Any parent will know, that the best way to keep a child occupied, is with food. The best sort of bribery, is food. It doesn’t always mean sweets or chocolate either, my son will do anything for a punnet of grapes and/or a watermelon.
One of the quintessential parts of a hike, is the picnic. We have become accustomed to throwing together a slap up meal in the space of twenty minutes, after a last minute decision to brave the outdoors.
What we take, usually depends on the weather.
Cold Days Hiking
Most of our hikes are in wet, cold weather. Well, we do live in Blighty after all.
So, our main picnic item has become a soup starter with a loaf of carby goodness in the form of tiger bread. There’s nothing better than hunkering down abreast a farmers wall with a Thermos full of tomato soup mopped up with bread and butter.
The kids have their obligatory ham and cheese sandwiches. Sausage rolls and popcorn chicken are packed together and demolished by hungry mouths. We have cereal bars and flapjacks for protein, and a punnet of grapes or strawberries usually makes its way in the bag.
I make the kids a snack tub each, which consists of a mini bag of cookies, a chocolate bar (or in Finley’s case, a pepperami!) and a little cake. With them each having their own tub, there are no arguments or lost items in the deep dark depths of the Bergen bag.
Hot days Hiking
For the warmer seasons of hiking, we opt for more cold choices. Simple sandwiches or tortilla wraps filled with chicken salad. Tuna pasta is a firm favorite, it can be eaten warm or cold and provides good sustenance for those long miles.
A handy tip for keeping drinks and food cold is to put a big bottle of water in the freezer the night before a hike. The bottle of ice will provide a nice chill to the food in the bag and will cool down hot bodies in the sun.
Things to remember.
- No chocolate for warm hikes. It ends very badly; sticky hands and messy kit!
- Feed in small intervals, keep the energy flowing. Stop for drinks every so often.
- Pack the food in a carrier bag, inside the big bag. Just pull out the bag rather than dive into the bottom of the bag and lose the frubes.
- Use said carrier bag for rubbish. TAKE IT HOME WITH YOU. Always take home your rubbish, including fruit peels. Although they are essentially fruits of the earth, did you know it takes two years for a banana skin to biodegrade?
- Pack individual tubs for little hands. Easy to hold onto and no waste at the end. Also, no arguments over who has more sausage rolls.
- Pack as much as you can the night before and cook everything in advance. Most food will keep overnight in the fridge, so it’s just a case of pack and go!
Remember; failing to prepare is preparing to fail. Always start with a good breakfast and you won’t eat half the stuff you pack anyway. Then, you can bring it all home and eat it for your tea!