The next time you head out on the trail, leave the squashed sandwiches at home. With these creative trail snacks, you’ll be eating like a pro on your next adventure.
To enjoy this protein-rich Middle Eastern classic in the backcountry, look for a dehydrated version at your local health food store or online. Simply mix the powder with plenty of water, stir well, and enjoy with pita bread or carrot slices.
Peanut butter is a classic, but these days there are other options to explore: cashews, almonds, walnuts, and sunflower seeds are all being crafted into mouth-watering, high-protein blends. Just be sure to check with your group for allergies, and avoid glass jars. Look for single-serving packets or multi-serving pouches.
They’re available at almost every gas station, are tastier and cheaper than protein bars, and offer more nutrients than any other candy bar. Plus: they’re delicious. It’s a perfect trail snack.
Fresh fruit always tastes good on the trail, but delicate produce can easily get bruised in the bottom of a backpack. Apples are the hardiest option, and can survive several days. They’re not dense in calories, but the crisp, refreshing taste is often worth the wait. Pro-tip: add nut butter.
Peanut butter and jelly
This tried-and-true sandwich is a classic for a reason—the jelly gives an instant burst of energy, while the peanut butter packs a protein punch that’ll keep you going for hours. Pro tip: try swapping bread for a whole-grain tortilla.
Store-bought options abound, but zealous hikers often invest in dehydrators and experiment with making their own.
If you’re just out hiking for the day, nothing tops a slice. And there’s nothing easier—just wrap in aluminum foil and toss it in your pack. (Just be careful with meat if you don’t have a way to keep food cold.) Bonus: because the bread and cheese provide necessary carbohydrates, protein, and fat, you can indulge guilt-free.
Most people associate trail mix with raisins and peanuts, but experienced backcountry travelers know how to get creative. Try visiting the bulk foods department of your local market, or buy ingredients individually to make your own mix. The sky’s the limit! Think: dark chocolate chips, yogurt-covered espresso beans, dried blueberries, banana chips, peanut butter pretzels. Kids can even make their own combinations.
Tuna and Crackers
If you only buy tuna in cans, you’ve probably assumed it’s too heavy to take on the trail. But in foil pouches, it’s the perfect lunch. Pack crackers in a crush-proof plastic container, and be sure to include a Ziplock bag for aromatic leftovers.
It’s the perfect energy food: sugar, fat, and a little bit of caffeine. And who doesn’t love a hiking partner who loves chocolate?
Always use proper food safety handling techniques when packing for the backcountry. Read about the principles of Leave No Trace here.