The only thing the mountain climbers want is a list of quick and easy meals, so that we don’t end up eating canned tuna on crackers and bread every day.
Therefore, we have compiled a list of mountain climbing food ideas that we can always refer to.
Here they are for your enjoyment!
The Things To Consider Before Packing Food
When you climb on a guided expedition, your main meals are usually provided. When that happens, all you’re left with is a few snacks and drinks to keep yourself hydrated.
If you decide to pack food for your climb, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Can you eat the same thing every day or do you need a lot of variety in your meals?
- Have you got enough time to eat?
- Will you be eating along the way or will you sit down for proper meals?
- What will you do if you don’t have hot, proper food?
- Cold prepackaged food or energy bars can become quite unappetizing after a while. The best way to stay warm on a mountain is to stay hydrated.
- You might end up kicking yourself up the mountain if you only consider convenience.
- Do you pack food that you enjoy eating?
- You won’t enjoy eating something in the mountains if you don’t enjoy it at home.
- Are you packing more than what you eat?
- It is going to be hard to control your appetite. You can’t enjoy the mountains if you’re
- hungry. Climbing is also dangerous when you are tired and weak.
- There are always plenty of people eager to help you out with your food if you aren’t able to finish it.
- What height are you planning to climb?
- You need more blood and oxygen at high altitudes so your vital organs can function normally. Digestion is more difficult. The smaller the meals, the more frequently you should eat them. You should also avoid eating too much protein, which is harder to digest than carbohydrates and sugar.
- The process of cooking takes longer and uses more fuel at high altitudes.
- What is your desired level of effort and time spent cleaning up?
- The more time you spend washing up pots, pots, utensils, etc., the more work you do when it comes to cooking.
- With limited water supply, cleaning up after messy or sticky activities can also be challenging in the mountains.
- Despite your willingness to spend the extra time, how about the rest of your climbing buddies? Are they willing to spend the additional time as well?
- What is the maximum amount of stuff and weight you are willing to carry?
- Depending on the calorie content and weight of their food, some people are very particular. Because nuts are both light and high in calories, climbing is a climber’s favorite.
- A portable stove is also needed for cooking. Would you like to carry this extra weight?
- Despite being light, pots and pans can be quite bulky. Carrying these items isn’t very convenient.
Keeping a Healthy Balanced Diet
While climbing, you usually don’t have to worry about maintaining a super balanced diet. Particularly if it lasts for less than two to three weeks.
For climbing, it is more important to consume enough calories. To keep your bowel movements regular, you also need to drink plenty of water.
For a quick overview of food nutrients, below are some guidelines:
You should eat about half your meals from this category. They provide good energy. The digestibility of carbohydrates is greater than that of proteins, as discussed previously. Particularly in high-altitude climbing, this is crucial.
Bread, rice, and noodles are all sources of carbohydrates.
You should eat about a quarter of your meals from this category. It is necessary for muscle repair and building to consume protein.
Protein can be found in meat, beans, or tofu.
You should eat about a quarter of your meals from this category. Energy can also be obtained from fat. Unsaturated fats are the best fats.
Good fats come from nuts, sardines, or olive oil.
Potassium and Sodium
A lack of salt in your body could lead to cramps if you sweat a lot.
Bananas, energy drinks, and salty chips are good sources of potassium and sodium.
Iron, Calcium and Zinc
Exercise at high altitudes and high physical activity can deplete the body of these nutrients.
Jerky, canned beans, cereals, and grains are all good sources of iron, calcium, and zinc.
Mountain Climbing Food Ideas
Food That Can Last One Or Two Days
Due to the lack of refrigeration, our food options are drastically reduced.
However, you may want to consider preparing some meals at home for the first two days of your climb.
- French toast
- Recipe here.
- Bread with your favorite spread
- Cream cheese
- Wraps, sandwiches, or burgers with any combination of your favorite ingredients
- Meat slices
- Meat patties
- Vegetable patties
- Pastries or deli bread
- Pizza left over
- Fried Noodles
- Salmon and Rice Noodles
- Recipe here.
