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When it comes to hiking snacks, there are a lot of options! If you’ve ever wondered what snacks to take hiking, or you’re bored with your current hiking snacks, read on for some fresh ideas!
Not only do these hiking snacks hold up well in your backpack as you hike, but they also taste delicious and will keep you energized on the trail.
Easy Hiking Snacks for Your Next Day Hike
1. Peanut Butter Pretzels
And just when you thought it couldn’t get any better than a spoonful of peanut butter, someone thought to put a crunch salty pretzel around it!
Peanut butter pretzels make a great trail snack because they’re crunchy, salty, and fatty to keep you full for hours.
2. Trail Mix
No hiking snack list would be complete without trail mix, right? It’s a classic for a reason!
When it comes to trial mix, there are tons of options as the local grocery store; Trader Joe’s has an excellent selection.
But it’s also very easy to make your own trail mix at home. Here are a few of my favorite recipes to get you started.
Trail Mix Recipes:
I love to hit the bulk section of the grocery store and pick out my favorite nuts, seeds, and dried fruits to make my own unique trail mix.
3. Tuna Packets with Crackers
I’m a big fan of the tuna packets by Safe Catch. They come in so many flavors, you can eat them right out of the packet, and the quality is fantastic.
I even take them on my backpacking trips.
For hiking, I love to pack tuna and a bunch of cheddar crackers. When you stop to take a break, you can use the crackers to scoop out the tuna. No bowl or spoon is needed!
This hiking snack idea is high in protein and low in sugar. This is one of my favorite hiking lunch ideas.
Tip >> Bring a small bag for the garbage so you don’t get tuna juice all over your backpack!
4. Apple and Peanut Butter
Always a classic combo.
Although an apple is bulkier and heavier than some of the other hiking snacks on this list, it can be so refreshing to bite into a nice juicy apple on the trails.
Especially on hot hikes.
They go great with some peanut butter or almond butter. My favorite nut butter packets are RX Nut Butter, which has a little extra protein from egg whites.
5. Olive Packets
I first discovered these single-serving olive packets at Trader Joe’s and soon realized that they needed to come with me on some hikes!
Olives are salty and fatty, and definitely a unique snack! They’re a really nice balance to some of the sweeter hiking snacks on this list.
If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s nearby, you can try these olive packets instead.
6. Dried Fruit or Fruit Roll-Ups
Dried fruit is great for when you need a quick boost in energy.
I like to go to the bulk section of the grocery store and pick out a variety of dried fruit for a hike. Trader Joe’s also has an incredible selection! My favorites are dried mangos, figs, bananas, and pineapple.
I also love the chewy sweet boost from fruit snacks or fruit roll-ups on the trail. Nowadays there are so many delicious options.
You can find fruit bars that are made with real fruit purees and juices. They’re often small and easy to store in the hip pocket of your backpack for a quick bite.
Here are some great options:
- Pure Organic Layered Fruit Bars
- That’s It Fruit Bars
- Bear Fruit Rolls
- Homemade Peachy-Pear Fruit Roll-Ups
MONEY-SAVING TIP >> Many of these options can be found a Costco for a great price!
7. Medjool Dates and Nut Butter
This is nature’s candy right here!
Medjool dates are sweet and chewy with a caramel-like flavor.
Bring them along with a packet of almond butter or peanut butter and you’ve got a perfect hiking snack.
It’s sort of like peanut butter and jelly without the bread.
The best nut butter I’ve tried is definitely the RX Nut Butter packets.
8. Protein Bars
I love taking protein bars on hikes because they fill me up! I find them really helpful on longer hikes and backpacking trips.
Below are some of my favorite hiking snacks with a lot of protein:
- Oatmega Protein Bars – The raspberry white chocolate is my favorite flavor!
- G2G Protein Bars – I LOVE these bars. The ingredients are so simple and they’re very high in protein and keep me full for hours! They’re found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store but can be stored out of the fridge for up to 30 days. If you’re a Costco member, you can save money by buying these in bulk.
- GoMaco Protein Bars – I love the chewy texture of these vegan protein bars. The Oatmeal Chocolate Chip and the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip are my favorite flavors!
All of the protein bars above have a good amount of protein without being too dense.
9. Beef Jerky or Meat Sticks
Beef jerky is one of my favorite hiking snacks. It’s a bit expensive, so I try and save it only for hiking because I can easily eat the entire bag in one sitting!
Beef jerky and jerky sticks make great hiking snacks because they’re high in protein.
It’s a really nice change of pace from some of the more sugary hiking snacks, giving you some variety out on the trails.
