Best Hiking Snacks

Hiking Snacks - Reviews & Guides For 2024

Our Top Hiking Snacks

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Hiking Snacks buying guide

While going on long hikes, you must keep a check on your calorie count. Without proper food and water, you can get sick and will not be able to enjoy your trip. To get the extra boost of energy between the meals, you can opt for hiking snacks.

While selecting the hiking snacks for your trip, you have to look into the calorie count, shelf life, ingredients, and other additional properties. A comprehensive buying guide provides you with all the necessary information that will aid you in your selection process.

So, without any further ado, let us dive into this immense guide and begin our hunt.

What are Hiking Snacks, and why should you buy them?

The food you eat converts into energy, which helps you function well and achieve your desired goals. While hiking, you land yourself at higher altitudes and don't feel like stacking your stomach with anything, be it the food or water.

But hiking requires a lot of energy, and to replenish the lost energy; you need to feed yourself at regular intervals. Hiking snacks are manufactured to keep you energized all day long while you are hiking.

All you need to do is open the pre-packaged snack packet and munch on your favorite calorie-enriched snacks. These snacks for hiking are enriched with the desired nutrients that you require while participating in outdoor activities.

Since depriving your body of food and water will result in body malfunctioning, these food items will fill your system with the much-needed nutrients and electrolytes.

With these snacks around, you can always climb the mountains and do other activities without getting fatigued. So, before you go on your next trip, read this article to know the benefits and what good they are enriched with.

Things to deem about while selecting appropriate Hiking Snacks

While there are many variants of these snacks available in the market with different forms and names, purchasing the relevant one is crucial.

You should not eat the wrong food as it can put you at risk at a place where you cannot cook and eat. To ensure that you are putting genuine items inside your system, you need to do a lot of research.

Since so many articles and irrelevant documents are there regarding this food item, browsing through them is a tiring task.

To help you get the best out of all, we have come up with this buying guide for the excellent and tasty snack for hiking. This guide will provide you with all the information you need to know before investing in these food articles.

To narrow down your search and get the perfect snack to accompany you on your hiking trip, refer to this comprehensive guide and pick out the suitable one.

What Kind of Food Should I Take Backpacking?

While you are outdoors, you don't have many resources available to you. Eating food outside is a challenging task, and that is where these snacks make their appearances.

They are super portable, lightweight, and ready to eat. All you need to do is heat some water over the bonfire, and pour it inside the packet.

But before these steps come in, you need to know what kind of food you should invest in while hiking. Let's see what variants are available.

  1. Your favorite dish

Why compromise with your taste even while backpacking? Take the food that you like and comfort you. Experimenting with food is not recommended while traveling at such a high altitude.

If you don't like the taste or it doesn't fill your stomach, you may fall sick. Since backpacking and hiking is the most enjoyable outdoor activity, you cannot afford to fall ill and get constrained inside your tent.

Moreover, you won't be able to visit a doctor, which may worsen your health further. Thus, stick to what you prefer eating on a typical day and search for those food variants which satisfy your hunger.

  1. Keep yourself equipped with a variety of snacks

What if you feel like eating something spicy but don't have it in-store? This scarcity of the different food variants may demotivate you from hiking, and you won't enjoy it with others.

The secret to a smiling face is a full stomach, and if you are hungry, you will be irritated at all times. So, try to pick up different variants to keep you satisfied always. Opt for these snacks that are sweet, spicy, salty, and sour.

Also, look for the variants with different textures to not get restricted to only one crispy texture. You never know what mood swings you might experience, so keep as many variants of snacks with you in-store as possible.

Besides, don't only carry protein or cereal bars. Try to have all the nutrients in reach to keep yourself healthy throughout by providing your system a balanced diet.

  1. Fresh foods are a must

Since there won't be any refrigerator around you while in the wild, there isn't any place to keep your food fresh for long. However, you can pick out the variants which stay for a few days before rotting.

These variants include nuts, seeds, or hard cheeses. You can also opt for fresh harvests like onions, kales, carrots, broccoli, etc. These food items stay intact for a few days before going bad.

Though they might weigh a little more, if you want to stay fit and enjoy more, weight can be compromised. These items don't need to be packed in special packages. Grab them in hand and get going on your trails.

  1. Ensure that you carry lightweight food items

Have you seen how the scientists in the spaceships eat their food? They have vacuumed packages where the food is packed in dry form. They add a little hot water to it and enjoy their meal.

There are plenty of dishes to choose from, and everyone can choose whatever they feel like having. Similarly, hiking snacks are also packed in lightweight vacuumed packages that require some hot water.

There is every type of dish that you can opt for; mac and cheese for carbs, tuna, salmon and cheese for protein, etc.

You can easily get these snacks in a nearby store and enjoy a satisfying meal whenever you feel those mice running inside your stomach.

