Best snacks for your next hike
Hiking in the great outdoors is one of the most rewarding activities you can do. Taking in the breathtaking beauty of nature coupled with exercise and fresh air, what’s not to love?
Well, that could depend entirely on how much preparation you’ve put in (and the weather). Regardless of whether you’re going for a short stroll or boldly striding into the wilderness for a length of time that borders on becoming feral, there are certain things that are essential for an enjoyable hike.
Sturdy shoes, fairly obvious. Enough water usually accounted for. Food? Hmm… even when going on a short hike, having some energy-boosting snacks close at hand is a good idea. Although hiking can be seen as a leisurely activity, your body still exerts a huge amount of energy while you trudge towards that beautiful vista you’re craving.
But sometimes that view is a little further than you imagined and you’re probably going to find yourself in need of some energy in the form of good nutrition to fuel your tank and keep you trekking not just to the vantage point, but back again as well. Picking the right nutrition to take on your hike can make the difference between a refreshing and relaxing experience, or feeling completely wiped out after your day off when you were supposed to be recovering!
So, to help lift your energy, your spirits, and your hiking lifestyle, here are 6 ideas for energy-boosting snacks you can easily take with you on your next hike.
Homemade snacks for Hiking
Part of looking forward to your hike comes from the preparation you do in advance. Some people might disagree and just want to wake up, caffeinate, and grab their backpack on the way out the door. For others, the preparation is a labor of love, and getting all your gear neatly arranged the night before can act as a mental transition from work-week-woes to a fully-fledged mountain goat.
If you want to revel in this feeling of waking your trail wandering alter ego there are a number of healthy homemade treats you can get stuck into. After all, mountain goats also need good nutrition!
Best Smoothies For Hiking
The first thing we’re going to suggest is some tasty smoothies, and we do so for a number of reasons:
- They are quick and easy to make. Because smoothies are best made fresh, you’ll likely be blending them on the day of your hike so the less time spent in the kitchen and the more time spent out on the trails the better!
- Fast energy. When you blend your fresh ingredients together, especially fruits and vegetables, breaking them down before you consume them means there’s less work for your digestive system and you can get your energy hit faster!
- Packed full of the good stuff. If someone told you to eat 3 apples, 2 bananas, and a bag of spinach before going hiking you’re likely to either give up on the hike or use language that would involve a lot of censoring. However, blend it together in a smoothie and you can chug it down in minutes.
1. Chocolate Almond Smoothie
What could be better than starting your hike with a smoothie? Starting your day with a chocolate smoothie! This is one of our favorite recipes from Tasty. Apart from the taste, this smoothie will also give you long-lasting energy to fuel your hike.
Chocolate Almond Smoothie Ingredients:
Chocolate Smoothie Instructions:
Pop it all in a blender and blend until smooth. Easy peasy.
2. Berry Blast Smoothie
For those of us who would prefer not to start our day with chocolate (all both of you) here’s a quick Berry Blast Smoothie by Taste of Home that we think you’ll love. It’s a great way to start your day off right with energy and nutrients that will keep you feeling great all the way along your trail.
Berry Blast Smoothie Ingredients:
Berry Blast Instructions:
Chuck it all together and blend until you are happy with the consistency.
The berries and chia seeds will give you a kick of nutrients and fiber that will help your digestion while the yogurt helps maintain your healthy gut.
3. 3 Ingredient Energy Balls
Energy balls do exactly what they say on the tin. This no-nonsense 3 - ingredient energy ball recipe from Simply Quinoa is one of our favorites because it is so easy to customize to your taste!
Energy Ball Ingredients:
Energy Ball Instructions:
- Blend all the ingredients together
- Take the mixture out in tablespoon amounts and roll it into balls
- Chuck them in the fridge or freezer
These are so quick, simple, and easy to make! Just throw it together the night before your hike, take them out in the morning, and enjoy along the trail whenever the hunger strikes! The reason we love energy balls so much is that they tick a lot of boxes:
- Easy to make
- Easy to transport
- Easily portable
Yeah, we like things as easy as possible while getting the maximum benefits, but who doesn’t!? To customize your own you just need a combination of something sticky, something crunchy, and something smooth. If the number of nut/seed varieties overwhelms you with choice, our recommendation is: Medjool Dates, Cashews, and Peanut Butter!
Healthy Snack Products
If, on the other hand, you prefer to just get up and go and want the best nutrition for the best price and zero preparation, there are an overwhelming number of brands you can choose from.
Unfortunately, a lot of products promoted as ‘healthy snacks’ focus on one or two ingredients and neglect to inform you about all the other not-so-healthy ingredients also thrown into the mix.
This is the gauntlet you have to face when you don’t make your own snacks and hand the responsibility of what goes into your food over to someone else. Sometimes this can even lead to the time you were trying to get back from preparing food being diverted into researching the plethora of companies you have to choose from.
Fortunately for you, here is a list of our top products with an easy breakdown of the ingredients so you can see why we suggest them.
