Campsite Cookery

How to eat well when walking

One of the main reasons that we camp is so that we can spend time in some of the most beautiful parts of the country and indulge our loving of walking. We don’t get to do it every week, so when we do we make the most of the opportunity! If we’re heading out for a day hike it’s so important that we take the right food with us, and enough of it! It would be a sad state of affairs if we had to turn back early, or didn’t have the energy to enjoy ourselves, simply because we hadn’t eaten properly.
It is fundamental before you even head out to make sure you have eaten a decent breakfast. I will cover a few ideas for camping breakfasts in another post, but suffice to say I believe it really is the most important meal of the day.
So what makes a good lunch to take walking? Well, it must be highly nutritious and it needs to be easily transportable. Also, if you’re camping, it needs to be made with as few ingredients and utensils as possible. We tend to go down the pasta route. This is because you can chuck in pretty much anything, eg leftovers or bits and pieces that need using up, you also only need one pan. It also travels well in a food flask or tupperware (or chinese takeway container).


Luke enjoying his pasta lunch on the way up Kinder Scout

One of our staple lunches is tuna pasta. I always have a couple of tins of tuna in the cupboard at home as it’s so versatile, so I always take some camping.

Tuna Pasta
Cook your pasta of choice (I use macaroni as it cooks quickly)
Add chopped spring onion, olive oil, salt, pepper and dried garlic to taste.

You can substitute the tuna for most other meat (eg leftover sausage) or even cheese and add any veg; peppers, mushrooms and sweetcorn work well. You can chuck in dried herbs and spices to jazz it up (especially if you followed my tip here)


One pan leftover pasta lunch made with sausage, olives and spring onions

I always chuck a couple of bananas in our backpacks as they’re one of my camping hero foods. It’s a perfect snack, can be added to porridge for a fab breakfast, can be cooked on a campfire, is amazing with Nutella (sure sign of a great food) and the baby would eat them all day long if I let him.  I also make a batch of flapjack, which to my mind is the best walking snack ever. If you make your own you can pack it with nuts, dried fruit and seeds for an extra boost when out tramping across the hills. Here is my basic recipe, but feel free to make it your own!

Of course, it is equally important to stay hydrated as well. We each have a backpack with 2 litre bladder, if it’s particularly warm we may take more water with us. We have also used soluble electrolyte tablets if we’re heading out on a tough hike in hot weather.

What is in your ideal packed lunch for a day hike?
Monkey and Mouse


7 replies »

  1. Phew I don’t think my family could actually transport enough food for a day long hike – my kids eat so much we would need to take a pack pony with us! Bananas are a big hit though and oatcakes too. #howtosunday


  2. Excellent tips! I definitely love your flapjacks and will be making them this week for when I’m out walking with the boys and if they like them then they may become our go to snack for longer walks together! The pasta is also a favourite of mine for camping, so easy to make with little ingredients, it always tastes amazing when you are camping too.
    Thanks so much for linking up to #HowtoSunday 🙂 x


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