11 Real Food Hiking Snacks for the Trail
This is a throwback + updated post from last year. Since I L-O-V-E hiking so much, I thought I would bring back an old favorite of mine. A few summers ago, I was out hiking on a glorious, sunny day. As we came around the corner near the top of one of the mountains, my boyfriend was confused to find a horse 30 or so feet in front of us. We quickly realized that it was no horse...but a baby moose. A few seconds later, another baby horse and the gigantic mama moose popped out of the woods, completely blocking our view
Startled, we had no idea what to do, so we moved further down the path and ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. We waited, took pictures, then the moose went on the way. There was another moment of excitement when the mom came back out, and we took off running for a minute or so. Luckily, all was safe, and I spent the next few hours in awe of being that close to such large, incredible animals.
Whenever summer rolls around, I'm ready to get out there and explore. Living in such a gorgeous state of mountains, there's always a new green playground to discover. Getting hippy-dippy here, but I feel so connected when I'm outside surrounded by mountains, green, and breathing in the fresh air. Being embraced by nature with good friends and family is the perfect way to clear my mind and refresh my body.
Every year, I always forget how tough the climbs can actually be, leaving my thighs and butt burning more than a hilly run. Luckily, my hiking companions love taking hiking breaks...aka snack breads. Here are my guidelines for hiking snacks:
Hiking snacks should be portable, compact, easy to eat on-the-go, and calorie- and nutrient-dense.
I rely heavily on nuts, dried fruit or some whole fruits, and energy bars or balls. Make sure to pack a snack with carbohydrate for fuel and protein for satiety and staying power.
Depending on the length of the hike and intensity, you'll want to pack more or less snacks.
For a day hike, I usually pack several snacks, and will eat what I want based on my hunger. If I don't eat much while hiking, I am SO HUNGRY later on that day. If you're backpacking for several days, you'll want to pack meals, snacks, and a way to cook them.
Here are 11 of my favorite trail snacks:
- Apples (avoid fruits that may bruise in your bag)
- Larabars - or make your own with dried fruit and nuts
- Homemade energy balls/bars - we had chia seed bars with dates
- Cheese - cheese sticks or individual portions pack well
- Smoked salmon or deli meats
- Beef or turkey jerky. Epic bars are great with jerky + dried fruit.
- Trail mix - make your own with dried fruit, nuts, unsweetened coconut pieces, and maybe a little chocolate :)
- Chopped veggies - carrots, peppers, tomatoes - with guacamole or hummus
- Hardboiled egg with half an avocado in a small container. Bring a spoon/spork with you to eat the avocado.
- Peanut or almond butter squeeze packs (squeeze onto an apple!)
- Chia squeeze packs (Mamma Chia)
Don't forget that water bottle.
If it's a hot day or you sweat a lot, get some electrolytes in with coconut water or a homemade drink. If not, make sure to have some sodium and potassium later that day like a banana with salted nut butter.
When packing snacks in your bag, consider using small tupperware containers for foods that may bruise like whole fruits or avocado slices. Otherwise, pack your fruit on top, so it won't bruise.
Just as a reminder, don't forget to celebrate your hike at the bottom. I recommend ice cream, and I'd totally go for a beer if wheat didn't make my throat swell up.