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KimShea
05-08-2019, 10:14
Hi all! What are some good lunch ideas? Do you snack through the day? cook something? something not cooked? Take a longer lunch break or walk through it?

Taking 15yo kid to VA section at the end of the month and trying to firm up meal planning.

I'm leaning toward stopping for lunches for a break, but unsure if I want to break out the stove or not.

chknfngrs
05-08-2019, 10:30
Lunches for me are quick, easy and filling. Normally pack a sandwich from Subway for shorter day hikes or weekend hikes. Longer trips I’ll carry tortillas because they’re already smushed and load it with peanut butter and Oreos

Venchka
05-08-2019, 10:37
I watched videos of a CDT thru hike.
Lunch was sliced pepperoni and salami with cheese on tortillas. I have a feeling that the evening meals were similar.
The Hiker didnít carry a stove.
Wayne

bighammer
05-08-2019, 10:39
Small jar of Nutella and/or peanut butter. Great on tortillas or spread on/dip dry fruit. Dry bananas (the chewy, sticky whole ones, not the crunchy slices are a favorite of mine) are great for this.

CalebJ
05-08-2019, 10:43
Small jar of Nutella and/or peanut butter. Great on tortillas or spread on/dip dry fruit. Dry bananas (the chewy, sticky whole ones, not the crunchy slices are a favorite of mine) are great for this.
Just so long as it's warm enough. Nutella is unbelievably hard below about 50 degrees.

RockDoc
05-08-2019, 11:04
Things like Nutella and dry bananas are more than half sugar. How about some nutrition, and not rotting our teeth?

Non-sugar ideas: Cheese (individually wrapped string cheese), hard boiled eggs, cooked bacon, beef jerky (non sugar), beef sticks, nuts

devoidapop
05-08-2019, 11:10
I like tortillas with nut butter and honey, then something salty and crunchy on the side like toasted seeds or fritos.

a hot lunch can be a good moral boost sometimes. just swap out a dinner meal or carry an extra pack or 2 of ramen for just in case.

andymc
05-08-2019, 11:28
Jack Links, Old Wisconsin beef or turkey sticks with some Dubliner cheese! SPAM single! Vienna sausage! I tend to splurge on processed foods while backpacking.

KimShea
05-08-2019, 11:58
Things like Nutella and dry bananas are more than half sugar. How about some nutrition, and not rotting our teeth?

Non-sugar ideas: Cheese (individually wrapped string cheese), hard boiled eggs, cooked bacon, beef jerky (non sugar), beef sticks, nuts

This sounds perfect to me. Nice proteins and no cooking.

bigcranky
05-08-2019, 12:40
My favorite is the Tuna Wrap. Whole wheat flour tortilla (they hold up for a week in my pack), pouch of tuna, a couple of mayo packets and some mustard, some sliced American cheese or chunks of cheddar. Different tuna flavors help vary things, like the spicy or smoked.

Other things that we eat for lunch on the trail:

Cheddar, jerky, and crackers, the classic quick lunch.
Flour tortilla w/peanut butter or Nutella. Add gorp for some crunch and more calories.
If I am leaving town early, I'll bring a Subway sub, or a tub of hummus and a cucumber. Or get an extra bagel sandwich or something at the breakfast place.
Turkey pepperoni in a tortilla with string cheese and mustard. Or good hard salami.

I generally don't cook at lunch.

LittleRock
05-08-2019, 12:40
I usually don't eat lunch on the trail. I bring a bunch of snack foods and stop for 10 minutes and eat something whenever I get hungry, usually 2-3 times/day. I avoid eating big meals in the middle of the day because then I just feel like taking a nap afterward.

My first (mid-morning) snack is usually protein-heavy, like a Clif bar or cheese and summer sausage, to give my body slow-burn fuel that will last. My last snack is usually when I'm about 3 miles from stopping for the day, and it's straight sugar, usually a candy bar, to give me a quick burst of energy for the final push.

That being said, I also usually bring an extra dinner and I've ended up eating it for lunch on several occasions, for example if I end up taking a long shelter break in the middle of a rainy day, if I'm feeling low energy and need some extra calories, or if I have a tough section and/or high mileage planned for the afternoon.

Regarding your stove question: depends on how long you want to stop. If you want to stop for less than 30 minutes, definitely no. If you want to stop for an hour or more, definitely yes.

