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Top tips for the Best Hiking Snacks for your next hike!
Hey there, adventurer! Are you planning your next hike? Don’t forget to pack some snacks! You may be tempted to leave them behind to save some weight, but trust us, bringing snacks on a hike is crucial for a successful and enjoyable trip.
Picture this: you’re out on the Wicklow Way trail, surrounded by stunning views and breathing fresh air. But suddenly, your stomach starts grumbling, and you realise you forgot to pack snacks. Your energy levels start dropping, and you feel sluggish and unmotivated. Not a great scenario, right?
Hiking Snacks Essentials: Nut Butter, Trail Mix, and Healthy Fats for Your Hiking Adventure
We’ve put together this guide to help you understand why bringing snacks on a hike is essential. We’ll cover the health benefits of different trail snacks and options and give you ideas for what to pack in your backpack. We’ve covered you, from protein bars and power cookies to trail mix.
So, before you head out on your next adventure, take a few minutes to read this article and make sure you’re prepared with the right snacks. Trust us; your body (and taste buds) will thank you later!
Why is bringing snacks on a hike necessary?
Going on a hike is not just a walk in the park. It’s a physically demanding activity that requires a lot of energy. You wouldn’t run a marathon without refuelling, would you?
Well, hiking is no different! That’s why bringing snacks while hillwalking is a must. Snacks are the power boosters to keep going, keep your feet moving, and reach your destination. Without snacks, your energy levels will drop, and your hike will quickly become a struggle.
This is especially true when on a family hike, and you need to keep the younger family members going during a longer trek in the hills.
The Mood-Boosting Power of Hiking Snacks: Enhancing Your Adventure with Tasty Treats
But it’s not just about the energy boost. Snacks can also improve your mood and make the hike more enjoyable. Imagine reaching the peak of a mountain and enjoying a delicious, nutritious snack while taking in the stunning views. It’s a moment that can make the entire hike worth it.
So, whether you’re planning a quick day trip or a more extended adventure, don’t forget to pack some tasty and nutritious snacks. They will help you maintain your energy levels, boost your mood, and make your next backpacking trips and hiking experience much more enjoyable.
Trust us; your taste buds will thank you!
How many snacks should I bring on a hiking tour?
The number of snacks you should bring depends on the length and intensity of your hike and your personal needs. Generally, aim for one snack per hour of hiking, with a mix of carbohydrates, proteins, and beneficial fats. This will help keep your energy levels steady and prevent you from feeling too hungry or tired.
What about packing perishable snacks?
What’s the deal with packing perishable snacks for hiking trips? FreshWhen it comes to longer hikes, it’s essential to consider the perishable nature of certain foods.
Fruits and veggies are excellent sources of vitamins and minerals, but they don’t always make the best travel companions. You don’t want to be stuck with spoiled snacks that lack the nutrition to fuel your adventure.
That’s why avoiding non-perishable snacks like nuts, seeds, and dried fruits is better. These healthy snacks can handle the journey and won’t spoil as quickly, ensuring that you always have a reliable energy source on the trail.
So next time you pack your favourite snacks for a hiking trip, consider the longevity of your favourite snacks and choose wisely.
How do I carry my snacks while hiking?
It’s essential to pack your snacks in a way that’s easily accessible and won’t take up too much space. Use small, resealable bags or containers to organise your snacks and prevent them from getting crushed. Place them in an outer pocket or the top of your backpack for easy access during your hike.
Our best snacks to bring hiking
1) Trail Mix:
Trail mix is one of the best and most healthy hiking snacks, an excellent snack that can be easily customized according to one’s preferences.
Nuts in a typical trail mix are a great source of protein and healthy fats, while dried fruit provides carbohydrates and fibre. The healthy fats in trail mix can help keep one full and satisfied for extended periods.
Trail mix can also contain seeds, dark chocolate chips, raw nuts, or coconut flakes. I love making my trail mix to get my favourite balance of fruit and nuts, I like adding pumpkin seeds to mine, and it is also generally cheaper.
2) Beef Jerky:
Beef jerky is a high-protein hiking snack that can provide long-lasting energy during a hike. It is low in fat and carbs, making it an ideal option for those watching their calorie intake.
Beef jerky is an excellent source of iron and zinc, two minerals essential for healthy blood circulation and immune function. Jerky is a convenient and portable source of protein that can help keep you full and satisfied during a hike.
Beef jerky is a popular option as a hiking snack, but you can also find other types of meat sticks, beef jerky, like turkey, chicken, or even vegan options like mushroom jerky. Look for options that are low in fat and sodium.
3) Peanut Butter Pretzels:
Peanut and peanut butter pretzels are hiking snacks that provide a tasty combination of salty and sweet flavours that energise one during a hike. Peanut butter is a good protein, fibre, and healthy fats source.
The carbohydrates found in peanut butter pretzels are a quick source of energy that can help one tackle steep hills and rocky terrain.
4) Fresh Fruit:
Fresh fruit is a refreshing snack with a good mix of carbs, fibre, and essential vitamins and minerals. Fruits like apples, bananas, and oranges are easy to carry and can provide sustained energy during a hike.
They are also rich in antioxidants that can help protect against cellular damage caused by free radicals.
5) Dried Fruit
Dried fruit, or fruit leather, is an excellent option for a portable and convenient source of carbs and nutrients. Look for opportunities for dried fruits that are low in added sugars.
Dried fruit snacks, apricots, figs, and dates are effective options with high natural sugar, fibre, and other nutrients.
6) Energy Bars:
Energy bars are a convenient and portable snack that can quickly boost energy during a hike. Look for bars high in protein and fibre and low in added sugars.
