Hiking Camping Backpacking
Hiking Essentials: Keeping the Energy Levels Up!
Want to stay active and energetic throughout your hiking adventure? Here’s what you need to do!
Most people would think this post is about what “foods” you should and shouldn’t pack in your backpacks when preparing for a hiking adventure – that’s not entirely true. We will cover that part, but there is more to maintaining energy levels on a hike than just food and snacks. It all begins with adequate planning.
To ensure you don’t run out of strength and energy on a hiking trail, there are several things you need to plan ahead. These include:
- The length of your chosen trail.
- The general terrain you will be covering
- The rest points and water sources you’ll come across
Understanding the trail will give you an idea of the amount of energy you need to successfully complete the hike. It is simple math that will estimate the number of calories you require based on your trail type, pace, and weight. There are apps these days that can help you calculate that!
This is where you decide what goes into your backpacks. You need to ensure your lightweight backpacks carry sufficient resources to provide for your energy requirements as you hike. Also, you need to eat a proper meal with proteins, carbohydrates, and some healthy fats.
Don’t overeat – it will only make matters worse.
When preparing your packs for hiking, make sure you include:
- Whole grain energy bars
- Dried fruit
- High-calorie density foods like macadamia nuts, chocolates, fish oil tablets*
*Do so only if your metabolism is in healthy shape.
Pay Attention to Your Body
As you begin your hiking adventure, make sure you observe your body’s reaction to the rigorous physical activity. Sweating normally and slight tiredness aren’t signs of trouble, and continuing the hike with them is perfectly fine. However, should you feel dizzy (sign of low blood pressure) or start sweating profusely – don’t ignore the condition and take immediate rest.
Never Push Yourself Beyond Your Limits
Yes, hiking is a test of your strength and endurance, but your body has its limitations. Pushing it to complete exhaustion before you stop for a breather wouldn’t do you any good. While you’re at it, make sure to stop and take a break every time you feel too dehydrated or low on energy. Loosen yourself up a bit, take your backpack off and breathe. Relax; before you continue.
Hydration is Important
Your body needs water as much as it needs food and intervals of rest. Water is required to ensure proper circulation of blood in the body as it takes on this rigorous regime. Your body can sweat out almost 500 ml of water per hour as you hike – that’s a lot of water loss, if you’re hiking long distances.
Carry a water bottle – plain or one with electrolyte rich water on your hiking trip. This will help you replenish the water lost through perspiration. It’s even better if you have natural water sources on the trail – you can easily refill your bottles on the way.
In order to stay active and energized throughout the hike, it is important to maintain a proper energy regime. Take short breaks. Pop in a snack at regular intervals. Keep yourself hydrated. And you will see the difference. Also, having a lightweight backpack helps!