18 Best Snacks to Eat While Hiking

Snacks are essential if you’re going to be out there for any length of time. They can help keep you hydrated, give you some extra calories, or even provide you with something to munch on while you wait for the trail to clear. So, you must eat snacks while hiking!

The 18 Best Snacks You Should Eat While Hiking

What makes a good day hike snack?

Snacks for hiking must be portable, easy to eat, and nutritious.

Snack foods aren’t meant to carry out an entire backpacker’s diet. They should only provide fuel for the trail. Watermelons are ideal because they weigh next to nothing and can easily fit inside a pack. However, they’re not suitable for a multi-day hike.

Nutrition: In order to lose weight, you must first burn more calories than you consume. Your body needs nutrients to function properly, so it’s crucial that you eat foods that provide all the vitamins and minerals needed to stay healthy. When choosing snack food, look for snacks that contain a good balance of carbs, protein, and fat. These snacks should have a large number of calories per gram and give you plenty of energy throughout the day.

Bring food that doesn’t require refrigeration. Cold foods tend to spoil quickly when exposed to heat and humidity. This is especially true in hot weather. If you need to bring cold food, make sure it’s packed well and tightly closed.

Portability: It’s important to choose snacks that will fit into your bag comfortably. Snacks like Gorp bars and jerky are great choices because they don’t take up much space. You can also find dry cereal that packs down small enough to fit in a pocket.

Hydration: The best hiking snacks to eat are those that are high in water content. Foods like fruit and yogurt are great sources of liquid. Make sure you drink at least one gallon of water each day.

1. Dried fruit and nuts

Dried fruit snacks like raisins, cranberries, apricots, and apples are perfect hiking companions because they provide a quick boost of energy and nutrients when needed. They can be stored easily and don’t require refrigeration. In addition, they contain no preservatives and therefore won’t spoil after a few days.

While we love the prices at Trader Joe’s, there are many different types of nuts and dried fruits available online. For example, you can buy pecans, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, and more. There are even some specialty items like cashews, pistachios, brazil nuts, and pine nuts.

2. Peanut Butter and Bananas

Peanut butter is a nutritious food packed with protein, vitamins, and minerals. Bananas are loaded with potassium, which plays a key role in energy production. They also contain manganese, magnesium, and vitamin B6, all of which boost metabolism and promote weight loss. Granola adds a bit of crunch and fiber while serving as a satisfying breakfast option.

3. Beef Jerky

Many people make jerky out of beef, chicken, turkey, pork, lamb, venison, rabbit, elk, buffalo, and even fish (like salmon). Jerky is made by drying meat until it becomes brittle. When dried, the proteins coagulate together and form a tough texture. To make jerky, you simply cut the meat into strips and then dry it in the oven or over a grill. Once it’s completely dry, remove it from the heat and let it cool before storing it in airtight containers.

You can use jerky to replace other snacks on long hikes. It’s delicious, easy to pack, and provides a steady source of nutrition.

4. Homemade trail mix

One of the easiest snacks to make at home is trail mix. There are plenty of delicious recipes online that are sure to impress your friends and family. To make this recipe, simply combine all the ingredients listed below. Then, place the mixture in an airtight container and store it away until needed.

Trail mixes should be avoided during warm weather hikes because they melt easily when exposed to heat. Chocolate bars, dried fruit, nuts, and chips are all examples of items that could cause problems if left unattended.

5. Fresh or Dried Fruit

Fruit has been shown to be one of the healthiest snacks out there. In addition to load with vitamins and minerals, fruits contain natural sugars that provide instant energy. They’re also good sources of fiber and antioxidants. So why not eat more fruit?

One reason may be that most fruits have a short shelf life. Another reason might be that many people don’t enjoy eating fruit by itself. Instead, they prefer something sweet like a candy bar or cookie. But when paired with nuts, seeds, or yogurt, fruit becomes a healthy alternative to these junk foods. For example, try pairing fresh strawberries with almond butter instead of peanut butter. Or toss a handful of blueberries onto a bowl of plain Greek yogurt for a delicious breakfast.

6. Fruit leather

Fruit leathers are perfect for bringing the flavor of fresh fruit onto the trail. They’re lightweight, portable, and don’t require refrigeration. However, there are several different ways to make your own fruit leathers. One of our favorites is using a food dehydrator. We’ve created two recipe videos showing how to make tie-dyed fruit leathers and tropical fruit leathers. These are great options for hikers who want to bring their favorite flavors along for the hike.

