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How to Choose the Right for Your

Hiker sitting down eating freeze dried food when out hiking

How to Choose the Right for Your

Introduction

Embarking on a backpacking trip is an exhilarating adventure that allows you to connect with nature, challenge yourself, and explore breathtaking landscapes. To ensure a successful and enjoyable journey, it's crucial to fuel your body with the right food. Proper nutrition plays a vital role in providing the energy, sustenance, and satisfaction needed during long . In this comprehensive guide, we will explore how to choose the right food for your backpacking trip. From meal planning to packing strategies, we'll equip you with the knowledge and expertise to make informed decisions about your backpacking meals.

How to Choose the Right Food for Your Backpacking Trip

1. Assess Your Nutritional Needs

Before you set off on your backpacking trip, taking the time to assess your nutritional needs is absolutely essential. This involves considering a variety of factors that will impact your dietary requirements throughout your journey. By understanding your unique needs, you can make informed choices about the food you bring along, ensuring that it aligns with your body's demands and supports your overall well-being.

One of the key factors to consider is the duration of your trip. Will you be for a few days, a week, or even longer? The length of your adventure will determine how much food you need to pack and how you can distribute your meals and snacks. It's important to strike a balance between having enough sustenance to fuel your activities and not overburdening yourself with excessive weight.

Another crucial factor is the intensity of your physical activities. Are you planning long, strenuous hikes or shorter, leisurely walks? The level of exertion you anticipate will impact your calorie and nutrient needs. High-intensity activities require more energy, so you'll need to ensure that your food choices provide sufficient fuel to keep you going.

Additionally, it's essential to take into account any dietary restrictions or preferences you may have. Are you vegetarian, vegan, or have food allergies? Do you follow a specific diet, such as gluten-free or low-carb? Considering these factors will help you identify suitable food options that align with your dietary needs. With careful planning, you can find nutritious and delicious meals that cater to your specific requirements.

By conducting this assessment, you gain a deeper understanding of your nutritional needs and can make informed decisions about the types of food to bring on your backpacking trip. This knowledge allows you to pack meals that provide the right balance of macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, and fats), as well as essential vitamins and minerals. It ensures that you have the necessary energy, stamina, and sustenance to tackle the challenges of your adventure while supporting your overall health and well-being.

So, before you embark on your backpacking trip, take the time to assess your nutritional needs. Consider the duration of your trip, the intensity of your physical activities, and any dietary restrictions or preferences you may have. Armed with this knowledge, you can make well-informed choices about the food you pack, ensuring that it fuels your body and enhances your overall experience in the outdoors.

2. Plan Your Meals in Advance

Proper meal planning is key to selecting the right food for your backpacking trip. Create a meal schedule that includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Aim for a balance of macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, and fats) and incorporate a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins into your menu. Planning in advance allows you to ensure you have all the necessary ingredients and helps prevent last-minute food choices that may not be optimal for your nutrition.

3. Consider Weight and Portability

Backpacking requires you to carry all your supplies, including food, in your backpack. Therefore, weight and portability are crucial factors to consider when choosing your backpacking food. Opt for lightweight options such as dehydrated meals, mixes, and freeze-dried fruits and vegetables. These foods are not only lightweight but also compact and easy to pack, allowing you to conserve space in your backpack.

4. Focus on Nutrient Density

When selecting food for your backpacking trip, prioritize nutrient-dense options. Nutrient-dense foods provide a high amount of essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants relative to their calorie content. This ensures that you are getting the most bang for your buck in terms of nutrition. Incorporate foods like nuts, seeds, dried fruits, jerky, and whole grains, which offer a wealth of nutrients without adding excessive weight to your pack.

5. Ensure Long Shelf Life

Since backpacking trips often span multiple days or even weeks, it's important to choose foods with a long shelf life. Opt for items that are non-perishable and can withstand varying temperature conditions. Canned goods, dried meats, powdered milk, and sealed packets of condiments are excellent choices for extended backpacking adventures.

