Food has been playing on my mind today, especially now that there are bourbon biscuits sat in the office kitchen (don’t mind if I do!). I therefore thought that it would be a nice idea to indulge my gluttonous tendencies with a post about my favourite hiking snacks. WARNING. This may make you hungry, so I suggest sitting down with a nice snack of your own before you begin.
Let’s face it – most of us human beings love chocolate. But chocolate is not just a pretty face, it’s practical and a great energy booster, too.
Chocolate contains caffeine and sugar, which will replenish your depleted energy stores on a long hike. Chocolate bars are also small and will take up little room in your pockets or rucksack. During my skiing holiday I carried a bar of Milka around in my ski jacket pocket, ready for any low-blood sugar emergency. Plus, chocolate is yummy and tastes good, what more do you want?
However, there is a downside to the good brown stuff. Beware of carrying chocolate on a hot day. The look of horror and grief on my mum’s face when she discovered that her Yorkie bar had turned in to a sludgy, sticky mess is something that still haunts me to this day.
Kendal mint cake
Now this is the traditional fare of walkers and hikers. In case you don’t know, a Kendal mint cake is a mint-flavoured, sugary masterpiece. It is well-known for its energy-boosting abilities and its refreshing taste. If you’re walking in Cumbria, don’t leave home without one.
OK, this isn’t a common hiking snack, but when in Austria I always carry a packet of ’emergency brioche’ with me. A bag of little loaves can see you through any empty-stomach crisis and can pack easily in to your rucksack. Brioche also has the advantage of containing good ol’ carbohydrates, which are vital for energy. I found that my stash of brioche rolls were a life saver when my boyfriend and I took a longer than expected route on our first day of walking in Mayrhofen. Who knows where we would have been without a supply of brioche to see us through?
An odd choice I grant you, but there is method in my madness. Long-distance runners (particularly those running marathons,) have long hailed the wonders of jelly babies and many people eat them instead of energy gels. Jelly babies are beloved by long distance fitness fanatics because their chewy goodness can give you that all important pick-me-up when you are feeling tired. The only danger is eating them all before you need them (or before you even set off…).
OK, so this isn’t exactly a snack that you can eat ‘on the go’, but if you are in the Zillertaler region of Austria, it is well worth stopping somewhere to fuel up on some of these. Although the translation of krapfen is ‘doughnuts’, they aren’t exactly the squashy, jam-filled kind that we know and love in the UK. Zilertaler krapfen are crisp and filled with mountain cheese, onion and potato. They are ridiculously tasty and make an excellent top-up on a walk. Try them if you can.
Do you agree with my list? What are your favourite snacks to take with you when you venture in to the great outdoors?