Long hikes require more water and sustenance than short walks do. You lose more water and energy while hiking than you think—and to continue the hike in a healthy manner, it is important to replenish your hydration and energy reserves as soon as possible. This is why most hikers bring with them plenty of water as well as non-perishable foods in a lightweight pack—high-protein foods that are packed with vitamins and minerals are extremely important for anyone spending time outdoors, from campers, hunters, hikers, and others outdoorsmen.
To keep you healthy, we have compiled the top 5 most popular snacks for long hikes—with these super energy foods, you can remain energetic and full on your long hikes.
Everyone knows of the long history of jerky (especially the famous beef jerky) and its place in survival preparation. For hundreds of years, dehydrated meats have been a staple of people on the go. Created initially by individuals traveling for exploration, trading, and immigrating across land, jerky is one of the best and most popular snacks for long hikes and travel, due to its combination of a long shelf life and the nutrients that are packed into this non-perishable, protein-packed, travel-friendly food.
Beef jerky is actually recommended by the USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) as one of the best, ideal hiking foods. However, there are a variety of meats that are used in jerky.
Hiking requires energy and if you figure your time wrong or end up in an emergency and spend more time outdoors than you planned, it is crucial to have extra water as well as extra food on you. The best foods to bring on a hike are high-protein nut/high energy bars and jerky—low in fat with vitamins and minerals. What better than to combine the two for an ultimate hiking food to keep you energized?
Epic’s All Natural, 100% Turkey, Almond, and Cranberry bars are the perfect combination of the best hiking foods one can carry with them for a day outdoors. There are 12 1.5 ounce bars in each pack with improved individual packaging that guarantees freshness and makes it perfect to carry on hikes.
These hiking bars are naturally low in fat and are loaded with vitamins and minerals. They are made using Turkey because it is an exceptionally dense source of nutrient-rich protein—and it is one of the more favored meats among Americans. This bar is not just Turkey-based, but it is loaded with almonds, cranberries, as well as tandoori spice, which adds balance and texture to the turkey. These complementary ingredients are often found in meals made by foodies, so the combination of these ingredients is tried and true.
These 12 count bars by Epic are also an excellent source of folic acid, potassium, vitamin B6, and are gluten free, paleo friendly, growth stimulant-free, and sugar free. The Turkey used in these bars are 100% grass fed.
These survival bars are well thought-out by Epic and at a cost of only $1.66 per ounce, you can buy a 12 pack of these bars on Amazon for as little as $28.31. This is a great deal for bars packed with high-quality and expertly manufactured meat, nuts, fruits, and spices.
If you prefer jerky that is not combined with energy bars or fruit and nut bars, there are plenty of options out there to choose from. There are other brands that sell pure jerky suitable for hiking, such as Jack Links, Barren Creek, Buffalo Bills, Golden Island, Krave Jerky, and Old Wisconsin to name a few.
2. Hearty Granola
Granola is a time-honored means of replenishing energy, and can be brought on long hikes in a variety of ways. You can bring granola bars, granola crumbles, or even eat raw granola with fruit and yogurt before you leave for your hike.
Healthy Bar, Backpacker’s Pantry, Natural High, and KIND are a few brands that offer excellent granola bars that are packed with energy, organic granola, and other great health ingredients that offer hikers a ton of fuel for their day.
If you prefer to eat granola in non-bar form, Mountain House is an incredibly popular and trusted brand that offers easy-to-carry pouches of non-perishable survival food that simply needs water. For example, Mountain House’s Granola with Milk and Blueberries is a popular food pouch that is full of dried fruit, granola, and offers fiber and unsaturated fats. With a 12+ year taste guarantee, these survival pouches definitely won’t expire.
If you require a kosher granola mix for religious reasons, you do not have to be left behind! You can buy or make Matzo Granola with dried fruits, nuts, and maple. The matzo replaces standard oats and you simply throw matzo pieces in a maple syrup glaze and spice it with some ginger and cinnamon, and bake nuts such as pistachios until they are crisp. For those of you already knowledgeable about matzo, you know that you can purchase matzo farfel, which is pre-crumbled matzo.
