When it comes to hiking, you are definitely going to get hungry. After burning so many calories, it is nice to have an easy, small snack to nibble on. There are many options for snacks to take along while hiking, and these snacks will easily fit into your backpack, hold up well, and taste good enough to keep you nice and energized while you are out on the trail. These are the best hiking snacks on the market and the ones you should choose for your hike.
Top 14 Best Hiking Snacks
1. Peanut Butter Pretzels
Always coming in at a fan favorite, peanut butter pretzels. This mix of a salty and sweet snack will always be a delight. The crunch from the pretzel will give you a bit of salt, while the peanut butter is fatty enough to keep you active and full for hours.
Sample Customer Review… I love these peanut butter crackers. I can’t have milk, so it’s hard to find peanut butter crackers that I can eat but thank goodness for these. I can eat all I want, and they taste really good. I just rub off the salt since I have high blood pressure, but otherwise, they’re so good, I sometimes have two packages with my coffee or hot tea. I am 100% satisfied.Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
2. Trail Mix
Perhaps the best of both worlds, Trail Mix is a snack that has a lot of room for versatility. You can make your own or just buy it from the store. Just make sure to get your favorite nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and a sweet treat to add to the recipe.
Sample Customer Review… The thing I hate most about certain trail mixes is the lopsided ratio of nuts to fruit, so I am always looking for a trail mix that doesn’t go too heavy on the nuts or too heavy on the fruit. This trail mix has a blend of nuts and fruit that really appeals to everyone in my household. Whenever you reach into the bag for a handful or pour out a cupful, you always get a nice variety. Plus, it’s not too sweet — the cranberries keep things interesting. The nuts always taste fresh, too, not like they’d been sitting on the shelf for years before they were dropped into the bag. Plus, at 40 oz., there is enough of it to go around. Overall, I highly recommend this trail mix — it rocks!Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
3. Tuna Packets and Crackers
A very easy snack for being on the go is Tuna Packets and Crackers. You won’t have to worry about making a mess because the package stores the tuna within for easy access. With the crackers, you will not need a bowl or spoon. This is a great choice because it is low in sugar and high in protein.
Sample Customer Review… Perfect! This product tastes exactly the same as the original but has less sodium. The pouch means no messy draining or tin can taste. I go through these super quickly. They’re perfect for hiking, keeping at work, stashing in my gym bag just in case. They don’t expire for a super long time—a good deal of protein, filling, and for only 70 calories per pouch. I will continue to buy again and again!Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
4. Apple and Peanut Butter
One of the classic combos that people have been a fan of since they were kids: apple and peanut butter. Pairing a juicy, sour green apple with the sweetness of peanut butter will surely make your taste buds dance.
Sample Customer Review… I’ve purchased this product over and over again. I can rarely find it in our local stores, and it is always more expensive when I do find it. I actually don’t like the roasted (burned, to me) flavor of Jif in a jar, so the smoother flavor fits me perfectly. I’ve never had to stir a single container, and I’ve kept them for months without them going stale. My Girl Scouts love them with apple or banana slices, and in the dessert cones, we cook in our campfire coals. I like them all by themselves as a quick snack when I don’t want something heavy. While it still contains sugar, it has more fiber and protein than most of the other snacks I’m tempted to go for. The product stores well and yet are quick and easy to grab as I head out the door. I don’t have a single downside to list with this product. I hope it’s available for a long time to come.Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
5. Dried Fruit
When you need a nice boost of energy, dried fruit is a great choice for a snack. There is a variety of dried fruit to choose from at the grocery store if you are picky. This is one of the healthier choices on the list and will not disappoint.
Sample Customer Review…I love these snacks, particularly the Asian Pear. They’re great for taking along. I keep a couple in the tote bag to have in the car. They stave off MY sugar cravings which I inevitably get while driving long distances. They would be perfect for kids’ lunch boxes. I’ve also crumbled & mixed the Apple variety in chicken salad, and it was delicious that way.Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
6. Medjool Dates and Almond Butter
As some may say, Medjool Dates and Almond Butter is nature’s candy. You can expect Medjool dates to taste like caramel due to their sweet and chewy characteristics. When you pair these with any nut butter such as peanut or almond, you will have a snack that is perfect for hiking. The overall taste can be compared to a peanut butter and jelly sandwich without the bread.