- Ramen noodles can be used in any of the recipes above. You can cook the noodles in hot water without the prepackaged condiments and sauces.
- Pasta should not be topped with cream or cheese which would go bad more quickly.
- Stay away from wet noodles. Noodles that are soggy are not good for you.
- (Japanese rice balls) Onigiri
- It is a less fussy alternative to sushi. All you need to do is roll up anything you like in a rice ball! Easily take it with you when you’re on the go!
- Recipe here.
- Fried rice
- Rice bowls
- Make sure every egg you eat is thoroughly cooked. Eggs that are half cooked go bad easily.
Any combination of meats and sides from the following list:
Fish and meat
- Strips of baked chicken.
- Recipe here.
- Grilled chicken
- Recipe here.
- Lemon Garlic Baked Salmon
- Recipe here.
- Meatballs and sausages
- Recipe here.
- Vegetable sticks fresh from the market
- Vegetables such as broccoli, asparagus, and cauliflower roasted
- Potatoes roasted or baked
Here are some quick tips:
- In case you don’t have the time to prepare, instant or frozen meals are available. Although these aren’t the healthiest options, they make for some good guilty indulgences (frozen fish and chips, fried chicken, meatballs, sausages, etc).
- Apple with peanut butter
Food that can last longer than three days
You’ll have to eat non-perishable food or food that you can cook or reheat after the first two days.
Grains and cereals
- Cereal for breakfast
- Granola, muesli, and oatmeal with honey or maple syrup and cinnamon
- Pancakes with honey and also maple syrup and cinnamon
- Fruit pancakes made with canned or dehydrated fruit
- Dip bread in olive oil
- Bread with canned soup or instant soup
- Sandwiches, burgers, wraps made with any combination of your favorite ingredients:
- Spam, tuna, sardines, and other canned meats
- Dehydrated meats such as jerky and salami
- Sausages for summer (sausages that can be kept without refrigeration)
- Beans in a can
- Vegetables in cans
- The egg (fried, scrambled, boiled)
- Jelly and peanut butter
Here are some quick tips:
- If you want your bread to last longer, toast it until it is crispy. Dehydrating the bread makes it last longer.
- Toast it with butter or garlic for even more awesomeness.
- The packaging for some canned food, such as tuna, is made of plastic, which is lighter and less bulky.
- Cans should be avoided if you can, since bulky waste must be transported down the mountain.
- Noodles you can eat in an instant
- Ready-made pasta sauce and pasta (you can also use instant soup packets to make the dish more varied)
- Instant rice
- Instant porridge
- Mashed potatoes in an instant
Meals that are ready to eat
- There is a variety of rice, meats, soups, and curries to choose from.
- Dehydrated fruits
- Fruit chips
What Are Ready To Eat Meals?
For campers and survivalists everywhere, ready-to-eat meals are a lifesaver. As long as they are properly stored, you won’t have to worry about them going bad.
Individual portions of ready-to-eat meals are typically available. As a result, packing and cooking are both convenient.
However, they are generally more expensive than other food options.
Prepared meals can be categorized into three broad categories:
- Food that has been dehydrated
- Freeze dried food
- Meals ready to eat (MRE): These are ready-to-eat foods that you are able to open and eat immediately. Typically, they are used by the military.
They differ in the following ways:
|Ready-to-eat meal||Freeze-dried food||Dehydrated food|
|Preparation||Can be eaten as it is. There is no need to reheat or add water.||Water must be added to the mixture.||Ensure that they are properly hydrated by cooking in hot water.|
|Use of fuel||Fuel is not necessary.||Fuel is needed to boil water.||Cooking requires more fuel.|
|Time required||Instantly ready to eat.||Boiling water takes time.||Cooking this dish takes the most time.|
|Nutrients||Almost all of its nutrients are retained.||It retains almost all of its nutrients.||About half of its nutrients are retained.|
|Flavor and taste||Keep more flavor and taste.||Keep more flavor and taste.||Keep less flavor and taste.|
|Shelf life||Approximately 1 to 3 years.||It is possible for food to last up to 30 years, depending on the type and manufacturer.||Depending on the type of food and how much dehydration is done, it can last up to 15 years.|
|Where to buy||Might not be readily available but can be found online in selected countries.||These products can be found in big supermarkets and sporting goods stores.||They are available at big supermarkets and sporting goods stores.|
Snacks And Drinks
Besides your main meals of the day, snacks and drinks are also important for maintaining energy and boosting morale.
