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What to Eat on 3 Peaks Walk?

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 3 Mar 2013 | comments*Discuss
Food Energy Walk Water Porridge Dried


I will be participating in a Yorkshire 3 peaks walk in summer this year (Pen-y-gent, Ingleborough and Whearnside). What should I eat that day, for breakfast and during the walk?

I was planning on something bread related for breakfast (for the slow burning carbs) and kendal mint cake etc during the walk (of course with enough water). One person had advised me that I should take snickers (eat one every 2 hours), jelly and tangfastics, saying that it comes from a D of E trainer. Can you advise?

(I.P, 19 April 2009)


You’ve got a very tough challenge ahead of you – 23 miles of difficult terrain that’s going to take you anywhere between eight and 16 hours to walk, depending on how fit and fast you are.

Assuming you’re starting from the usual place of Horton in Ribblesdale, you could eat at the café there, but you’d be well advised to steer clear of any big, greasy fry-up. Better to stick to something like a big bowl of porridge (sweeten with honey) and toast. As you obviously know, the slow-burning carbs released by porridge are the key to keeping you going.

However, this is a particularly long and gruelling hiking circuit, which means you’re going to need plenty of food to keep you going, although you don’t want to be stopping and cooking meals, let alone lugging round the equipment to do that.

Kendal mint cake is one option, as are Snickers (and by all means take both), but possibly better is trail mix – you can make up your own with nuts and dried fruit, and dip into it as you want along the way. Energy bars are another possibility, too, as is pemmican, which can sustain you well.

Given the sheer length and difficulty of the walk, though, you will probably want to break at some point and eat a proper meal to fortify you for the rest of the way. For that, a dried food meal, or even Army rations might be the best bet, although, unless you want to lug along something with which to heat and cook the food, you’d better be prepared to eat it all cold – all you need to do it add water. It will, however, give you the kick you need to keep going.

Don’t be afraid to take breaks as and when you need them – the test is in finishing the course rather than how fast you complete it. As you mentioned, staying hydrated is very important. You’ll require plenty of water for this hike, and for this, sports drinks can also be useful, topping up the electrolytes you’ll sweat out en route.

Once you’ve finished, indulge yourself in as big a meal as you want (after taking more water on board first, of course) – you’ll have earned it. Good luck on hiking the Three Peaks!

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I'm doing the National 3 Peaks Challenge soon & I'm curious if the same applies with regards to food as it does for the Yorkshire Challenge? I'm pretty sure we won't be stopping on route to eat so snacks would be the obvious choice. I'm ex Army so I was thinking if purchasing a ration pack, is this a good idea? I was once told in basic training that hot rations provide you with more calories, however I don't really want to stop for too long & 'bivvie up' to cook some food. Can you give me some advice please? Thanks.
Matt - 30-Jun-12 @ 12:21 PM
You should probably stop for at least two proper meals on this trip. Being outside and walking all the time you're going to become very tired, and snacks won't sustain you. You will need two good rest breaks where you take in hot food and plenty of liquids. Even after you finish, have some water before enjoying a celebratory pint along with a proper meal in the pub!
John W. - 8-Jun-12 @ 1:58 PM
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