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5 Healthy Hiking Snacks You Need to Know About

January 11, 2018

5 Healthy hiking snacks you need to know about. Visit to see what hiking snacks to bring on the trail.

You've packed your essentials and layered up, but do you have healthy fuel for your body?

People burn a lot more calories while hiking, so it is important to pack lots of nutritious snacks to fill your body with energy to keep you going.

Be sure to eat foods that are high in good fats and proteins.  Here are 5 of the healthiest foods you can pack for your outdoor adventures.

1.  Trail mix (also known on the trail as Gorp)

Your options are limitless when it comes to creating your own trail mix.  It is important, however, to make sure you are choosing healthy ingredients.  Include your favorite ingredients from each of the following food groups for a well-rounded sweet and salty snack.  

  • Nuts:  pistachios, almonds, cashews, walnuts, peanuts, or pecans.  Tip:  Purchase raw nuts that haven’t been coated and roasted in hydrogenated or soybean oils and salt.  If you prefer roasted nuts, consider roasting them at home instead.
  • Dried fruit:  blueberries, cranberries, banana chips, or cherries.  
  • Seeds:  sunflower, flax, pumpkin, or hemp.  For the healthiest option, choose seeds that are raw and unsalted.  Seeds have many health benefits as they contain protein, iron, magnesium, and many vitamins and minerals your body needs.  They are small, but don't forget about your seeds!
  • Fun stuff:  dark chocolate chunks with 70% or higher cocoa content, popcorn, and pretzels are all great options to throw in your trail mix for a sweet and salty kick.  Did you know that dark chocolate has many proven health benefits?

Once you've picked your ingredients, all you have to do is mix it all together.  If you are looking for ideas of proportions for the ingredients, this is a good suggestion:  1 1/2 cups raw nuts, 1 cup dried fruit, 1 cup seeds, 1/2 cup fun stuff.  Want to spice it up a little bit?  Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp sea salt, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, and a pinch of nutmeg. 

2.  Peanut butter  

Because peanut butter has 94 calories, 3 carbohydrates, and 4 grams of protein per tablespoon, it is an excellent snack for the trails.  There are so many things you can do with peanut butter, such as smearing it on apple slices, crackers, or celery, or rice cakes.  If you have room to carry the jar, consider putting celery sticks in an almost-empty peanut butter jar for a quick and easy snack.

3.  Meat, cheese, and crackers

This is always an enjoyable snack in our household, and it is a perfect snack for the trails.  Tuna is a great snack because it is packed with 39 grams of protein per 154 grams of tuna.  Grab a package of crackers and some canned tuna that has a pop top for an easily accessible snack.  Your muscles will thank you!  

If you are a cheese lover, you may want to take some dry salami along with cheese slices and crackers.  Salami contains 12.6 grams of protein per 99 grams of salami.

4.  Beef jerky

Beef jerky is durable, extremely lightweight, long-lasting, and contains a good balance of fat, protein, and carbohydrates.  Look for authentic beef jerky that is not high in sodium.

5.  Protein bars 

Protein bars are a very popular snack among hikers.  They are easy to eat on the trails.  There are many protein bars out there that are filled with harmful ingredients you want to avoid, such as high-fructose corn syrup, brown rice syrup, soy protein isolate, inulin, agave syrup, soy lecithin, sucralose, and fractionated palm kernel oil.  Instead, look for these 7 healthy features in a protein bar:

  • High-quality protein (minimum 5 grams per bar)
  • Low sugar (less than 8 grams per bar)
  • Low carbs (less than 20 grams per bar but containing at least 3 grams of fiber)
  • Low calorie (for women, 140-200 calories, for men 170-300 calories)
  • No artificial sweeteners and no sugar alcohols
  • Contain healthy fats, low in saturated fats (< 3 grams) and free from trans fats
  • The fewer ingredients, the better.  A good rule of thumb is to choose a bar that contains 5 ingredients or less.

A great alternative to finding the perfect protein bar for you is to make your own.  It is quite simple, and you will feel so good knowing exactly what ingredients you are putting in to your body.  


Don't forget to hydrate!

Aside from healthy snacks for the trails, do not forget the very thing our bodies need most: water.  It is even more important to keep hydration in mind.  If you are actively hiking, it is a good rule of thumb to drink about one liter of water for every two hours.

We hope this gives you some fun new ideas for packing healthy snacks for the trails this year.  What are some of your favorite hiking snacks?  

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