Whether your version of a good hike is a leisurely stroll on flat ground or a heart-thumping uphill climb, one thing is certain: your body needs high-quality nutrition to power your adventures! Today, we’re discussing the best hiking snacks that are easy to pack in reusable containers, lightweight, satiating, and of course delicious. So if you’re wondering what food to bring hiking that will help reduce single-use plastic, read on!
Nutrition to look for in hiking snacks
Carbohydrates often get a bad rap for being high in calories, but healthy carbohydrates – like sweet potatoes, oats, bananas, and quinoa – go hand in hand with the body’s energy levels. Complex carbohydrates are digested slowly, which means that the glucose contained in those carbohydrates is also slowly absorbed. In other words, complex carbs are the key to ultra-steady, long-lasting energy.
Besides being a source of complex carbohydrates, bananas are also rich in potassium, which has a whole host of nutritional benefits. Think: metabolizing carbohydrates, regulating heartbeat, likely reducing blood pressure, regulating muscle contractions and nerve signals, reducing water retention, and more.
Foods that are high in protein and packed with healthy fats – like nut butters – are also an ideal hiking food because they help you feel full, aid in the absorption of vitamins, regulate body temperature, strengthen bones, optimize brain function, and may even help to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
Hiking is a great activity for burning calories, so don’t skimp on nutrient-rich hiking snacks that are high in calories!
High-energy protein bars and balls
To capitalize on all those amazing benefits of healthy fats found in nut butters, try these DIY energy bites, or these homemade protein bars that are copycat versions of your store-bought favorites. Short on time? Swing by the grocery store for peanut butter Clif Bars or Kind Bars packed with whole grains, nuts, and dried fruits.
Calorie-rich trail mix ideas
One of the most nourishing and convenient snacks for hiking is trail mix. It usually contains nuts (healthy fats and protein), dried fruit (fiber, vitamins, and minerals), and dark chocolate (healthy fats... and also just delicious). Check out some of our favorite homemade trail mix recipes here that you can store in your favorite reusable Stasher bag and eat by the fistful.
Dried fruit, nuts and pulses
Snacking on dried fruit is a great way to boost your blood sugar. One of our favorite hiking snacks is banana chips because they’re rich in potassium (remember all those amazing benefits of potassium that we talked about?) and are so satisfyingly crunchy!
We’ve already talked about how much we love nut butters and trail mix, but we love nuts like cashews on their own, too. An excellent snack option for hikers, cashews are low in sugar, high in fiber and protein, and rich in heart-healthy unsaturated fats. And they’re full of important minerals that aid in brain development, immunity, bone health, and energy production.
You may have never heard the term “pulses” before, but you’ve almost certainly eaten them before! Pulses are dried seeds that come from legumes. Chickpeas, beans, and peas are all nutrient-dense pulses. They’re brimming with protein and fiber that helps you feel full – and stay that way – and they’re great sources of the essential vitamins and minerals your body needs to thrive.
Other easy snacks to pack
For more nourishing things to nibble on while you hike, opt for foods that you can buy in bulk or make at home and then slide into a Stasher Snack Bag. Some of our favorites:
- Pretzels with hummus
- Veggies like baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, red pepper slices, and cucumbers
- High protein guacamole (like this one!) with an extra splash of lemon juice to keep it from browning
- Beef jerky or fruit leathers
- Granola bars
- Hydration drinks with electrolytes
So before you lace up your trusty hiking boots and hit the trail, remember to reference these day hiking food ideas. Packing nourishing snacks ensures that you’re supporting your body throughout your day hike – and packing those snacks in your endlessly reusable Stasher bags to help prevent billions of single-use plastic bags from entering our oceans and landfills.