What’s a hike without hiking snacks?
When you hike, you lose a lot of calories. Those calories also take energy with them.
You’ll wear out quickly if you don’t keep yourself fueled well during your hike.
You might even bonk out, and the hike might become more difficult than worthwhile. That’s no way to hike!
So, how do you keep yourself fueled up so you don’t do that? Hiking snacks!
The right snacks will keep you fueled up and energized for an all-day hiking extravaganza. And who doesn’t like snacks? I know I do!
This article will look at different snacks you can take with you on your next hiking trip, so you can keep going as long as you want.
Types Of Hiking Snacks
Remember, when it comes to hiking snacks, you want to choose items that will put fuel and energy back into your system.
Avoid junk food like candies and sodas, which will only further cause you to bonk out because of their high sugar contents.
What you are looking for are nutritional bites that will give you more energy in a shorter amount of time, which can come in a variety of snack forms.
These hiking snacks are specifically good for giving you extra energy while you hike. There is no worse feeling than getting tired too early or too far into your hike.
Because then instead of enjoying the rest of the hike, you’ll only want to be done with the trip. But with the right nutritional energy-boost, you can last the whole time.
Trail mix is a great snack to take hiking. It typically consists of nuts, dried fruits, seeds, and sometimes chocolate or candy to add sweetness to it.
Trail mix boosts your energy, fuels you for the rest of your hike, and has nutrients like healthy fats and vitamins in it. Plus, it tastes great.
Bananas are also great for a multitude of reasons concerning hiking. Not only will they boost your energy, but they’ll also help stop you from getting cramps.
They’re a great hiking snack because they’re easy to pack either as a solo snack or in other snacks (like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or veggie wraps).
Energy bars are a great hiking snack because as they say, they give you energy. I take a few fruit, nut, and honey energy bars with me on every hike.
They boost my energy and help fuel the rest of my hike. Plus, I love their taste. There are so many options for energy bars that you shouldn’t ever get sick of them.
Energy balls are another great choice. These are usually a mixture of oats, raisins, nuts, dates, and almond or peanut butter with honey or maple syrup.
You can either make energy balls yourself or buy them from a specialty bakery that makes them fresh. Either way, they are tasty and full of fueling ingredients.
Fruits & Vegetables
Some of the healthiest hiking snacks are fresh fruits and vegetables. These snacks often contain natural sodium and sugars and are packed with vitamins.
Some work for the trail, while others might be messier to take without refrigeration, but there are some tricks to that.
Orange slices are a great snack to take with you on the hiking trail. They’re packed with vitamin C and are tasty.
Fresh will typically taste the best, and they can last a while before cold storage is required to keep them fresh.
Carrots and veggie-dips, like hummus, make for a great snack, too. You can buy individual hummus cups that don’t require refrigeration to enjoy them.
Other veggies are great, too, so you could also add broccoli and celery into the mix if you wanted.
Frozen grapes are great to take with you on a hike. Freeze them the night before so that they don’t become too mushy during your hike.
By the time you start chowing down on them, they should still have a good structure to them for munching.
You could also do this with cherries, raspberries, and blueberries.
Dried fruits are another great option for snacks during your hiking adventure. I’m a lover of fruits myself, and dried fruits are some of my favorites.
I love the sweet taste and feel like they help give me the energy to do longer, more strenuous hiking trips. And there are so many great options available for dried fruit, too.
Craisins are a great snack to take with you hiking. You can get little pouches or bigger pouches if you require more or have multiple people in your group.
Some of them are even covered in chocolate or yogurt, giving you extra energy and good taste.
Raisins are just like craisins. You can get them in little boxes, smaller and larger pouches depending on your needs.
Raisins are a great alternative to grapes if you don’t want them to get all mushy during longer hikes.
Dried mango is a very delicious and extremely healthy snack. Mangos have antioxidant properties that have been proven to prevent heart disease and other related ailments.
Mango is also high in fiber, which aids in having a healthy digestive system. It is best to dehydrate them yourself or find store-bought dried mangoes with less sodium and sugar.
Dates are also very healthy and a delicious treat for hiking activities. They’re rich in energy sources, have natural sugars, are good for fiber health, and they have a very long shelf life.
I love eating dates because it only takes a few of them to satisfy your hunger because of their size.
Veggie chips or dehydrated veggies make for wonderful hiking snacks, too. You can buy them already made or make them yourself if you have a dehydrator.
Most of the time, the pre-made ones are packed with salt, which could be unhealthy. If you buy pre-made ones, try to look for those with less sodium.
If you’re like me, then you like sweets.
