Hiking: snacks to pack

Trail mix gets old, especially with the same mundane ingredients one gets from those pre-made ziploc packages at the grocery store. On top of that, you really can only eat so many granola bars (not only on a single hike but in a lifetime in general). The thing is, if you’re really looking to enjoy your hike and the food you pack along the way, it might not be a bad idea to consider something new. Instead of a trip to the convenience store for pre-packaged snacks, for instance, a run to the grocery store for fresh ingredients could be that difference you need to make a happier – and healthier – adventurous you.

Chowhound has been a good friend of mine for several outings in the Indiana outdoors. In fact, the website hosts an entire list of “27 Healthy, Portable Hiking Snacks,” with the recipes included. That’s right, eating healthy on the trail is going to require some at-home preparation, with maybe a little bit of cooking and baking. Luckily for you, I’ve narrowed down the list quite a bit to keep your positive adventurous vibes from crumbling under the weight of all those ingredient lists and cooking instructions. The produce: a top 5 easiest-and-healthiest list of Chowhounds best hiking snacks (with the links to the recipes included).

Thai Beef Jerky

  • Beef jerky is one of the most savory snacks you can bring on your hike. Especially considering all of the rabbit food you might be packing (AKA all the nuts and granola), you’re really going to look forward to digging down in your backpack for this one.
  • Although it’s only five ingredients and simple to make, you’ll want to prepare this snack at least a couple days in advance before your hike.
  • The best part: whatever you don’t finish on the trail, you can save and eat later (up to a month in your refrigerator).


Strawberry Fruit Leather

  • If it’s summertime and you’re one of those guys or gals who loves to go strawberry picking, this might be the snack for you – all you need is about a pound of strawberries, some sugar, salt, and lemon juice.
  • Again, this is best to make a day or two ahead of time, but you’ll have a lot of fun making it.
  • Although it’s not on the website, you can always add a dash of whatever other fruit fits your liking, like maybe apples or blueberries.

Smoked Almonds

  • If your into more of the traditional hiking snack, one that’s as easy to make as it is healthy to munch on, this might be your best bet.
  • As the website says, all you need is fire, nuts, and a little salt and sugar. If you’re out camping the night before your hike, bring a pan (and a grate if you have one) so you can make these over the fire and under the stars.

Cherry Power Bars

  • I know I was giving granola bars a tough time, but this is not your average granola bar. In fact, it’s more like an energy bar, only homemade and way healthier.
  • It’s true – the ingredients list for these bad boys are a few lines longer than the rest of the items on the snack list. Unlike the others though, it can essentially be doubled as its own breakfast, and its shelf-life will outlive the rest as well.
  • A quick tip: this recipe requires dried cherries, but don’t be afraid to mix and match. Any dried berry will do, and there’s no reason why you can’t mix and match.
  • Another, less healthy tip: go above and beyond by topping your bars with a light layer of dark chocolate before slicing them up.

Gourmet Trail Mix

  • Yes, they do have a plain-and-simple trail mix recipe.
  • Although boring, it’s super quick and insanely easy, and you might not even have to run to the grocery.
  • Truthfully, it is a lot better and fresher than the packs of trail mix you’ll find at the store, and you can even toss some of your own ideas into the mix – coconut flakes and peanut butter M&M’s anyone?

Even if after you’ve checked through Chowhound’s entire 27-point list of options, and you still can’t find something you like (or easy enough), there’s no shame in throwing a bag of popcorn over the fire and calling it the perfect homemade hiking snack.





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