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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.

Eating Well

Eating Well

We’ve all suf­fered through mediocre meals in the name of back­pack­ing. Here’s five ideas to help spice up your camp­site cook­ing routine. 

 


Rosemary1. Fresh­en up

Fresh herbs like basil, rose­mary, and pars­ley can last for days in your pack. Lay­er herbs between paper tow­els and store in an air­tight bag. Add to your meal or chew on a basil leaf for a refresh­ing taste.

 


 Cheese2. Get Cheesy

Stock up on high-qual­i­ty hard cheeses like parme­san or romano, which can go unre­frig­er­at­ed for extend­ed peri­ods of time. Eat with crack­ers or shred over oat­meal for a savory breakfast.

 


 Pasta Salad3. Trust the pros

If you don’t have the tools to dehy­drate your own meals, or don’t trust your cook­ing to keep you sat­is­fied, try jazz­ing up ready-made meals. Re-pack­age boxed pas­tas with addi­tion­al freeze-dried veg­gies and sala­mi for a reliable—and delicious—dinner.

 


 Egg Carrier4. So long pow­dered eggs

Organ­ic eggs from pas­tured chick­ens are safe at room tem­per­a­ture for a few days. Invest in a three-dol­lar egg car­ri­er and for­get about pow­dered egg omelets. Just make sure you trust the farm where the eggs are com­ing from, some organ­ic sources are still sus­cep­ti­ble to salmonella.

 


Candy Bar5. Indulge

Do you secret­ly love pack­aged moon pies and kit kats? Pack ‘em. You’ll be thank­ful for old favorites out on the trail. Just make sure to bal­ance treats with high-pro­tein, whole-grain meals to avoid burn­ing out.