As much hiking, biking, and trail running as I do, I still have a little pudge of a belly because I’m a sweet eater. (And I don’t ever work out my upper body; that’s probably the real reason!)
But there is definitely a difference between good sweets and bad sweets, especially while snacking on the hiking trail.
Chocolate-covered almonds are a great sweet hiking snack. They’re sweet, of course, the nuts give you energy, and they’re easy to eat without a temperature-controlled environment.
You could pack a small ice pack to keep the chocolate from melting on warmer days if you wanted to. It’s best to minimize the amount you eat, so you don’t go overboard with the sugar.
Applesauce squeeze packets are great for a sweet snack. These are traditionally aimed at babies and toddlers but make for wonderful hiking snacks because they are easy to transport.
Applesauce is good for you. The ones made for kids usually have less sodium and sugar in them, too. Make sure you look for that when you buy them.
Dark chocolate has a taste that not everyone acquires, but those who do will find it to be the perfect sweet treat for hiking.
Personally, I prefer dark chocolate over any other type of chocolate. It’s mildly sweet but not rich and overwhelming like milk or white chocolate. Dark chocolate is also a lot healthier for you than other options.
Honey and syrup straws make for really nice, quick hiking snacks. These are plastic straws that contain shots of honey or syrup.
If you need a quick shot of sugar to help wake you up and perk you up, I suggest these sweet straws.
Surprisingly, honey and syrup are a lot better for you than most sugary snacks. Plus, they are also extremely easy to carry and last perfectly in outdoor conditions.
Muffins are fantastic, too. They’re really good in the morning to help fuel you up for the hike ahead of you.
They’re packed full of carbs which will break down into fuel for your hike.
And you can add all sorts of different fruits to help make them better, such as cherries, blueberries, cranberries, and bananas.
You could also add veggies to give them a little extra vitamins and nutritional bonuses.
Sandwiches & Wraps
Sandwiches and wraps make for great hiking snacks that will fill you up. These snacks are more like meals and are best for longer hikes that are more strenuous.
But with that being said, you’ll need temperature control for these types of snacks. These are good to keep in a container with an ice pack to keep them from spoiling.
Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches make for a perfect hiking sandwich. The peanut butter and bread will give you carbs to help you hike longer, and the jelly will give you some energy.
It’s a quick, easy snack to prepare, store, and devour. I like to add some syrup to mine to give it a little extra sweet texture.
A turkey and avocado sandwich is a great sandwich option to cure your hiking hunger. Turkey is great for you, and so is avocado. Together, they give you plenty of protein and healthy fats that will keep you fueled.
You can even add some mayo or ranch to give it some sauce and extra flavor.
I would personally make the sandwich without the sauce and carry an individual pack of mayo or ranch to add to it when I am ready to eat it.
Another option is the Italian sandwich. It consists of various lunch meats like salami, bologna, pepperoni, ham, and whatever else you want.
Top it off with some cheese and a few pepperoncini peppers, and you have a delicious, protein-heavy sandwich. I like to use fluffy Italian bread with mine and carry sauce separately to avoid the sandwich getting soggy (of course).
Peanut butter and banana wraps are great hiking snacks that require little preparation.
You take a wrap, add peanut butter and a sliced-up banana, and there you have it.
It’s a good source of carbs and protein, and the banana will help prevent cramping from longer treks.
You can add some honey to it to break down the consistency of the peanut butter to make it easier to eat.
Veggie and hummus wraps are great, too. Add hummus to the shell of the wrap, then add whatever veggies you want – such as peppers, carrots, broccoli, and other goodies.
Dehydrated veggie slices would be great for this kind of wrap.
Salty snacks are good for people like me. I’m super tall and big, like a sasquatch. That said, I sweat a lot more than most people do.
I lose a lot of natural salt when I sweat, so I’ll eat salty snacks and electrolytes to put the salt back in me. Are you also one of these types of people? If so, let’s check out some salty hiking snacks.
Pretzels are great for hiking. They’re generally healthy and have enough salt to help replenish what you’ve lost. They’re also extremely easy to take with you on a hike and not messy to snack on.
You could take an individual cup of hummus to add some extra flavoring to the pretzel if you want to.
Popcorn is another good salty treat. You can make it yourself or buy individual bags from the store, then carry it in a container. .
Popcorn is filling and easy to take hiking. The good thing about popcorn is that there are all sorts of different flavors, whether you’re looking for something salty or sweet.
Dried cheese or string cheese packs are great hiking snacks. These typically hold out well without refrigeration for quite a while, too.
Cheese is a great way to give yourself some extra hiking fuel while also filling you up when you’re hungry.