Ardency
05-08-2019, 12:45
Pizza roll-up: tortilla, mozzarella stick, pepperoni stick, sundried tomatoes.

illabelle
05-08-2019, 14:01
We don't often cook for lunch, partly because we want to eat wherever, not feel like we have to be near water.

Our lunches include a lot of C's: crackers, cookies, chips, cheese, candy bars (or other healthier bars). We sometimes have nuts, and occasionally I'll carry a few apples or oranges for a welcome change. Occasionally I'll get more creative, but mostly we just wanna stop for a few minutes, so simple is good.

HooKooDooKu
05-08-2019, 14:54
I never cook for lunch.
Classically, I've done peanut butter on tortilla.
One of my son's liked pepperoni on a tortilla (and they make those small packages of them).
Lately, one of my favorite things has been pre-cooked bacon on tortilla.


I know when I did my JMT thru hike, I had a heavy pack (extra cloths, solar charger, bear canister, etc). So I made sure to rest for about an hour mid-day... including taking my boots off to help give my feet a break.

But when I'm doing my typical long weekend hikes in GSMNP, my pack is lighter and lunch breaks much shorter. No taking off boots, relaxing while eating lunch and perhaps watering up... and maybe setting some things out in the sun to dry depending upon the situation.

T.S.Kobzol
05-08-2019, 15:17
lately I learned how to make Onigiri (japanese rice ball sandwiches).

bought a mold/carrying case:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07MJX4C1L/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

found a how to video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=utkKGouSXRE&t=314s&fbclid=IwAR2W4pVzk3orkiPFf1JisQUSmRP-WByddwxSGh7jduyPampoyM8sxiRGg9k

Bought a large sack of sushi rice at our local Oriental store

Bought ingredients I wanted in Onigiri i.e. smoked salmon

Bought Nori (seaweed) to wrap the sandwich in so it can be held without making your fingers sticky and also because Nori tastes great and it's good for ya.

Billy Goat
05-08-2019, 15:33
We typically do stuff in tortillas. Tortillas hold up well, and a burrito sized white flour one is 200 calories by itself. Whole wheat is 220. Add tuna pack and hot sauce with cheddar cheese stick. Hard salami with mozzarella and mustard. Either of those usually are accompanied by wheat thins or triscuits. Nut butters are good as well, and I like to carry pb2 for longer hikes. Fruit and peanut butter is a great snack type lunch. Stoveless I've heard people cold soaking ramen from morning to lunch and eating from a Tupperware container. Not my style, but It could work.

Cheers,
The Goat

OCDave
05-08-2019, 17:16
Tuna pouch with tortillia
Summer sausage with tortilla
Peanut butter w/tortilla
Beef Jerky

Hard cheese added to any of to above on days 1-4
Dried fruit, especially mango or blue berries, if not already included in your trail mix.
Pretzels or Goldfish if not already included in your trail mix.

A candy bar, intentionally scheduled once daily with lunch.

Game Warden
05-08-2019, 20:46
For shorter hikes, I like any kind of flatbread, pita, etc, with summer sausage, cheese and a few olive oil packets.

MuddyWaters
05-08-2019, 22:08
Double post

MuddyWaters
05-08-2019, 22:13
Usually tortillas with peanut butter and jelly, or tuna and mayo. Some dried fruit, and some peanut m&Ms or small candy bars. Maybe a little cheese.

On a day leaving town, whatever you can buy to take with you. Breakfast burrito, sausage biscuit, subway sandwich, etc.

stephanD
05-09-2019, 10:18
Of course, everybody is different. My lunch consist of energy/granola bars, dry fruits (dates, raisins), peanuts (as in gorp). If i'm not in a rash, I will boil water for a cup of coffee/tea. The reality is, I skip lunch most of the time.

Zalman
05-09-2019, 16:25
Hard cheese added to any of to above on days 1-4

I recently discovered a product called Moon Cheese for those latter days -- basically straight dehydrated cheese (tastes sort of like a baked cheeto). All different kinds.

DownYonder
05-09-2019, 17:36
Tortilla shell & peanut butter and jelly. I pocket the P & J packs at breakfast whenever I stay in a hotel. Also carry a lot of Costco's trail mix.

MuddyWaters
05-09-2019, 22:02
Tortilla shell & peanut butter and jelly. I pocket the P & J packs at breakfast whenever I stay in a hotel. Also carry a lot of Costco's trail mix.

