Welcome to your ultimate guide to fueling up for an adventure in the great outdoors. Hiking is a fantastic way to explore nature, get some fresh air, and stay active. After all, hiking is great exercise and there are plenty of benefits to hiking beyond just the physical.
However, it’s important to nourish your body with the right sustenance to keep your energy levels high and ensure you can fully enjoy your journey.
In this article, we’ve curated a diverse list of delicious and healthy hiking snacks that are perfect for your next adventure. From protein-packed bites to energizing natural sugars, these tasty treats will keep you satisfied and energized as you tackle those trails.
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We’ve recently covered the best camping hacks and tips, but now’s the time to plan out your days of hiking. So let’s dive into the world of hiking snacks that are not only healthy, but are also easy to carry and will taste great during your hike.
What are the best hiking snacks?
To make it easier for you to find your new favorite hiking snacks, we’ve separated our complete list into the categories below. Feel free to browse through the entire list, or just jump to the section you want some snack ideas for.
I’m confident you’ll find something in this guide that you’ll love eating on the trails!
- Protein-Packed Hiking Snacks
- Fruits & Vegetables Hiking Snacks
- Energizing Hiking Snacks
- Keto-Friendly Hiking Snacks
- Gluten-Free Hiking Snacks
- Kid-Friendly Hiking Snacks
- Drinks for Hiking
Protein-Packed Hacking Snacks
Here are some of the best hiking snacks that are full of protein you can easily take on a hike with you.
Jerky is a classic high-protein snack that’s perfect for hiking. It’s made from lean meats like beef, turkey, or even salmon, which are dehydrated and seasoned to perfection. A single ounce of beef jerky can provide you with around 9 grams of protein and 116 calories. Opt for low-sodium and nitrate-free options for a healthier choice.
To pack jerky for your hike, simply place the desired amount in a resealable plastic bag or a reusable silicone pouch. Keep it in an easily accessible pocket of your backpack for a convenient energy boost during your trek.
For a plant-based protein option, roasted chickpeas are a great hiking snack. They’re crunchy, flavorful, and packed with nutrients. A 1-ounce serving contains about 120 calories and 5 grams of protein, along with fiber and essential minerals like iron and magnesium.
You can find them pre-packaged in various flavors or make your own by tossing drained chickpeas in olive oil, seasoning, and roasting at 425°F (220°C) for 20-30 minutes. Store them in an airtight container or ziplock bag for convenient snacking on the trail.
Mixed nuts are a protein-packed, heart-healthy option for hiking enthusiasts. A 1-ounce serving provides roughly 160-200 calories, 5-7 grams of protein, and a variety of healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. Choose a mix that includes almonds, walnuts, cashews, and pistachios for a diverse blend of flavors and nutrients.
If you’re watching your sodium levels, choose nut varieties with little to no added salt. Use snack-sized Ziploc bags or small containers to make perfectly sized nut snacks that are easy to take on the go.
Protein bars or energy bars are an excelling hiking snack that provides energy and nutrients on the go. They come in a wide range of flavors and can contain between 150-300 calories and 10-20 grams of protein per bar. Look for bars with fewer added sugars and a good balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fats to keep you satisfied and fueled during your hike.
It’s best to keep these bars stored in a cool dry place in your backpack that’s shaded from the sun to help prevent melting.
Nut Butter Packets
Nut butter packets or single-serve pods, such as almond butter or peanut butter, are full of protein and will help you get fueled back up during a hike. A single serving (32 grams) of peanut butter provides around 190 calories, 7 grams of protein, and healthy monounsaturated fats. Opt for natural, no-added-sugar varieties for a healthier option.
These convenient, single-serving packets and pods can be easily stored in your backpack and can simply be eaten with a spoon at any time during your hike.
Tuna, Salmon, or Chicken Pouches
Tuna, salmon, and chicken pouches are protein-packed snacks that require no refrigeration and have a long shelf life. They come in various flavors and can be eaten on their own or mixed with a whole-grain cracker. A 2.6-ounce (74g) pouch of tuna, salmon, or chicken provides around 70-110 calories and 15-20 grams of protein.