The fibre in energy bars can help regulate blood sugar levels and keep one full for longer.
7) Cheese and crackers:
Cheese and crackers are a classic hiking snack with a good mix of carbs and protein. Cheese is a good source of calcium, which is essential for strong bones and teeth. My favourite is a strong Cheddar or mature Gouda cheese.
Crackers provide a quick source of energy that can help one maintain stamina and endurance during the hot weather on a hike.
8) Granola and Protein bars:
Granola and protein bars are convenient and tasty snacks that can provide sustained energy during a hike. Look for granola bars high in protein and fibre and low in added sugars.
The fibre in granola bars and protein bars can help regulate blood sugar levels and keeps you feeling full for longer.
9) Nut Butter Packets:
Nut butter packets whether they are cashew butter, almond butter or peanut butter) are an excellent option for a quick and easy source of protein and healthy fats snacks hiking along.
They’re portable and can be eaten independently or with snacks like crackers or dried fruit. Peanut butter and cashew butter are also great sources of these “good” fats that can help keep one full and satisfied during backpacking trips.
10) Roasted Chickpeas:
Roasted chickpeas are a crunchy and flavorful snack that can provide a good mix of carbs and protein. They’re also a good source of fibre and other nutrients, such as iron and magnesium.
Roasted chickpeas are a healthier alternative to salty chips or pretzels and very easy to make yourself at home using whatever spices you like; Curry is my favourite. 🙂
11) Dark Chocolate
Dark Chocolate is a delicious and indulgent snack with some health benefits. It contains antioxidants and can help improve blood flow and lower blood pressure.
When choosing dark Chocolate, look for options with a high percentage of cocoa and low added sugars.
Popcorn is a light and crunchy snack that can provide a good source of carbs and fibre. It’s also a low-calorie option for those watching their calorie intake. For pre-packaged options, you can make your popcorn at home or at your local grocery store.
13) Tuna Packets
Tuna packets are a convenient and portable source of protein that can help keep you full and satisfied during a hill walk.
They’re also low in fat and calories. Look for options that are packed in water instead of oil.
14) Hard-Boiled Eggs
Hard-boiled eggs are a great source of protein and can help keep you full and satisfied during a hike. They’re also a good source of other nutrients like vitamin D and choline.
Hard-boiled eggs are easy to make at home and can be stored in a container for a quick snack on the go.
Frequently Asked Questions about Hiking Snacks
Are sweets suitable for hiking?
Sweets can be a quick energy source but shouldn’t be your leading snack choice. Relying too heavily on sugar can lead to energy crashes later on. Instead, focus on a balanced mix of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats to keep your energy levels steady throughout your trek.
Why do hikers eat Chocolate?
Chocolate is a popular hiking snack because it provides a quick energy boost thanks to its sugar content.
Dark Chocolate, in particular, contains antioxidants and other nutrients that can be beneficial during physical activity.
However, it’s important not to overdo it with Chocolate and other favourite hiking snacks and to balance your snack intake day hiking out with healthier options.
What to consider when choosing hiking snacks
When selecting the best snacks for your hike or backpacking trip, consider the following factors:
Nutrition: Aim for a balanced mix of carbohydrates, proteins, and beneficial fats to fuel your body throughout your walk.
Portability: Choose lightweight, compact, and easy-to-carry snacks in your backpack without taking up too much space.
Durability: Opt for snacks that won’t get crushed or spoiled quickly in your backpack.
Accessibility: Pack your snacks so you can quickly grab them while on the go.
Taste: Hiking should be an enjoyable experience, so don’t forget to pack snacks you like to eat!
How to pack hiking snacks
Use small, resealable bags or containers to store your snacks.
Distribute the weight of your snacks evenly throughout your backpack.
Place snacks in an outer pocket or the top of your backpack for easy access during your trek.
Keep perishable items cool using an insulated pouch or bag, if necessary.
What foods should you avoid while hiking?
Sugary snacks: Relying too much on sugar can lead to energy crashes later in your hike.
Salty foods: Excessive salt intake can lead to dehydration, which can be dangerous during a hill walk.
Alcohol: Impairs coordination and decision-making and can increase the risk of dehydration.
Heavy, greasy foods can cause digestive discomfort and slow you down during your ramble.
Nutrition to Look for in Your Favorite Hiking Snacks: A Delicious and Healthy Breakdown
Carbohydrates: Provide quick energy for your body during physical activity.
Examples include whole grain crackers, granola bars, and dried fruits like raisins or banana chips.
Protein: Helps repair and build muscles, keeping you strong during your walk.
Examples include: beef jerky, mixed nuts, and protein bars.
Beneficial fats: Provide sustained energy and help your body absorb essential vitamins. Examples include nut butter, avocado, and chia or pumpkin seeds.
Fibre: Aids in digestion and helps you feel complete for extended periods.
Examples include: whole grain granola, dried figs, and roasted chickpeas.
Our Guide To The Best Hiking Snacks – Final Thoughts
The best homemade hiking snacks provide the right balance of nutrition, extra flavour, taste, and convenience.
Whether trekking through the picturesque Giant Causeway, the Glens of Antrim, or the Barrow Way, always come prepared with various good hiking snacks to energise and prepare for whatever the trail throws your way.
Now, grab your backpack, lace up your boots, and hit the trail with your newfound knowledge of the best hiking snacks for your next walking holiday in Ireland or elsewhere! Packing the right snacks for your hiking adventure can make all the difference in your overall experience.
Keep in mind the nutritional needs, taste, portability, and accessibility of your great hiking snacks to make your great hiking and trail snack journey a memorable one.