Let's Talk Lunch

Lunch is sometimes just an “in boat” experience - no where to get out. But more often than not, Lunch, when paddling, is an affair - a planned stop, a destination even.
I regularly paddle with a group of 6-7 people and I can tell you, before hatches are opened, what they will be having for lunch on any given paddle (day or multi-day). It seems we all fall to what is easy and / or regular.
There’s a couple PB&J’ers (one of them on Italian!), a bagel and nuts guy, i’m a tuna and crackers guy (pouch kit). Usually plenty of fruits and nuts to share.

Let’s hear your paddling group’s lunch menus.

PB&J and fruit for me.
I know a hard core mileage guy who brings a picnic.

And what does he bring? We need some menu items here! :grin:

I have only done day paddles. My usual lunch is one of these, a banana, and a bottle of water.

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The best I’ve ever had was bloody roast beast with pepper jack, some lettuce and Farmer Boy Greek dressing, on a pita pocket.

Pita pockets don’t get scrunched as much as regular bread.

There were also Cheetos, grapes, and the company I had. She isn’t lunch, though.

31 gms. protein, looks good. Small wrapper too. Thanks for the reply.

That has my mouth watering.
Nice sandwich idea too.

I’m a GORP guy (Good old raisins and peanuts, I add M&Ms) and a Snickers bar for short paddles (2-3hrs). Pro tip: put the gorp in a Nalgene bottle for easier consumption. If some distance is planed some home made jerky, oranges or bananas. I don’t eat a lot when I’m paddling. When the paddle is over that’s another story

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Spam single on sandwich rounds or one of those foil packs of tuna and packs of those fast-food mustard packs if I have them on hand. PB&J is also a standard, as are beef jerky, and orange slices. Slim Jims for snacks. A can of sardines in water or mustard, are an old standby. Then there may be a dark chocolate bar if the weather is cool, or Oreo cookies if warm. A banana and almonds have been along for many lunches as have dried mango slices, or apricots, or cherries, or raisins.

Jerky and dried fruit are a long-time pocket lunch I have carried with me for many years.

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Little chocolate donuts and cigarettes are always on my training table.


I usually have a Clif bar and/or a Stinger waffle and Gatorade. I’m also not usually a big eater while I’m paddling but that was a problem during my 1 day in the Everglades Challenge so I’ll need to learn to eat more.

Dried mango from Fresh Market is fabulous when I can find it. I also made my own gorp/granola (I don’t like raisins so most of the pre made mixes aren’t for me) but the idea of putting it in a Nalgene is brilliant!

For many years it was my practice to not eat anything until I was off the river, although I usually ate a sizable breakfast at least 2 hours before paddling. I adopted that policy after taking a couple of prolonged swims in whitewater on a relatively full stomach which I found to be quite unpleasant.

I have relaxed that policy somewhat in recent years but never eat a whole lot at a lunch stop. Maybe a few snack crackers, beef jerky, trail mix, a cheese stick or the like.

We like to have a rest and often include some special things. Often I bring leftovers. P&J is a go to. Yogurt at times. sometimes hard boiled eggs. And almost always bring popcorn. sometimes potato chips or pretzels. Typically have a cookie or two, and some candy.

Last year I worked out how to bring ice cream, even on hot summer days, so we do that fairly often. Or, on cool Fall days, hot chocolate.

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For special and long floats I like to prepare some chicken salad on crescents that morning. I’ll also have sugar snap peas, tropical trail mix, and ALWAYS oatmeal cream pies.

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I mostly run rivers. Lunch is on a sand bar somewhere with a view. I like to get out of the boat and relax during mid day. My dog likes to swim and run around. Sometimes I take a short nap.

I like finger food like cheese, ham, crackers, fruit, smoked oysters, smoked salmon.

For a quick bite I like tree bark.

If I’m hungry I like sushi.

If I’m thirsty I can usually find water.


Always a few Built Bars come along nothing better to work on as you paddle. I have a canoe so a cooler and food is no issue and we plan a mid day stop to get out and stretch our legs and have an enjoyable meal is what we do. We are not in any race mode and if we want to stop for a half hour or an hour we just enjoy a nice snack. We bring fresh fruit and veggies some cheese and meats. I often pack a thermos of hot coffee and also some sugar free cold beverages. We are not eating because we need to eat more because it relaxing. I love the idea of taking a nap mentioned above. So far I haven’t tried that but may just try and see if she will let me sneak a nap in. :canoe:

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On a typical day paddle I take some jerky, a Probar and an apple or orange. There is a group that I go with sometimes and they don’t like to take long for lunch so I have to keep it simple and scarf pretty fast.

If I am going solo for the day or with the guys who I take extended trips with we take our time at lunch. I bring some flour tortillas, Landjaeger (or similar), a block of cheese, an avocado and apple or orange. I usually bring my Jet Boil and some Starbucks Via (or similar) for something hot to drink.

My favorite Pro Bar is Chocolate Coconut which tastes a lot like a Mounds Bar to me.

Woah, woah…WOAH!
Let’s go back to ICE CREAM. How the hell…?
Please share!

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Dry ice would do the trick.