Snacking and hiking go together like cheese and wine (although i probably wouldn’t recommend cheese or wine as snack options). Any one that been on a hike knows this, there is something so amazing about a snack after a few hours of trekking. Not only is snacking one of my favorite parts about hiking, it is also one of the most important things you can do to ensure an enjoyable day in the outdoors. Being as we are putting our body through stressful activity it is important that we are choosing snacks that are going to give us the fuel we need. luckily this doesn’t mean that we need to sacrifice flavor. There are plenty of great tasting snacks to keep us fueled up on our travels.
Bars are probably the most common snacks i see on my hikes. Cliff bars in particular are very common at the moment. Something about seeing a guy hanging off a cliff on the wrapper just seems right for hiking I guess. These are pretty inexpensive and can be purchased pretty much anywhere, although you save quite a bit of money buying them by the box as opposed to individually. I personally love cliff bars. They are a bit high in sugar but that isn’t always a bad thing when you need quick energy to keep you going. Obviously just avoid over doing it so you don’t experience a sugar crash half way through your hike
My all time favorite hiking snack is beef jerky for a variety of reasons. Jerky is a great tasting snack and provides plenty of energy to keep you going. There are a zillion Jerky brands out there and most of them are incredible. I personally make my own jerky because it usually turns out better than anything i can buy at the store and you save a little bit of money that way. It’s way easier than most people think to make and it can be a fun and rewarding activity. If you don’t feel like making your own that is perfectly fine there are a world of options available to you and just about any convenience store.
Nuts are another delicious snack that provide a ton of nutrition and can easily fit into a backpack or pocket. I typically keep cashews or almonds packed in my bag on the trail. Nuts generally have a long shelf life so you can keep them in your backpack for multiple hikes which makes for less packing time for last minute trips. Aside from being a great source of energy many nuts are considered “brain foods” and can help to keep you sharp on your hikes.
First off Bananas are a great source of potassium. This can help if you get a cramp or feel tired on your hike. Bananas can also provide a nice little sugar rush and offer a bunch of vitamins and nutrients that your body will be happy to have after some arduous trekking. Bananas also happen to be delicious which is just a little added bonus. A good tip I have learned from experience is to keep bananas somewhere soft in your bag. They bruise easily and no one wants that. I’d also recommend keeping them in a plastic bag if at all possible. It is very easy for things to shift around in your bag while hiking and this can lead to crushed bananas getting all over your gear. This is another tip that comes from a place of experience.
Tuna in a pouch is a great snack to pack for a bunch of reasons. First off this is light weight and takes up very little room. It can stay fresh for a very long time and it is a great source of nutrition. Tuna is one of those foods i make sure to pack for overnight hikes because it gives me the nutrition I need to keep going for long periods of time. These is no sort of prep needed for tuna on the trail and like the rest of the options on this list it is delicious.
Now this is not limited to peanut butter by itself although that is a perfectly viable option as well. Peanut butter is a high fat option for snacking on the trail and can be combined with a bunch of other snacks like bananas for example. You can also always prep the classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich which you see a lot of on the trail. The beauty of peanut butter is that it’s so versatile. Peanut butter is healthy and it is delicious which makes it a fan favorite for healthy snacking.
MRE’S (survival meals)
Now this is in no way a necessity for hiking however it is fun to grab an MRE for the occasional extended day hike over over night hikes. I have picked these up on more than one occasion and I am always pleasantly surprised by them. They are generally designed to give you the nutrition you need to keep going and come in a bunch of different flavors including scrambled eggs and fajita bowls. These often have shelf lives of up to 25 years so you don’t need to worry about them going bad and can be easily purchased on Amazon or most camping stores. The last one that I had included a self heating kit so I was able to have a warm meal at my camp site in the woods after a day of hiking without having to start a fire. The bottom line is sometimes it can be fun and a cool experience to treat yourself to a meal like this on your hike.
There are hundreds of options for snacking on your treks. These are just a few of my favorites. Regardless of what you choose just remember that the food and snacks you pack are going to be your main source of energy throughout the day. It is important to always make sure you pack enough to keep your energy up and avoid succumbing to hunger and crankiness when out on the trail. Thanks so much for reading and good luck on your adventures.