A problem with this kind of tasty food here is that you become depended on it, usually having no such luxuries so a more spartan question.

I use a lot of vitamin supplements for B, C, D and Calcium. B, D and Calcium require oil to absorb so they are in green containers like in the picture. C is water-soluble so it is in blue container, good after tiresome touring to get them fast. I use different sized containers such as this large one and this small here but use these ones here for color-coding. You cannot use permanent marker on the aluminium surface because it gets away fast, I used scissors to do the markings. The black one is for emergency, details here.

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Then, I use a lot of dry things such as soy powder (protein), muesli(good to have in pocket, just because I like it), salt(essential to get after long riding) and sucker (good to get energy fast). They don't weigh much. Then, I just throw random things I can pick during journey like vegetables and fruits. What about your food during touring? How do you eat during touring? I am interested in a self-sustainable way of living that guarantee necessary intake of important vitamins-calories-and-such-things. I have no idea whether soy powder, for example, is available everywhere so perhaps you must substitute its protein with something else in different locations. So what is your touring food?

Something about Protein sources

  1. How to cook insects?
  2. Cheap sources of protein?
  • Yes soy powder for example will depend on the country: e.g. I find that supermarkets in France don't make as much effort as e.g. in England or Canada to stock soy products / cater to vegetarians.
    – ChrisW
    Commented Feb 19, 2011 at 23:28
  • The subject is food and nutrition. Not sure how it's bicycling. Answers could be any sport.
    – user313
    Commented Feb 19, 2011 at 23:51
  • wdypdx22: the subject is touring food. It usually infers self-sustainability that in turn infer things such as light-weight, durability, --. Notice that some important nutritional things such as protein differ between countries, you cannot expect to get the same NY hod dog from Siberia as locally. The question is very important to prepare people to look for the right stuff, particularly in foreign countries where you may not know the language. I think it can be very valuable to many wanna-be tourers. I know a bit cross-area between food.SO and bicycle.SO but I am asking for your experience.
    – user652
    Commented Feb 20, 2011 at 0:01
  • Can you replace your last sentence ("what is your touring food?") with something a more like "what food is suitable for touring?" That's really what you're asking here. Commented Feb 21, 2011 at 19:23
  • @wdypdx22 - This question is on-topic, since hhh is asking about food as it would be best to support a rider on a day of touring. Commented Feb 21, 2011 at 19:25

2 Answers 2


I take almost the opposite approach - I eat almost all natural foods when I'm touring. I prefer rice + milk + sultanas + sugar for breakfast so I boil the rice the night before and it slow cooks overnight. The rest of the day I eat fresh fruit and veges when I can, bread and cheese or peanut better etc. I eat a bit of road kill when I can, and buy hot chips if they smell good enough. For dinner I eat a lot of pasta and noodles, usually the fast cook sort (not very natural :) I do self-contained touring, and generally free camp.

My diet is determined largely by listening to my body, which amounts to "eat what I feel like eating" or "eat what smells good". And lots of carbs. In hot weather this can mean hot, salty chips every day for the salt and calories, but also usually means a lot of whatever seasonal fruit and vegetables are available.

I ride a recumbent when touring, and the slightly odd bike generates a lot of interest from people when I stop, so I get invited to eat with locals a lot as well. So often my evening meal is whatever I'm offered.

When I can't get fresh fruit and veges I eat a fair bit of dried fruit, especially dried bananas. Also dried vegetables. In the dry parts of Australia food is trucked in, and is generally service station/roadhouse/corner shop type food (and expensive too). The local water is often heavily mineralized, usually to the point where long term consumption is not recommended. So I get dried camping type food posted to me and buy as much bottled water as I feel I can afford (usually 20%-40% of my consumption).

  • +1 the water thing was something I did not even consider. How can you know that you cannot drink a local water? Do you have some tool to test it?
    – user652
    Commented Feb 20, 2011 at 15:38
  • 1
    @hhh: in Australia it's simple - the water in the dry areas is not safe. In other places it might be safe. The problem with mineralisation is that you can't filter it out, so there's no practical way to remove it. Normally if you've got dodgy water a filtration kit will clean it up, or you can use iodine if you prefer. I don't know of a practical test kit for all water - there's too many possible causes of "bad water" (you can buy stuff like a "9 way test kit" for $10). In parts of India the mineralisation is arsenic, which you really want to avoid, and there is a test kit for that.
    – Мסž
    Commented Feb 20, 2011 at 21:03
  • I usually just boil water and then drink but I think it won't help here. Does it?
    – user652
    Commented Feb 20, 2011 at 21:05
  • 1
    @hhh: not with minerals, no. Unless you distill it :) Some minerals you can precipitate out, and a reverse osmosis filter will work, but I'm not sure whether you can get those in a cycle-touring unit.
    – Мסž
    Commented Feb 20, 2011 at 21:08
  • 1
    I opened new question about water here, it is just too broad question for this topic: bicycles.stackexchange.com/questions/2969/water-during-touring
    – user652
    Commented Feb 20, 2011 at 21:14

I have no idea whether soy powder, for example, is available everywhere so perhaps you must substitute its protein with something else in different locations.

Even if you can't "find soy everywhere", other legumes/pulses too are sources of protein (Wikipedia says they're nicknamed "vegetarian's meat"): including beans (of all kinds), peas, lentils, chick-peas, peanuts.

Dried beans/lentils might therefore be worth considering: light-weight (because they're dried) and don't need refridgeration.

Also, nuts (but these are more expensive, and fatty/high calorie).

[I don't tour, so I'm not speaking from experience of touring; though I am vegetarian.]

  • where do you usually buy legumes and pulses and how much do you pay for them?
    – user652
    Commented Mar 25, 2011 at 13:24
  • @hhh -- I buy them at any food store (supermarket, corner store, bulk food store, or health store). The price for dried lentils at a not-the-cheapest supermarket in Toronto is e.g. $2.50/kg (compare $5.50/kg for whole chicken or drumsticks, or $10/kg for ham); the nutrition in a 50 g portion (20 portions per kg) includes 170 calories, 13g protein, and 20% RDA of iron. Dried split peas are bit cheaper, and include 220 calories and 12g protein but only 12% RDA iron. Because pulses are vegetarian protein, I expect they're grown in every country where there's agriculture. There are certainly ...
    – ChrisW
    Commented Mar 26, 2011 at 5:06
  • ... lots grown in the Middle East. In contrast, the nutrition in 50g of dried soy beans is 230 calories (it's fattier and therefore more calories), and 20g protein (so you can see why soy has a reputation as a good source of protein). But I think that dried soy beans are not as 'ethnic', as wide-spread worldwide, as available, as other ones such as lentils and peas and chick peas are. Finally 50g of peanut butter (100% peanuts) is about 10g protein and 300 calories (i.e. even more fat).
    – ChrisW
    Commented Mar 26, 2011 at 5:10

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