What to eat on a Great Walk
So you’ve decided to do one of New Zealand’s great walks! You’ve booked your hut passes, sorted your transport and now you’re trying to figure out what you should eat. This handy guide will answer all your questions.
First things first - you’re going to require more energy than usual. That means eating more food and planning out your meals in advance. What you want is a wide range of foods that provide different sources of energy and nutrients to keep you going. If carrying extra weight isn’t an issue you can take in some fresh food to make meals with for the first few days. If you’re using a system like a Jetboil or MSR Windburner you can save a lot of time, weight and hassle by just taking in freeze dried food.
To start the day off we recommend a warm breakfast like porridge, eggs or beans. These energy packed meals will be sure to set you up for a big day in the mountains. Like your mum always said - breakfast is the most important meal of the day. For your morning coffee there’s now a lot of great options from really nice freeze dried coffee through to using an Aeropress to get your caffeine fix.
Once out walking on the track you should be eating snacks regularly. The key here is to have a wide range of snacks to eat - things like candy, jerky, nuts and bars will ensure you don’t get bored of eating any one thing. Ideally you want to be eating before you start to feel hungry - keeping those energy levels constant. Its important to keep drinking water regularly too, often mild dehydration leads to tiredness and a lack of focus - which is a recipe for a fall or tripping over.
Use lunch as an opportunity to stop and admire the views, enjoy a meal or sandwich before carrying on for the afternoon. Generally if its cold or rainy we try to stop at a hut for lunch, having a big hearty meal that not only gives us energy it also warms us up. Quick rehydrating meals like Couscous Salad and Tom Kha Gai are very popular choices as are the sweeter options like Mocha Rice Pudding and Blackcurrant Chia Pudding.
For dinner you want a meal that will replenish your energy levels and leave you feeling full and satisfied. Meals that are full of meat, pasta or rice and vegetables are the best to go for. Options such as the Bolognese, Wilderness Stew, Butter Chicken and Mushroom Risotto are all popular choices. All Absolute Wilderness meals are designed to be a full meal, however if you’re especially hungry or want to share the love you could bring some boil in the bag rice to bulk it up.
Don’t forget you’ve been walking all day - you deserve dessert. If you’re looking for a small bite we recommend dried fruit or chocolate. For something a bit bigger desserts like Apples On Creamed Rice and Blackcurrant Chia Pudding are awesome. After you’ve made dessert make sure you pop your head outside. The New Zealand mountains offer some of the best star gazing opportunities in the world. Take it from us - nothing beats sitting on the hut veranda watching the Milky Way rise above the mountains while you’re eating a hot dessert.
If you have any questions about meals, nutrition or food on your next adventure get in contact with us and we’ll point you in the right direction.