I’m not a great fan of energy bars, maybe because they didn’t really exist when I started going into the mountains, and maybe that’s why I don’t actually eat a lot when exercising even on a long day. I remember back in the mid 70’s doing an epic 19 hour route in Chamonix on some oatcakes and cream cheese – dinner that evening was needed!!!
On a single day out, I tend to just raid the fridge and make a sandwich with whatever is there, and add a banana and/or apple. If I’m going to be out for several days in a row I tend to make sure I have a nice salami sausage and a chunk of hard cheese, both of which I nibble across the days with either a nice whole meal bread or some oatcakes. I also will make sure I have a good supply of dried fruit and nuts, and possibly a banana or two. That works for me (maybe I’m naturally fat adapted) but I do eat well at the end of the day.
As an FYI, I also road cycle a fair bit through the summer months and will often do and easy 4 – 5 hours without anything other than water, but if it’s a hard fast run of greater than 3 hours I’ll use up to 4 energy gels with caffeine. Once home I always start rehydration immediately with semi skimmed milk and take on some food – usually whole meal toast with sardines or mackerel.
I’ll be interested on your views of above – don’t hold back :-)))
PS …. none of above is competitive other than against myself.