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Tips for eating and staying hydrated while hiking

Before departure: estimate your nutritional needs for food self-sufficiency  

The quality of meals while hiking is important regardless of the duration of the expedition. A weekend hike, a trip to the sea or a trek of several days, it is therefore prepared.  
During an excursion, the energy needs must thus be satisfied to compensate for the physical expenditure. But the organoleptic qualities of food should therefore not be forgotten.  
Before leaving, you must therefore know:  
  • The possibilities of refueling on the spot in food but also in water (refuge, lodging, etc).  
  • Climatic conditions  
  • The stresses to which the body will be subjected and the caloric need  
  • The amount of food you can carry depending on the size/weight of the backpack. The choice of the types of dishes will depend on the weight and the volume available, without forgetting the material to prepare the meals (stove, cutlery...).  

First of all, it is important to eat well in the days preceding the trip.  

In the same way, it is necessary to prepare its physical condition according to the fixed objective.  
Above all, do not neglect your equipment, which must be comfortable and suitable (shoes, clothing, backpack, sleeping bag, etc.).  

During your stay: tips for eating well  

Food intake should be spread throughout the day. Do not neglect any of the three main meals:  

  • Breakfast provides slow and fast carbohydrates. A hot or cold drink is essential.  
  • Lunch favors proteins and slow and fast sugars depending on the effort. Do not forget the intake of fruits and vegetables.  
  • The dinner allows a good recovery of the organism. Vary the tastes and flavors to compensate for the demineralization due to the effort.  
  • Also , think about energy supplements in case of intense or prolonged effort. All types of hiking meals are important.  

During your stay: tips for staying hydrated  

  • Water is essential and must be carried in sufficient quantity: 1 liter and a half per person per day. Count on average 30 cl to rehydrate a freeze-dried dish. Take into account the possibilities of supply on site and provide water disinfection tablets.  
  • In a situation of effort, water loss causes a loss of heat necessary to maintain the body at a constant temperature.  Ideally, water should be consumed in small quantities but very frequently (15 cl every quarter of an hour for example).  
  • A water deficit can cause body aches but can also have significant neurological consequences. So remember to stay hydrated!  
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