May 14, 2015 / Comments (3)

Trail Snack Nutrition

trail snacks
trail snacks

Carrying nutritious food is just as important as the footwear you decide on and  the shelter you carry. Without proper nutrition, hiking all day long would be rather dangerous. Packing the right foods can mean the difference between bailing and having the time of your life! Trail nutrition is very different than what we’d consider a proper diet in a more sedentary daily lifestyle like many of us have living the office grind. While everyone’s needs will be different, I hope this can serve as a jumping off point for your trail planning!

Snacks are one of the most important parts of your trail food system. See, already a big difference between daily food nutrition and trail food nutrition! For hikers always on the move, having snacks that are easy to eat quickly is essential. You also want to get the biggest bang for your buck. Here are some of my go-to snacks that are calorie dense and has the right stuff to keep you moving:

TypeCalories Per OunceCarbohydrates (grams per serving)Total fat (grams per serving)Protein (grams per serving)Approximate # of nuts
Brazil Nuts19031946
Macadamia Nuts200422211
Pecans200420319 (halves)
Pine Nuts1904204165
Walnuts190418414 (halves)
Brand (and flavor)Calories (per bar)Carbohydrates (grams per serving)Total fat (grams per serving)Protein (grams per serving)
PROBAR Meal (Superfruit Slam)380442010
PROBAR Bite (Superfruit and Greens)1902776
PROBAR Base (Brownie Crisp)290321120
Kind Bar (Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate + Protein)14117137
Larabar Uber (Bananas Foster)16314174
Raw Revolution (Chocolate Coconut Bliss)13422167
Sunspire Coconut Bar14727152
Chia Bar (Acai Berry)100154.53
Clif Mojo (Mountain Mix)1902198
Kate's Real Food (Stash)27036119
GoMacro (Prolonged Power)270351210
dried fruit
Fruit (Dried)Serving SizeCaloriesFiber (grams)Also a Great Source Of...
Mango1/3 cup160140 grams carbohydrates. Also 20% of daily Vitamin A needs
apples1/2 cup1043.7193 mg potassium
Apricots1/2 cup1564.547% of your daily Vitamin A needs
Prunes1/2 cup223613% of your daily iron requirements
Figs1/2 cup1857.5A good source of important minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium and manganese
Cranberries (sweetened)1/2 cup1853Rich in phytonutrients
Kiwis1/3 cup150.5Great source of Vitamin C
Bananas1/2 cup173544g carbohydrates


Other great snacks include:

Jerky: My favorites include Grass Fed Farms Jerky, Primal Vegan Jerky, and Real Sticks

Fruit Leather: I tend to buy mine at Trader Joe’s. Stretch Island is another great brand. You can also try your hand at making your own!

Trail Mix: Trader Joe’s (tons of varieties)

Chocolate: Endangered Species makes awesome chocolate (and 10% of their profits are donated!), Salazon’s chocolate bars are fair trade and delicious too!

Navitas– I’ve tried a few of their snacks and they are so good and good for you! My favorites so far are the Cacao Nibs and the Superfruit+Cashews

Nut Butters: Grab some crackers, a tortilla, or pair nothing at all with nut butters. Justin’s makes a huge variety of flavors that come in packets. I also really enjoy Barney’s almond butter.

Drinkable Calories: Protein shakes and smoothies

For backpacking excursions, make sure to pack snacks you’ll actually eat. You will walk off thousands of calories, but may sometimes not find anything in your pack appetizing. Be sure to test all the food you plan to bring (just like you would a new pack or tent!) and include variety. I’ve found that what my body wants is carbs, protein, salt, and sugar… and something fresh after eating processed foods for days. This is why I pack chocolate, salty snacks, and always look for whole food options. Consistent calorie consumption plays a major role in your energy level so grazing throughout the day is important for a hiker’s endurance.

Last modified: May 14, 2015

3 Responses to :
Trail Snack Nutrition

  1. I’ve been working on trying to find foods that I want to eat while hiking that will give me energy on long day hikes. I get pretty tired of bars.

    I recently tried roasted baby potatoes (w/olive oil & salt) – put in a small baggy in my front pack pocket. They worked great! I also use Justin’s nut butters.

    Although its on the expensive side, I found Banarnas (sort of dried & rehydrated bananas) – they are chewy and tasty!

    1. allison says:

      I’ll have to try those Banarnas! I have been meaning to make my own dehydrated hummus which is an awesome snack. I’ll post my trial with that at some point 🙂

  2. Bruce E Crawford says:

    Great info! Some inexpensive trail treats I like are hard-boiled eggs with salt; peanut butter mixed with molasses and raisins on my whole wheat sour dough, and hummus on same bread. Plus of course apples (with salt) and bananas. And I also like the old-fashion energy bars, ie snickers.

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