Hiking snacks are like the rugged, bearded fraternal twin of the airplane snack. They both need to be compact and lightweight, but hiking snacks also need to be calorie-dense, nutrient-dense, and a little more, well, on-the-go-y.
Whether you’re taking a rigorous day-long hike on a local trail or planning a full on thru-hike, the key snacking consideration should be the weight to energy ratio. There are plenty of hiking snacks out there that are small and tasty, but they might not be packing the nutrients and calories you need to sustain your journey. Similarly, you probably don’t want to pack an entire Tupperware of last night’s leftovers, no matter how healthy they might be. You also want to think about what tools you’ll need to eat them – the fewer the better since that’s another thing to carry.
Sweet Hiking Snacks
If sweets are your jam (HA!), some great options are:
- Nutrient-dense bars. A bar with a good balance of protein and carbs will help you stay full and keep up your energy.
- Pouches of fruit or veggies
- Pouches of nut butter (we know a guy…wink)
- Dried fruit or fruit leather
- Homemade energy balls like these
- For shorter trips, a piece of fresh fruit
- For longer trips, quick-cooking oats, protein pancake mix, or a loaded granola mix
Savory Hiking Snacks
If you’re more the savory type, consider:
- Jerky of any kind or Epic bars if you’re feeling a little more adventurous
- Pouches of tuna or salmon
- Nuts and seeds or dried chickpeas
- Powdered hummus and hearty crackers
- An avocado has tons of potassium to replenish if you’ve been sweating. Eat it plain or bring some crackers.
- Hard-boiled eggs (if you’re doing a shorter hike – don’t leave those in there too long or you’ll be stanky)
- Hard cheeses (but again – consider the temperature and length)
- For longer trips, other dried grains and pastas if you’ll have access to water for boiling
And if you prefer a little of both:
- It’s called trail mix for a reason, yeah? Take your GORP (good ol raisins and peanuts) to the next level with these combos.
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