6. Pack Easy-to-Prepare Meals

Simplicity is key when it comes to meal preparation during backpacking trips. Look for food options that require minimal cooking time and equipment. Instant oatmeal, couscous, noodles, and dehydrated meals that only require boiling water are convenient choices. Additionally, consider investing in a lightweight camping stove to expand your cooking options on the trail.

Backpacking Foods

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FAQs About Choosing Food for Your Backpacking Trip

1. Why is proper nutrition important during a backpacking trip?

Proper nutrition is essential during a backpacking trip to provide the energy, nutrients, and sustenance needed for endurance and recovery. It helps maintain energy levels, supports muscle repair, and enhances overall performance and well-being.

2. Can I bring fresh fruits and vegetables on a backpacking trip?

While fresh fruits and vegetables are nutritious, they may not be the most practical choice for backpacking trips due to their weight, perishability, and limited shelf life. Opt for dried fruits and vegetables, which offer a lightweight and portable alternative.

3. How can I ensure I meet my dietary restrictions during a backpacking trip?

If you have dietary restrictions, it's important to plan your meals carefully. Research and identify suitable alternatives or specialized backpacking meals that cater to your specific needs. Consult with a registered dietitian for personalized advice.

4. Are there any food safety considerations for backpacking trips?

Food safety is crucial during backpacking trips to prevent foodborne illnesses. Ensure proper hygiene by washing your hands before handling food, storing perishables at safe temperatures, and using clean utensils and equipment. Be mindful of wildlife and follow proper food storage guidelines to avoid attracting animals.

5. How much food should I bring for a backpacking trip?

The amount of food you should bring depends on various factors, including the duration of your trip, your nutritional needs, and your activity level. Calculate your calorie requirements and plan your meals accordingly. It's better to bring extra food to account for unexpected circumstances.

6. Can I eat out on a backpacking trip?

While it's possible to eat out during a backpacking trip, it may not always be feasible, especially if you're venturing into remote areas. It's best to rely on self-prepared meals to ensure you have access to the necessary sustenance throughout your journey.

Conclusion

Choosing the right food for your backpacking trip is vital for maintaining energy levels, promoting recovery, and ensuring a successful outdoor experience. By assessing your nutritional needs, planning your meals in advance, considering weight and portability, focusing on nutrient density, ensuring long shelf life, and packing easy-to-prepare meals, you can optimize your nutrition on the trail. Remember to balance convenience with nutrition, stay hydrated, and enjoy the journey while nourishing your body.

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Feet After : Causes, Prevention, and

Hiker takes a break to rub his sore foot

Feet After : Causes, Prevention, and

Introduction

Hiking is an exhilarating activity that allows you to connect with nature, challenge yourself physically, and enjoy breathtaking views. However, one common issue that many hikers face is sore feet after hiking. This discomfort can be a significant deterrent, preventing you from fully enjoying your outdoor adventures. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the causes of sore feet after hiking, discuss preventive measures, and provide effective relief strategies to ensure that you have a pain-free hiking experience.

Sore Feet After Hiking: The Culprits

1. Ill-Fitting Footwear

Wearing improper footwear is a leading cause of sore feet after hiking. When your shoes or boots do not fit well, they can rub against your feet, causing blisters, hot spots, and general discomfort. It's crucial to invest in high-quality hiking shoes that provide proper support, cushioning, and a snug fit to minimize the risk of foot pain.

2. Insufficient Arch Support

Another common culprit behind sore feet is insufficient arch support. Your arches act as shock absorbers, distributing the impact of each step evenly. When your shoes lack proper arch support, the strain on your feet increases, leading to pain and fatigue. Consider using orthotic inserts or specialized hiking insoles that provide adequate arch support for a more comfortable hiking experience.

3. Overexertion

Pushing your limits and hiking for extended periods without adequate rest can result in sore feet. Overexertion causes excessive strain on your muscles, tendons, and ligaments, leading to inflammation and discomfort. It's crucial to listen to your body's signals and take regular breaks during your to give your feet time to recover.

