The Best Hiking Snacks To Bring On Your Next Hiking Trip

You have your hiking trip planned out, you know how long the hike is, where the trailhead is, and you have your gear all ready, but what hiking snacks should you bring for your hike? Whether you’re doing a short day hike or a full day hike, we’ve created a list of the best snacks for hiking that will keep your energy flowing so you can enjoy your entire hike! These recommendations can work as day hike snacks, backpacking snacks, or camping snacks. Disclaimer, the links below may contain affiliate links that help the blog out at no additional cost to you.

Rapid Recommendations for Hiking Snacks

If you got a hike coming up, still need to pack your pack, and just want a quick recommendation on our favorite hiking snacks that will be delicious and give you energy, we also have a list of hiking snacks without nuts down below, but here’s our rapid recommendations:

Orchard Valley Harvest Cranberry Almond Cashew Trail Mix View on Amazon
Righteous Felon Beef Jerky – Maryland Monroe Flavor – All-Natural Jerky View on Amazon
Bubba’s Fine Foods Grain Free Nana Chip View on Amazon
Ritual Energy Whole Food Energy Bite View On Amazon
Skout Organic Peanut Butter Organic Protein Bars View on Amazon
Whisps Cheese Crisps Variety Pack View on Amazon

Table of Contents

Why You Should Trust Hiker Crate

We’ve been hiking for over a decade all over the place, from deserts to snow capped peaks. We know what it’s like to be gasping for air when you’re only a quarter a way up the switchbacks and the person you just passed said, “you’re almost there.” We’ve begrudgingly bitten into the 7th of the same 10 granola bars or the same super dry trail mix. The snacks below are ones we’ve tried and loved out on the hiking trails. We also bring these as camping snacks too as all of these snacks will last long and are easily packable. We currently curate and pick hiking food for our monthly box and try almost everything under the sun.

Major Considerations for Hiking Snacks

If you want a more in depth breakdown on major things to consider for healthy snacks and how to plan your hiking snacks, scroll down to the Major Considerations section below.

What’s Important to You For Picking a Hiking Snack

Price – Snacks can get pretty expensive, so we’ve provided a wide range of price-ranges so you can keep your stomach and wallet full.
Flavor – Having a variety of flavors is important when choosing snacks to keep you motivated to eat so you can be energized.
Calories – You may be counting calories on the daily, but think about the calories in vs the calories you’re burning out on the trails. Think about the best snacks for energy as you are choosing.
Texture – Texture is underrated when choosing hiking snacks, but a change in texture can really provide you with a strong pick-me-up when you’re out hiking.
Sugar Level – Beware of sugar-level intake and the dreaded sugar-crash when hiking.

What are the Best Day Hike Snacks Overall

The best day hiking snacks are the ones that you’ll actually eat and keep you energized. These can be considered walking snacks or intense hiking snacks. A lot of these snacks can also be considered as food for hiking as some are calorically dense and will keep you going. Its really easy to default to the same snacks you might eat at home, school, or work, but those snacks might be full of sugar or other unhealthy preservatives. This list includes our favorite trail mix, jerky, fruits, energy bars, protein bars, spreads, nuts, cheese, and granola. Our team of hikers has tried these snacks and we’ve even included them in our monthly subscription box for hikers.

Trail Mix

Trail mix is a classic snack to bring out on the trail, I mean it has the word trail in it. I used to think that the generic trail mix from the grocery store was the only one available and they were all the same, boy was I wrong. Here’s a list of the most delicious trail mixes you need to bring out on the trail:

Orchard Valley Harvest Cranberry Almond Cashew Trail Mix

This trail mix has a mix of roasted and salted cashews, salted almonds, and dried cranberries. The delicious cranberries takes the taste of this trail mix to the next level with the sweet and salty mix.

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Second Nature Wholesome Medley Trail Mix

This trail mix provides a variety that is savory and sweet. The trail mix is made of dark chocolate, roasted and salted peanuts, almonds, and cashews, and cranberries.

