Fresh air, the sweet sounds of nature, wind through the trees, there’s lots to love about getting out for a hike. Call us biased, but we happen to think the best part is taking a moment to catch our breath and enjoy the view with a tasty sandwich in hand. Turns out, we aren’t the only ones. Alpine sandwiches (aka an impressive sandwich enjoyed on a mountain hike) are so popular that they have their own hashtag on Instagram.
In addition to packing a satisfying lunch, the gear you bring with you is essential. After all, you’ll want to stay safe and prepared in the great outdoors. Here’s a quick look at the ingredients for a great day hike:
1. Plan Ahead
When it comes to hiking in the mountains, through a forest, or along a big body of water, winging it isn’t a great idea. Do some research beforehand and talk with your hiking crew to know:
- the route, trail terrain, and time the hike takes
- what kind of weather to expect
- what kind of gear you’ll need for the terrain and climate
- who you’re checking in with—always let a friend or family member know exactly where you’re going and when to expect you back
2. Bring the Right Gear
Spending a day on your feet in the sun (or possibly wind and rain) can wear on a person. Make sure you bring these with you to stay comfortable:
- Sturdy shoes or boots with grippy soles for anything more intense than a walking path (no flip flops!)
- Comfortable hiking socks in a synthetic blend to wick away sweat (cotton can lead to blisters)
- A good backpack in the 15L–30L range
- Plenty of water in a backpack-compatible hydration pack or water bottle
- Dry, wicking clothing in synthetic materials that you can layer
- A light waterproof jacket in case the weather turns
- Sun protection, including sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses
- Emergency supplies: first aid kit, fire starter, and emergency shelter
- A multi-tool, whistle, and duct tape
- Your phone or another communication device
- A bear bin for your food and bear spray if you’re in bear country
*Pro-tip: have some extra items in your car if you’re driving, including extra water, a charged portable battery in case your phone dies, and extra snacks for the ride home.
3. Fuel Properly
Feeling energized when you’re out in the sun all day can be tricky. The right balance of grains, proteins and fresh fruits and vegetables can go a long way. That’s where the mighty alpine sandwich comes in. Here are some hike-friendly snacks and sandwiches to take with you on the trail:
- The ultimate plant-based alpine sandwich. We took this awesome blend of protein, fiber, and fresh produce to the trails and were plenty fuelled for our mountain hike.
- A solid breakfast, like a breakfast sandwich or toast with hummus
- Healthy snacks, such as homemade trail mix, granola bars, or fresh fruit
- A lookout-ready alpine sandwich like a yummy eggless salad with tofu and sprouts, refreshing grape and walnut tofu salad, or a creamy spinach and artichoke grilled cheese
- A ride-home snack like a slice of bread with nut butter and banana
Build your day hiking kit with these essentials and some nutritious, sprouted whole grain bread to make those look-out sandwiches shine.