I’ve been recently looking into paleo hiking foods to take on a 9 day hiking trip in Ireland. I will be carrying all my belongings for the whole time so the food I take needs to be light, paleo, shelf-stable and nutritious. The area I’m hiking in is pretty remote and there is not a lot in terms of shops and restaurants – especially if sticking to a paleo template.
I love hiking. It is the only time I feel I can fully switch off from all stresses and problems and reconnect with nature. I’ve been on hiking trips before and I remember there was never much around in terms of healthy foods (even though at the time I wasn’t too bothered).
Hiking is strenuous and therefore it is important to have nutritious foods on hand. Unfortunately standard hiking food does not offer much in terms of nutrient density.
With the paleo diet becoming more mainstream luckily it is now easier to buy a range of snacks to take for hiking trips. The raw/vegan movement has also contributed to a rise in available healthy snacks.
In the next few weeks I will be preparing some dried meals to take as well but for now here is a list of paleo hiking foods ideas:
This is probably one of the most obvious ones. It is light and packs a ton of protein. There’s different brands of grass-fed and all-natural beef jerky available in the UK. My favourite is probably Mr.T’s jerky, made in Northumberland! Naked Ape Biltong is also great. Both are available at perfectlypaleo.co.uk.
Date and Nut Bars
There’s a lot of these around now. The cheapest ones are Nakd bars, available in all major supermarkets (my absolute favourite is bakewell tart!) and at www.naturalbalancefoods.co.uk. These are not organic though. I absolutely love The Primal Pantry bars, though these are pricier. I also love Fossil Fuel and Raw Bites. They are all available at perfectlypaleo.co.uk. Roobar is another good one.
Protein bars are a good idea for hiking as they will probably keep you full for longer. I love the Bulletproof Collagen Bar with cashews, grass-fed collagen and MCT oil available at functionalself.com. I’ve also recently gotten into insects as a source for protein. There are three brands of insect flour bars with dates and cashews available in the UK: Bodhi Bar, Zoic and Crobar. All three are available at perfectlypaleo.co.uk.
There’s a variety of flavoured coconut chips available such as Inspiral coconut pecks and Ape coconut curls (available at perfectlypaleo.co.uk). Or you could just buy plain coconut chips, which are available in bulk at buywholefoodsonline.co.uk. They also do coconut smiles (coconut slices).
I’ve found two brands of wraps that are paleo. The first one is paleo wraps available in plain and turmeric and then there are WrawP raw vegetable wraps in different flavours. Both don’t come cheap but are light and very handy. You can buy them at planetorganic.com.
Fruit and Vegetable Crisps
There’s different varieties of pure fruit or vegetable crisps available. You can even find them in some supermarkets such as Tesco and Morrisons. You can also buy them at buywholefoods.com (I bought some apple crisps), planetorganic.com or healthysupplies.co.uk.
Since it’s difficult and heavy taking fresh vegetables on a hiking trip it is a good idea to take some dried vegetables. These can be rehydrated and used for cooking. Buywholefoods.com have different varieties or you could just dry your own.
This is another obvious one. Make your own trail mix from dried fruits and nuts or just buy it. Or just take plain nuts. You can even get activated nuts at planetorganic.com and perfectlypaleo.co.uk (they’re not cheap though).
Although this is a bit on the heavier side, it’s great for getting some oily fish in the diet and it also doesn’t take much prep. I love sardines by fish4ever.co.uk. Get them plain in spring water or for a prepared meal in tomato sauce or lemon and olive oil.
For a source of fat you can take some crackling. These are yummy and satisfying, plus they’re light! Both Wildings Peking Duck Crackling and Awfully Posh Pork Crackling come without any nasties and you can get them at perfectlypaleo.co.uk. Waitrose also usually stocks Awfully Posh Pork Crackling.
There’s several brands of raw crackers available now at different retailers. Planetorganic.com has a great selection. The Raw Health or Rawlicious ones look pretty good, although I have not tried them yet myself.
Traditionally Cured Sausage
Traditionally cured artisan sausage such as salami normally have no added ingredients apart from meat and spices. They are also shelf-stable for many weeks. Different varieties are available at peelham.co.uk, bealsfarmcharcuterie.com, dorsetcharcuterie.co.uk and delifarmcharcuterie.co.uk.
Some supermarkets sell small packs of olives without brine, although these usually contain some preservatives. This brand is great for snacking and doesn’t contain any preservatives: http://agoragreekdelicacies.co.uk/shop/4570272296/pitted-green-olives-gaea-65gr/7186991
If you don’t do well on nuts tigernuts are a great option. They are little tubers that are high in nutrients and fibre. They are not nuts but taste very similar to almonds. Ground tigernuts can be used to make paleo porridge. I get mine at thetigernutcompany.co.uk.
For added nutrients you could take green powders, powdered berries or spice blends. Collagen powder is also a great idea. Available at most healthfood shops and online retailers.
Dried Coconut Milk
If you want to drink tea or turmeric latte on the go this is a great idea. It could also be used to make porridge or curry on the camping stove. It is available at Amazon.
Dried seaweed is nutritious and very light. Sushi nori sheets could also be used as wraps. Available at Waitrose and most healthfood shops.
Cauli rice comes ready to eat and is available at most supermarkets and online (https://www.caulirice.com/uk/where-to-buy/). The plain, tomato and lemongrass variety all have good ingredients. The packages are not light though.
So this is quite an extensive list that should keep most hikers fed! Additionally there’s the option of drying prepared meals, which I will explore in future blog posts.
Is there anything I have left out? Please let me know in the comments!
NB. I am not affiliated with any of these sellers and this post does not contain affiliate links.