6 Easy Snacks for the Backcountry

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A quick Google search will yield tons of recipes for tasty and healthy home­made treats for the back­coun­try. But let’s face it: you don’t always have access to a fully stocked kitchen when you’re head­ing out for an adven­ture, par­tic­u­larly if your trek involves travel. 

That’s why it’s good to have a vari­ety of snacks that can eas­ily be found in main­stream gro­cery stores. For starters, you’re going to want snacks that pack a nutri­tional punch and won’t go bad after a few days. You’ll also want to make sure they aren’t tak­ing up unnec­es­sary space or weight in your pack.

Here are some easy back­coun­try snacks to keep you fueled up while you’re on the go.

Trail Mix
Trail mix is an obvi­ous one, but there’s a rea­son it’s so pop­u­lar. Choose a mix with a vari­ety of foods—nuts, seeds, and dried fruits—for a snack that offers dif­fer­ent nutri­tional ben­e­fits. Bet­ter yet, head to a bulk food store to mix and match your opti­mal con­coc­tion. Think beyond good old raisins and peanuts, and toss in some macadamia nuts, pump­kin seeds, dried apple rings or what­ever else tick­les your fancy. Keep your bag of trail mix nearby, and grab a hand­ful when you need an extra boost.

Fruit Leather
Fruit leather is really just dehy­drated fruit puree, so it tastes deli­cious (kind of like Fruit Roll-Ups from your lunch­box days) but it also pro­vides some much-needed energy while you’re out on the trail. It’s not easy to get vit­a­mins and fiber from fresh fruit and veg­gies on longer trips, so be sure to bring a few fruit leathers with to get your fix. 

Energy Bar
Energy bars offer the ulti­mate con­ve­nience. Sim­ply unwrap, shove in your mouth and feel your body soak up the nutri­ents and calo­ries. There are so many brands and fla­vors out there that it’s easy to find some­thing that tick­les your fancy. A few par­tic­u­larly deli­cious options: PowerBar’s Choco­late Mint Cookie bar and the Nutz Over Choco­late Luna Bars. Mmmm…

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Cheese
Cheese on the trail is a deli­cious, del­i­cate lux­ury. Of the items on this list, it’ll prob­a­bly be the first to go bad, so enjoy it dur­ing your first few days on the trail. Plain old cheese sticks usu­ally keep pretty well, as do indi­vid­u­ally pack­aged Baby­bel cheeses. Tip: as tempt­ing as it is to peel off the wrap­per pre-trip to avoid extra garbage, don’t do this. The wrap­per helps keep the wax case from crumbling.

Keep your cheese away from heat, and you’ll have a few days worth of treats to keep you happy.

Cured Meats
Whether you’re a pep­per­oni stick kind of per­son or a beef jerky buff, cured meats are deli­cious, salty, and packed full of pro­tein. They’re typ­i­cally pretty easy to find, and they’re a nice change from the usual nuts and gra­nola. Not to men­tion they pro­vide sus­tained energy while on the trail.

Choco­late
There are a mil­lion rea­sons not to bring choco­late with you, includ­ing the fact that it’s likely to melt, that it takes up space that could be used by some­thing healthy and hearty, and that it doesn’t have much nutri­tional merit. But noth­ing tastes bet­ter than your favorite candy bar after a long day on the trails. It’ll give you more than just calories—it’ll give you the men­tal spike you need to set up camp and make a fire when all you want to do is col­lapse. Just keep it out of the heat, or it’ll get every­where.