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Jerky or Meat Sticks

This is one of my favorite hiking snacks to bring because you get that added protein and flavor change when you’re out hiking. There’s just something about having jerky when you’re out looking at the mountains or in the woods. An alternative to jerky are meat sticks. Meat sticks are a convenient bump of protein and taste so delicious.

Righteous Felon Beef Jerky – Maryland Monroe Flavor – All-Natural Jerky

This jerky is an ode to Maryland and is their classic all-natural, pasture-raised beef jerky jam-packed with the quintessential Chesapeake Crab Spice seasoning that we all know and love. This is a must try out on the trails!

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One For Neptune – Wild Alaska Pollock Fish Jerky – Cracked Pepper A great alternative to beef flavor jerky is this jerky made by One for Neptune containing Alaska Pollock. This is a complete protein snack flavored with cracked pepper and spices. View on Amazon

Dried Fruits

Fresh fruits are great, but they go bad out on the trail pretty easily, so we gave you the next best thing. Dried fruits are so good and pack extremely well. You’ll get the added benefit of the natural sugars and the explosion of fruit flavors in your mouth. There are so many amazing dried fruit snacks to choose from. My favorite is dried mangos, dried, apples, or bananas.

Bubba’s Fine Foods Grain Free Nana Chip

Oh-my-gosh you need to buy these right now. This is THE snack you’ve been waiting for. These are made of savory plantains packed with either garlic parmesan, blazing buffalo sauce or nacho flavors.

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Dang Toasted Coconut Chips

They harvest mature Thai coconuts, slice up the coconut meat, and toast it to perfection using a recipe that’s true to our roots. The Original Recipe is their most popular flavor – keeping it simple with only three ingredients.

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Energy Bars

Energy bars are the best and most convenient boost of energy in such a small package. These are my favorite because they pack so well and there’s always a ton of different flavors.

Tahoe Trail Bar – Energy Bar – Peanut Butter Chocolate

These bars were created for the outdoor-obsessed. Created with simple ingredients ranging from oats, dried fruits, seeds, nuts, and chocolate, each bite will be an adventure to flavor town.

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Ritual Energy Whole Food Energy Bite

These bites are energy first made for long-lasting and sustained energy. These bars are plant-based and created to provide the same amount of energy as one cup of coffee!

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Protein Bars

As you’re burning your calories on your beautiful mountain vistas, don’t forget to revitalize your body with protein. The protein will help your muscles as you trek your way up the mountains.

Skout Organic Peanut Butter Organic Protein Bars

These are plant based protein bars that are smooth and creamy. These organic protein bars are freakin delicious and made of just four organic ingredients. I love these bars!

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This is an anytime high protein snack but will help you out on the trails. These are gluten free and guilt free. Check out their variety pack of flavors:

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Spreads were originally introduced to me when I was running and the first time I brought them out on the trail, I wish I would have done it much much sooner. Something about eating these spreads after waltzing up the trail is magical. Pairing peanut butter spread or other nut spreads with fresh fruits is heavenly. You’ll get the added benefits of the protein from the nuts with the fresh sugar of the fresh fruit.

RX Nut Butter

This RX Nut Butter is nuts! This variety pack contains peanut butter, honey cinnamon, chocolate peanut butter, almond butter, and vanilla almond butter. Talk about a variety!

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Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut & Almond Butter Squeeze Pack

I love Justin’s nut butter as a snack while out on the trails. The creamy texture is just so good!

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This is our go-to snack for caloric density and old reliable. I bring nuts on every single one of my hikes. Nuts are easily packaged and portable to just toss in your bag when you head out on your hikes. While they’re not exciting, you know you can count on them to keep you energized. Nuts are a fantastic snacks for energy boost.

BobbySue’s Savory Spiced Nuts Variety

Go NUTS with these nuts. You got their take on the everything bagel, a mediteranean spice flavor, and the savory and not too sweet original flavor.

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Karma Nuts Cashews

These are wrapped cashews that maintain the flavor and nutrients that were roasted. Enjoy the decadence of their Wrapped and Roasted Cashews in a delicious variety pack that you’re sure to enjoy! Flavors ranging from sea salt, toasted coconut, cocoa dusted, cinnamon, golden turmeric and peri peri flavors. These are a must!

