led staycation.
Before you set out on your outdoor adventure, you need to enjoy a meal that gives you energy.
Your body requires more energy during outdoor activities due to increased metabolic rates and that metabolism can’t take place without energy.
Just as the name implies, energy-giving foods – “carbohydrates”, or ‘carbs’ to those who appreciate brevity – supply the energy that the body requires to function without fatigue or general weakness.
You want to select the best (as in, the healthiest) vehicles for those carbs, which include whole grains and foods made from whole wheat flour. Brown rice, quinoa, bread, and tortilla are good examples and even better energy givers.
Another good snack here is oatmeal, which helps you avoid calories and cholesterol in that it digests slowly. As such, you will feel full for longer and be able to avoid eating too frequently during the excursion, which may slow and weigh you down.
Snacks to see you through your journey are the way forward. Think healthy and lightweight – as you don’t want them to weigh you down.
The enduringly popular Kendal Mint Cake has been popular among climbers, mountaineers, cyclists and runners alike. High in glucose, the snack is digested quickly when eaten, which means it’s a quick source of energy.
Trail mix is another popular choice. Typically dried fruits, nuts, sometimes chocolate and granola, this snackable and nourishing mix is full of energy-giving goodness. Nuts, seeds, nut-based bars or nut butter packs are another easy to carry snack.
Nuts not only taste great but they also contribute to good overall health when enjoyed in moderation. These foods contain healthy fats, also known as monounsaturated fats. According to experts, these fats will promote good health by lowering cholesterol levels thereby reducing the risk for stroke, heart disease, and other related conditions.
HYDRATING FOODS & WATER
Working up a sweat is, of course, desirable when you’re out on a hike or climb, and can be incredibly satisfying. That said, sweating is one of the key factors that contribute to dehydration, which can see heightened severity at higher altitudes.
As such, you should carry foods that will help replenish the levels of water in your body as you experience dehydration. To that effect, foods like watermelon, cucumbers, oranges, or grapefruits, which also contain sugar, are great.
Of course, carrying water is the best way to stave off dehydration. However, forget about sweet, processed beverages like soda or store-bought juice as these will have the opposite effect, and are actually dehydration.
If you do have to carry a sweet drink, let it be a fresh fruit juice that you made yourself from fruits with high water content and that contains no preservatives or added sugars. Rather than lugging a whole watermelon up a mountain, a Watermelon agua fresca juice – which according to the good guys at Sun Basket contains a whopping 8 cups of watermelon, blended – brings all the same benefits but takes up a lot less space.
In case, you’ve never heard about this company before, it’s similar to Hello Fresh or Home Chef; here’s a nice comparison post that shows how Sun Basket compares with Hello Fresh.
DRIED FRUITS & VEG
Though we’ve just been extolling the virtues of fruit with a high water content, dried or freeze-dried fruits and veggies also do a job for those on an outdoor excursion, packed with carbohydrates and offering a quick energy fix.
Fruits and vegetables are the best source of vitamins, minerals, and trace elements that we miss out on or, at least, get in minimal quantities from other food sources. For example, they are high in dietary fibre, a wide range of vitamins (including vitamins A, C, and E), folic acid, and potassium, in comparison to other food sources. The dried varieties are compact and easy to carry, and contain loads of the nutrients needed to push your hike forward.
FOOD WHICH DOESN’T CAUSE TRASH
If you love the great British outdoors, then it’s important that you leave no trace on your trek. As such, you should prioritise snacks which don’t use lots of unnecessary packaging. Should you need to wrap items, use reusable wrapping, such as Bees Wax paper, for responsible, sustainable transporting of your snacks.