What keeps Jen fueled on her long-distance hikes? While she makes her way across North Carolina, she’ll share some of her favorite trail food. 

This week’s trail food is a three-letter word. It is all natural, portable, inexpensive, and delivers about six grams of protein per serving. Any guesses?

The incredible, edible… EGG!

A hard boiled egg has been one of my favorite trail snacks since my first thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail. I was hiking on Easter Sunday and a kind older couple out on a day hike handed me a goodie bag filled with Easter candy and two dyed and decorated hard boiled eggs. The candy tasted delicious, but it was the eggs that satisfied my hunger and gave me energy for the next few hours – plus peeling off the decorative shell (and packing it out) was fun.

Now, on day hikes and overnights, I try to hard boil a couple of eggs before leaving home and carry them with me. Sometimes I even let my daughter take a marker or stickers to the shell before I put them in my food bag.

The cells in our muscles will regenerate every 60 to 90 days. When you exercise and place stress on your body that process is accelerated. Your muscles need protein to rebuild and eating just two eggs can provide 24 percent of your daily recommended intake. Put a little sea salt on top and you are adding flavor and keeping your electrolytes in balance.

People have different preferences and follow different recommendations for how long a hard-boiled egg can go unrefrigerated. On a hike the duration will be impacted by the outside temperature. So be sure to do some research and check the weather when deciding how long to carry these perfect – but perishable – trail snacks.