Everyone loves a treat on the trail, and while we’re certainly not complaining about the classic M&M-and-peanut combo, such hiking trail snacks staples can fall short considering the abundance of alternative—and arguably more nutritious—goodies in today’s snacking world. After all, high-quality, substantial fuel plays an essential role in a successful (and happy) hiking experience.

There are two ways to do hiking trail snacks: make your own, or enjoy a ready-to-go variety from the store. If you have time to prepare, decide on what foods will best support you and your body during your excursion and put together your own variety. And let’s be honest, on most hikes one snack is never enough. Pick a combo that’ll fuel that summit bid, and return you to civilization in one piece.

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The Granola Guru

Make yourself: Chef Emma’s Master Mix. Go to the bulk section of the grocery store. Pick out as many tasty, crunchy and nutritious items as your backpack (or budget) will hold. A good ratio goes something like this: 2 parts granola for every single part nuts; 1 part seeds; 1 part dried fruit. One of my personal favorite hiking trail snacks: plain granola, slivered almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds, banana chips, dried cherries, and slivered unsweetened coconut. 

The Protein Lover

Make yourself: Tuna and Crackers. Nix the can (and the weight), and bring a packet of tuna fish and some savory crackers to double as a scooping spoon. Store the crackers in a crush-proof container, which you can then use to store any “aromatic” leftovers or packaging materials. 

Granola - rusvaplauke - Flickr - OutThere Colorado
Photo Credit: rusvaplauke (Flickr).

The Health Nut

Make yourself: Hummus and Veggies. Carrots and radishes, or other sturdy vegetables, pair perfectly with protein-packed chickpea hummus. The fiber, moisture and plant-based protein in this combo will lend you loads of long-lasting energy. Pro tip: Substitute apples for the veggies if you think you’ll need an extra energy (sugar) boost.

The Sweet Tooth

Make yourself: Coconut Date Balls. You’ll need a blender or food processor for this project. Soak 7 dates and ½ cup of cashews in warm water for an hour. Drain the water; add the dates and cashews to your blender, along with ½ cup of coconut shreds. Blend. Add a spoonful of coconut oil if extra moisture is needed. Once sticky dough has formed, scoop out with a spoon, roll into a ball and coat with more coconut shreds. Refrigerate for an hour to allow them to set before storing them in your trail containers. Eat, smile, and repeat.

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