Crackers are another great snack. They will give you extra carbs for fuel, and they’re salty. They’re like pretzels, but crackers deliver more fuel from carbs than pretzels.
You can even add your string cheese to your crackers to make an even better hiking snack.
Rice cakes are quick and easy, too, and they’ll fill you up with fuel from carbs. Rice cakes are typically very affordable and really easy to carry.
Many of them really don’t have a taste, so adding peanut butter or hummus might make them taste a little better.
I’m definitely a jerky fan, so it’s always my first go-to for a hiking snack. Jerky is good for you because it puts a lot of nutrients back in you that you typically lose during a hike.
There are all kinds of jerky, and I highly recommend that you try to shop locally and find jerky made in your area. Locally made jerky is usually the tastiest jerky to me.
Beef jerky is what most people are used to. You can find it in any store. Some are individually wrapped for personal use, while others come in a pouch for multi-person snacks.
The ones at the store are full of preservatives, so they don’t spoil. Sadly, that means they’re typically not as good for you because of all the sodium.
That’s why I suggested buying from a local source. But in a pinch, the stuff at the store is still great.
Turkey jerky is a great alternative to beef. Some people are allergic to beef or don’t like it, so turkey jerky is a great alternative.
I like to make turkey bacon and eat it like jerky. I find that it has the same texture and lasts as long as regular jerky, especially if you run it through a dehydrator.
Vegan jerky sounds bad to some people who prefer meat, but I have to say there are wonderful options for vegan-style jerky. My favorite is mushroom jerky.
I think it tastes slightly better than most beef jerky I have tried. Mushrooms are wonderful for you, too.
Many of them can provide everything that meat provides, making them a fantastic meat substitute. But not everyone can eat a lot of fungi, so eat it slowly to see how you react.
Jerky and cheese combination packs are among my favorite, personally. These are usually beef jerky links with string cheese in one pack.
I love to get a hotter cheese made with jalapeno or habanero peppers for the heat and spice. You can get regular/mild if you’re not into hot things.
If you can find locally created jerky and cheese combinations, I would get them before anything prepackaged in the store.
Hiking snacks are great, but you need to remember beverages, too. It’s important to remember to stay hydrated on the trail.
Plain water isn’t always the greatest thing to take with you on a hiking adventure, surprisingly. Sometimes, you need a bit more hydration and some good flavoring.
Water with electrolyte mixers makes for a great beverage. It’s something I take with me on every hike.
Because of the amount I sweat, I always need to replenish my electrolytes. I’ll typically double the amount of powder I put in water to give myself plenty of fuel to replace what I’ve already spent on the hike.
Flavor mixes for water are also nice. Many of them don’t have any fueling or electrolyte elements, but they taste good.
You can get just about any fruit or sweet flavor, and there are even some with electrolytes.
You can carry individual pouches made for individual water bottles or a little container full of the mix.
Gatorade/Powerade is a great beverage to put fuel and electrolytes back in you. If I’m going on a longer hike, I’ll usually take one bottle with me.
I prefer Powerade because it doesn’t taste as sweet as Gatorade when you drink it warm. Don’t drink too much of these, though, as they contain sugar and sodium.
I’ve found that drinking too much will not even help you keep energized; it just makes you bonk out quicker.
Performance beverages are made to help you get fuel back during and after physical activity. Under Armor makes them, and so do a few other known brands.
Some are for drinking during a hike, some are best to drink after. I’ve used them for recovery after a hike, and they felt helpful.
Ensure is a meal replacement drink, and they are great for a “quick meal” during a hike. They’re typically very affordable, and cheaper brands are practically the same thing.
You can carry them without needing to refrigerate them. Plus, they’re tasty and easy to drink.
Other Hiking Snacks
If all the fun hiking snacks above aren’t enough, here are a few other snacks that you might like. These are some of the things that I like to bring for laughs and giggles.
What sort of original or not expected snack items do you bring that aren’t on this list? I’d love to know!
Hard-boiled eggs make for a great snack. You can crack and peel on the move (take the shells with you – LEAVE NO TRACE) or have them pre-shelled.
Personally, I like to peel them at home and pickle them in something spicy. Then, I carry them in a container and eat as desired.
Other people like eating them with salt or mustard or just plain. Basically, there are many ways to eat a hard-boiled egg.
Tuna/chicken pouches make for great snacks, too. You typically don’t have to refrigerate them, and a pouch is great for one person (or two if for a quick snack).
You can eat them on-the-go, and they are tasty. I’ve noticed many more flavors of these pouches have come out, too – even spicy ones, which I’ve enjoyed. They’re relatively cheap, too.