To bring these easy-to-eat pouches along on your next hike, just leave them in their original packaging and bring a fork or spoon for easy eating. That’s it!
Fruits & Vegetables Hiking Snacks
If you’re a die-hard fan of fruits and veggies, here are a few of the best hiking snacks for your next outdoor adventure.
Dried fruits are a nutrient-dense, natural source of energy for hikers. They offer the sweetness and flavors of fresh fruits without the weight and perishability. A 1-ounce serving of dried fruit can provide between 70-100 calories, depending on the type, and is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Popular options include raisins, dried apricots, banana chips, and dried mango slices. To pack dried fruits for your hike, portion out servings into small resealable bags or containers for easy snacking on the go.
For those who prefer the taste and texture of fresh fruit, pack easily portable options like apples, oranges, or grapes. These fruits are high in vitamins, fiber, and natural sugars that can provide an energy boost during your hike. A medium-sized apple, for example, contains around 95 calories and 4 grams of dietary fiber.
To pack fresh fruit, wrap them in a cloth or paper towel to prevent bruising, and store them in a side pocket or the top of your backpack for easy access.
Veggie sticks are a low-calorie, nutrient-packed snack option for hikers who want a healthy, crunchy alternative to chips. Carrots, bell peppers, and cucumber are excellent choices, as they are rich in vitamins, minerals, and water content. A 3.5-ounce serving of carrot sticks contains just 41 calories and offers a good dose of vitamin A, which supports eye health.
To prepare veggie sticks for your hike, wash and cut your chosen vegetables into strips, and store them in a reusable container or ziplock bag.
Edamame, or young green soybeans, are a protein-packed, fiber-rich snack that can be enjoyed hot or cold. A ½ cup serving of shelled edamame provides about 120 calories, 11 grams of protein, and 9 grams of fiber.
You can find pre-packaged, ready-to-eat edamame in the refrigerated section of most grocery stores, or prepare it yourself by boiling or steaming the beans and sprinkling them with a pinch of salt. To pack edamame for your hike, store it in a small container or plastic bag and enjoy it as a refreshing, energy-boosting snack.
Kale chips are a crispy, nutrient-dense alternative to traditional potato chips. They’re high in vitamins A, C, and K, as well as antioxidants and fiber. A 1-ounce serving of kale chips contains about 150 calories and 3 grams of protein.
You can find pre-packaged kale chips in various flavors or make your own by tossing chopped kale with olive oil, seasoning, and baking at 300°F (150°C) for 20-25 minutes. Store the cooled kale chips in an airtight container or ziplock bag for a delicious, guilt-free snack on your hike.
Energizing Hiking Snacks
Staying energized while hiking is important. On long hikes, it’s easy to get exhausted and sometimes you just need a quick burst of energy. Here are some ideas to get you fueled back up.
Energy balls are portable, bite-sized snacks made from nutrient-dense ingredients like nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and oats. They’re a great source of energy-boosting carbohydrates, healthy fats, and protein. A single energy ball can provide between 100-200 calories, depending on the ingredients used.
You can find pre-packaged energy balls or make your own by combining your favorite ingredients and forming them into small balls. To pack energy balls for your hike, wrap them individually in parchment paper or store them in a small container to prevent sticking.
Dark chocolate is a delicious and energizing snack that’s rich in antioxidants and can help improve mood. A 1-ounce serving of dark chocolate (70-85% cacao) contains around 170 calories and provides a small amount of natural caffeine, which can help keep you alert during your hike.
Opt for high-quality dark chocolate bars with minimal added sugar to maximize the health benefits. To bring this tasty treat with you, break it into small pieces and store it in a ziplock bag or container. Keep it away from direct sunlight or heat to prevent melting.
Granola is a tasty and versatile energizing snack that can be enjoyed on its own or paired with yogurt or milk. It’s typically made from rolled oats, nuts, seeds, and dried fruit, which are combined with a sweetener and baked until crispy. A ½ cup serving of granola contains around 200-300 calories and provides a good balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fats.
Choose low-sugar, whole-grain granola for the healthiest option. To pack granola for your hike, portion it into individual snack-sized bags or containers.
