Whether it is a quick afternoon hike or a week-long excursion, good hiking snacks serve as a good source of motivation to take on any trail. They serve as fuel to get you started, keep you going when it gets tough, and help you re-energize after the exhausting trip. Nothing beats the pleasure of finding the perfect spot to sit down, rest your feet, and enjoy a well-deserved snack while enjoying the views that you have worked so hard to see.
When packing food for your hiking trip, make sure to carry lightweight, yet filling and nutritious snacks that will empower and drive you, even when you take on the most challenging trail. Your hiking snacks should be filling and nutritious, but not weigh you down. Try picking snacks rich in complex carbohydrates and protein to stay energized while hiking. Avoid sugary or fatty foods as they can make you feel lethargic.
Eating healthy and protein-packed snacks every few hours can help you take on a long hike without feeling exhausted or tired.
With that being said, you can’t pack a lot of food because that might make your backpack heavy. If you are unsure about what snacks to pack with you, this post contains a list of some easy to carry foods for snacking while hiking. Have a look!
What Are Some Easy to Carry Foods for Hiking?
Settling for the cheapest and quickest snacks for hiking is very easy, but you wouldn’t like your cliff bars much when others around you are enjoying homemade trail mix, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, or meat sticks. Fortunately, it’s never too late to up your hiking snack game. Here are a few energy-rich yet tasty snack options that are not just easy to carry, but also help you stay energized while hiking.
1. Trail Mix
Among the most popular and nutritious hiking foods is trail mix. This go-to snack is readily available, portable, satisfying, and dense in protein and calories. They are a great option when you want to keep moving instead of taking a break.
There are many trail mix combinations currently available on the market, featuring various combinations of nuts, seeds, fruits, chocolates, and peanut butter. If you don’t like the pre-mixed options, you can try mixing one yourself. And there is no limit to the ingredients you can add. Choose your favorite things such as nuts, dried fruits, pretzels, chocolate and more to stay energized while hiking.
Just make sure to pick a mix with ingredients suitable for the climatic conditions you are traveling in. For example, some trail mixes contain ingredients that can melt when exposed to hot temperatures.
2. Nut Butter
Hiking is an excellent excuse for eating your favorite nut butter. A full jar of peanut butter may be too heavy to carry with you, but there are many companies that supply smaller, more portable pouches of various nut butters that serve as a tasty and energizing hiking snack. These too are easily available at health food stores, local grocery stores and online.
Nut butter as dip or topping can add variety and dimension to your hiking foods. You can pair it with your favorite fruits, veggies, or crackers to get double the nutrition.
3. Meat Jerky
Meat jerky is another classic snack for hiking. Only a few foods come close in portability and nourishment as meat jerky. It helps you stay energized with its high protein content and it is very flavorful too.
You can find different types of meat, including beer, turkey, wild-boar, or venison. A little amount of these goes a long way. However, you have to make sure you are drinking an adequate amount of water because meat jerky is high in sodium content, which can potentially lead to dehydration.
4. Fresh Fruits
Fresh fruits are a natural way to maintain your blood sugar level when the hike makes you feel lightheaded or low on energy. Sliced fruits also pair well with a ready-to-go pack of hummus as well as with nut butter of your choice.
Fruits with tough skin are the easiest to bring on hikes. Apples, mandarin oranges, and bananas all act as packages in themselves. These fruits are a great snack for hiking on hot days because biting into a juicy apple can be very refreshing on such hikes.
You can also try freezing grapes beforehand and use them as an icy, juicy treat on your next snack break during hiking. As for bananas, they are rich in potassium that helps fight off muscle cramps on a tough hike.
Use zip lock or stasher bags to store peeled fruits. Not only do they help reduce spillage, these bags are also useful for packing away the waste like apple cores, banana peels, and more.
5. Dried Fruits
Just like their fresh counterparts, dried fruits are another energizing food that you can easily carry on your next hiking trip. You can purchase a few packets of your favorite dried fruits from a store, or you can make your own if you have a dehydrator. Apricots, apples, and mangoes are some fruits that taste good when dried.
Hikers often prefer dried fruits over fresh produce because they are easy to carry, store, and also last longer.
6. Fish Packets
Fish packets make excellent hiking food once you have reached your destination. Besides being easy to carry, tuna and salmon both pair well with crackers for an energizing food that is full of protein. You can also use crackers as the scoop, eliminating the need to bring spoons. Since it is hard to eat while walking, it gives you a tasty reason to take a snack break during hiking. Try rolling up tuna in a tortilla for a little less mess.
Cans of tuna and salmon are readily available at both grocery and health stores. You can buy traditional cans with the opening tab or those that come in thin foil packets. Both options are foods that you can easily carry-on hiking trips.
7. Protein Bars
Protein bars are the easiest to carry and readily available hiking snacks. You can find these in grocery stores almost anywhere. These energy bars combine the goodness of carbohydrates, proteins, and natural sugars with amazing flavors to provide you with tasty and healthy nutrition.
The no-hassle bars are a great snack for hiking because they are easy to pack too. All you have to do is pick up a few from a grocery store and stow them into your backpack.
8. Tortilla Wraps
If you are worried about your sandwiches getting smashed as you hike, try making them in tortilla wraps. They are a great way to carry deli meat, cheese, and other nutritious ingredients in a sandwich. Plus, this energizing food isn’t as easy to squish, so your meal is safe too.
9. Energy Chews
Chews like gummy bears and jelly belly are the ultimate adult fruit snack. Besides being a food that you can easily carry, these chews are a rich source of energy that can quickly bring your sugar levels up when you are feeling slow or fatigued while hiking. Some even come with caffeine for an additional boost of energy.
You can easily find a wide range of energy chews online or at grocery stores. If you can’t find a proprietary energy chew, simply grab a bag of your favorite gummies. They may not be the healthiest of the hiking snacks, but the promise of a sweet will give you enough motivation to walk those last couple of miles.
10. Fancy Snacks
We all know a hiking enthusiast who climbs the hill only to enjoy a fancy meal at the top. It may sound like something completely extra, but a fresh baguette, cheese, prosciutto, and other fancy carbohydrates can be just the thing that keeps you going. Pair the fancy food with a stunning view and the hike will be worthwhile.
This list gives you a plethora of hiking snacks to choose from. All of these snacks are easy to carry and help you stay energized while hiking. When choosing foods and snacks for your next hiking trip, be sure to pick up a diverse range because munching protein bars alone quickly becomes boring. Avoid picking up heavy and bulky foods as they will tire you and slow you down. In addition to fruits, try picking up some other sweet treats to enjoy your reward for all the hard work at the end of the hike.