Sustainable habits on the trail – What and how to eat?

We prefer planning our meals ahead!

We prefer planning our meals ahead!


If you have ever had to plan a long trek, then you already know that you will keep on walking not only for all the beautiful views and experiences but also for the promise of a good meal when you stop for the day. Especially true when you have reached Day 5 of the trek and your poor toes cannot take it anymore! Dinner, particularly, marks the end of a long day’s walk and just represents a moment of respite and relaxation.

Eating habits are different once on the trail; no take-away, no fast food and no fancy five-star meal. However, if you are well prepared then you will be eating some deliciously healthy foods which will give you the energy boost your body requires. Ditch the quick sugar fixes here, you will need lasting energy and your full dose of vitamins and minerals.

We have tested various recipes and will post those separately, but as a general guide:

  • Be sustainable weeks before the trek, by preparing consciously – there is no need to over pack, and you do not have to buy ready made foods, you can make your own.
  • Know that what you are taking with you will have to be eaten or brought back in your backpacks, there will be no disposal of your items on the trail. It might not seem heavy now, but you might seriously begrudge packing that can of spam once you are climbing up that steep slope…
  • Think of the amount you usually eat, and if you think that you might be treating yourself to big portions of food, then make an effort to reduce that amount. Eat only what you need to eat. This will mean less bulk for you to carry and will allow you to focus on good food. Food waste is such a real issue that we must make a sincere effort not to contribute to it.
  • Remember that seasons come with varying temperatures, so if it will be particularly cold, you can get away with packing a few fresh items you really enjoy eating, at least for the first two days of the trek. Forget bananas unless you like them mashed…
  • Nutrient-dense foods such as homemade raw balls with walnuts, cashews, almonds and dates are perfect as a snack on the go, and will definitely work hard for you. You can buy those in bulk from organic farm shops and markets – not only is that more budget friendly but it is also a way to support local produce and agriculture.
  • Breakfast is important everyday (I think so), but wake up on a freezing morning in your tent, and tell me that you do not feel like eating. A solid breakfast will mean that you won’t have to stop after an hour and unpack your backpack again to look for snacks. Our go-to breakfast is a big bowl of warm porridge with goji berries, sesame seeds, raisins and some coconut oil. Pre-mix everything with organic instant powdered milk in reusable sachets and add the coconut oil last. I promise serious deliciousness.
  • If you want to try cut the caffeine while you are on the trail, then warm your insides us with rooibos chai or with ginger and lemon tea. Once again, count the number of teabags you need, and you could even ditch the teabags and take loose leaf tea and one strainer. That’s what we do.
  • Some trekkers cannot do without a dehydrator, and that is also a good trick if you fancy an almost ‘normal’ meal like curry with rice in the middle of the bush!

Don’t you worry if you need more help with this, just Contact Us and we will be more than happy to assist. We will soon have our Sustainable Catering Factsheet to help you plan your meals!

Davina @earthikes

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