Eating right while out in the field on a hunting, camping or fishing trip is a lot harder than it sounds. You spend so much time plotting your trip, memorizing prime locations and routes and keeping your gear in good shape that planning a proper diet for a weekend ends up taking a back seat. After all, it’s a lot easier to slip a few Clif bars into your pack than have to sit down and prepare each and every meal.
If you’re into healthy eating or recently found yourself trying to lose a few extra pounds, here are some tips to help you eat right while you try to bag your next trophy.
Rolled oats are your new best friends. They’re easy to pack—just load up a few small baggies with your favorite brand—and they go well with just about everything. Rather than load them up with sugar for taste you can simply drop in some fresh or dried fruits like bananas or blueberries for flavor. It’s healthier and will help you avoid a sugar crash later in the day. To add calories and carbs that’ll give you the type of long-lasting energy needed for a long hike toss in some nuts. Walnuts, almonds and pecans all provide great nutritional benefits a good dose of fiber. Steel cuts oats work just as well – in fact, they’re actually a tad bit healthier for you. Eggs are also a great option, but beware of cracking them open in your bag with poor packing.
The first impulse a lot of people have when it comes to lunch is to grab a couple of slices of white bread and throw on some meat and have at it. The truth is that white bread is pretty much worthless—it has zero nutritional value. While it might fill you up, it won’t give you the energy boost you need to make it through the rest of the day. Stick to whole grains like those found in pita bread or quinoa. If you’re dead set on having a sandwich, try and spruce it up with some apple or nut butter from your local farmer’s market. For sides, throw in some vegetables like carrots and bananas. Apples are a fantastic source of energy, too.
Dinner is the time to splurge. If you’re a hunter or fisherman you’ll probably have something from the day on hand to sling over the fire or, if not, you’ll know how to catch something. Feel free to fill some sandwich bags with your favorite spices from home to add flavor. For sides, beans are a tried-and-true option that’ll give you a good dose of fiber and protein. Potatoes are also a good option, though you might want to avoid them if you like them drowned in butter like we do. Zucchini and summer squash also make great veggie sides and are loaded with valuable nutrients.
Clif bars are easy to pack and a quick grab on your way out of the gas station, but making your own nut bars is a pretty simple task. Energy bars you’ll find in the store are also packed with added sugar that’ll lead to a crash, so it’s best to avoid them if you can. Pick up your favorite nuts, whether they be walnuts, peanuts or pecans along with some fruits. Then use rolled oats, seeds or honey to hold them together. You can use a food processor to blend them all together, then let them cool in the fridge for an hour or so and you’ll have a dozen or so prepared to take with you.
Of course, a weekend out on the trail is supposed to be fun so go ahead and throw in a Snickers or two for that sweet tooth. A couple never killed anyone.