The correct diet on the route during a hiking trip.

On a hiking trail, it is very important to observe the correct diet. It’s best to maintain the regimen we are used to at home and eat three times a day at certain hours. Irregular nutrition impairs well-being, sleep, reduces performance and requires additional energy for digesting food. 

Proper diet on the hiking trail.

The main thing is not to eat dry food. It is good if the schedule of a sports trip allows you to organize a three-time hot diet. As for hiking with schoolchildren, here a dry snack is possible only as an exception. In the morning and evening you need to cook in any circumstances. In a one-day trip, hot food along with sandwiches can be taken from the house in a thermos, preferably metal, unbreakable. On hikes overnight, hot food is prepared on a bivouac..

. But even with the toughest schedule, it’s better not to eat dry food.

After all, drinks, including hot ones, can be prepared at breakfast and poured into thermoses or flasks. You can make a drink from extracts or preserves and during a snack, of course, if there is a source of pure water. In winter, you can not do without thermoses, otherwise you will have to drink only in the morning and in the evening. Having left the bivouac after a hearty breakfast, we will be hungry in 2-3 hours. Therefore, so that hunger does not absorb all our attention and does not violate the diet, it is advisable to hand out pocket food before leaving the camp – sweets, dried fruits, cookies, and the like.

According to the tradition that has developed in Russian tourism since the end of the 19th century, food is prepared by a group of people on duty. Individual nutrition, according to the principle, each has its own primus and personal cracker adopted in Europe, contrary to the domestic mentality, worsens the psychological climate. However, in difficult hikes and climbing, where a separate bivouac is possible, you have to change the diet, sharing products.

Approximate hiking day schedule.

A typical hiking day looks like this. An hour before the general rise, the attendants get up and start cooking breakfast, usually two. If you have an early exit, prepare quickly digesting concentrates, semolina porridge or porridge from oatmeal, potato flakes. If the group has an autoclave (pressure cooker), you can cook breakfast in the evening and wrap it in a sleeping bag or a warm jacket, and warm it up in the morning. Some tourists, in order to leave the bivouac early, get a snack in the morning. This can be justified only by the need to go through a dangerous section before sunrise or the inability to cook breakfast, for example, due to the strong wind that rose at night or the rain pouring in the bonfire.

The general rise does not need to be tied to food preparedness or boiling water. For some on duty, the process of preparing breakfast may be delayed indefinitely. Attendants get up earlier not to give comrades coffee in bed, but to gain time for personal gatherings. Therefore, the rise is announced either at a certain hour, or when the weather allows you to start collecting. If the general rise interferes with the work of those on duty, and the preparation of breakfast is delayed, you need to call for help from a more experienced tourist or manager.

After the ascent, all the participants in the trip do not wait for breakfast, but begin to pack their things; attendants do not stand by the fire, and also gather, replacing each other. When breakfast is ready, fees are temporarily suspended. After breakfast, medical monitoring is carried out, pocket food is distributed and the camp is rented. During the collection, the manager should announce which products should be put on top for a snack, and remind of jars and thermoses. A normal exit is 2-3 hours after the duty.

After 3-5 transitions of 30-50 minutes, everyone stops for a big halt, lunch or snack. A large halt takes from 20 minutes in the cold in winter to 1.5 hours in the summer. In the southern regions, sometimes you have to wait out the heat, here a large halt can drag on for 3-4 hours. During this time, it is quite possible to cook a full dinner. In the mountains, on difficult passes, the group does not always manage to get together for a snack. In this case, products for him are given in the morning for each bunch. It is very important to start a snack on time when you are already hungry, but hunger does not get on your nerves yet and the breakdown has not begun.

It happens that, in an effort to pass some important area, for example, the last ascent to the pass, the snack is postponed from hour to hour, and it no longer helps to regain strength for an afternoon transition. In this case, either the plan of the second half of the day breaks down, or the transition tires the tourists so much that it affects the next day. After a bite to a stop at the bivouac, another 3-4 transitions have to be overcome. If there are more evening transitions, it is useful to divide the snack into two parts or take the products left after it with you as pocket food.

Approximate hiking day schedule for students.

In a campaign with schoolchildren, the number of transitions decreases to 3-4 before lunch and, as a rule, no more than 2-3 after lunch. If the age of the participants is less than 13 years, in the afternoon it is better to limit yourself to 1-2 transitions. Camping day ends with camp setting, dinner and a second medical check.

Everything that is needed for preparing breakfast is collected in the evening and laid on duty so that in the morning you do not disturb your comrades with searches, do not rattle buckets, do not knock with axes and do not disrupt the diet. In order to avoid confusion and fuss, it is convenient to start the duty on dinner and finish it after a snack, then the attendants will be full owners of the bivouac, and the transfer of duty will be simplified to the limit.

Based on materials from the book Camping Food.
Alekseev A.A.

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