Sample Customer Review… I eat dates every day with breakfast and sometimes to curb a sweet tooth. These are some of the softest, plump, freshest tasting dates I’ve had in a while. The flavor is bright and quite sweet. I enjoy the dates alone or with tea and a small handful of almonds. I live in an ethnically diverse area, and every Ramadan, a local market brings in skids of plump, fresh dates, which are quickly purchased and enjoyed by many in our area. These are on par with those. So if you’re looking for soft, plump, delicious, quality dates, get these!Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
7. Protein Bars
If you are searching for a snack that is high in protein and will fill your stomach up, protein bars will be your go-to. Protein bars range from so many different brands to flavors so you can surely find something that is suitable to your liking.
Sample Customer Review… I was shocked at how good this tasted! It’s like a brownie, and there’s no yucky protein chemical taste like you normally get with other bars. In fact, I use them to replace my afternoon brownie. (I have a huge sweet tooth). This takes care of the chocolate craving and cuts out many calories while giving me some protein. I’ll buy them again!Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
8. Beef Jerky or Meat Sticks
Personally, beef jerky and meat sticks are my favorite snack, especially for hiking. You should keep in mind that this snack will be a little bit higher in price as compared to the others, but it is well worth it. This snack has a lot of protein and it’s a nice change from the sugary snacks.
Sample Customer Review… This multi-pack comes with small pouches of both regular and teriyaki flavors. They are just the right size for a snack and are protein-rich, which is not the case for many snacks. I was familiar with the larger pouches sold individually in grocery and other stores, so I knew we liked this. These aren’t cheap, but the 14.99 price is reasonable. If you get the additional discount through Subscribe and Save, these became a really good buy.Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
9. Mixed Nuts or Candied Nuts
If you are hiking all day, it is very important to make sure you are consuming enough calories to replace the calories that you have burned. For their weight and size, nuts are high in calories. If you are trying to lay off the sugary snacks, you can always mix the raw nuts with the candied nuts.
Sample Customer Review… During Quilfest, a lady sells roasted sugared nuts (pecans, almonds, cashews) at the convention center. I was in the mood when I came across these on Amazon. I’ve eaten Squirrel Brand nuts in the past, and the quality has always been superb. These nuts were no exception. They were fresh, crunchy, sweet, and tasty – and they were gone soon after I opened the package. Very enjoyable. Highly recommended.Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
10. Homemade Energy Bites and Granola
If you don’t want to buy snacks from the grocery store, this option will be the key to your heart! A super fun yet very delicious option that can’t be beaten. You can put your own little twist on the recipe depending on what you prefer to taste, which is always great.
Sample Customer Review… This granola is delicious. It is made with added protein, so it keeps you feeling full for a longer period of time than regular cereal or granola. The dark chocolate chunks make it perfect for an afternoon or evening snack. In fact, I’ve had a bowl for dinner when I am not feeling like spending time cooking or preparing my dinner. I suggest you may like it if you give it a chance. I used to eat another type of granola for a snack, but this one brings more flavor to each bowl. And let’s face it, there is nothing wrong with having added protein to make you feel a little bit better about eating between meals. Try it, and I think you will like it.Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
11. Nutella and Pretzels
It is a sweet and salty snack. Although this isn’t always the ideal snack for the start of a hike due to the added sugar, it’s definitely a great snack to end a long day filled with hiking. This snack will awaken your taste buds, give you a small mood boost, and make your trip home even more vivid. Ending up on a sweet note is indeed pleasant.
Sample Customer Review… Great on-the-go snack. This is way better than the plain breadsticks. You get the sweet & salty mix. My only complaint would be I need more pretzels. Usually, it’s the opposite, but these little things pack a lot of Nutella in them.Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
12. Gatorade Chews
Need a snack that is great for being on the go? These Gatorade chews make a perfect snack. They’re fantastic at holding your blood sugar levels up, they’re delicious, and they have a thick, smooth texture. Just wait for the energy boost you will get from them, you’ll definitely need it!
