With the rising costs of food at the moment, it can be quite expensive to always stop at restaurants and takeaways to get something to eat when out birding. Often, our birding adventures take us to far-flung locations with very little infrastructure. Unless you want to deal with stomach problems for the next few days, it's a good idea to pack snacks and lunch in advance when visiting these areas.
I've tried to simplify the process of buying food for birding. Instead of figuring out each time what I will buy, I have a pretty standard food list for birding. I aim to keep it simple while, at the same time, ensuring I have enough food to keep me satisfied throughout the day.
So, to help you out and maybe give you some ideas, here are five food items that I almost always pack when I am going birding. Let me know in the comments what food items you pack. It would be interesting to note the different foods that people pack in other countries.
`Can you really trust anyone who doesn't eat mayonnaise?
The humble banana
Now, don't judge me, but I am not a big fruit fan! I hate having to bite through the skin and deal with those strange textures in my mouth. But one fruit I do enjoy is bananas. No tough skin to deal with. The texture is soft and easy to consume. I also have a phobia of noises - so the fact that a banana makes no noise when you bite it is a massive bonus. Eating a banana is a great way to start a day's birding - it fills the stomach a bit and gives me an energy boost.
2. Bakers Good Morning Breakfast Biscuits
The perfect snack a bit later in the morning - best enjoyed with a steaming hot cup of coffee or they can be a little dry. There is a variety of flavors available, but 'Mixed Berries' is by far the best. The only problem is the pesky crumbs when using your binoculars. You end up looking at a bird and seeing big chunks of biscuit in your binoculars field of view.
3. Future Life High Energy Protein Crunch Bar
I have tried the Jungle Oats bars, but I much prefer the Futurelife bars. Coated in tasty yogurt, these energy bars are packed with flavor. They are the perfect late-morning filler as your stomach starts to 'rumble' for lunch. A bonus is there is not as much crumb spillage on your binoculars - so you can eat while having uninterrupted views of birds. Snack while you tally up the lifers!
4. Woolworths Sliced Spicy Chicken Breasts
Simply mix with some good mayonnaise, and you have the perfect sandwich filler (can you really trust anyone who doesn't eat mayonnaise?). There are other variations, but the slightly spicy taste just adds a deeper layering of flavor. I have tried other shops' chicken, but you can't beat Woolies' chicken. It costs a little more - but it's well worth it.
5. Lays Potato Chips
The perfect after-lunch snack to round off a good day of birding! The only conundrum I face with these chips (or crisps) is the noise that the packet makes. They also make quite a crunch when they are chewed. The funny thing is that I am okay with the noise when I eat them, but I feel like killing anyone else who eats them around me. So you can eat the first four items on this list around me, but stay far away when eating chips!
So here's my list of my five favorite food items to pack for a day's birding. Let me know in the comments, what are foods you enjoy when you are out birding. Do you prefer to pack ahead, or just buy food when you are out?