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Best Trail Snacks:
What To Eat On Your Hike

By Diane Spicer

Hiking snacks give you energy and motivate you to make it to your lunch spot. Keep going with these Hiking For Her favorite trail snacks. #snacks #hikingsnacks #backpacking #trailfood #bestsnacks

Trail snacks: as if hiking itself isn't reason enough to put your boots on!

Yummy mouthfuls of snacking goodness don't have to be expensive or complicated, unless you want them to be.

You can cruise the aisles of any grocery store any day of the week and find plenty of companies who want you to try their latest & greatest snacks.

But be careful!

You want food that works with you, not against you,

on your hikes

Avoiding nastiness in your trail snacks is definitely in your best interest as a hiker, things like:

  • artificial preservatives
  • additives
  • fake dyes
  • processed and refined sugars
  • fillers
  • weird or salty chemical flavorings

For me, the shorter the ingredient list in my trail snacks, the happier I am.

I want only the 3 basic fuel molecules (along with great taste, of course): carbohydrates, proteins, fats, plus flavor of course.

No unpronounceable words, please!

How to pick great trail snacks
for a great hike

Even if you're not a label purist like me, there are a few other things to look for in your trail fuel.

  • You definitely want to carry and consume snacks that sustain a steady blood glucose level (high energy levels but no "crash and burn".
  • AND you want compact, lightweight, minimally packaged and cost effective hiking food to come along on your hike.

Are there any trail snacks on the planet that deliver all of that??

Actually, yes.

Read on for a glimpse into the wonderful world of Hiking For Her approved best trail snacks!

Hiking chocolate

If you're a devoted chocolate fan, let's get right to the best chocolate covered trail snacks.

  • For pure hiking chocolate tips, go here

CaveMan Bars are currently satisfying my chocolate longings.

I can't decide if I love the dark chocolate almond coconut more than the dark chocolate cashew almond.

But I definitely love the ingredients: non-GMO, dairy free, gluten free and peanut free.

They are chewy, satisfying, not gagging-ly (is that even a word?) sweet, and fairly priced when you buy in bulk.

Paleo friendly, too!

Name sadness

And while I do not love the fact that they leave out cave women (who were full strength hikers, no doubt), I definitely love these bars because there's an option for the days I crave fruit.

While I dearly love the blueberry bars, the apple and cranberry bars are also yummy.

If you want to cover all of your flavor bases (chocolate, fruit, AND nuts) while keeping the price to a minimum, dabble a bit.

What do I mean?

A variety pack!

Do you crave fruity trail snacks?

If you're all about the fruit, FruitSource bars are just the ticket.

No preservatives, colorings or weird flavorings.

  • Healthy, but also delicious.

The ingredient list is short and sweet: only fruit concentrate, pectin, and fiber (an important consideration on multi-day hikes).

Plus a nice dose of potassium, an electrolyte your hard working muscles need.

Note that you are ingesting naturally occurring fruit sugars only with fiber to modulate absorption - no sugar rush but plenty of energy flowing through your legs.

I can't pick a clear favorite flavor, which is why I buy a variety pack of these hiking snacks.

Then I don't have to fight off my trail buddies for the "best" bites. I have been known to share my tasty trail tidbits ;)

A fun aside

Ever wonder why you crave certain things on the trail?

Here's the answer!

Ever wonder why you crave certain things on a hike? Trail snacks are a matter of good taste, portability and nutrition. If you need a few hints on what to eat on a hike, try these.

Now back to the snackin'!!

How to have it all with Taos Bakes

Looking to pack a blend of savory, sweet, and tart?

Look no further than these gluten free nut based bars, available in tasty combos like caramel pecan + cranberry:

LaraBars to keep you fueled

Another tried and true favorite: LaraBars.

These have really short ingredient lists, too:

  • unsweetened, unprocessed fruits, nuts & spices.

There are enough flavors to keep your taste buds entertained for many hikes.