Sample Customer Review… These are fantastic! I use them for long runs, and they give me plenty of energy to keep running. I don’t get jittery with them, but I also don’t eat the entire packet at once. They are a little hard to chew while running but have great taste.Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
13. Nut Butter
Although carrying around a jar of nut butter seems counterintuitive for hiking, this jar can be the best option for diversifying the best snack options you have at your disposal. Whether you spread nut butter on crackers, fruit, other hiking snacks or eat it pain, nut butter provides a calorie-dense source of protein that is perfect for quickly boosting the energy you have for completing a hike. Even in hikers, nut butter is ideal for assuring everyone has a snack to continue in the walk. Nut butter even comes in smaller squeezable packs if the jar seems too large for hiking.
Sample Customer Review… Okay, I joke with all my friends about this stuff, but it is seriously my addiction. I have to have Nuttzo (and specifically the crunchy power fuel kind) every day. It is my lifeblood. I love that there are no peanuts and that it is the perfect consistency of crunch and smooth and not too oily. I put it in my oatmeal, on my nut butter & jelly sandwiches, on my bananas and apples, and I eat it plain. Plus, it fills me up and makes me feel good. Did I say I love this stuff? I am disappointed they went to plastic and that the large version is not available in any local stores, but it is a good deal to buy the bigger one on Amazon rather than pay $12+ for the small one in store. Yummy!Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
14. Fruit Leathers
Fruit leathers are perfect for hikers who want to enjoy the fresh fruit taste on the trail without disposing of the fruit and the weight of multiple fruits. These fruit leathers come in various flavors and options for everyone on the hike to enjoy a burst of energy from this fruit substitute. Apple, raspberry, and strawberry are some of the most popular choices among hikers that leave them well energized and ready to continue with their hike. If you would like to make these fruit leathers yourself, you can even use a food dehydrator to make fruit leathers of your favorite fruits for the best hiking snacks.
Sample Customer Review… Ingredients for the strawberry packs are apples, pears, strawberries, and black carrot extract. No weird chemicals or added sugars here. That’s not to say that there ISN’T sugar because there certainly is, but it’s naturally occurring sugars in the fruits. In fact, most of the calories in this snack are from carbohydrates (including sugar), and there are 0 proteins and vitamins other than potassium.
So is it a HEALTHY snack in that sense? No. Is it full of carcinogens that will build up in your body over the many years of eating crap to kill you eventually? No. That last reason is why I personally purchased and enjoy these. They were not the texture I was expecting, having grown up on fruit-by-the-foot. They’re a bit tougher and chewier, and there are also often some tiny seeds, but once you get used to that, the flavor is delicious. They make great snacks at work, school, and on lazy weekends at my desk. Each comes with a cute “postcard” that I quite honestly toss after reading the cute info, but they would be a lot more exciting for a child probably.Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
Buying Guide: Things to Consider When Purchasing Hiking Snacks
Slow Burning Energy Snacks
Consisting of protein, fiber, and carbohydrates, slow-burning snacks will help cure your hunger for up to many hours. This is a great choice especially if you will be hiking long distances for long periods of time.
The higher the caloric density in a particular snack is, the more energy you will acquire in the long run and it will feel like you are carrying less weight. Caloric density snacks are high in fats which is what your body uses for energy. Some examples of the best hiking snacks that have high caloric density include chocolate, olive oil, peanut butter, and nuts.
Quick Energy Snacks
If you need a quick burst of energy, look for snacks that provide sugar, also known as simple carbohydrates, and sometimes contain electrolytes as well. These snacks will help you move on at an ideal pace, while also continuing your blood sugar levels for longer hikes.
It is very important to carry a variety of snacks that are nutritious. Nutritious snacks will help you have the energy for longer amounts of time. Therefore, it is important to create a balance of snacks that include fiber, protein, fats, and carbs. Now, if you were to eat foods that were processed while hiking, you will notice that you will get a quick burst of energy right after, but then you will become very slow for the rest of the time.
Sugary vs. Non-Sugary Snacks
Many snacks contain sugar. This is not always the best option for hiking because you can get energy in a quick form, but from there on you may become steadily tired and have less energy than you began with.
All in all, there are various options to choose from when it comes to the best hiking snacks. You can choose anywhere from a sour to a sweet taste. You can also go from a crunchy to a soft texture. No matter what choice you choose, it is vital to have a snack for your hiking trip because your body will burn many calories that are both your fat and muscles stored throughout the duration, so it is necessary to have a snack that will replenish close to everything that you have lost.
If you found this list of the best hiking snacks to be useful, check out our website for more.
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Written by Megan Sackman and Zachary Fauconier
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