  1. Add your spice kick

To enhance your hiking snacks' taste, you can bring along some spices available at your home. Since the taste buds don't work at that height, adding some spices like garlic powder, cumin powder, etc. adds a punch and pampers your taste buds.

Also, keeping these spices with you helps during crises. What if you prefer extra salt, and the packed food doesn't taste right without it?

You cannot find salt in the wild nor any other spice. Hence, carrying some in-store stays in reach and comes handy whenever needed. The hot chocolate without a pinch of cinnamon is always incomplete, so make sure you have it!

  1. Stay hydrated with your favorite beverage

Staying hydrated is crucial, and you should pay more attention to it. The electrolytes that these beverages contain helps in muscle contraction and normal body functions.

Hence, ensure that you carry them and drink regularly. Sweating is bound to happen while hiking and to replenish those lost electrolytes, you need to have a regular intake of water, coffee, tea, milk, or any other beverage that you prefer.

However, some beverages are essential, and you should have them while backpacking. These beverages include apple cider vinegar, chicken broth, miso soup, etc.

These drinks are nutrient-rich and keep you hydrated all the time. So no more worrying about sweating and getting dehydrated.

  1. Dehydrate your meals

If you are health conscious and don't prefer to eat hotel made food or one from any other source, you always have the option of dehydrating your meal and bringing it. All you need is the recipe for the meal you want to have and some cooking skills.

After preparing your food and dehydrating it, you have your home-made hiking snacks. It is time-consuming because of the time taken for preparation and dehydration, but the meal is worth having.

It is lightweight, highly nutritious, and matches your taste. You can customize it yourself and according to your diet. Home-made food is unbeatable and stands out from all the other packaged food available in the market.

  1. Consider the dried/ dehydrated food items

Though these packaged snacks are a bit pricey, they are worth paying for. They are very convenient to carry and use. Besides, there is no requirement of cleaning up the messy utensils after having your meals.

They are small packets that can be stored inside your backpack with ease, and you don't have to compromise with the space for carrying other essentials. This ready to eat meal requires only a cup of hot water and is exceptionally delicious.

You won't miss the taste that you left back at home. The variety of choices you get is incredible, and there is something for everyone. From salmons to dry rice, you have got all the delicious dishes with these food packets around.

The dehydration process eliminates all the water contents, so you don't have to think about your backpacks getting dirty due to the gravy or juices leaking out of the packets. Thus making your journey a lot more comfortable and enjoyable.

Food Safety Practices

Staying outdoors is a big task and maintaining the same level of hygiene is difficult. You have to manage whatever resources that you have and get your things done.

Following food safety practices is a must while you eat food outdoors. The first and foremost rule is to take the utmost care of your food. Since you won't have a refrigerator near you, it is vulnerable to rot due to the climate outside.

There are many other things that you should consider to keep yourself and your food safe. Let's see some of the food safety practices.

  1. The time limit

You should know about the climate of the location you plan to hike before opting for the hiking snacks. If the climate is hot (90 degrees or above), you should not keep your food out for more than an hour.

If the weather is mild and not so hot, the food can sustain an hour or two outside. If you keep them out for long, the contents will rot, and you will have nothing left to eat and will starve.

  1. Safety essentials

You need to carry some essentials with you to have your meal hygienically. Listed below are some items which you should bring with you while hiking.

  1. Disposable Wipes and soaps or sanitize

To wash your hands and keep the germs away, you need to have a small soap or a sanitizer. Wipes are necessary to wipe your hands after cleaning them, and the disposable ones are more hygienic.

  1. Utensil

You need utensils to warm the water or your beverages. You can opt for disposal and biodegradable material for the eating plates, which negates the need to clean them after finishing your meal.

Also, keep a can opener with yourself to open the beer cans or the ones containing soft drinks.

  1. Ice packs

Ice packs will help you to keep your food fresh for longer while you are staying outdoors. If you are carrying raw meats with you, ice packs will prevent them from going rancid due to the moist or hot weather.

  1. Trash bags

It is not wise to throw the litter all around the area. Hence, carry trash bags to collect all the waste and throw it at a safer place.

  1. Water filters and purification tablets

Since you won't be getting fresh water to drink everywhere, water filters and purification tablets will purify the water you got from the nearby source and make it fit for drinking.

  1. Rules

You should follow specific rules to maintain hygiene and ensure that you are eating quality food. Let's look at the rules.

  1. Keep foods separately

Raw meats are meant to be kept separately from the ready to eat foods. The reason is the raw meat tends to perish faster when exposed to harsh weather. If kept together, it will affect your ready to eat a meal also. Hence, ensure that you store both of them separately.

  1. Proper cooking

Cooking the meat and other food to the correct temperature is essential. Eating them raw or half-cooked can cause illness and other problems. Thus, use a thermometer to check the internal temperature and check that the food is cooked correctly.