Mcdonald has squeeze packets of jelly for breakfast biscuits. I get couple biscuits, handful of jellies. Chick fil A might have some too if i remember. Racetrac gas stations may too. Used to get tray of homemade biscuits (24) from place near work to take in for my operators in morning sometimes. They would throw in at least 50 jelly packets, vast majority would be leftover. All for $15

Holiday inn express has peanut butter, honey, jelly , cream cheese , and butter i think ( I stayed around 165 nights in holiday inns last yr, more than 130 each yr for last 5 yrs) ive a stash of nestle quick and instant coffee packs also from overseas hotels.

RangerZ
05-10-2019, 07:27
Like everybody else, tortilla plus pb, pepperoni, Spam, tuna, cheese, anything.



Of course, everybody is different. My lunch consist of energy/granola bars, dry fruits (dates, raisins), peanuts (as in gorp). If i'm not in a rash, I will boil water for a cup of coffee/tea. The reality is, I skip lunch most of the time.

if you’re in a rash, Body Glide and Gold Bond powder helps. :banana

cmoulder
05-10-2019, 07:56
I recently discovered a product called Moon Cheese for those latter days -- basically straight dehydrated cheese (tastes sort of like a baked cheeto). All different kinds.

I tried some of these recently and they're great. Same thing from Trader Joe's called "Oven-Baked Cheese Bites"...

Jeanine
05-10-2019, 11:17
I take a packet of Tuna with a single packet of mayo and sir together with a spork. I either eat it plain or with a bagel or tortilla.

Dogwood
05-10-2019, 12:31
End of May in VA on the AT can be hot midday. I'd suggest not cooking breaking out the stove most days.

What is the section? Are you doing a section anticipating resupply and/or supplementing? How many days is the trip or between resupply? These factors play a role in what one may eat. For example, there are AT VA sections where the ATer walks very close by restaurants. convenience stores with cafes/sandwiches, waysides, etc. For example, some AT shelters like Partnership Shelter in Grayson Highlands pizza and other food can be delivered TO THE SHELTER.

Traffic Jam
05-10-2019, 12:50
What sounds appealing now, may turn your stomach if hiking in the heat and humidity. Itís a good idea to test some different foods prior to your hike, if you can.

(I usually love nut butters and Nutella on tortilla but canít tolerate them when itís hot...itís very thick and dry. Likewise, salami and pepperoni can be iffy in those conditions.)

Midwest Mike
05-10-2019, 19:41
Cheese + Triscuits and maybe dried fruit.

tiptoe
05-10-2019, 21:01
Summer sausage and cheddar on a tortilla for me, along with dried fruit and almonds.

Slow Trek
05-10-2019, 22:25
Tuna,spam,summer sausage or pepperoni on crackers or tortilla. Jerky. Cliff bar or similar. Trail mix for desert. Whatever you can find ....

garlic08
05-11-2019, 09:17
When I started backpacking I read somewhere, "Lunch starts sometime after breakfast and ends just before dinner."

Every time I stop for a break I eat something. That's usually about five times a day. What that is depends greatly on weather, how tough the travel is, and what I was able to buy on my last resupply. It's usually a handful of nuts and dried fruit, or a piece of bread and some nut butter.

Lately I've taken that a step farther and gotten rid of the concept of "breakfast" and "dinner" as well. Eating well during breaks means I'm not that hungry when I stop for the night, and I don't need to eat much when I first wake up. That's real convenient in bear country--no serious food odors in the campsite.

MuddyWaters
05-11-2019, 10:36
When I started backpacking I read somewhere, "Lunch starts sometime after breakfast and ends just before dinner."

Every time I stop for a break I eat something. That's usually about five times a day. What that is depends greatly on weather, how tough the travel is, and what I was able to buy on my last resupply. It's usually a handful of nuts and dried fruit, or a piece of bread and some nut butter.

Lately I've taken that a step farther and gotten rid of the concept of "breakfast" and "dinner" as well. Eating well during breaks means I'm not that hungry when I stop for the night, and I don't need to eat much when I first wake up. That's real convenient in bear country--no serious food odors in the campsite.

Mostly refers to time of day i expect.

I call mine:

Early breakfast
Late breakfast
Mid morning
Lunch
Mid afternoon
Dinner

They are simply time i eat something significant enough to keep me moving. Small snacks eaten whenever. This is for planning /buying calories and food mostly. On trail anything gets eaten anytime want.