Top Products for Hiking
4. GRIT Superfoods - $49.99 per 10 packs
These new kids on the block might not be a household name yet, but they are fast gaining a following due to their unique take on the standard protein snacks. They land somewhere between a homemade energy ball and a crunchy treat and they aim to “Improve human performance through food & science”. Check out what they put into their Performance Chocolate Bites.
GRIT Superfoods Ingredients:
- Pea Protein Isolate, Natural Cacao Powder, Cocoa Butter, Chia Seeds, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Brown Sugar, Arrowroot, Milled Flaxseed, Beetroot, Acacia Fibre, Beta-Alanine, Taurine, MCT Oil, Citrulline Malate, Guarana, Sea Salt, Stevia Extract, Rosemary Extract, Coffee, Baking Soda, Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar, Vitamin D, Calcium, Iron, Potassium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Zinc, Selenium, Copper, Manganese.
Usually, when a list of ingredients goes into double figures, you assume there will be one or two in there that aren’t that good for you, but GRIT have specifically chosen their ingredients to supply you with not just the usual culprits of protein and healthy fats, but a whole host of vitamins and minerals as well. You can check out their Ingredients Page where they break down the reasons behind every ingredient.
GRIT has been getting rave reviews about how their products make their customers feel more alert, energized, and healthy without any guilt. They might be considered on the high end of the price scale, but their ratio of 23g protein to just 16g of carbs per pack also makes them one of the most protein-dense foods on the market!
If you think you’d prefer something crunchy (hence the name), vegan, and easy to snack on with a resealable bag, why not try GRIT Superfoods on your next hike?
5. Clif Bar & Company - $17.40 per 12 bars
These guys have been around the block and their products are used by athletes across all types of sport for a reason. An ethos of fueling you with “energy for any moment” makes them an ideal snack for a hike.
They now sport a multitude of types and flavors, such as their LUNA bars that include prebiotics and a healthy 8g of protein, with 80% of their ingredients being organic or Rainforest Alliance Certified. You can read more about how they’re providing nutrition in a sustainable way on their prioritize people and the planet page.
With so many types of bars, chews, and bites to choose from, we still like their original bars for taking on the trails - more specifically, their White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Flavor.
- Organic Brown Rice Syrup, Organic Rolled Oats, Soy Protein Isolate, Organic Cane Syrup, Organic Roasted Soybeans, Rice Flour, Macadamia Nuts, Organic Cane Sugar, Organic Oat Fibre, Organic Soy Flour, Cocoa Butter, Organic High Oleic Sunflower Oil, Natural Flavours, Organic Cocoa Butter, Sea Salt, Soy Flour, Barley Malt Extract, Soy Lecithin, Mixed Tocopherols (antioxidant), Dicalcium Phosphate, Magnesium Oxide, Ascorbic Acid (Vit. C), DL-Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate, (Vit. E), Beta Carotene (Vit. A), Niacinamide (Vit. B3), Ergocalciferol (Vit. D2), Thiamine Mononitrate (Vit. B1), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vit. B6), Riboflavin (Vit. B2), Cyanocobalamin (Vit. B12).
We love that they also make a point about including vitamins and minerals like GRIT Superfoods, and although they have a host of organic ingredients, the energy they provide is still focused around the classic carbohydrate sources providing 42g of carbs from just one bar, with just 9g of protein (these ratios do vary over different flavors).
Clif bars are a staple for athletes across major sports as well as many niche ones such as rock climbing and surfing. Always non-GMO they are good for both the planet and giving your energy a boost along the trails.
6. RX BARS - $25.99 per 12 bars
With an ever-increasing customer base, RX Bars live and breathe by their ethos “We tell you what’s on the inside on the outside”. So far, their unique approach of showcasing their ingredients on the front of their packaging instead of the back has made them into a household name for simple nutrition.
Now with a range of products, their original protein bars still seem to be their fan’s favorites with their peanut butter flavor our recommendation for the trails.
RX Bar Ingredients:
- 3 egg whites, 14 peanuts, 2 dates, No B.S.
With the shortest ingredients list by far, RX Bars really do provide an easy and simple way to get energy on your hikes, even if it’s not the cheapest. They also have the largest variety of flavors to choose from, so you’ll always find something to your taste.
Which Snacks To Take On A Hike?
Preparing your own food can be an enjoyable way to get your energy for a hike and smoothies are arguably the best way to get a natural energy kick the fastest way. Or homemade energy balls are great if you want something to munch along the way.
But if you want your hiking experience to be as easy and spur-of-the-moment as possible, buying snacks from the right brands can make it happen without the need for prep work.
More expense for less B.S. is a good way to go if you can afford it but if you want the most nutritional bang for your buck, Clif Bars provide just as much protein as RX bars, plus extra vitamins and minerals for less.
If your health is more of a priority than money, GRIT Superfoods provide most of the vitamins and minerals found in multi supplements and almost twice as much protein per serving as both RX Bars and Clif Bars.