What makes a perfect hiking snack? Snacks need to provide the right amoung of fuel while being satifying enough to make you smile when you have 8 miles left to go, two mountain passes to cross and a giant blister the size of a house. Sweet snacks provide fast energy while salty snacks are a must to replace lost electrolytes. The perfect snack must not melt in hot temps, needs to hold up to being abused in your pack, be easy to make in camp or be convienent while on-the-go. Snacks are pretty darn important to keep you going on a hard day and I usually put a lot of thought into what snacks I want on any particular hike. And so, I want to share my most beloved snacks with you. I’m not going to include chocolate bars in here because they are obviously a HARD winner for me in my snack bag. So aside from chocolate bars, here are the snacks that take the cake 😉 for me.
1. Pack It Gourmet: Queso Rico: This one still comes in on top after all these years. I’m pretty sure I clean pack it gourmet out of their supply with my biannual order of these. While this one isn’t a trail snack for on-the-go, it is the prefect appetizer before dinner to share with your favorite hiking friends. I will hang my chips on the outside of my pack to keep them from getting trashed in my bag. This dip has got a kick of heat but the cheesy deliciousness will satisfy your salt cravings after a hard, sweaty hike.
2. Cookies: It’s a hard tie between Trader Joe’s Caramel Mini Waffle Bites and Chocolate Mint Milanos (found at any grocery store). Both hold up impeccably well in your pack, avoid meltage and hit the sweet tooth punch when you need it most.
3. Barney Butter Almond Butter Vanilla Espresso Snack Packs: Say what!!!!!??? Vanilla espresso? My friend put me on to this on a hiking trip we took together. I was pretty repulsed by the idea of the flavor medley but agreed to take a taste when she offered. I was hooked. This is a treat and a great energy booster; perfect for on-the-go because you can eat it directly from the squeezable, single-serve pouch. I found these at Meijer but you can buy on amazon or direct from the website.
4. Gummies: I like fruit gummies because they are a good, juicy snack that you can work on while getting through a tough climb. My favorite are… surprise, Trader Joe’s penguins 🙂 Sticking with the nature theme here! I like these because they have no artificial colors or flavors.
5. Lara Bars: I have a love/hate relationship with granola bars. Mostly on the hate side because I often find most too dry, too sweet, too chewy, too blah. But Lara Bars are not like all the others. They are a healthy, energizing treat that I feel good about. Though I’ve yet to try all of their new and enticing flavors, I’m stuck on my two faves; cashew cookie and apple pie. You can get these pretty much anywhere (grocery stores, amazon, traders joe’s etc.)
6. Freeze Dried Apple Slices and Dried Mango: For when you want something that you can feel somewhat healthy about; cue fruit. Okay okay, I know that most dried fruit is coated in sugar and that’s why it’s so delicious, but it still makes me feel good…okay?! My two current favorites come from Trader Joe’s (are we noticing a theme here.. seriously trader joe’s is amazing for hiking stock up). The Fuji apple slices are crispy, a bit tart and actually taste like real apples. The dried mango is chewy and super sweet, a great fix after a hard hike that has you feeling crushed. I once shared a bag of these after a ten-mile hike out of the Grand Canyon that left our group feeling pretty wrecked. It brought us back to life.
7. Trader Joe’s Oven Baked Cheese Bites: Don’t get me wrong; any time I can bring real cheese, I will. But when you are trying to go ultralight, or an ultra long time where cheese may not hold up well in your pack/resupply box; these will satisfy your cheese cravings. The texture is a bit strange, but if you can look past it, it won’t be long before you dig the last one out of the bottom of the bag and wonder what happened to them all. That’s right, you ate them.
8, Jerky: Sometimes what you crave and what your body needs are pretty far off. Thankfully, lots of companies are making some AMAZING jerky that gives you a huge punch of protein in a flavorful snack that actually makes you want to eat it. My two favorites are KRAVE jerky: Chili lime (online, your local grocery store or target), and Trader Joe’s bacon sriracha jerky.
9. Honey Roasted Peanuts: Because regular peanuts just don’t cut it for me. These tick off both sweet and salty… and are addicting. Trader Joe’s has these for a great price.
10. Crunch Master Multi Seed Crackers : When you need a snack with a gourmet taste, good packability and pairs well with other flavors; this cracker will meet your needs. I love the rosemary olive oil flavor. Pair it with some cheese, hummus or sausage for a great lunch, a hearty snack or pre dinner appetizer. Wine doesn’t hurt either 🙂 You can find these at Rite Aid, Walgreens or some local Kroger stores.
HAPPY SNACKING ? What are some of your favorite snacks ?!