4. Terrain and Elevation Changes

The terrain you hike on plays a significant role in foot discomfort. Uneven surfaces, rocky trails, and steep inclines can put excessive pressure on certain areas of your feet, leading to soreness. Gradually increasing the difficulty of your hikes and choosing appropriate trails for your skill level can help minimize foot pain.

5. Inadequate Foot Care

Neglecting foot care before, during, and after hiking can contribute to sore feet. Failing to trim your toenails properly, not wearing moisture-wicking socks, and ignoring blisters can lead to discomfort and pain. Proper foot hygiene, regular toenail maintenance, and addressing any foot issues promptly are essential for preventing sore feet.

Preventing Sore Feet: Tips and Techniques

1. Choose the Right Footwear

Investing in high-quality hiking shoes or boots that fit properly is paramount. Visit a specialized outdoor retailer to get professionally fitted, ensuring that your footwear provides ample support, protection, and comfort. Additionally, consider wearing moisture-wicking socks made of synthetic or wool materials to keep your feet dry and blister-free.

2. Gradually Increase Your Hiking Intensity

Avoid overexertion by gradually increasing the intensity and duration of your hikes. Start with shorter, less strenuous trails, and gradually work your way up to more challenging terrain. This approach allows your feet and muscles to adapt and build endurance, reducing the risk of soreness.

3. Strengthen Your Feet and Ankles

Performing specific exercises to strengthen your feet and ankles can help prevent soreness and injuries. Simple exercises like toe curls, calf raises, and ankle rotations can improve stability and enhance the overall strength of your lower extremities.

4. Take Regular Breaks

Allowing your feet time to rest and recover during your hikes is crucial. Take short breaks every hour or so to remove your shoes, stretch your feet and calves, and massage them gently. This practice helps improve blood circulation and prevents fatigue and soreness.

5. Maintain Proper Foot Hygiene

Before heading out on a hike, trim your toenails straight across to prevent ingrown nails and discomfort. Apply a generous amount of foot powder or anti-chafing balm to minimize friction. After your hike, clean and dry your feet thoroughly, paying attention to areas prone to blisters.

Relief Strategies for Sore Feet

1. Rest and Elevate

If you experience sore feet after hiking, it's essential to rest and elevate them. Lie down and prop your feet up on a pillow to reduce swelling and encourage blood flow back to your heart. This simple remedy can provide significant relief and aid in the recovery process.

2. Apply Ice

Icing your feet can help alleviate pain and reduce inflammation. Wrap an ice pack or a bag of frozen peas in a thin towel and apply it to the sore areas for 15-20 minutes at a time. Repeat this several times a day to promote healing.

3. Use Epsom Salt Soaks

Epsom salt soaks are a popular remedy for soothing sore feet. Add a cup of Epsom salt to warm water and soak your feet for 15-20 minutes. The magnesium in the Epsom salt aids in muscle relaxation and reduces inflammation, providing relief from soreness.

4. Massage Your Feet

Gently massaging your feet with your hands or a tennis ball can help alleviate tension and promote blood circulation. Apply moderate pressure to the sore areas and use circular motions to knead the muscles. A soothing foot massage can bring significant relief and relaxation.

5. Try Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers

Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help alleviate foot pain and reduce inflammation. Follow the instructions on the packaging and consult your healthcare provider if you have any underlying medical conditions or concerns.

Other Pain Relievers

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FAQs About Sore Feet After Hiking

1. Why do my feet hurt after hiking?

Hiking puts a significant strain on your feet, especially if you're wearing improper footwear or overexerting yourself. The repetitive motion, uneven terrain, and lack of proper support can lead to foot pain and soreness.

2. How can I prevent blisters while hiking?

To prevent blisters while hiking, make sure your shoes fit properly, wear moisture-wicking socks, and apply foot powder or anti-chafing balm to minimize friction. Additionally, promptly address any hot spots or discomfort to prevent blisters from forming.