No matter what your needs are, granola is an excellent and healthy addition to hikers’ on the go snacks.
3. Trail Mix—Nuts/Dried Fruits/Seeds
Nuts, dried fruits, and seeds are an incredible combination that provide nutrients, vitamins, and energy. You can purchase a good hiking trail mix at the store or online, but be wary of retailers who are trying to sell you expensive mixes to take advantage of your good health. You can easily make your own trail mix at home or purchase an excellent hiking mix online by those who relate to your hiking passion and are not looking to empty your wallet.
Some excellent brands of trail mix that is nutritional and best for hiking are: Trader Joe’s Omega Trek Mix; Trader Joe’s Go Raw Trek Mix; Terrasoul Superfoods Thrive Trail Mix (organic); Archer Farms Monster Trail Mix; Wild Roots 100% Natural Trail Mix; Kirkland Signature Tail Mix; and Daily Chef Mountain Trail Mix.
These trail mixes contain a mix of whole nuts, dried fruits, seeds, and other ingredients that contain natural sugars, omega-3 acids, healthy oil extracts, high protein, and natural minerals that help the body burn calories and replenish energy with natural and healthy foods. Skip the cheap trail mixes that contain your typical peanuts and chocolate—mixes with pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, dried fruits, pecans, almonds, pistachios, and other foods are a much better alternative.
4. Fuel/Energy Bars
Energy bars (also called fuel bars by hikers and campers), are an exceptionally important part of maintaining energy and refueling energy reserves. Energy/fuel bars are an excellent way of remaining satiated, energetic, and replenishing the lost vitamins and minerals your body loses when outdoors.
There are a variety of fuel and energy bars on the market, some created for use during gym workouts, some for the workplace, others for children, and some specifically for use outdoors for hiking and camping. These bars are typically high in protein, are low in sugar, contain no gluten or GMO, and are healthy and energy-packed non-perishable foods.
Highly compact, lightweight, and mobile, these energy bars are a favorite of hikers because they do not spoil, they are easily carried in a lightweight pack, and they contain the energy components needed for active outdoorsmen.
As an example, KIND Bars are a number one best seller brand of energy and nut bars that are affordable, highly popular, and perfect for hiking. KIND Bars sell 40 different flavors and come in 8 different sizes. These bars contain all natural protein, only 5g of sugar, and fiber—all excellent additions to any hike. These energy bars are crafted from high quality foods, such as whole nuts, spices, and natural ingredients that are as delicious as they are healthy. KIND Bars are gluten free, non-GMO, have a low glycemic index, contain no sugar alcohols, and contain plenty of protein.
5. Instant, Lightweight Meals
Longer hikes typically contain a resting period where the hiker takes time to rest their legs, drink water, and even have a meal. Long hikes differ from a two-mile stroll and require more than some organic trail mix or an energy bar. If you are the type of hiker who plans day-long treks, you know the name Mountain House.
Mountain House is the best name brand survival food that comes with easy to carry packages, non-perishable foods, easy preparation, and no-mess cleanups. You can purchase different sizes and assortments of Mountain House packaged meals depending on your preferences and when taking a long hike, it may be best to bring along one or two of these essential survival pouches.
Each pack has a 12+ year taste guarantee, which offers an incredible shelf life. The pouches are safe from the elements and make it perfect to carry on the go. When hungry, all you need to do is add water and Mountain House does the rest. These adventure meals are made for camper, backpackers, survivalists, and people who spend a lot of time outdoors and do not want to carry or cannot carry, bulky food.
Each pouch uses the USDA’s recommended calorie intake and is formulated with well-balanced ingredients to offer you a huge range of food options as well as nutrient options. These are the perfect pouches to simply pack away in your pouch and take it out when you take your break.