Banana and Nut Butter Roll-ups
Banana and nut butter roll-ups are a satisfying and energizing snack that combines the natural sugars of bananas with the protein and healthy fats of nut butter. To make this snack, spread your favorite nut butter (like almond butter or peanut butter) on a whole-grain tortilla or wrap, place a whole peeled banana at one end, and roll it up tightly.
A single banana roll-up with peanut butter provides around 300-400 calories, depending on the ingredients used. To pack this snack for your hike, wrap the roll-up in plastic wrap or foil and store it in a small container to prevent it from getting squished.
Trail mix is a classic energizing snack that combines nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and sometimes chocolate or other sweet treats. A ¼ cup serving of trail mix can provide between 150-200 calories and offers a mix of carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats to keep you fueled during your hike.
Customize your trail mix by choosing your favorite ingredients, or opt for pre-packaged options with minimal added sugars and salt. To pack trail mix for your hike, portion it into individual snack-sized bags or containers for easy snacking on the go.
Keto-Friendly Hiking Snacks
With the popularity of the keto diet growing in recent years, you might want to check out these keto-friendly snacks and pack them up for your next trip.
Cheese crisps are a delicious, keto-friendly snack that satisfies your cravings for something crispy and salty without the carbs. They’re made from baked or fried cheese and contain minimal carbohydrates. A 1-ounce serving of cheese crisps provides around 150 calories and 10 grams of protein.
You can find pre-packaged crisps in various flavors or make your own by baking small piles of shredded cheese on a parchment-lined baking sheet at 350°F (175°C) for 10-12 minutes. Store cheese crisps in an airtight container or ziplock bag for a convenient, low-carb hiking snack.
Hard-boiled eggs are a keto-friendly, protein-rich snack that can keep you full and satisfied during your hike. A single large hard-boiled egg contains around 78 calories, 6 grams of protein, and only 0.6 grams of carbohydrates. To prepare hard-boiled eggs, place them in a saucepan, cover them with water, bring to a boil, and then simmer for 9-12 minutes.
Cool the eggs in ice water and peel them. To pack hard-boiled eggs for your hike, store them in a small container or wrap them in a paper towel to prevent crushing.
Olives are a keto-friendly snack that’s rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and low in carbohydrates. A 1-ounce serving of green or black olives contains around 40-50 calories and 4-5 grams of fat. They’re also a good source of antioxidants and vitamin E.
To pack olives for your hike, drain them and place them in a small, leak-proof container. Choose pitted olives for easier snacking on the trail.
Seaweed snacks are a low-calorie, keto-friendly option that’s rich in vitamins and minerals, like iodine, which supports thyroid health. These flat, crispy seaweed treats can be eaten with no added flavors, but also come pre-flavored with sea salt, teriyaki, and more. Depending on the brand and flavor, a single serving of seaweed typically contains around 25 calories and just 1 gram of carbohydrates.
To pack seaweed snacks for your hike, store them in their original packaging or place them in a small container to prevent crushing.
Avocados are a keto-friendly superfood high in healthy fats, fiber, and other essential nutrients. Half of a medium avocado typically contains around 120 calories, 11 grams of fat, and only 6 grams of carbohydrates — most of which come from fiber.
To get ready for a hike with a fresh avocado, slice it in half, remove the pit, and sprinkle the cut side with lemon or lime juice to prevent browning. Wrap each side of the avacado in plastic wrap and then store them in a container to prevent them from being crushed or bruised. Enjoy the avocado on its own or spread it on a keto-friendly cracker or slice of cheese for a delicious, low-carb trail snack.
Gluten-Free Hiking Snacks
Gluten-free diets are becoming more and more popular like keto, so here are some gluten-free snacks that are perfect for the trails.
Gluten-Free Crackers or Pretzels
For hikers with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, gluten-free crackers or pretzels can provide a satisfying crunch without the gluten. A 1-ounce serving of these crackers or pretzels contains around 100-120 calories and offers a source of carbohydrates for energy. Look for brands that use whole-grain ingredients for added fiber and nutrients.
To pack gluten-free crackers or pretzels for your hike, place them in a small container or ziplock bag to prevent crushing.