Nuts are a great option. I’m talking just plain nuts. You can get peanuts, cashews, almonds, pecans, or a mixed nut pouch. Nuts are very easy to eat along the trail.
They’re typically very filling, they’re very healthy for you, and they give you a lot back that you lose while hiking. Store-bought nuts will have more sodium, though. So, look for nuts with less sodium if you can.
Energy gels and chews are made to energize you and give you back some electrolytes which help you fuel up to continue hiking.
Many different companies offer gels and chews. Some of my favorites are GU Energy and Hammer Nutrition (not sponsored). I like good-tasting gels and chews, but you need ones to help with performance and recovery.
Instant oatmeal is another great option for a hiking snack. You can cook it really quickly or even eat it cold.
It’s better to make your own out of oats and honey, but store-bought ones are usually cheap and quick. But they typically are loaded with sugar and sodium, so keep that in mind.
Hummus dips make for a great snack to add to just about anything. You can buy the individual cups for personal use or use it for a wrap spread, a veggie dip, or even just to eat raw if you like hummus straight out of the cup.
Cheese or peanut butter crackers are something I’ve always eaten. I remember eating them as a kid, and I still eat them now.
They have all different kinds, making for a nice, quick snack. They have some carbs in them and can help fuel your hiking trip.
But they are typically loaded with sugar and sodium, so that’s important to remember.
Tips For Packing & Storing Hiking Snacks
Now that you have some hiking snack options, here are some pro-tips for taking them with your on your trip:
- Use lightweight, reusable containers for carrying your hiking snacks. You want them to be lightweight since your back is carrying them.
Reusable is best because you’re spending less on packaging, not having to carry trash out, and protecting the environment.
- Portion your snacks, and don’t eat them all in one setting. I typically eat enough hiking snacks in a sitting to reduce my stomach growling. But if you eat too many snacks, it might take your body longer to process the food, which could tire you out.
- Keep perishable items cold with ice packs in airtight containers. You don’t want to let perishable food items get too warm. They can spoil quickly.
Some spoiled food can harm you and make you sick after eating it. Just in case, carry some pills in your first aid kit to help keep you well if you do get food poisoning.
- Use waterproof bags or containers for your snacks. The last thing you want is for your snacks to get wet after it has rained on your hike.
Rain could ruin your snacks or make them harder to eat. Waterproof bags might be a little lighter than containers, so keep weight in mind.
- Ensure your snacks are equally balanced in your pack with everything else. You don’t want to constantly be leaning to one side or putting too much pressure on one side of your body. Also, put quick snacks in your hip belt pockets to reach them more quickly.
What Are The Best Types Of Snacks To Bring On A Hike?
The best snacks are those that don’t need refrigeration and can be eaten quickly.
Basically, pulling out a trail bar and eating while you hike is what I consider to be the best type of snack.
How Do I Pack Hiking Snacks To Keep Them Fresh & Accessible?
Pack snacks at the top of your bag. This will allow you to access them quickly and give them access to air.
You can add ice packs to containers to help keep your snacks fresh if they require to be stored in a cool place.
Take advantage of your hip belt pockets for quick access to smaller snacks that you’d like to eat first, like trail bars and mixed nuts.
What Are Some Lightweight Snack Options For Long Hikes?
Lightweight snack options are great for longer hikes. My favorites are jerky and cheese combinations because they give you a good amount of carbs and protein.
Fruit and nut bars with honey are also great for energy on longer hikes.
Lastly, mixed nuts and dried fruit are also relatively lightweight and great for longer hikes for the same reason.
Are There Any Specific Snacks That Balance Carbohydrates, Proteins, & Fats Well?
Many companies create snacks that are made to balance out carbs, protein, and fats (a.k.a. macronutrients).
Many of these snacks include dates, which are very healthy for you and filling.
It’s a good idea to shop around and try different macro-friendly snacks made for this reason. There are lots of great options, including vegan ones. .
How Can I Ensure I Have Enough Energy Throughout My Hike With The Right Snacks?
When I go on longer hikes, I try to eat something at least once an hour.
I determine how many hours it’ll take to hike based on the mileage and the average speed I record each time on Strava.
I’ll take enough trail bars to eat half a bar an hour. That will also remind me to hydrate and swallow down the snacks.
I’ll also bring a bigger snack or hiking lunch to eat halfway through.
As you can see, there are many options available for hiking snacks. It’s best to try different ones to see which ones are best for you.
I recommend trying to keep healthy ingredients in mind when choosing your snacks, as many pre-packaged ones are full of sugar and sodium, which isn’t the best for you.
So, what hiking snacks will you choose?
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