3. Can hiking cause long-term damage to my feet?

While hiking is generally a safe activity, improper footwear, overexertion, and inadequate foot care can lead to long-term foot damage. It's essential to take preventive measures, listen to your body, and seek medical attention if you experience persistent pain or discomfort.

4. How long does it take for sore feet to heal after hiking?

The recovery time for sore feet after hiking can vary depending on the severity of the discomfort and your body's ability to heal. With proper rest, elevation, and care, most cases of sore feet resolve within a few days to a week.

5. When should I seek medical help for sore feet after hiking?

If your foot pain persists or worsens despite home remedies, or if you experience symptoms such as severe swelling, redness, or difficulty walking, it's advisable to seek medical attention. A healthcare professional can evaluate your condition and provide appropriate treatment.

6. Can I continue hiking with sore feet?

It's generally recommended to allow your feet to rest and recover before resuming hiking with sore feet. Pushing through the pain can exacerbate the issue and lead to further damage. Give yourself adequate time to heal before embarking on your next adventure.

Conclusion

Sore feet after hiking can put a damper on your outdoor experience, but with the right knowledge and preventive measures, you can minimize discomfort and enjoy your hikes to the fullest. Remember to choose suitable footwear, take breaks, practice proper foot hygiene, and listen to your body. By implementing these strategies, you'll be able to prevent sore feet and embark on exciting hiking adventures with confidence.

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– Sir

badass-–-sir-ranulph-fiennes

Sir Ranulph Fiennes is a British explorerwriter and poet, who holds several endurance records. …

… the first person to visit both the North Pole and South Pole by surface means and the first to completely cross Antarctica on foot. In May 2009, at the age of 65, he climbed to the summit of Mount Everest.

According to the Guinness Book of World Records in 1984, he was the 's greatest living explorer. …

He was a poor student. Did not advance in the military.

His wife suggested arctic exploration because he didn't have a career job.

In this video, he tells his own story.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

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#6 –

besthike-#6-–-glacier-north-circle,-usa

Glacier North Circle in Montana is one of our top 10 hikes in the world. Even better if you add a side to Waterton National Park in Canada.

Click PLAY or watch a 1 minute introduction on YouTube.

Circle

Of the many American Rocky Mountain , this is our favourite.

Highline Trail vista

AT A GLANCE

  • 7 days, 6 nights recommended
  • 65miles (104km) plus side trips
  • best months July-Sept
  • well-signed
  • medium difficulty
  • recommended for experienced multi-day hikers

Read more on our Glacier North Circle information page.

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& di

cinque-terre,-italy-–-riomaggiore-&-santuario-di-montenero

& di

report by BestHike editor Rick McCharles

Riomaggiore is 1st of the famous 5 villages of Cinque Terre.

in from , the highlight for me was the Santuario di Montenero, a Catholic church & monastery perched overlooking Riomaggiore.

I met the priest who was keen to see how my drone worked. I put this short video together for him.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Mathew conducts service in all 5 villages. I told him he had the best congregations in Italy.

He didn't disagree.

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the ,

surviving-the-kalalau-trail,-hawaii

I met Blake and Eli cycling the Tuscany in .

travellers, they've been living and working online from locations like , Australia, Bali & Thailand.

Living the dream.

Click PLAY or watch one of their hikes on YouTube. Subscribe to the channel if you enjoy it.

is one of our Top 10 coastal in the world.

Details.

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to

cinque-terre,-italy-–-porto-venere-to-manarola

report by editor Rick McCharles

In 2010, I hiked the famed Sentiero Azzurro aka Verde Azzurro path, or “Blue ”.

It connected the 5 main villages of the the Cinque Terre National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Riomaggiore to Monterosso al Mare.

Sadly, since 2011 sections of the classic have been closed.


Returning in 2023, I decided to do part of the most popular alternative, the Sentiero Rosso aka Cinque Terre High Path.

Click PLAY or get a glimpse on YouTube.

A LOT of ascent and descent. But gorgeous vistas from high up.

Took the train to La Spezia. Then the local bus to Porto Venere.

A pretty town.

