You’ve done it. Your heart’s pumping hard and fast and your lungs are screaming for air as both your back and legs feel ready to collapse. But you’ve feel refreshed, inspired, and successful. You’ve just made it to the top of the mountain and, much more than that, you feel like you’re on top of the world with only the most splendid of sights to greet you. And then it happens. Perhaps that cramp that’s been yearning to break free is finally crying out to you or your stomach is once again making those incomprehensible sounds you’ve learned over your experienced years of life translates to “I’m hungry.” And unless you’re lucky enough to dig up some wild onions or a berry bush is lingering temptingly nearby, you are in dire need of some food.
To prevent those inevitable hunger pangs from striking at you while on the hike, HFR compiled a list of the top 10 snacks for hiking you should pack with you on your outdoor adventure.
Trail mix – Trail mix is the obvious choice here, given their use of the word “trail.” A medley containing various nuts which may include cashews, peanuts, walnuts and almonds, trail mix will sometimes contained dried fruit, granola clusters and even indulgent pieces of chocolate. Trail mix is a high calorie snack with healthy fats created to keep you going throughout the day. It’s great to take on hikes because it’s a light snack that won’t weigh you down nor your back. The sweeter ingredients in various trail mixes is intended keep your blood sugar at a constant so you can avoid feeling weak.
Coconut water – Coconut water is more effective at hydrating the body than sports and energy drinks. It can also be used to keep up your electrolytes, which are expended during workouts and exercise. The sweetness of coconut water, just like in trail mix, will keep be sure to keep you energized.
Dried fruit – Dried fruit is a good source of fiber, energy and is loaded with fructose (the healthy sugar). One of the electrolytes you expend during the hike is potassium and what food do you automatically jump to when you think potassium? That’s right, bananas! One step further and we’ve got ourselves some dried bananas – or banana chips. Whether or not you choose to pack other dried fruits like raisins, craisins, apricots, mangoes, or apricots is up to you, but be sure to keep those banana chips handy!
Oranges – Fresh oranges make for, well, a refreshing snack. Juicy and easy to throw in your travel pack, oranges will keep you hydrated and energized. Known for their high content of vitamin C, which boosts immunity and improve circulation, having oranges on hand will prove useful when embarking on those high altitudes.
Oatmeal – Oatmeal as a snack is a healthy delicious way to fuel yourself for the day, this morning meal keeps you going. Making sure you have proper nourishment is of high importance on a hike so eating before and throughout makes your hike more enjoyable.
Cherries – The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of cherries may have a protective effect to reduce muscle damage and pain during strenuous exercise. Carrying a little bag of them will keep your body going in the roughest of times and may even provide relief for post-workout exercise and are known to reduce your risk of gout and other forms of arthritis – which are sure to stop you mid-hike. Keep cherries on hand and constantly consume them before, during, and after a hike to help with any joint pains, especially if you have a history of arthritic problems.
Beef jerky – Ah yes the meaty of all meats is here! Beef jerky is a high-energy snack that can fuel you through a vigorous workout or intense exercise. Consuming beef jerky aids in the functions of all body systems because it is a great source of protein, which is used to build up your muscles and tissues.
Tuna and crackers – Tuna is a good source of selenium as well as omega-3 fatty acids, which are important in liver health to help promote detoxification of the body.Tuna can be greatly beneficial to skin care, reduces inflammation, and even helps reduce the risk of sunburn and skin cancer. If you plan on going hiking out in the sun, then tuna and crackers may be a great snack to add to your skin protection diet.
Peanut butter – Peanut butter is a classic snack to bring on a hike, as it possesses a great mix of carbs, protein, and fat. It’s tasty, inexpensive, and decreases hunger. If you’re more interested in peanut butter than a peanut butter sandwich or peanut butter on crackers, scoop your peanut butter into a squeeze tube, making it easy to pack.
Chia seeds- Chia seeds, like tuna, are also loaded with omega-3 fatty acids and is also known to prevent dehydration as chia seeds can hold more than three times their weight in water. This is important for a hike because you’re constantly exerting energy and perspiration.
Hungry for more? Check out more of our nutrition, outdoors, and top 10 articles, including our top 10 health benefits of trekking and backpacking and top 10 health benefits of hiking.