I’ve never really given this any consideration over the last 30 years plus of paddling. I can’t really remember a time where I have carried food and drink on the river or even thought about until quite recently.

Getting Hungry On The River
Getting Hungry On The River

When I go hill walking or mountain biking I always take snacks and a drink.

I’ve used pretty much all of the “outdoor” branded sports bars out there. They are convenient but after a while eating them becomes a chore. It’s hard work on your jaw. Chocolate melts and packets of sweets are not usually sealed that well. That’s important as I want to be able to carry something in my PFD and not have to rummage in a dry bag buried in the boat.

My PFD snack of choice at the minute are Veloforte Bars (and for the last 18 months). They are a little bit different to the norm with flavours that I like. The packets are foil and are sealed well. I’ve had one in my PFD for a a dozen outings and when I have need to eat it the water hadn’t found its way in. The down side is they aren’t the cheapest out there but the taste does help negate that. For the size they are energy packed, taste good and when you buy them they always have a really long dead by date. If you do leave them in a PFD for a long period of time the wrapper can begin to delaminate and you get foil peeling away from the packet. But to be honest they don’t really last that long.

Taste is very much a personal thing. The favourite to date has to be the Di Bosco with red berries, almonds and pistachios closely followed by the Pronto with 80mg of natural caffeine.

I’m currently testing out the gels. I ordered a few to try and was surprised to find that they are smaller in size than the usual sports gels you can get. That may not be a bad thing as they take up less room in the PFD. I am finding that some of the gels don’t open very easily. Gels like this normally have a perforation to start the tear at the top of the tube. These don’t.

Getting Hungry On The River
Getting Hungry On The River

For a drink I don’t carry a flask of hot coffee but I know that many paddlers do. I tend to use a MTB drink or Nalgene bottle with water flavoured with a little energy powder (SIS). The bottle gets stored in the bungee system in my boat. 500ml tend to be enough for most days. If I need more I might take a second bottle wedged in the back of the boat between my dry bag and air bags.

Do you carry food with you on the water?

What about something to drink?

Lets us know what in the comments section below.