Rice cakes are a light, gluten-free snack that can be enjoyed on their own or topped with your favorite spread, like nut butter or avocado. A single plain rice cake contains around 35 calories and 7 grams of carbohydrates.
Opt for brown rice cakes for added fiber and nutrients. Since they’re rigid and tough from the start, you can just throw a few rice cakes in a bag or container (to prevent them from breaking) and bring them along in your backpack.
Gluten-Free Granola Bars
Gluten-free granola bars provide a healthy balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fats. There are literally hundreds of options on the market, but you can expect most of these granola bars to have somewhere between 150-300 calories and plenty of macros to boot.
For the healthiest option, go for granola bars that use multigrain and are made with fewer added sugars. Like rice cakes, granola bars are sturdy and durable from the get-go, so you can easily just throw a few of them in your backpack and you’ll be ready for your hike in no time.
Chia Seed Pudding
Chia seed pudding is a delicious, gluten-free snack that’s rich in fiber, protein, and good-for-you fats. To make chia seed pudding, combine chia seeds with your choice of milk or milk alternative and let it sit for a few hours or overnight to thicken. A ½ cup serving of chia seed pudding made with almond milk contains around 200 calories and 10 grams of protein.
Customize your chia seed pudding with your favorite toppings, like fruit, nuts, or coconut flakes. To pack chia seed pudding for your hike, store it in a small, leak-proof container.
Gluten-free muffins can be a sweet and satisfying snack for hikers who need to avoid gluten. A single medium-sized gluten-free muffin contains around 200-300 calories, depending on the ingredients used. Look for recipes or store-bought options made with whole-grain gluten-free flour, like almond flour or oat flour, for added fiber and nutrients.
To pack gluten-free muffins for your hike, wrap them individually in plastic wrap or foil and store them in a small container to prevent them from getting squished.
Kid-Friendly Hiking Snacks
Taking kiddos on a hike with you is one of the best ways to get them out in nature and create lasting memories. Here are some awesome kid-friendly snacks to take with you for when they get hungry.
Mini sandwiches are kid-friendly hiking snacks that can be made with your child’s favorite ingredients. Use whole-grain bread, lean protein like turkey or ham, and plenty of veggies like lettuce or cucumber to create a nutritious and balanced snack. A single mini sandwich provides around 150-200 calories, depending on the ingredients used.
To pack mini sandwiches for your hike, wrap them individually in plastic wrap or foil and store them in a small container to prevent them from getting squished.
Fruit kabobs are a fun, colorful, and healthy snack that kids will love. Skewer bite-sized pieces of your child’s favorite fruits, like strawberries, grapes, melon, and pineapple, onto wooden skewers or sturdy straws. A single fruit kabob can provide around 50-100 calories, depending on the fruits used.
To pack fruit kabobs for your hike, store them in a small container, laying them flat to prevent them from getting squished.
Veggie Sticks and Hummus
Veggie sticks and hummus are a kid-friendly hiking snack that offers a good balance of carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats. Slice your child’s favorite vegetables, like carrot, cucumber, or bell pepper, into thin sticks and pair them with a small container of hummus for dipping. A ½ cup serving of veggie sticks with 2 tablespoons of hummus provides around 100-150 calories.
To pack veggie sticks and hummus for your hike, store them in a small container with separate compartments or use a small leak-proof container for the hummus.
String cheese is a convenient, protein-packed snack that kids will enjoy on the trail. A single stick of part-skim mozzarella string cheese contains around 80 calories and 7 grams of protein. To pack string cheese for your hike, store it in a small container or ziplock bag. If you’re hiking in warm weather, consider using an insulated bag with a cold pack to keep the cheese cool.
Animal crackers are a kid-friendly, portable snack that can help keep your little ones fueled during your hike. Opt for whole-grain animal crackers with minimal added sugar for a healthier option. A 1-ounce serving of whole-grain animal crackers contains around 120 calories and provides a source of carbohydrates for energy.
To pack animal crackers for your hike, place them in a small container or ziplock bag to prevent crushing.
Drinks for Hiking
Lastly, let’s look at the best drinks to take with you on a hiking trip. You won’t find cold beer on this list, but I know I always like to have one when I get back to the campsite or cabin after a long hike!