Hiking snacks are famous for the wide variety of nutrients and high energy that they possess. Listed below are the different types of nutrients that they enrich your body with. Let's see what they are and how much energy they provide.

  1. Calories

The number of calories that you need on an hourly basis depends on many different factors. You should be aware of the intensity of the workout and your body type.

These two factors are the most significant ones because if the intensity is more, the number of calories required will be higher. Many of these snacks have high amounts of calories in them, which suit all types of workout.

  1. Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are the main hub of energy, and you should opt for food items rich in carbs if you are participating in a high-intensity activity for a longer duration. However, you should not consume high amounts of carbs quickly because that can result in an upset stomach.

  1. Protein

Proteins are the muscle-building food, which also builds up the worn-out tissues. After any workout, most of your tissues are damaged, and to build them up again so that you can carry out the activity the next day, you need to have a required amount of protein.

A protein-rich food is also an excellent option if you participate in activities that require high endurance and power.

  1. Fats

Endurance athletes typically require fats. Food items rich in fats can also be consumed as a meal replacement as they contain a massive amount of energy in them.

  1. Vitamins and minerals

The vitamins and minerals are naturally burnt inside your body whenever you workout. The majority of these snacks contain vitamins and minerals to replenish the ones that burnt out.

Hiking Meal Ideas and Tips

There are different hiking meal ideas that you can opt for depending on your convenience. Some of the ideas and tips are mentioned below.

  1. Breakfasts

You can get a wide range from a mini energy bar to a whole tasty meal for breakfasts. The big meal consists of spreads, eggs, pancakes, coffee, meats, etc.

If you opt for a meal that has to be cooked, you can stay energized the whole day. However, opting for the energy bars will save you time and negate the problem of cleaning.

  1. Snacks

The list of hiking snacks is never-ending and consists of many different options to choose from. You can have spicy nuts, banana chips, dried fruits, string cheese, fig or cereal bars, etc. These snacks are mouth-watering and will give you enough energy to carry on your activity.

  1. Lunch

If you are a food lover and want food at every interval of 2 to 3 hrs, having lunch is a better option. You will find many variants which you can opt for. After you have picked up the right one, sit under a shade, open the packet, and Bon appetit.

  1. Dinner

The pleasure and satisfaction you get after having a full stomach meal at the end of an exhausting day are unmatchable. You can opt for ready-to-eat meals that require only hot water to get rehydrated.

You also have the choice to go for regular noodles or pasta, which get ready in two minutes. However, the choice depends on you and your likings.

Besides, you need to know some tips while taking food on your hiking trip. These useful tips will come in handy while you need them. Let's look at them to learn more.

  1. Consider repackaging

Carry your food in a resealable packet so that you can save it for eating later and don't have to stuff unnecessarily even after getting full.

  1. Save a treat

You can search for dessert options to tickle your palate with a sweet dish at the end of the day. Dark chocolate or a frozen crumble will help you satisfy yourself even in the wild.

Food Handling and Storage

If you want to stay safe and healthy while hiking, you need to focus on the food handling basics that are essential. Let's have a glance at what they are.

  1. Fecal-oral pathogen transmission

The worst thing you can ever do is go to the washroom and don't wash your hands before eating. This slackness can cost you heavily, and you will fall sick on your trip.

The pathogens get transferred to your hands while in the washroom. They may enter your system by the medium of food.

Hence, to avoid this situation and stay healthy, make sure that you wash your hand using a bar of soap or a sanitizer before consuming any meal.

  1. Handling raw meat

It is vital to handle raw meat properly while staying outdoors. Ensure that you clean all the utensils after cutting the meat into small pieces. After washing thoroughly with water, place the meat in sealed packets to prevent the flies from getting attracted.

Don't cut any other food item on the surfaces which have meat residue. Also, keep your meat covered with two layers of bags either inside the cooler or in your trash bag.

  1. Keep odors at a distance

Meat odors attract wild animals, and if you are not careful about it, you will become the lunch of a wild animal within no time. Keep your trash quite away from your tent and wash your utensils or cook food at a distance.

By following these rules, you can keep yourself safe from the man-eaters and sleep peacefully inside your tent.


  1. Can these snacks serve the purpose of whole meals?

No, these snacks cannot serve the purpose of the whole meal. You can consume them between the meals to keep up with your energy.

  1. What are the suitable options available for the snacks?

The list is long. You can always dehydrate fruits to carry them with you on your trip. Trail mix, dry fruit, and banana chips are other healthy options to try out.

Final Verdict

Hiking snacks present a simple and quick option to opt for whenever you need to re-energize your body. In this buying guide, you will get all the details that will aid you in selecting the best snacks.

Purchase a bunch of them and enjoy your trip safely. / - © Copyright 2020