April 22, 2014 / Comments (4)

Snacks to Fuel a Hike

Backpacking and food go together. Always. If you’re planning your next backpacking trip, you may find yourself dreaming about all the food you’re going to eat. You may be worried about the weight of all this food.

The solution is simple: bring the highest calorie to weight ratio foods that you’ll actually want to eat. If you pack food you don’t love, it’s dead weight. Bring a variety of foods to eat throughout the day so you can get up those passes and summits!

I am not a doctor, a nutritionist, or a dietitian. I know what works for me and hope this will get to think about a endless food options available!

The snacks I bring for hiking and backpacking are high in nutritional value for their weight, require NO cooking, and can be eaten on the go.


Trail bars:

Look for bars that are calorie dense and high in nutrition. Also find bars you like! Would you pack it for work? I don’t like PowerBars so they don’t come with me on the trail. Many people have to push themselves to eat after long days on the trail so make things easier on yourself.  Usually the better energy bars are expensive, but worth it, in my opinion. I will be taking Pro Bars, Lara Bars (their Uber line is amazing!) Raw Revolution, Kind, and for my sweet tooth- Sunspire Coconut Bars. These bars natural ingredients, less sugar than some of the more traditional bars and have good nutritional value. The Pro Bars and Organic Vegan Bars are 125 calories per ounce.

Pro Bar Meal (Superfruit Slam)

Calories per ounce: 131
Carbohydrates: 44 grams
Total Fat: 20 grams
Protein: 10 grams

Kind Bar (Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate + Protein)

Calories per ounce: 141
Carbohydrates: 17 grams
Total Fat: 13 grams
Protein: 7 grams

Larabar Uber (Bananas Foster)

Calories per ounce: 163
Carbohydrates: 14 grams
Total Fat: 17 grams
Protein: 4 grams

Raw Revolution (Chocolate Coconut Bliss)

Calories per ounce: 134
Carbohydrates: 22 grams
Total Fat: 16 grams
Protein: 7 grams

Sunspire Coconut

Calories per ounce: 147
Carbohydrates: 27 grams
Total Fat: 15 grams
Protein: 2 grams

I will also be taking some of the following goodies:

Beef Jerky:

Vermont Real Sticks

These are individually packaged BBQ flavored sticks satisfy my “real food” fix. I will be craving food that has not been dehydrated or freeze dried and these will do the trick. This will also be the only meat I’ll be eating on the trail (I’ll have tuna too) as I will not be dehydrating my own meat for dinners. The sticks are free of antibiotics or preservatives and have very few ingredients. They are also made in Vermont!

Dried fruit:

Dried fruit adds fiber, minerals, and vitamins to your diet. They also add much needed variety. They are lower in calories per ounce (around 80 calories per ounce) but are so good paired with trail mix or just to break up your bar eating day. My favorite dried fruits to take are cranberries, mangoes, apples, and apricots. I’m also a fan of fruit leathers. Just make sure you don’t over do it on dried fruit or you’ll upset your digestion.

Trail mix:

Trail mix is a hiking staple, but try to mix it up! Also, choose the nuts you use in trail mix carefully. Try for the most nutritionally rich, calorie dense variety! I just bought a few bags of almonds, pecans, and walnuts at Trader Joe’s that I will be using to make some trail mix along with some m&ms.

Nutritional Content of Common Nuts (1 oz.)

Nutrients per 1 oz. (weight)
Nut Variety Approx # of nuts Calories (kcal) Protein (g) Total Fat (g) Saturated Fat (g) Mono-
ed Fat (g)
ed Fat (g)
Carbs (g) Fiber (g)
Almonds 23 160 6 14 1 9 3.5 6 4
Brazil Nuts 6 190 4 19 4 7 6 3 2
Cashews 18 160 4 13 3 8 2 9 1
Hazelnuts 21 180 4 17 1.5 13 2 5 3
Macadamia Nuts 11 200 2 22 3.5 17 0.5 4 2
Pecans 19 (halves) 200 3 20 2 12 6 4 3
Pine Nuts 165 190 4 20 1.5 5.5 10 4 1
Pistachios 49 160 4 18 1.5 7 4 8 3
Walnuts 14 (halves) 190 4 18 1.5 2.5 13 4 2

Do you have any suggestions for other snacks to fuel a hike? Leave a comment!


Last modified: November 5, 2015

4 Responses to :
Snacks to Fuel a Hike

  1. Erin B. says:

    Good suggestions. I’ve tried regular larabars and LOVE THEM, but not the ubers yet…I’ll have to give them a try.

    Also, I don’t know if you’ve heard of “super spackle”, but I find it more palatable than moose goo. Here’s a link with a pretty good description of how to make it if you’re interested http://briangreen.net/2011/10/liquid-biscotti-aka-super-spackle.html

  2. Adele says:

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