There’s a sense of accomplishment that becomes addictive to a hiker when you reach the summit of a mountain, or the end of a long, challenging hike, or even seeing your overnight hut in the distance. Your calves may be burning, but there’s no denying you feel great! Hiking food needs to be nutritious, easy to prepare, and light to carry. Are bananas suitable for a hiking trip?
Bananas are excellent foods for hiking trips. They are nutritious and rich in vitamins and minerals. They consist mainly of carbohydrates that provide the fuel our bodies need to ascend the mountaintops and go the distances when we are worn out. They are filling, lightweight, and versatile.
Bananas are great foods during any stage of a hike or even before you start. They render a lot of energy and release the necessary minerals that will help to prevent fatigue. As a snack, while you’re walking, they are convenient and not messy, even coming in a natural, biodegradable wrapper.
Are Bananas Good For Hiking?
Hiking has become a popular hobby as people look for ways to escape the stresses of the city. Many people are more health-conscious these days, and they look for healthy food and snacks to take along on their hikes. Bananas are convenient and have many built-in benefits for hikers.
The Benefits Of Bananas For Hiking
Bananas are one of Mother Nature’s gifts to hikers. There are very few downsides to them and plenty of benefits, nutritional and otherwise. Bananas are, of course, a great source of energy.
Bananas Are An Excellent Source Of Nutrients
B6 is a vitamin that promotes healthy metabolism and fights fatigue, which is a hiker’s biggest challenge. When endless hills promise the final reward of finishing the trail for the day, and each time you reach the top, you realize there are more miles to go, that banana’s B6 is there to pull you through.
The easily digestible carbs, potassium, and magnesium help muscle recovery after heavy exercise. Bananas are a great source of potassium, providing 17% of the recommended daily allowance. This mineral helps your muscles function properly and prevents cramping. It is easy to get dehydrated. You could lose some of the salts and minerals in your body, including potassium.
Bananas Can Stabilize Blood Sugar
It is common for a hiker to experience dips in blood sugar while walking, leaving one feeling shaky and faint. Although bananas have a high carbohydrate content, they can stabilize your blood sugar and keep you feeling full for longer.
The Convenience And Versatility Of Bananas On A Hike
Few other foods are as convenient to take on a hike as bananas.
- They don’t require any preparation.
- Their wrappers are biodegradable.
- They are suitable for any meals or snack times during a hike.
- Bananas can be incorporated into many meals to up the calorie and carb count for extra energy.
Carrying Bananas On A Hike
We’ve established that bananas are excellent foods to take on a hike because of their high nutritional value and convenience. If you’re trekking for a longer period than just a day hike, you will have to make a plan to keep your bananas fresh and firm. Nobody wants to put their hand into a squashed or black banana when you reach into your backpack to get new socks.
It’s best to buy green bananas if you plan to carry some on a hike. Bananas start ripening immediately after they are picked. This is caused by the stems releasing ethylene gas.
One way of preventing them from ripening too fast is to separate the bananas from their bunch and wrap each stem in foil or plastic. The bananas should last a few days like this.
The best way to carry bananas on a hike is to use a banana bunker or banana keeper. These are plastic banana-shaped containers that hold a single banana. Of course, you would need one for every banana that will not be eaten on the first day. Bananas ripen quickly in warm weather, so they would not do well in a backpack with the sun shining on it all day.
Different Ways To Eat Bananas On A Hike
If your hike is long, it’s best to take fresh bananas only for a day or two. After that, you can become a bit more creative with your banana-based meals and snacks.
- Dried banana chips make wonderfully sweet and crunchy snacks to nibble from your pocket while trudging up those endless uphills. To make them, cut 2 bananas in 1/8 inch slices and coat both sides with lemon juice and water. Seat them on a dehydrator tray and dehydrate for 6-10 hours at 135°F. Store them in a sealed container.
- Peanut butter and bananas will give you a huge energy boost due to the large dose of protein, calories, and healthy fats. You could also add some granola or trail mix for some extra crunchiness.
- If you’re super-organized before the hike, you could use any ripe bananas at home to make banana bread or muffins. Muffins would be more practical because you could wrap each one individually.
- For a high-protein breakfast before heading for the hills, you can haul out your little gas stove and cook some banana pancakes – made from mashed banana blended with two eggs.
Other Healthy Food And Snacks For Hiking
Although bananas are great to take on a hike in various forms, no hiker wants to live on everything-banana so here is a list of other delicious energizing snacks to take along:
- Beef jerky is tasty, convenient to pack, lightweight, and helps to refuel tired muscles.
- Tuna and Goldfish crackers.
- Fresh or dried fruit.
- Granola with nuts, rolled oats, and other favorite ingredients give a big energy boost when you need it.
- Vegetables like carrots, broccoli, and celery keep well on a hike and will help boost your immune system and aid digestion.
- Nuts and seeds are protein-rich and are easy to carry.
- Trail mix is another energy booster with its nuts, dried fruit, candy, and seeds. It’s delicious and making a homemade batch.
There’s no question about it – bananas are an excellent food to take on a hike. They are convenient, versatile, and very nutritious. They replenish salts and minerals lost when hikers perspire. The potassium helps to restore sore and tired muscles. There are no downsides to eating bananas, so get that little yellow powerpack and take a hike!