These are some of my favorite meat sticks:
- Chomps Free-Range Meat Sticks (these are my go-to)
- Sweetwood Smokehouse Fatty Meat Stick
- Dukes Shorty Sausages
10. Mixed Nuts or Candied Nuts
When you’re out hiking all day, you want to make sure you’re consuming enough calories so you have energy for the hike.
Nuts make a great hiking snack because they’re high in calories for their weight and size.
If you want to take things to the next level, pack some candied nuts – they’re so addicting!
You can usually buy them in the bulk section of the grocery store or Trader Joe’s. If you want to dial back the sugar, try mixing some candied nuts with raw nuts.
11. Homemade Energy Bites and Granola Bars
The next hiking snack idea on this list is homemade granola bars and energy balls. They’re so fun to make at home and there are so many ways to change them up!
I love energy balls because they can be a quick single bite on the trail to boost your energy.
Below are a few healthy hiking snack recipes from around the web for you to try:
- Everything Trail Bars by me!
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Balls by Running to the Kitchen
- Salted Date Brownie Energy Bites by Ambitious Kitchen
- Mango Energy Bites by Minimalist Baker
- Chewy Coconut Cashew Granola Bars by Ambitious Kitchen
- Almond Chocolate Chip Granola Bars by Cookie and Kate
Why Eat Salty Snacks When Hiking?
When you’re sweating on a hike, you need to replenish with water and electrolytes in order to stay hydrated. That’s why people often suggest that you eat salty snacks on a hike – salt is a good source of electrolytes. Electrolytes are essential minerals like calcium, sodium, magnesium, and potassium.
One way to get some of these essential minerals is to eat salty snacks like salted peanuts. Another way is to carry electrolyte packets to mix into your water. This is my favorite way to get electrolytes on the trail and stay hydrated.
Electrolytes for Hiking
In addition to food, you also might want to pack electrolytes to help keep you hydrated, especially on hot and sweaty hikes. I carry a separate small water bottle to mix my electrolytes into so I don’t get my main water reservoir full of salts.
Here are some of my favorite options:
Instant Bone Broth Packets
Bone broth packets are high in protein and contain salt which will help with hydration!
They are one of my favorite things to pack on cold hikes.
You can either pack a thermos of hot water to mix the bone broth into or pack a small lightweight stove to boil some water when you take a break.
Either way, bone broth packets can be so comforting on a cold hike and a great way to boost protein on the trail.
How Much Food Should You Eat and Pack on a Hike?
While you’re hiking, it’s important to stop regularly to eat and drink.
Oftentimes, people want to power through the hike without stopping for a break. But then what happens is we forget to eat and drink until it’s too late.
In general, if you wait until you’re hungry or thirsty, you’ve already waited too long, and your output is going to start to decrease.
I know it can be so exciting on the trail with a lot of scenery to take in, but try to remember to stop regularly to take a bite of a snack and a sip of water.
Lastly, when it comes to packing snacks, it’s always a good idea to pack more hiking snacks than you think you’re going to need. That’s one of the essentials for day hiking.
Where to Buy Snacks for Hikers
You can buy snacks for a hike just about anywhere that sells food, however, there are some stores that have great variety and great prices. Here are my favorite places to shop:
1. Trader Joe’s (best for dried fruits, trail mix, and nuts)
If you’re looking for well-priced nuts, dried fruits, and unique trail mix combos, Trader Joe’s is the place to go!
2. Costco (lowest prices)
I am constantly surprised by the prices of snacks at Costco. If you don’t mind buying in bulk, things are a lot cheaper at Costco. They also have a ton of healthy hiking snack options. This is where I buy the Pure Organic fruit bars, bone broth, Chomps meat sticks, and G2G protein bars that I mentioned above. I have not found better prices for these items anywhere else.
3. Grocery Store Bulk Section (buy only what you need)
The bulk section at your local grocery store is always a great place to get a variety of nuts, dried fruits, granola, and trail mixes. When I’m making my own trail mixes, I love to get my ingredients at the bulk section because I can buy exactly what I need.
4. Walmart (low prices, good variety)
Lastly, Walmart has a really good selection of snacks at great prices. Over the last few years, I’ve noticed so many healthier options hit the shelves and it’s become a great place to find some trail snacks at lower prices.
5. Amazon (most convenient)
Of course, if you want to shop online, Amazon has just about everything you could need when it comes to snacks for hiking!
Enjoy these hiking snacks on your next adventure!
Have you ever heard the saying – “Everything tastes better outdoors”? I think it’s true!
I hope you enjoy your hiking snacks and pack some delicious food that will keep you energized for a day of exploring.
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