If you’re an experienced hiker or camper, you are already aware of all the benefits these activities provide you with. Equally important, physical and mental health is being improved, maintaining a healthy and positive state of mind. The other way around is mens sana in corpore sano, the old Latin phrase for “a healthy mind in a healthy body”. This virtuous cycle is a great example of how being physically active in nature results in having lots of serotonin, which simultaneously encourages you to use every free moment to spend more time in nature.
What are the proven benefits of hiking and camping, besides being fun and entertaining? Hiking can be compared with any other cardio, except that people enjoy this type of cardio, unlike running on the treadmill, for example.
Therefore, it’s perfect for your cardiovascular health since it significantly lowers the potential for heart disease or high blood pressure risks. Not only that, it strengthens your muscles and your bones, joints and tendons. Not to mention the balance improvement, weight loss or weight control, and the fantastic results in fighting your stress and anxiety.
On the other hand, camping represents an act of freedom for all the adventurers who love to stay connected to nature. Staying so close to all the plants, weather and creating a connection with the earth with all its creatures makes them calm and helps them find their inner peace. After all, we are the children of nature, and we have it ingrained in our genes. Spending time outdoors, which includes all of your time, not just the organized activities in nature, is a great way to boost your immune system, absorb extra oxygen and reset your circadian rhythm back to normal.
It’s not so complicated
However, the majority of people seem to hesitate when it comes to spending time outdoors since they have certain worries about the practicality of the experience and the living conditions they’ve been used to. Nature consists of bugs and bad weather too, a bit of dirt and mud and certainly, no internet. Still, if these things are not an issue for an excited and adventurous individual, then there are technical questions such as what special equipment I need, or what food I need to have in my backpack?
Luckily, the way we perceive the world has evolved enormously over the years. What was once considered impossible today is quite simple, with all the gadgets and smart solutions available, including those connected to backpacking trips.
What food do you need?
You’ll certainly need to pack some energy to be able to enjoy all the fun activities, exploring and wandering around the chosen destination. By energy, we mean food.
To avoid having too much of your limited space spent on food, you need to make smart choices and consider all the options available. Option for packable foods that will allow you to have all the ingredients and nutrients you need, but are easy to carry and easy to pack as well. This includes a variety of foods such as dried food, instant food or freeze-dried products.
People often focus on canned food, whether it’s fish or any other meat. Although necessary, you should incorporate other no-cook foods to diversify your menu and provide your body with all the essential nutrients. Include protein bars as a great source of protein and carbohydrates. You can easily consume them anytime you see fit, they don’t take too much of your backpack space and can make you full for hours. However, you need to fuel yourself with healthy snacks made of fruits and vegetables.
Why fruits and veggies?
It would be ideal if you could pack some fruits and veggies in your backpack. You might think that leaving out the two is not a big deal. The facts are quite the opposite. Both fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins, fiber and natural sugar called fructose that give your body everything it needs to keep your energy levels on the trail. Apples contain phenols, which are extremely helpful in fighting sun damage. Blueberries are rich in antioxidants and oranges are rich in vitamin C. But, it’s not just about the health benefits of consuming them. It’s about the taste and the flavor you might crave after days and days on dry or canned food. Although people love to bring fresh fruits and veggies on their trips, some of them can oftentimes be replaced with dry fruits or dry fruit bars, as a more convenient option for trails. Visit this site to find out more about natural fruit bars.
What fruits and veggies?
It’s a matter of your personal preferences. Still, there are some most common fruits that people often consume on their hikes:
Their main advantage is their longevity. They can stay fresh for weeks and they can even serve as a good toothbrush and toothpaste alternative. They are rich in fiber, antioxidants, vitamin C, potassium, phosphorus and natural sugar.
They are fantastic for fueling you with energy and they help your digestive system work normally. A great source of carbohydrates, fiber pectin, potassium and vitamin B6 makes a great choice for regulating your muscle function.
Almost entirely made of water and rich in vitamin C, folate, thiamine, and vitamin A, they are great for boosting your immune system and giving you that much needed the energy to finish the hike.
When it comes to vegetables, the situation is somewhat different since they are often heavy and bulky, but even a little bit of veggies in your diet can make a big difference:
Peas are rich in protein but are also a great source of fiber and extremely delicious when added to soups and other meals. They can be kept without refrigeration; they reduce inflammation and are rich in vitamin E, zinc, and iron.
A fantastic snack material, carrots can be combined with hummus and other foods or eaten when you need some fresh produce in your diet. Long-lasting and easy to pack, they are both tasty and healthy, with beta-carotene that helps to protect your eyes from the sun.
Celery has a low glycemic index. Therefore you’ll get the most important nutrients and vitamins such as vitamins A, C, and K, without having to worry about your blood sugar strikes. Eating celery will provide you with a slow effect on your sugar levels, which is exactly what you need when you’re hiking or camping.
Include a variety of foods in your backpack and don’t forget to drink water before you get thirsty. If your body is fueled properly, then camping and hiking will easily become exciting, enjoyable and unforgettable experiences. After you reconnect with nature, nothing can stop you from going back.