How To Have More Energy While Backpacking & Hiking

How To Have More Energy While Backpacking & Hiking

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One of the worst things that can happen when out hiking the trails is to lose all your energy, and end up needing to stop. Pushing your body isn’t always the best solution, and you may want to choose a different way to help maintain your energy levels. Lucky you! We have some great tips to ensure that you’re fueled up and ready to go on that big hike.

Don’t Be Afraid to Have Snacks

Dried fruits and nuts heaps on wooden table

You should make sure that you have snacks on hand. You shouldn’t just rely on sugary ones that are made of simple carbs, either. You need to make sure that you keep a steady blood glucose level.

That is assisted by glycogen. Glycogen is essentially blood glucose, and if you’re working hard, you’re going to burn through all of that.  You need to work on trying to keep a constant flow of glucose.

So have snacks on hand, whether they’re trail mix or the like, and always make sure that they are filled with carbs that are complex, proteins, and also fat to keep you going. Things like nuts, raisins, dried fruit, and jerky are great and easily packed.

Eat Breakfast

breakfast with fried eggs, croissants, juice, coffee and fruits

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and that’s because you’re feeding your liver the glycogen that it needs. If you eat breakfast, and you plan to stop after a reasonable amount of time, you’ll have energy.  But, if you have foods that are not really giving a steady stream to your skeletal muscles, it will cause your energy levels to suffer.

You should try to eat a lot of glycogen that can be saved up for excess meals, and you should consider a camping gas cooker so that you can have fulfilling meals that actually provide you with nutrients.  While it is okay to have a lot of carbs, make sure that they’re good carbs.

Don’t Settle for a Donut and Coffee

Chocolate donut and cup of hot coffee on vintage wooden table. Top view

Ah, the old donut and coffee trick. Lots of hikers think this is a good idea, but that’s actually a lot of work on your body. That’s because the donut and coffee will spike the blood sugar in the body, and from there, it will cause a drop. that’s why you feel tired and struggling to keep up with everyone else.

If you have only a donut and coffee before you go hiking, your body is going to have to work on overload to help keep your blood sugars within a reasonable level and have a very tight limit for a long time. it’s actually not good for you, and it causes you to feel sick too in some cases.

So what should you have instead? How about some oatmeal, a spoonful of brown sugar, and then a handful of walnuts and some fruits? This is actually better because it provides not just glucose, but fiber, vitamins, and other healthy elements, and it will keep you going.

This is more “slow burn” food, which means that it will burn for a long longer, and it will release the blood glucose into your bloodstream for a much longer period of time. It will take several hours to burn this, so you’ll have constant energy, rather than just a big burst of it, and your liver won’t have to worry about working extra hard and stopping the glycogen from coming in and messing up your sugar levels. it’s much better to just eat something filling, and also good for you.

Take a Break When You Need To

Backpackers hiking and taking rest in the woods and having mineral water

When you start to feel the hunger signals, stop and have a snack. Frequent, small meals are much easier on the digestive system than one giant meal with sugar-coated foods and ones containing protein. That’s why the dried fruit and trail mix is actually really good.

Finally, never ignore the hunger signals. That’s literally like your body putting on the fuel light and saying “Hey feed me before I go empty” and that’s something you shouldn’t ignore, especially when you’re out on the trail.

So if you start to feel hungry, and it starts to get worse, don’t wait until it’s too late instead take a moment to stop. Those few minutes could save you a lot of time later on, especially if you’re not careful, and you want to prevent these insulin spikes from happening.

Pay Attention to Hydration

Thirsty man drinking water in the forest on a sunny day

This is one a lot of people tend to overlook. Water and hydration actually play a big role in how you utilize the glucose in the bloodstream. If you don’t have enough, you can utilize the glucose, and that’s why the crashes happen. So, if nothing else, you should always make sure that you have enough water in the bloodstream so that you can continue to burn the energy.

Having a couple of big water bottles, or about a gallon of water per day you’re out on the trail, is essential. Remember hiking will make you sweat, and you’re using energy, so you need to make sure that you’re providing to your body those extra little pieces of energy that can benefit it, and you’ll be able to prevent your body from slacking off and falling apart.  After all, if you’re thirsty and hungry, that’s a combination that’s going to be awful, and you shouldn’t do that to yourself ever.


When it comes to hiking and backpacking, you should always make sure that you keep an eye out for what you eat. After all, this is how you’re fueling the body in order to do everything that you want to do. Hiking and backpacking are great outdoor activities, and they are great for getting off your but and seeing the world. But you need to make sure that you fuel the body with the correct foods so that you’re not lacking in energy and falling apart. Always make sure that you eat beforehand, and make sure you eat the right things so that you’re not hungry too soon.

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Categories Energy