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October 20, 2021
It’s Peak Hiking Season, Here Are The Best Snacks To Keep You From Getting Hangry On The Trail
Because walking three miles uphill is tough enough as it is.
Written by

One day, someone you know is going to propose a hike at a nearby nature preserve or park. “Some fresh air would be nice” you’ll say to yourself, but when your friend tells you to meet them at a trailhead at 7 a.m. in order to beat the crowds, you’ll realize hiking is a bit more of an endeavor than you initially thought. As with any activity, it pays to be prepared.

Along with a sturdy pair of shoes (you don’t need hiking boots, but if you want to have a Reese Witherspoon Wild moment, go for it), you’ll also want to bring lots of water and snacks. We’ve done plenty of hikes — whether just to enjoy the scenery or as an approach to outdoor rock climbing areas — and having the right food with you can make the difference between a great day in the wilderness and a cranky couple of hours when you’re just waiting to grab a burrito. Here are all the best snacks to take with you, from savory seeds and chickpeas filled with protein to sugary treats that can help quickly satiate an overexerted member of your hiking party.

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For Lots of Protein Fuel

These crunchy roasted chickpeas have just about everything you could ask for in an outdoor adventure snack. They’re full of protein, so you’ll have enough energy to reach your hike’s summit (and get back to your car), and they’re rolled in a not-too-spicy seasoning blend that’s packed with flavor. These are also free of many major allergens, so you can share them with your entire hiking party, and the resealable bag can double as a trash container for any food wrappers you use or see on the trail.

Get Biena Chickpea Snacks, Habanero, 4-pack ($14)→

For Sweeter Offerings

Honey Stingers are essentially the performance version of a stroopwafel. They’re great to snack on while you’re still enjoying your campfire coffee but won’t set you up for a sugar crash halfway down the trail. Their compact size also makes it easy to stuff a bunch of waffles into a small pack or pant pocket.

Get Honey Stinger Organic Waffle, Honey, Sports Nutrition, 16.96 Ounce, 16-pack ($19)→

For A Saltier Snack

You need more sodium than you think when you’re recreating outdoors, especially on warmer days. A single-serve packet of nut or seed butter can help you replace some of the salt you lose throughout your hike from sweat, and it’ll taste a lot better than a salt tab. If you plan on enjoying a meal during your hike, you can also eat these with an apple or some crackers once you’ve found a comfy rock or log to sit on.

Get Once Again Organic Creamy Sunflower Butter, 10-pack ($12)→

Protein Packed Bites

These small protein bites are the perfect size for mid-hike treats, since they are easy to pop into your mouth for a quick snack but won’t feel too heavy in your stomach, and they actually taste like a delicious home baked good, rather than just a granola-forward source of protein.

Get The GFB Gluten Free Protein Bites, Dark Chocolate Coconut ($8)→

For A Dose Of Sugar

These fruit-flavored chewables (essentially large gummy candy) are designed as performance fuel for training and highly aerobic races — but they’re also great for early morning starts or getting over the hump of more tiring hikes. There’s a bit of caffeine in each bite, plus lots of sugar that will give you enough energy for your day.

Get CLIF BLOKS Energy Chews , 18-pack ($23)→

A More Enjoyable Jerky

Even if you aren’t a huge fan of jerky — which can often be rubbery and difficult to chew — you might learn to love these thinly sliced pieces of dried beef. This Biltong is tender and can eaten as a filling snack or easily torn apart to put in sandwiches (trust us on this one). The Peri Peri flavor is the best, but garlic is also a solid option if you want some variety.

Get Kalahari Biltong ($8)→

An Old Reliable

Granola is always a trail snack staple, because it’s packed with fuel for long days of exploring and can be enjoyed in a myriad of ways. On campsite mornings, you can add some to your breakfast with milk or yogurt, or you can pack a baggie in your trail pack for a quick addition of carbs to stay energized.

Get Kind Healthy Grains Clusters, Maple Quinoa with Chia Seeds Granola ($5)→

A Fun Snack Or Trail Mix Addition

Dried fruit is a common trail snack MVP, and, in our opinion, Philippine Brand Mangos are the best option for staying fueled on hike days. They’re sweet, but not too sweet, and they don’t completely dry out your mouth like other brands of dried mango do. If you want to mix things up, you could also slice these dried mangos and add them to your own DIY trail mix for a touch of sweetness (without adding straight-up candy).

Get Philippine Brand Dried Mangos, 2-pack ($8)→

A Sweet And Salty Treat

There are two main types of hiking snacks: snacks that fuel you and snacks that provide a pick-me-up when you’re starting to get worn down by the sun or a strenuous ascent. These sunflower butter cups do both, since they’re the perfect balance of sweet and salty with a dark chocolate exterior and sunflower butter interior. Break these out when someone in your party starts to get hangry or as a reward for reaching a picturesque destination.

Get Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Sunflower Seed Butter Cups ($1)→

A Super Filling Fruit Snack

For folks who don’t enjoy most dried fruit because of its leathery texture, bananas are a great substitute. In our experience, these tend to keep you fuller than most bars or snacks, and they come in a variety of flavors, like coconut, peanut butter, and mango goldenberry.

Get Barnana Organic Chewy Banana Bites ($7)→

A Better Meat Snack

If you’re looking for a more protein-packed snack, these meat bars are like jerky or meat sticks, but better. The bison bacon and cranberry flavor is my favorite (the chicken sriracha one isn’t bad either), and they’re great to store in a bag while hiking or climbing outdoors to help stave off hunger until you can return to civilization. You might be suspicious of highly processed meat products, but these bars actually taste like the ingredients listed (and are convenient to eat on the trail).

Get EPIC Bison Bacon Cranberry Bars, 12-count ($32)→

A Trail Classic

There’s a reason why trail mix has it’s name: it’s delicious, can keep you full on hikes, and is easy to travel with (on trails). While the best trail mix is homemade — so you can add as many M&M’s as you’d like — these individually packed sweet and salty mixes are ideal if you’re pressed for pre-hike prep time.

Get Kar’s Nuts Original Sweet ’N Salty Trail Mix,Individual Packs, Bulk Pack of 72 ($24)→

For Olive Aficionados

Olives are a great, nutritious snack, but they’re usually hard to bring on a trail without getting olive juice all over your stuff. These single-serving packets solve this problem wonderfully, with no leaks or mess. The variety pack comes with four different flavors— from basil and garlic to lemon and rosemary — so there’s sure to be something for everyone in your hiking group.

Get OLOVES Natural Whole Pitted Olives, 12-pack ($16)→

A Building Block For Trail Meals

Hummus can be added to simple sandwiches that are doled out among friends for a mid-hike break and meal, or brought in a small sealed container to snack on with celery or carrots. It’s delicious and filling, and it’s nice to add something more substantial to your assortment of treats or bars. Roasted red pepper hummus is always a great choice, but you can easily find ways to incorporate a different variety into a mini trail meal.

Get Cedar’s Topped Organic Roasted Red Pepper Hommus ($4)→

A Versatile Topping or Trail Snack

We discovered these savory seeds when Patagonia Provisions provided some meals during a climbing festival a few years ago, and now they’re a consistent item in our camping and hiking backpacks. They add lots of texture and flavor to grain bowls or salads that you might enjoy during your backcountry adventures, but you can also inhale them straight from the pack for a crunchy snack. Alternatively, sprinkle these into other trail meals, like homemade onigiri or sandwiches to add some texture while eating on-the-go.

Get Patagonia Provisions Savory Seeds Variety Pack, 3 boxes ($61)→

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