Water is the most essential drink to pack for any hike. Staying hydrated is crucial for maintaining your energy levels, regulating body temperature, and preventing fatigue. The amount of water you’ll need depends on factors like your activity level, hike duration, and weather conditions.
As a general guideline, aim to drink at least half a liter (17 ounces) of water per hour of moderate activity. To pack water for your hike, consider using a refillable water bottle, hydration bladder, or collapsible water container to save space and weight in your backpack.
Electrolyte drinks, such as sports drinks or electrolyte-enhanced water, can help replenish essential minerals like sodium, potassium, and magnesium that are lost through sweat during your hike. These minerals are vital for maintaining proper muscle function and hydration balance.
Choose low-sugar or sugar-free options for a healthier choice. To pack electrolyte drinks for your hike, either bring a pre-packaged bottle or mix a powdered electrolyte supplement with water in a reusable bottle.
Green tea is a refreshing, energizing drink that’s rich in antioxidants and provides a small amount of natural caffeine to keep you alert during your hike. It’s also been shown to improve fat oxidation, which can be beneficial for hikers seeking to burn calories and maintain energy.
To pack green tea for your hike, prepare it in advance and store it in an insulated bottle to keep it hot or cold, depending on your preference. Alternatively, bring a few tea bags and a portable water boiler to make fresh tea on the trail.
Coconut water is a natural, low-calorie drink that’s rich in electrolytes, making it an excellent option for staying hydrated and replenishing lost minerals during your hike. A cup of coconut water (8 ounces) usually has right around 45 calories and is chock-full of all sorts of key nutrients your body needs to stay fueled up.
Unlike many of the other options in this list, coconut water is fairly perishable, so you should only open a fresh bottle on the day of your hike. After that, you’ll want to finish whatever you’ve opened during that day, as it can start to go bad pretty quickly!
Smoothies made from a blend of fruits, vegetables, and protein sources like yogurt or nut butter can provide a nourishing, energy-boosting drink for your hike. A 16-ounce fruit and vegetable smoothie can provide around 200-300 calories, depending on the ingredients used.
To pack a smoothie for your hike, prepare it in advance and store it in an insulated bottle or thermos to keep it cold. Consider using frozen fruit or ice to help maintain the desired temperature during your hike.
Herbal tea is a soothing, caffeine-free drink option for hikers looking to stay hydrated without the stimulating effects of caffeine. Herbal teas come in a variety of flavors and blends, such as chamomile, peppermint, or ginger, offering potential benefits like improved digestion and relaxation.
To pack herbal tea for your hike, prepare it in advance and store it in an insulated bottle to keep it hot or cold, depending on your preference. Alternatively, bring a few tea bags and a portable water boiler to make fresh tea on the trail.
What is a Good Hiking Snack?
The best hiking snacks should be nutritious, portable, and easy to consume on the trail. The ideal snack should provide a balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fats to keep you energized, satisfied, and well-fueled during your hike.
Carbohydrates are essential for providing quick energy, while protein and fats help maintain sustained energy levels and support muscle recovery. Additionally, a great hiking snack should be non-perishable or at least have a long shelf life, as refrigeration may not always be an option during outdoor adventures.
When deciding on which snacks to bring with you, there are several important factors to consider. One thing to always take into account is the duration and intensity of your hike, as this will determine the amount and type of energy you’ll need. Longer or more strenuous hikes may require more calorie-dense, high-energy snacks.
Opt for snacks that are lightweight, easy to pack, and can withstand varying temperatures and conditions without getting crushed or spoiled. By taking these factors into account, you’ll be able to choose the perfect combination of hiking snacks to keep you fueled and satisfied on the trail.
In conclusion, the best hiking snacks are essential for maintaining energy levels, promoting muscle recovery, and ensuring an enjoyable outdoor experience. From protein-packed options and energizing bites to gluten-free choices and kid-friendly treats, there’s a wide variety of delicious and nutritious options to keep you fueled and satisfied on your next hike.
So, pack up your favorite hiking snacks from this list, hit the trail, and stay nourished during your next awesome hiking adventure!