Starting the hike , immediately you find the impressive Doria Castle.

EPSON DSC picture

The trail takes you high above the ocean with terrific views in each direction. There are some very narrow pathways, but no real exposure.

I found a quiet spot, just before dark, to put up my tent.

Early next morning I arrived at the impressive Santuario di Montenero. The priest came out, interested in my drone. I showed him how it worked and later sent him this video.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Flowers bloom in profusion in June. You can see why everyone loves these trails.

I climbed WAY DOWN to Riomaggiore. A charming seaside town.

At tourist information, I confirmed that the original Blue trail was still closed. Got a map and directions for the best high route.

The tunnel by the railway station was a highlight for me.

Up, up, up.

More amazing vistas from up high.

Finally, I caught the train in Corniglia, a little further on from . It was nice to have the freedom to finish the day whenever I wanted.

YES, the Terre is touristy. But taking the high trails mostly gets you away from the mobs.

I highly recommend this destination.

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35

35-great-hikes-worldwide

Explore! posted this list of their top hikes in the world according to:

  1. Length (Distance)
  2. Elevation
  3. Duration
  4. Weather
  5. Instagrammability

I find it a strange mix of short day , multi-day adventures, and even one technical mountain climb (Huayna Potosi).

#2 is the Scenic Drive, Zion National Park. Zion is beautiful — but a drive is in a vehicle. I'm assuming they mean to day hike from that vehicle.

  1. Perito Moreno , El Calafate, Santa Cruz, Argentina
  2. Aoraki/Mount Cook Loop, Canterbury, New Zealand
  3. Scenic Drive, Zion National Park, Springdale, Utah,
  4. Continental Divide Trail From NM 547, Grants, New Mexico, USA
  5. Lower Yosemite Falls Trail, Yosemite Valley, California, USA
  6. Carnarvon Gorge, Carnarvon Park, Queensland, Australia
  7. Colca Canyon:Cabanaconde – Llahuar, Cabanaconde, Arequipa, Peru
  8. Wineglass Bay, Tasmania, Australia
  9. B'nei Hamoshavim Ascent Loop from ןיע ידג, Ein Gedi, Israel
  10. Jaffa Port – St Peter's Church Loop from יזבש, Tel Aviv, Israel
  11. 's End – Baker's Falls Loop from Ohiya, Horton Plains National Park & World's End, Sri Lanka
  12. South Kaibab Trail to Ooh Aah Point, Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA
  13. Okatse Canyon Loop from ზედა გორდი, Banchueti, Georgia
  14. Western Wall, Jerusalem ינמראה עבור from Loop, Jerusalem, Israel
  15. Catbells Circular, Lake District, Cumbria, UK
  16. Piatra Craiului Ridge Walk, Magura, Brasov County, Transylvania, Romania
  17. Mirador Loop, Cotapaxi, Mejia, Cotopaxi, Ecuador
  18. Path of the Gods, Bomerano, Campania,
  19. Balcony Trail, Madeira, Portugal
  20. Offa's Dyke Trail, Chepstow, Monmouthshire to Prestatyn, Denbighshire, UK
  21. Kaieteur Falls, Chenapau, Potaro-Siparuni, Guyana
  22. Birtvisi Canyon Viewpoint and Ruins Hike, Tbisi, Kvemo Kartli, Georgia
  23. El Tepozteco, Tepoztlan, Mexico
  24. Grand Canyon Track, Blue Mountains, New South Wales, Australia
  25. Shulamit-Quelle Loop ידג ןיע from, Wadi David, Israel
  26. Berber Villages, Atlas Mountains, Asni, Marrakesh-Tensift-El Haouz, Morocco
  27. Robberg Peninsula, Plettenberg Bay, South Africa
  28. Montfort Castle Loop from הפצמ הליה, Upper Galilee, Israel
  29. Cecilia Waterfall via Cecilia Forest, Table Mountain National Park, Cape Town, South Africa
  30. Inca Trail (Mollepata), Aguas Calientes, Peru
  31. Huayna Potosi, La Paz, Bolivia
  32. Mt Rosea Loop, The Grampians, Halls Gap, Victoria, Australia
  33. Dschelada Pavian Loop from Gich, Simien National Park, Ethiopia
  34. Annapurna Circuit, Besi Sahar, Nepal
  35. Kilimanjaro, Lemosho Route, Arusha, Tanzania

Like most of these meaningless lists, it's effective in getting me thinking about future trips. I looked up the Birtvisi Canyon Viewpoint and Ruins Hike, for example, but found it's only 1.8-km long.

