Healthy Hiking Snacks

Get ideas for healthy snacks to pack when hiking.

182881853

Photo by: Danny Warren ©thinair28

Danny Warren, thinair28

This month marks the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service (NPS). To celebrate, take a hike on your favorite trail, or go to the NPS website to find a park near you, and take one of these healthy snacks along to fuel your journey.

Before You Head Out

Once you select a trail, do some research — especially if you’re planning on a full-day hike. Call the campsite, or research online where you can access water near the trail. Longer hikes may require you to bring water purification tablets, in case you come across a stream or natural source of water, which may contain harmful bacteria or parasites.

For shorter hikes, a Swell bottle can help keep your beverage of choice cold.

Reminder About Food Safety

You’re limited to what you can tote when hiking. You don’t want to carry too much or it might weigh you down (so no large coolers!). You also need to find foods that can take the heat for the extended period of time without refrigeration. Here are several foods you may want to consider picking up before your next adventure.

Beef Jerky

This high-protein snack was created to be a portable option. My favorite brands include:

Krave
Think Jerky: Grass-fed beef jerky

Meat Bars

The latest trend is meat bars, touted to be high-protein bars made with real meat. Healthier brands include:

Wilde Snacks: Slow-baked meat bars from Boulder, Colo.

Wild Zora: A mix of meat and veggie bars

Trail Mix

Snacks for hiking should contain maximum nutrition in every bite. You can opt to make your own trail mix, though skip the chocolate if it’s a hot day (or it will be messy!). You can also tote along a variety of trail mixes that provide a healthy dose of energy along with healthy fats, protein and carbs (from the fruit). Some healthier trail mixes to pick up:

Dick Stevens Trail Mix (made with pieces of jerky)
Trader Joe’s Simply the Best Trek Mix

Other Easy Snacks
• Energy bars, such as nut butter-filled Clif bars

• Granola bars similar to Kashi bars that aren’t too soft (those tend to get very mushy)

• Nuts and seeds

• Single-serve squeezable nut butter packs, such as those from Justin’s or Crazy Richards

Bottom line: Whether you’re headed on a short or long hike, advanced planning and snacks can help make your trip a healthier one!

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. She is the author of  The Greek Yogurt Kitchen: More Than 130 Delicious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Day .

Next Up

14 Delicious and Healthy Snacks for Work

These homemade and store-bought snack options will keep you energized and satisfied throughout the workday.

The 9 Best Healthy Snacks, According to Kids

We went straight to the source to find out which snacks are worth stocking up on.

According to Nutritionists, Are Bananas Actually a Healthy Snack?

Here, a deep dive into the nutritional benefits of bananas. Starting with: How many calories are in a banana?

Class Act: Healthy Snack Ideas to Bring to School

Help your little ones and their classmates snack smarter this year.

50 Late-Night Snacks

Find a new way to satisfy your midnight cravings.

Is Honey Healthy?

Find out how to make this natural sweetener part of a healthy diet.

Is Pasta Healthy?

Why you can (and should!) embrace pasta as part of a healthful diet, according to a dietitian.

Is Subway Healthy?

Choices are key at this sandwich chain.

Is Falafel Healthy?

This classic dish is loaded with fiber- and protein-packed chickpeas, but is it good for you?

Is Cereal Healthy?

Research shows people who eat cereal for breakfast may eat more underconsumed nutrients than those who eat other breakfast foods.