7. Meat bars

Meat bars are another portable snack option that offers a lot of protein. They can be a great substitute for energy bars, which tend to have a lot of added sugar and carbohydrates. Choose one that has no more than 10 grams of net carbs per bar. The best way to prepare them is to first marinate the meat in spices and herbs. A simple combination of salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, onion powder, oregano, thyme, basil, parsley, rosemary, sage, and chives work well. Once the meat is fully seasoned, bake it in the oven until it reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the meat from the oven and allow it to cool. Cut it into small squares, and wrap each piece individually in plastic wrap. Store the wrapped pieces in an airtight container until ready to consume.

8. Packets of tuna or chicken

Ready-made tuna or chicken salad packets are a convenient and nutritious option when planning a hike. They come in many different flavors, such as buffalo chicken, herb and garlic, and ranch dressing. These are perfect for packing along because they don’t require refrigeration and are ready to eat right out of the packet. Packets of this type have been a staple food for hikers throughout history. Hikers used to carry dried fish and other types of meat to sustain themselves during long treks. Today, we still recommend using these kinds of packs for any outdoor activity where you’ll spend extended periods away from home.

9. Olives

Olives make great snacks for hikers. They’re small and portable, so you won’t have trouble carrying them along with you. Similar to cheese, olives provide a nice contrast to salty foods like crackers and chips. They go well with everything from sandwiches to salads. Make sure to pack some good olive oil with you, though!

Obviously, you can buy a jar of your favorite olive oil and pour out the liquid. Afterward, you could repack the olives into a resealable plastic bag, or you could use a brand like Olives, which makes convenient, on-the-go packs.

10. Cheese


Cheese makes a tasty hiking snack break! Whether you enjoy eating it straight out of the package or in sandwiches, there’s no denying that cheese is one of life’s simplest pleasures. However, not all types of cheese are appropriate for hiking. Some varieties have strong odors or flavors that could be unpleasant after a few hours on the trail.

In addition, some cheeses contain preservatives that may spoil quickly when exposed to air. Instead of bringing these types of cheeses along, opt for softer varieties such as mozzarella sticks or mild blue cheese. These options won’t have as many negative effects but will still provide plenty of flavor and texture.

Cheese sticks are one of my favorite snacks. I usually grab some at work when I’m feeling stressed out because they’re easy to eat quickly. They’re perfect for kids because they’re bite-sized and easily portable. Most importantly, though, they’re delicious. My favorites include Babybel cheese and Cabot cheddar cheese.

11. Veggies

If you’re going on an active hike, chances are you’ll want to bring something healthy to munch on. Vegetables are always a safe bet, especially if you’re trying to lose weight. With just a little prep time, you can turn fresh vegetables into delicious snacks. The key is to choose veggies that are high in water content. Carrots, cucumbers, celery, bell peppers, and tomatoes are all excellent choices. You should also consider packing nuts and seeds. Nuts and seeds add protein and fiber to your diet without adding many bulks. When choosing between almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews, and sunflower seeds, think about how you plan to consume them. Sunflower seeds are often sold hulled, meaning they’ve lost their outer shell.

12. Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts are one of the healthiest foods out there. They provide a wide range of vitamins and minerals, including fiber, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, selenium, vitamin B6, vitamin E, omega 3 fatty acids, and more. They also contain plenty of protein and healthy fats. Plus, nuts have been shown to lower cholesterol levels. So, eat up!

For those who prefer to avoid nuts and seeds, there are other options available. Cashew butter is a popular alternative. It has a similar consistency and taste to nut butter. It contains less fat than most nut butters, however. Peanut butter is another option. Like cashew butter, peanut butter provides a satisfying crunchy texture. Both of these products are great alternatives to nuts.

13. Homemade Granola Bars and Bites

Granola bars are convenient and nutritious. But sometimes, they don’t quite hit the spot. If you’re looking for something more substantial, homemade granola bars might be a better choice. Homemade granola bars are simple to make and require minimal ingredients.

All you need are oats, dried fruit, honey, coconut oil, vanilla extract, and salt. To create a filling breakfast bar, you can also use almond milk instead of plain yogurt. This will help cut down on calories and increase the nutritional value of the recipe. Once you get the hang of making granola bars, you can experiment with different combinations of ingredients. Try using chocolate chips, raisins, or even peanut butter chips. Experiment until you find what suits your tastes best.

