Family Fun From The Inside...OUT!
The food you pack for the trail is not only a morale booster, it can make all the difference in sustaining energy and in muscle recovery after a tough outing. I am continually surprised by the results we get from the AMAZING…EASY recipe I am about to share with you!!
We used to pack a few energy bars, some energy gels, (see a pattern here?) and a wrap or sandwich for the summits. It was ok, but I would hit some pretty devastating energy lows sometimes waiting until summit time for lunch. Descents were brutal, and I would be so anxious to get off the trail, I would not want to stop to eat, which made it worse.
On our second ascent of Algonquin Peak via Avalanche Pass, we decided to try this mix, and add more quick stops for a bite than we had previously. It worked!
We have found that just periodically snacking on this power-packed mix (and hydrating) has kept us going, even when we had not been on the trails for some time. I don’t mean trudging along, either, I mean we felt GREAT! We stop for a quick handful every hour or so…more on tougher terrain, less on the easy.stuff; the idea is to just stay ahead of hunger instead of waiting until we are hungry and starting to crash.
I will also share with you a little secret I learned to help with all of that muscle soreness that comes along the day or two post-hike, so read on.
The mix is a blend of slow and fast energy foods and proteins, great for both a quick boost and sustaining energy for the long haul.
Our mix varies depending on ingredient availability, especially when I wait until the last minute to shop for our trail food. Here is a photo of a mix we took when we climbed two Adirondack high peaks after nearly a year hiatus. It was a last-minute decision to go, and we were missing some of the usual ingredients, but we improvised and were STILL blown away by our energy levels on this 14-mile, very steep, grueling traverse of Dial and Nippletop mountains, including a brutal descent via Elk Pass.
Here is our Super-Secret, Energy-Boosting Trail Mix Recipe!
(shhhhh don’t tell anybody!)
No particular quantities, I just throw handfuls of each item in until we have enough. Maybe some extra of our favorites! 🙂 You can probably find all of these ingredients in your local grocery stores, but I have included some Amazon links for you as well!
We personally prefer organic foods when possible, but we aren’t diehard by any means. If you don’t choose organic, well, you’ll for sure save a few bucks!
KIND Healthy Grains Granola Clusters, Peanut Butter Whole Grain There are granola nut clusters, and there are THESE clusters….wow! They include five “Super Grains” Oats, Millet, Quinoa, Buckwheat and Amaranth. I did not even realize I had purchased whole grain clusters until I looked at the bag after we got back. They do crumble very easily but enough will hold together to be only a small, and worthy, hassle!
Organic Raw Almonds (some folks think that raw nuts contain more nutrition, so, why not?) 🙂
Organic Roasted & Salted Cashews (I just like one of the nut choices to be roasted and salted, I crave savory food on a hard hike!)
Dark Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans You might want to pack a separate mix with just some good chocolate for the kiddos instead of the beans. They make a HUGE difference for me, especially once I come down from my summit high and face the long trudge out!
Raw Cacao/Goji Energy Chunks (optional, when I think to stop at our little health food store before a hike, I get them. I need to learn how to make these because they rock my world on a long hard hike!)
What about muscle pain AFTER a strenuous outing?
I also did a little reading while suffering a lot of muscle pain after a particularly strenuous hike, and found folks swearing by tart cherry juice as a post-hike beverage to help with muscle pain. We tried it, and had shockingly little pain on our next difficult climb – I really couldn’t believe it!! Skeptical of course, we tried it several more times and had the same results. These were outings we KNEW would normally result in several days of pain, and we are absolutely convinced that this really works! A note: I found the brand I have linked to in my grocery store and I don’t recall paying nearly as much as it is priced on Amazon. There is a case of 12 bottles with free shipping that makes it more reasonable, though, so I linked to the search to give you options. But definitely check your local stores before buying online!
What do you do to sustain energy and aid recovery after a demanding outdoor outing? Share with us in the comment section below, and you will be entered to win the travel version of the CAMP game!! One winner will be drawn on our next Fan Appreciation Friday, August 7, 2015!
What’s Fan Appreciation Friday, you ask?
Some Fridays, we choose one or more of our most active/interactive fans on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and/or here on the blog to get cool free stuff! Books, gear, games, gadgets, and more! All you have to do is interact (like, comment, share, retweet, favorite, repin, or play along in any of the games we post!) on any of our pages to be eligible! Fan support is ALWAYS noticed and greatly appreciated!
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