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hiking-val-gardena,-italy

report by editor Rick McCharles

Val Gardena is a valley in northern , in the Dolomites, one of our top 10 hiking regions of the ..

The 3 alpine towns are UrtijëiSëlva, and Santa Cristina.

Click PLAY or get a glimpse of my 3 days in the valley on YouTube.

There are no bad out of Gardena. But the highlight for me was getting to the famed ridge vista of the Odles/Geisler Group from Secede (2518m).

I hiked up early, the first person to reach the ridge on this morning. I wanted to beat the cable car day hikers. That expensive lift started up at 8:30am in 2023.

Here's that famed vista on a clear day.

Amazing views in the Dolomites mountains. Views from Seceda over the Odle mountains are spectacular.

Another good option is to stay late in the day, after the cablecar stops at 5:30pm.

Of course it's a long steep descent. ????

There's heated debate in the Dolomites whether or not you should use the cable cars. Personally, I'm OK with them — if you have the money.

But on this one I climbed down over a vertical kilometre back to the valley. Step by step.

I fuelled up with a couple of thousand calories at the Daniel Hut restaurant.

I'd started with a plan. BUT — as usual in the Dolomites — I ended up changing it en route. Easy to do when there are so many clearly marked alternatives.

Another day I took the cablecar from Ortisei to the Alpe di Siusi up to what's claimed to be the largest high altitude Alpine meadow in Europe. It is high, huge, and green.

You can't lose Val Gardena. It's fantastic.

Be ready for afternoon thunder and lightning, however. Don't get stuck up high in a storm.

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#5 best in the is the …

#5-best-hiking-region-in-the-world-is-the-…

Central Andes

Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia

holidays in Peru are hot right now. More popular than ever. Political stability since the leader of the Shining Path terrorist group was captured in 1992 resulted in a booming tourist industry.

The second highest mountain range on Earth is fantastic. Broad valleys and endless vistas. You are always above the tree line. Arid desert to the west, Amazon jungle to the east.

Our contributors have hiked most of the major treks in Peru the past few years. The peaks, glaciers and canyons are outrageous. Everyone is thrilled with the Andes.

Unfortunately, management of treks is atrocious, the Peruvian government seemingly bent on ruining their fantastic tourist draw. Do your homework before booking a flight to Lima. Or sign on with a trekking company with which you have had a strong, recent recommendation.

Ruminahui in Cotopaxi National Park, Ecuador

The weather in the Andes can be deadly, of course, but sometimes you get weeks of sunny blue skies, especially in the Cordillera Blanca out of Huaraz, Peru. The best weather for the high peaks out of Huaraz (the best jumping off point for hikers in the Central Andes) is the drier “Andean summer”: May-Sept.

In fact, there are good somewhere in this year round.

More information on our new Central Andes information page.

Our favourite hike in the Central Andes is the little known Ausangate Circuit in Peru, our #4 best hike in the world. Quite a few trekkers have decided on Ausangate (instead of the over-hyped Inca ) based on our recommendation. And all have been happy with that decision.

See our Ausangate Circuit Information page.

The best guidebook for the Central Andes, by far, is Lonely Planet:

Lonely Planet Trekking in the Central Andes

Lonely Planet Trekking in the Central Andes

Note that Bolivia is not nearly as popular as it should be due to lack of infrastructure for tourism, security concerns and political instability. Honestly, unless you know the language and culture well, it's better to hike Peru. Or much neglected Ecuador.