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​What to Eat Outdoors

Posted by Sharon Harrington on

When you’re spending time outdoors the last thing you want to feel is run down or tired. Eating the right food can help prevent a zap of energy, but doing so away from home can be difficult.

The most important way to make sure you’re ready to hit the great outdoors day after day is to consume enough food and water. This can be hard due to lack of space in a backpack or a cooler, but if you don’t consume enough calories and stay hydrated, your body will surely feel run down. The amount of food and water you require will depend on your activities: are you relaxing around a sandy lake or hiking twenty miles across a mountain range? It is estimated that hikers burn about 400-500 calories an hour!


For backpackers, calorie-dense foods (foods that have more calories per pound) are a must. Consuming 4,000 calories in one day would require a large volume of fruits and vegetables (even if they’re freeze-dried or powdered), but fewer candy bars and spoonfuls of peanut butter. You’ll need lots of snacks, like trail mix and granola bars, to keep you going throughout the day. While this may not be a nutrient-rich diet, it will provide enough calories to get you back into town where you can enjoy a nice salad with a side of lean meat. After high-calorie foods, try to pack foods with protein, like pouches of meat, nuts, cheese or (again) peanut butter. To ensure you’ll have enough water, check trail maps ahead of time to be aware of all of the water sources. Carry a way to filter or purify water and never walk away from a water source without first drinking as much as you can and filling your water bottles. Always know where to expect the next water source. (water filters)

Car Campers

For car campers, what to eat is less of a conundrum. With more space and even potential access to restaurants and stores, car campers are often able to eat similarly to how they do at home! Just remember to prep your food ahead of time to make it easier to consume at camp. For example, wash and cut any fresh vegetables and consider bringing small jars of condiments and spices. Be sure you have a way to keep perishables cool and enough ice, too. If you’re planning to cook meats, remember a thermometer as open fires and portable stoves are harder to control than a stove top. Also, bring an environment-friendly way to wash your dishes and remember to get rid of your waste (both water and trash) in approved areas. Take advantage of your resources and have plenty of water available at all times.

What to eat and drink is more important than ever when you’re away from home and with a bit of planning, it’s easy to keep yourself feeling satisfied, whether you’re climbing mountains or relaxing at a campground.

Check out these Food / Meal in store:

Ensure you're prepared for whatever comes your way with our Just in Case...2-Day Emergency Food Supply starter kit. Breakfast Skillet (2 pouches)— Crispy hash browns, scrambled eggs, sausage, onions and peppers are the perfect start to the day. Each pouch yields two 1-cup servings. Spaghetti with Meat Sauce (2 pouches)— The ultimate comfort food. Each pouch yields three 1-cup servings. Rice & Chicken (2 pouches)— Pimientos, rice and chicken blend together in a savory sauce. Each pouch yields three 1-cup servings.

Two 10 oz. servings. 7 year freshness guarantee. Just add boiling water.

Deluxe Survival product and food kit with supplies for 1 person for 2 weeks or 2 people for 1 week packed in a rolling duffel.

5 Day Solar Survival Backpack contains all you will need in any emergency or disaster situation such as tornados, hurricanes, wildfires and floods.

If you really love breakfast, then the Mountain House Breakfast Bucket is for you! Each bucket contains a whopping 30 servings of our favorite breakfast foods — that's more than enough to feed the whole family. Inside, you'll find 4 pouches each of Mountain House Scrambled Eggs with Ham, Green & Red Peppers; Scrambled Eggs with Bacon; Granola with Milk & Blueberries; and of course our famous Breakfast Skillet. A bonus? Mountain House's Breakfast Bucket is compact and stackable, making it easy to store or take with you on the go!

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