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Oh man, bringing cheese snacks on hikes for the first time reminded me of the first time I had ice cream. I nearly cried because of the texture and the flavor profile of these cheese snacks. I used to love eating cheetohs growing up, so when I found these healthier alternatives that taste good and boost my energy, I knew these must be added to my hiking bag.

Just the Cheese Bar

Try something completely new with these bars. These are natural cheese that is baked to a crispy delicious perfection. Each serving has as much protein and calcium as a whole glass of milk!

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Whisps Cheese Crisps Variety Pack

Made of 100% artisanal cheese, every wisp crisp is baked with armatic herbs and spices to hit you with an array of flavors. You’ve never tried anything like this.

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Granola probably packs the best texture change for your hiking snacks. That crunch of the granola and the softness if it has oats. Granola is one of my favorite trail pick me ups.

gr8nola Variety Pack- Healthy, Low Sugar Granola Cereal

This granola is delicious, clean and crunchy in convenient 1.75 oz packs. Try their Golden Tumeric, Coco Cacaoa, Matcha Green Tea, and Charcoal Chia when you’re out hiking!

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Gustola Granola | Almond, Pecan & Cashew

This granola is made from great-tasting, healthy and handcrafted ingredients! Help yourself when on the trail with this tasty granola mix.

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What Are The Best Sugar Free Hiking Snacks

When I started hiking I would bring candy bars and other unhealthy snacks, not thinking about what the sugar would do to me. After my first year hiking, I realized I was taking in too much sugar and I was getting that dreaded sugar-crash out on the trail. I started to research sugar-free hiking snacks so that I would keep my energy level high and still enjoy.

Cheese Snacks

Cheese snacks for hiking was like a new awakening for our hiking trips. Not only do they pack a punch for flavor but they also boost our energy. Cheese snacks will provide you with a healthy punch of flavor

Whisps Cheese Crisps Variety Pack

Made of 100% artisanal cheese, every wisp crisp is baked with armatic herbs and spices to hit you with an array of flavors. You’ve never tried anything like this.

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Nuts are a fantastic sugar-free snack to bring on your hikes. We love nuts because they’re full of protein and easily portable. They’re easy to find and provide you with a ton of calories.

Wonderful Pistachios, No Shells, Roasted and Salted

These are roasted and salted and full of flavor. These pistachios are california grown and will boost your energy while hiking!

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Raw Brazil Nuts 32oz

This is a giant mixed nut bag is great source of energy and wil keep you full!

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What Are The Best Hiking Snacks Without Nuts

For those of you with nut allergies, we created a list just for you. I’ve been out on hikes with friends with nut allergies before and realized the struggle of my friends having to pick out snacks without nuts. Here’s our list of healthy hiking snacks without nuts:

Dried Fruits

This snack for hikers is a must. Dried fruits will provide you with natural sugars and delicious flavor profiles. Don’t forget about the unique textures for each fruit. We love to bring these on the trail to change it up from jerky or energy bars.

2GO! Snacks Organic Dried Fruit Variety Pack: Mango and Banana

These dried fruits are simly delicious. With no added sugar or preservatives these will keep you going out on the trails!

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Terrasoul Superfoods Organic Sun-dried White Mulberries

Try these sundried mulberries out while you’re trekking up that mountain.

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Energy Bars

This snack is a staple in our hiking bags as they are compact, contain a variety of flavors, and boost your energy. There are so many energy bars to choose from, but the things to keep in mind are the ingredients.

88 Acres Variety Pack Seed Granola Bars

These bars are handcrafted in small batches using simple yet wholesome ingredients. These are great snacks to enjoy in the wilderness. That seed texture is a must try.

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Taos Bakes Energy Bars

Thse bars are a healthy snack full of energy. It feels almost like cheating when eating these bars. Made with real ingredients and packs an incredible flavor. Try them out.

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Protein Bars

An alternative and more focused version of energy bars are protein bars. Protein bars will help your muscles as you blaze your way up the trails. Another things to consider for protein bars are the density and the flavor.

Skout Organic Chocolate Cherry Organic Protein Bars

These plant based protein bars have a serious boost in protein and energy. This is one of our favorites!

