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The Best Snacks to Bring on a Hike

The Best Snacks to Bring on a Hike

When embarking on a hiking adventure, packing the right snacks is crucial for keeping up your energy and maintaining blood sugar levels (I’m looking at you, Hangry). Snacks are not just a treat; they provide essential calories and nutrients to keep you going on the trail. This article will guide you through what to look for in a good hiking snack. I also included a list of great pre-made options and a recipe round-up for the DIYers.

What Makes a Great Hiking Snack?

Portable

The perfect hiking snack is lightweight and easy to pack. Opt for snacks that don’t add unnecessary weight to your backpack. They should also be non-perishable and durable. Choose snacks that can withstand varying temperatures and rough handling without spoiling or getting crushed. Sorry, bananas…

Nutrient-Dense

Look for foods that are high in energy and nutritionally dense. Your hiking snacks should provide a quick energy boost and sustain you over long periods. Generally, a good snack should have a higher protein content (to keep you fuller, and longer) and a lower glycemic index (to regulate blood sugar). Choose a balanced mix of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Foods with a well-rounded nutritional profile will help maintain energy levels and sustain you through the day.

Easy-to-Eat

The best hiking snacks are quick and easy to eat on the trail. Trail foods should be convenient to eat without requiring extensive preparation. Ideally, snacks can be consumed straight from the package or with minimal effort.

Tasty

Most importantly, your snacks should be delicious! Packing enjoyable foods will keep you looking forward to snack breaks. I would also suggest packing a variety to prevent snack fatigue. Mixing different snacks helps keep your taste buds excited and prevents monotony. Think of a mix of sweet, salty, and savory.

Pre-Made Snacks: Top Choices

Energy Bars and Protein Bars

Bars are compact, energy-dense, and provide a good balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Popular brands include Clif Bar, KIND Bars, and RXBAR.

Trail Mix

Combine your favorite nuts, seeds, and dried fruits. You can even add a bit of chocolate for an extra yummy bite. If you’re looking for a pre-packaged trail mix, brands like Sahale Snacks and Planters offer convenient pre-mixed trail options.

Fresh and Dried Fruits

Fresh fruits like apples and oranges are great for a quick energy boost and generally pack well. Dried fruits like raisins, apricots, and mangoes are lightweight and pack a concentrated energy punch.

Nuts and Seeds

Almonds, walnuts, and sunflower seeds are excellent for sustained energy. Single-serving packs from brands like Emerald and Blue Diamond are convenient and easy to find.

Jerky and Meat Snacks

Jerky is a hiking snack class for a reason. It checks all the boxes! Look for beef, turkey, and even vegan jerky alternatives. Brands like Country Archer and Primal Spirit Vegan Jerky offer tasty, protein-rich options.

Cheese and Crackers

String cheese and cheese sticks are quick to eat and easy to carry. Create a balanced snack by adding whole grain or seed crackers.

Vegetable Chips and Crackers

Brands like Terra Chips and Harvest Snaps provide nutritious, crunchy options that are a healthy alternative to potato chips.

Hydration Boosters

Products like Nuun and Liquid I.V. help maintain hydration and electrolyte balance. Staying hydrated is crucial during a hike.

Homemade Snacks: Recipe Round-Up

Is homemade more your style? Mine too. Check out these primo recipes that are the perfect addition to a day hike.

DIY Trail Mix

How to Build a Healthy Trail Mix by The Healthy Maven. Davida says “Not all trail mixes are created equal! With this tutorial on how to build a healthy trail mix, you’ll get the low-down on what to include, what not to include, and how to customize your homemade trail mix to your needs and wants!”

Homemade Energy Bars

This No-Bake Oatmeal Peanut Butter Energy Bars recipe by Five Heart Home looks delicious! Samantha says “No-Bake Oatmeal Peanut Butter Energy Bars quickly and easily come together in the food processor with wholesome ingredients like oats, nuts, chia seeds, dried fruit, peanut butter, and honey!”

Savory Snack Mix

This Snack Mix recipe by Half Baked Harvest is one of my favorites! Tiegan says “This is just like a Chex Mix but with the flavor of BBQ chips. It’s made with pretzels, cheese crackers (use Goldfish because they’re fun), and homemade BBQ ranch seasoning.”

Electrolyte Drink

This Homemade Electrolyte Drink by A Saucy Kitchen looks so refreshing and is the perfect hydration booster! Sarah says “Refresh and replenish with a simple yet delicious homemade electrolyte drink! Think Gatorade but without all the added sugars, dyes, and artificial ingredients.”

Packing and Storing Snacks

Snack-Saving Tips

Resealable bags and containers keep your snacks fresh and prevent spills. I love silicone snack bags, like Stasher. They’re lightweight and reusable. Beeswax wraps are another lightweight and sustainable option for wrapping energy bars and sandwiches. Whichever container you opt for, just make sure it will protect your food against dirt and moisture. Make sure to keep your snacks fresh by storing them somewhere cool and dry.

Planning Snack Breaks

When it comes to timing your snacks while on the trail, especially during a long hike, eat small amounts regularly to maintain energy levels. Try to plan breaks where you can rest and refuel.

Conclusion

Packing the right snacks for your hike can make a significant difference in your energy levels and overall enjoyment. From energy bars to homemade treats, there’s a wide variety of delicious and nutritious options to choose from. Don’t hesitate to try new snacks and customize your hiking menu to suit your tastes and needs. Share your favorite hiking snacks and recipes in the comments below, and be sure to subscribe to the blog for more hiking and outdoor tips. Follow us on social media for updates and join the community using our specific hashtag to share your hiking snack ideas and experiences!

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