Hiking trail in the woods.
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Many people are itching to get out of their homes and enjoy the beautiful weather, which is why there's been an increased interest in forest bathing. Don't worry, this does not involve actual bathing!

Quite simply, forest bathing is being in nature while having a conscious connection to the natural environment. Whether it’s a hike, swim, or run to strengthen the physical body or the mind, it’s always important to be prepared with meals, snacks, and drinks to fuel your adventure.

Trail-friendly nutrition

Perishables vs. non-perishables: Before you stomp the trails, consider the length of your trip and whether you’ll need to pack cold foods using a cooler. Non-perishable snacks such as trail mix, energy bars, applesauce pouches, or fresh fruit such as bananas, apples, or oranges do not require refrigeration.

For the day hiker, perishable foods such as deli meats, fresh-cut fruits, veggies, and ready-made salads must be transported in a cooler with an icepack to be properly chilled below 40°F.

For overnight trips, you’ll need to pack meals, which may require cooking equiptment. Tuna or chicken packets, jerky, powdered eggs, or a bag of lentils are lightweight, high-protein meal options for the serious hiker. You can also add dehydrated vegetables, couscous, and instant potatoes to round out the meal.

Hydration: When hiking, remember to stay hydrated and use clean water for drinking and washing hands. A good rule of thumb is to plan on drinking 2 cups of fluid for every hour of hiking. If you’re unable to wash your hands, a hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol is equivalent.

Stay hydrated, stay nourished and stay safe while forest bathing!

Pumpkin Trail Cookies

Yield: 18 cookies | Printable PDF

  • ¼ cup margarine or coconut oil
  • ½ cup canned pure pumpkin
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 2/3 cup dried unsweetened cranberries
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin seeds
  • ¼ cup ground flaxseed
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a small microwave-safe dish, melt margarine or coconut oil in the microwave for 10-15 second intervals.
  3. In a large bowl, mix melted margarine or oil, pumpkin puree, eggs, and honey.
  4. Stir in both types of oats, cranberries, pumpkin seeds, flaxseed, pumpkin pie spice, and salt.
  5. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Drop 3 Tablespoons of mixture and flatten with the bottom of a cup for each cookie.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 110 calories, 5 grams fat, 65 milligrams sodium, 16 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams fiber, 3 grams protein

This blog post first appeared in The Pantagraph on June 3, 2020.