- Dehydrated fruit
- Trail mix
- Energy bars and gels
- Hard-boiled eggs (sprinkle with salt and pepper)
- Smoked cheese
- Vaporizable, canned or dry milk with low fat content
- Instant drink mixes
- Energy drink
- Electrolyte tablets
- Cocoa or chocolate
- Protein powder
Eating before high-intensity exercise or before bed
Before performing any high-intensity activity, such as vertical climbing, avoid eating large meals. A diet high in protein and fat is also not recommended. The stomach may have trouble digesting after engaging in high-intensity activities.
Similarly, eating heavy meals before bedtime will make it harder to sleep soundly. A couple of hours before sleeping, eat a heavy meal.
In contrast, if you skip your meal before a high-intensity activity, you won’t have enough energy.
In the early morning, when you may not feel like eating, this is particularly important. Drink a caloric beverage or at least consume an energy bar. Along the way, eat small snacks.
In the same way, do not skip dinner at the end of the day, regardless of how tired you are. Here is your chance to regain your energy and recover from the stresses of daily life. If you skip dinner, you will probably wake up starving in the middle of the night.
High Altitude Cooking
When cooking in high altitudes, you should keep one thing in mind. The air pressure is lower at high altitudes.
Water’s boiling point is lowered as a result. Boiling occurs at temperatures below 212 F (100 C). There is generally a longer cooking time in the mountains.
Therefore, you will use more fuel to cook at altitude in comparison with what you would need at sea level. Remember to pack enough fuel for the trip and stay away from items that require a long cooking time.
Food Packing Tips
- You should pack your food and trash into bear canisters or airtight containers if you are climbing near bears or other wildlife.
- Make one meal out of your food. In the mountain, this will save you time and ensure that you won’t run out of food or have too many leftovers.
- Sandwich ingredients and bread should be kept separate. Keeping the bread dry prevents it from becoming soggy.
- Boxes and other unnecessary packaging should be removed.
- Bulky packaging should be avoided. Packets and pouches are better than cans.
- Make sure your canned food has an opening tab. If you do not have a can opener, pack one.
- Sauces and syrups should be stored in small ziplock bags.
- Keep some small snacks in your pockets, such as chocolates and cookies.
- To make cleanup easier, line your food containers with aluminum foil or cling wrap.
Is There A Safe Temperature Zone For Food?
Perishable foods should not be kept at temperatures 41 to 140 F (5 to 60 C) for more than two hours.
When foodborne bacteria multiply rapidly, they can cause food-borne illness. Particularly in the range of 70 to 117°F (21 to 47°C).
You can never be too safe when you are in the mountains. The runs in the mountains will be a nightmare. It could be even life-threatening if it’s serious.
Packing food for hot weather
Perishables will go bad very quickly in hot temperatures.
To maintain a cooler temperature, you can use insulated bags or containers. The mid-section of your bag should have your food to slow down any heating from the sun. You might gain a couple of hours this way.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the breakfast for mountaineers?
On days around basecamp, hash browns, pancakes, eggs, and bacon are all reasonable options. For summit days and early mornings, quick-cooking oats, grits, granola, and pop-tarts make excellent choices.
What to eat the day after climbing?
Your post-climb meal should contain roughly 45-60 grams of carbohydrates. You can build your diet with carbohydrate-rich foods such as whole grains (rice, quinoa, barley, oats, whole-grain bread, and pasta), fruits, and starchy vegetables such as sweet potatoes, beans, lentils, peas, and corn.
When should I eat carbs before climbing?
You should eat 25 to 30 grams of carbohydrates (30 grams of carbohydrates are in a banana). After training or climbing, consume 20 grams of protein within 30 minutes to ensure that sufficient amino acids are in your bloodstream to prevent muscle breakdown.