And if you need to avoid gluten, dairy, soy, animal proteins, peanuts (except for 1 bar, clearly labeled), these trail snacks are just what you need.

They're also Orthodox Kosher certified, and vegan.

I have several current favorites: cocoa mole, chocolate coconut (detect a trend?), cashew cookie, and ginger snap.

But there are lots of other flavors to try, and more developed all the time. 

No worries about boredom on your backpacking trip!

Zing Bars really do add zing!

Zing Bars are designed by nutritionists, and thus pay close attention to what a hiker really needs.

  • Putting a little zing in your step

The flavors are great, they're easy to bite into even when it's cold outside, BUT they are a bit pricey.

You get what you pay for, right?

Cost saving tip: Buy in bulk and store them in the freezer.

Also available in Keto low carb variety packs:

Kind fruit & nut bars

Here's one more suggestion: KIND Fruit & Nut Bars.

Here's a sample ingredient list:

  • peanuts,
  • almonds 
  • honey
  • sugar
  • nonGMO glucose (note the abundance of fast carbs here)
  • soy protein isolate,
  • palm kernel oil
  • cocoa powder
  • peanut butter
  • chicory root fiber
  • tapioca starch
  • vanilla
  • whole milk
  • soy lecithin
  • salt

This particular example provides 200 calories, 17g of carbs, 7g of protein, and geez is it TASTY!

Best of all, it combines protein with carbs for slow-burning fuel.

There are lots of other flavors, and I'm having a great time sampling them.

Fair warning: These run a little on the sweet side, as you may have noticed with the ingredient list.

If your taste buds are easily offended, skip these.

But if you need to pull a long, steep section of the trail, eat one of these little bars before you do.

Craving salt?

Sometimes you just gotta have something salty, and pretzels get to be boring after a while.

Ever try seaweed hiking snacks?

They deliver the salty goodness of the sea, along with other surprising benefits for day hikers and backpackers.

  • It's a lightweight option for a green vegetable on a backpacking trip!
  • Delivers electrolytes and trace minerals, too

Find out all the details here.

Tired of the same old, same old
trail bars?

Then meet some new brands offering both taste and trail nutrition.

These trail bars are Hiking For Her favorites because they use real food, no artificial anything, and have the right mix of calories and nutrients.

Explore your options here!

Think outside the hiking snack bar!

Try something delicious and different, like mushroom jerky.

  • To be exact: Savory Wild Portabella Mushroom Jerky Variety Pack, including Garlic & Pepper, Sesame & Chili, and Balsamic & Fig

Why not make your own hiking snacks?

Trail snacks don't have to be boring. Mix up your own personal blend of delicious hiking food! #hikingsnacks #trailfood #snacksforhikers #trailmix #hikinginfographicThis cheat sheet gives you options for an endless variety of tasty trail mix

Trail mix recipe

Put together a high performance trail mix as fuel using these tips.

Interested in making something like a trail bar, maybe your own easy to transport and tasty treat?

That link provides a fast, easy, and totally delicious recipe.

  • You control the quality of the ingredients.
  • The ingredients are good for you: natural sources of sugar, high in fiber, and a nice balance of fat, protein, and carbohydrates for slow, sustained energy.
  • Tasty!!

And did I mention how easily they ride along in your pack?

Or maybe you'd like more information on hiking food in general.

Hikers love to think about, talk about, and eat trail food, that's for sure!

Want to get into
the nitty gritty details?

If you're really serious about maximizing your energy and stamina on the trail, I've written inexpensive e-booklets packed full of nutrition information, just for the type of hiking you do (or plan to do soon).

  • Check them out right here.
  • And please leave a review so other hikers will know what to eat on a hike.

Sharing snacks is caring

Heads up:

If we ever meet on the trail while you're taking a snack break, I'll be the one asking "Whatcha eating?"

Rest assured, I will refrain from asking for a bite.

But if you offer, that's a whole different story.

Instant trail friends!!

(The resemblance to dogs is not lost upon me.)

Happy Trail Snacking

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