4 Nutrient-Packed Bushwalking Foods to Stash in your Backpack

Spring is springing up here in Australia and the countdown to more days spent in the outdoors is on. Bushwalking, hiking, picnics with friends are those stellar ways to maximise the benefits of our time outdoors – fresh air, warm sunshine, and soothing views of trees, plants, wildflowers and wildlife.

With bushwalking and hiking comes the need to fuel the body so it can go that extra mile and deeper into the wilderness. In our current world of fast, instantaneous way of living, it’s easy and tempting to pack processed and packaged foods in the daypack. It’s contradictory to think that we seek time in nature, yet we let ourselves fuel our bodies with foods that are as far-removed from nature as food can get. How then, in this current world, can we fuel our bodies optimally without the side-effects and comedown s from high levels of sugar, salt, caffeine?  It’s safe to say it’s easy-peasy to pack a daypack with healthy options so you can get deeper into your practice of getting back to nature.

Prepare a portable container with fresh vegetables and hummus dip

If we think about vegetables, they are almost always in our fridge at home. Chop up and pack a portable container with bite-sized broccoli or broccolini and cauliflower flowerets, carrot sticks, capsicum segments and side it with a generous dollop of home-made hummus (or a ready-made brand that’s as close to homemade as possible). If raw is too raw for you, then steam your veggies the night before and refrigerate ready to go. Go crazy on the broccoli – it actually has twice as much vitamin C as an orange. Bonus!

Add seaweed to promote brain power

You can buy sheets of dried seaweed in many supermarkets now, which is a great source of iodine. The brain loves iodine, even when you’re tackling that particularly hard hill climb and you need to put your mind in a state over matter and negative thought. All you need to do is take a couple of sheets of dried seaweed, fold over a couple of times and thinly cut it over your packed vegetables with a pair of scissors. Super easy and a super source of bushwalking brain power.   

Don’t forget to pack a good ol’ apple

I love coffee and tea. Do you? As much as they’re enjoyable, they can deplete your adrenal glands, making hiking and bushwalking all the more harder and unenjoyable. Instead of making a coffee stop on the way to your bushwalk, pack an apple in your daypack. Not only is an apple more replenishing for your body and you’re saving on non-biodegradable waste, an apple is jam-packed with all you need for a sustained bushwalk – way more energy than a coffee (think – fructose sugar rich and high in carbohydrates). 

Bushwalkers are nuts about nuts

Hopefully, you’re not anaphylactic or allergic to nuts so you can reap the bushwalking benefits of these morsels. Create your own raw trail mix container of nuts and seeds. Some of my favourites include raw cashews, almonds, macadamias, pepitas (pumpkin seeds), sunflower seeds and dried goji berries. One of my least favourite nuts is the pecan nut, but be sure to add a couple in anyway. They’re packed heavily with anti-oxidants to help with cell repair when you’re hiking about in the wilderness, not to mention protein (like the rest of your mix).  

So, how do you power up for your bushwalking? Do you pack these foods into your daypack? Or, do you pack another food that’s equally beneficial? I’d love to hear your thoughts on your bushwalking foods.

Once your daypack is packed, you can then head out on a great Australian bushwalk. Check out my article over at Chief Active on where to go and what to hike around Australia.

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