I’m continually on the look-out for decent hiking snacks. My requirements are fairly humble: they must be portable, fairly indestructible, and reasonably neat when eaten. I always think I’m going to try PB&J or turkey/cheese/light ranch dressing wraps, but never get around it because I fear the onslaught of goop when eaten.
Anyway, last weekend the boys and I did a really fun, short hike over a quaking bog at the Volo Bog State Natural Area here in Northern Illinois. Because I procrastinated all morning, sipping coffee and reading magazines in my PJ’s, I didn’t think about snack planning. Before I knew it, we were out the door totally snackless and racing to the start time of our guided hike (which was canceled–note to self: call ahead even if the web site says EVERY weekend at 11 and 1).
I’ll write more about our hike in a subsequent post, but wanted to share (confess?) what we did after hiking. We went for lunch at a fast food joint. Now it was better in quality than McDonald’s, but it was still fast food. I’m not a french fry hater, or even a “parents who choose fast food” judger, but I do not enjoy eating fried foods after savoring a healthy dose of nature. Plus, I don’t want to grow the expectation for the kids that after hiking, we eat cheeseburgers and chocolate custard.
A tiny bit of planning would’ve saved me the time and expense (better-than-McD’s fast food is also pretty spendy–$25 spendy for four people, in fact). In a pinch, I always have Nature Valley Granola bars on hand, and with three boys, I buy apples by the bag. We usually have raisins or Craisins on hand, and bringing some peanut butter to go with the apples would’ve gone over really well. Just a few minutes to either gather these essentials or stop at a store en route and toss ‘em in a day pack or tote bag. Next time, I’ll do better.
Please share your ideas for tote-able food. What do you like to eat during and after a hike, or any time while on the go with your kids?