Odd Man Out
05-11-2019, 13:49
I brought a platic tub of French's fried onions one. They were quite yummy. Since onions are a vegetable, I am calling it a health food. Otherwise it's PB&j on tortilla like everyone else. But I like the tuna wrap idea. May try that next time.

jgillam
05-11-2019, 22:17
I enjoy a big spinach wrap with PB, mixed nuts and crushed Doritios. So good. A full bag of crushed Doritos is nice because I can add them to anything and instantly make it better.

Traffic Jam
05-11-2019, 23:16
crushed Doritios. So good. A full bag of crushed Doritos is nice because I can add them to anything and instantly make it better.
I feel the same about Fritos! Fritos always taste good, go with everything, and even help with fire starting. A handfull of Fritos on a hot day is perfect. There’s just something about Fritos... I won’t hike without them. They are one degree above dark chocolate on the hierarchy of hiking necessities. :)

LucyInColor
05-12-2019, 23:11
Once I tire of something on a tortilla, this is my absolute favorite lunch: https://outdoorherbivore.com/pacific-crest-vinaigrette/ This one is good too, but I can only eat half a package at once: https://outdoorherbivore.com/waldorf-slaw/ They are pricey but what a morale boost! I usually re-hydrate a bag of freeze dried fruit with a little sugar at lunch for my sweet tooth. I also mix up black bean flakes with freeze dried corn & spices & put that into a tortilla cold with a package of string cheese. Freeze dried (not re-hydrated) corn & peas adds crunch to nut butter on a tortilla.

KimShea
05-13-2019, 10:03
lately I learned how to make Onigiri (japanese rice ball sandwiches).

bought a mold/carrying case:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07MJX4C1L/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

found a how to video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=utkKGouSXRE&t=314s&fbclid=IwAR2W4pVzk3orkiPFf1JisQUSmRP-WByddwxSGh7jduyPampoyM8sxiRGg9k

Bought a large sack of sushi rice at our local Oriental store

Bought ingredients I wanted in Onigiri i.e. smoked salmon

Bought Nori (seaweed) to wrap the sandwich in so it can be held without making your fingers sticky and also because Nori tastes great and it's good for ya.

This is a great idea! And one I'd certainly not thought about. We hosted two girls from Japan a few years ago - 4th and 6th graders. They made us Onigiri for dinner one night. Two of my girls (so far) also spent some time in Japan, and the one going with me on the trip loves Nori.

cneill13
05-13-2019, 10:33
I went stove-free on my last hike which lasted 6 days.

I am boring and typically eat the same thing for lunch - Lance PB crackers dipped in a Jif individual cup of PB. Kar packet of trail mix and a few small candy bars. This is about 800 calories and I really never tired of it. I could also eat while hiking if needed. I also took a Zipp Fizz energy mix in my water for electrolytes and Vitamin B.

I also recently discovered Starkist Chicken packets. The chicken come in flavors such as Buffalo and Lemon pepper which were really good. That on Ritz crackers with Taco Bell hot sauce on top was one of my favorite things to eat on the trail.

Deadeye
05-13-2019, 16:49
Spam and cheese (or pepperoni and peanut butter) on a tortilla

3_dogs
05-13-2019, 19:58
In WV we have Pepperoni Rolls. It's a bread roll stuffed with pepperoni and sometimes cheese. If you don't have them in your area google the recipe. You can use frozen bread dough, or frozen dinner rolls instead of making dough. Thaw the dough, punch about a 3-4" circle about 1/2" thick, put in pepperoni and cheese, roll, and bake. Using pepperoni cut into sticks or sliced is a matter of preference.

Bag them up and throw them in the pack. Easy lunch or snack. They'll keep for several days.

Thrifty Endurance
05-13-2019, 21:20
I learned to slow down and eat when I was on the Mont Blanc Trek because the Europeans really know how to relax and enjoy the view and their meals, whilst still doing the mileage. My take on lunch is cold soaked Couscous in a talenti jar. I take packages of Near East Couscous and dump it into my quart size freezer bags for later. I take one out for the day, which I keep in the side pocket of my pack. I also carry a fanny pack that includes a roll of NUUN electrolytes, protein bars (usually Kind, Larabar and/or Luna) and two packets of GU gel. When I stop for a snack around mid morning, I prepare my lunch by pouring the content of the freezer bag into my talenti jar and adding cold water. If the day is cool, I just keep it in my mesh pocket. I prefer eating lunch with a view. I stop, add a bit of salt, a few drops of my hot sauce and olive oil and yummy meal to go is ready for the eating. Happy trails!