7 Tips & Tricks For Staying Energized While Backpacking


If you want to get the most out of your next backpacking trip, it’s important to prepare both mentally and physically. 

When you hit the trails, there are plenty of things to do to preserve your energy and get the most out of your hike. Consider these 7 tips and tricks the next time you pack up to explore the great outdoors:

1. Lighten your load

Backpacking can be quite exhausting, between hiking and carrying any amount of supplies on your back. One way to preserve your energy is to lighten your load. Try packing dehydrated fruit and dried foods instead of loading up on heavy cans. Also, instead of carrying a bunch of heavy water bottles, take a canteen and a portable water filter that you can refill along the way. There are a number of energy-saving options when it comes to the camping essentials as well, such as lightweight tents and sleeping bags.

2. Eat often

Boosting your energy throughout the day will help you have plenty of physical strength to make it through your hike. Load up on carbs, calories and protein while you’re backpacking. Having a variety of snacks to choose from will help your body get everything it needs, and frequent eating can ensure you never push the line of hunger.

3. Pack protein

When it comes to powering through your hike, protein will be the biggest factor. Make sure you’re getting enough protein throughout the day to strengthen your muscles and sustain your energy. If you’re looking for ways to get a protein fix while on the move, there are plenty of ways to get enough of it without eating meat, such as nuts, beans and pre-packaged protein shakes.

4. Simplify your breakfast

As you know, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially when you’re backpacking. Try to avoid a heavy breakfast while you’re camping and hiking. It will only slow you down. Instead, try to stick to whole grains (carbs) milk (fat) and nut butter (protein). These will give you the boost you need without weighing you down throughout the day.

5. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

You’d be surprised the difference water can make during your journey. Staying hydrated means your body will be able to function properly and your mind will be able to focus on the beautiful sites and landscapes you’ll be exploring. Make sure you have plenty of water or access to a water supply at all times. Also, keep an eye out for signs of dehydration, such as lightheadedness, dizziness, dry mouth or rapid heartbeat.

6. Get plenty of rest

Nothing is more rewarding after a long day on the trail than a good night’s rest. Watch the sun while you’re out and about and don’t wait too long to stop and make camp for the night. It’s important to get plenty of rest while you’re backpacking. If you’re tired throughout your hike because you pushed too hard the day before, you won’t be able to make it as far as you want, and you’ll miss out on the enjoyment of the great outdoors.

7. Don’t overcommit

Finally, don’t overcommit on your hike. Plan for plenty of time to stop and rest, and don’t set distance goals that might stretch you too far. The key to preserving your energy is to recharge often and watch your energy output. Backpacking is an endurance game, not a sprint. Be sure to account for the energy you’ll need to set up your tent, build a fire, cook your meals, etc. in addition to the energy it takes to actually hike. As you set off on your next backpacking adventure, keep these tips in mind to ensure you have a safe and successful journey.

Written by Alex Gillespie, Writer & Outdoor Enthusiast on behalf of the Kelly Kettle Co.