14. Candy Bar

Sometimes, you just need a candy bar. There’s no denying it. Candy bars are tasty, convenient, and nutritious. However, they aren’t exactly ideal for active hikers. For starters, they tend to be packed full of sugar. Sugar isn’t necessarily bad, but it’s not good either. And too much sugar can cause problems like tooth decay. Also, many candy bars contain lots of preservatives. These additives can lead to digestive issues.

If you really need a candy bar, try mixing things up a bit. Instead of buying a traditional candy bar, pick up some trail mix. Trail mix consists of nuts, seeds, and dried fruits. That way, you still get the convenience of a candy bar, plus you’ll get a nice dose of nutrition from the trail mix itself.

15. Snacks Made from Dried Fruit

Dried fruit is a great snack because it’s easy to carry around and doesn’t take up much space. What’s more, dried fruit is usually cheaper than its canned counterpart. Dried apricots, applesauce, cranberries, figs, pears, plums, prunes, and bananas are just a few examples of delicious, dried fruits that hikers should keep in their backpacks.

Dried fruit is often used as an energy source during long hikes. When you’re hiking, you want to stay hydrated. But if you only drink water, you risk getting dehydrated. Dehydration can result in fatigue, headaches, dizziness, nausea, muscle cramps, confusion, and shortness of breath.

By eating dried fruit, you provide yourself with quick-energy carbohydrates. You won’t have to worry about drinking enough water. Plus, dried fruit is high in fiber, which helps with digestion. So, by eating dried fruit, you can enjoy a healthy snack without worrying about having to stop along the trail to eat.

16. Nuun

Nuun is one of the leading brands of electrolyte drinks. It is specifically design for people who work out regularly. The company claims that Nuun is effective at replacing lost fluids, boosting metabolism, improving endurance, and increasing mental focus. As such, it’s perfect for anyone who trains frequently. Nuun comes in several flavors, including orange, lemonade, grapefruit, and strawberry.

17. Clif Shot Bloks

Clif Shot Blocks are made from whole grains and are designed to replace the protein found in meat. They come in beef, chicken, turkey, and pork varieties. Clif Shot blocks are available in both regular and vegan versions. The blocks come in three sizes: small (1/2 cup), medium (3/4 cup), and large (1 cup). Each block contains 10 grams of protein and 5 grams of fat. In addition to being tasty, Clif Shot Blocks are also very portable. Because they’re made from whole grain, the blocks can be easily stored in your backpack for days at a time.

18. Nutrition Bars

There are dozens of different types of nutrition bars out there. Some are specifically designed for athletes. Others are meant to satisfy cravings. Still others are made to help you lose weight. Whatever your reasons for wanting to buy a nutrition bar, make sure you know what type of bar you’re looking for. A lot of nutrition bars contain artificial ingredients. This means that they may not be safe for people with certain food allergies or sensitivities. Also, nutrition bars don’t always offer the same number of calories as other foods.

Nutrition bars typically contain between 100 and 200 calories per serving. Compare this to a slice of bread, which has anywhere from 130 to 280 calories. If you need more calories, then a nutrition bar might not be the best option. However, if you’re trying to cut down on calories, then nutrition bars could be a good choice.

How to Pack Your Hiking Snacks

Now that you’ve read all about the benefits of hiking snacks, you’ll probably want to learn how to pack them. Don’t forget to include some sort of container when you head out into the wilderness. It doesn’t matter whether you choose a plastic bag, a glass jar, or a metal tin. Just make sure that whatever container you use will fit inside your backpack.

If possible, try to keep your hiking snacks separate. For example, if you plan on bringing nuts, raisins, granola bars, and cookies, place these items in their own containers. Then, put each item in its respective container before putting it back in your backpack. This way, you won’t accidentally take something else out of your backpack. Instead, you’ll just grab the right container and pull out the appropriate snack.

Also, consider using a zipper-lock bag. These bags have zippers that lock shut. When you open the bag, the contents stay sealed until you close the lid again. This makes it easy to prevent any accidental spills. You can find zipper-lock bags at most grocery stores.

The Bottom Line

Hiking is an excellent form of exercise. But, unless you prepare ahead of time, it’s likely that you’ll get hungry during your hike. Fortunately, there are many healthy options to choose from. Whether you decide to bring along energy drinks or trail mix, you can enjoy yourself while enjoying nature. Happy hiking!

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