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Cheese Snacks

Oh-boy, you just need to try cheese snacks. There are other cheese snacks that are not cheetohs that will be freakin-delicious and energizing. Cheese snacks are so different compared to the usually hiking snack staples.

Moon Cheese – 100% Natural Cheese Snack

These nutritious 100% natural totally real cheddar, pepper jack and gouda snacks are amazing!

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You know we couldn’t leave this off the list. Jerky provides a wonderful boost of protein to help your achy muscles as you march your way up to the peaks. Jerky is one of our favorite classics and these days there so much variety in jerky to bring for your trips. Jerky will help provide you with protein for that much-needed muscle recovery while you’re hiking. If you want to try something new, an alternative is meat sticks. Meat sticks are like jerky but a bit juicier and in a smaller package.

Field Trip All Natural Turkey Jerky This is the high protein snack you’ve been looking for. This turkey jerky is delicious flavored with cracked pepper. You’ll question why you ever went on your hikes without it. View on Amazon

Major Things to Consider When Picking Hiking Snacks

I’ve been experimenting with snacks to try out for all of my hikes over the years and finally found the best hiking snacks for hiking. The things I’ve considered while bringing my healthy snacks are calories, texture, and flavor. I used to be really basic and bring the same exact energy bar and it would drive me mad. Imagine being five miles into your hike after numerous switchbacks and you have to eat the same – exact – energy bar. After that hike, I said no more, there must be a better way to eat delicious energy-boosting snacks that would make me excited to snack and keep me full! The snacks below will help you with maintaining your energy as you burn calories and they will taste so good out on the trail. This list provides a large variety so that it doesn’t feel like a chore to eat these snacks. I’ve been there where you’re just sweaty and exhausted and need some energy. These healthy snacks will make it much more enjoyable while you’re out in the wilderness. Think of these snacks more as hiking food to keep you trekking along! There are three main things we consider when picking our snacks for hiking.

Caloric Density

When you hike you burn a ton of calories, so you’ll need to eat more than compared to a regular day in your life. Think about the amount of calories each snack provides so that you can offset the amount of calories you are burning out on the trails. Certain snacks have different caloric density with some being better than the others. Some examples of calorically dense snacks that are healthy include nuts, peanut butter, chocolate, or even some olive oil! These foods have high fats and will help you be fully energized out on the trail.


The one thing I used to not think about when picking my snacks for hiking was texture. I found an energy bar I loved and bought a dozen of them and thought I was good to go. I was so wrong! Imagine trying to eat the same exact energy bars after 8 times when you’ve been up since 6am and you’ve hiked six miles up 2,000 feet of elevation gain. When you pick your snacks think about texture change. Snacks will vary from soft, tough, crunch, smooth, or liquidy. By keeping these things in mind you will be MUCH happier as you snack throughout your hike.

Healthy and Nutritious

As you pick your snacks you want to avoid the junk food like candy bars or chips. While those snacks are delicious, they won’t help you out on the trail as you can have major sugar crash. By picking healthy and nutritious snacks you’ll keep your energy up, be much happier and just have a way better time out on the trails. The snacks you choose should balance your fats, proteins, carbs, and fiber intake. Hiking can be a demanding activity depending on your hike and you should be doing what you can to help it with delicious and healthy snacks!

Enjoy Your Hiking Snacks

After hiking for years and years and through trial and error, I was able to find healthy hiking snacks that I would love to eat out on the trail and keep me fully energized. These also make great backpacking snacks for those of you going on longer trips. I wish someone mentioned these snacks to me when I first started hiking as it would have made hiking much more enjoyable during my 10+ mile day hikes out in the tallest peaks of California. Since then I’ve routinely picked these snacks to keep me going and happy out on the trails.

I hope you enjoy these snacks as they are not only delicious, but healthy, energy boosting and will provide you with nutrition, a good balance of calories, protein, fiber, and much more. The most important thing is you will be more energized and happier out on the hiking trails!

We also have written a guide on The Ultimate Guide to Hiking Food for Your Backpacking Trip which is much more in depth and provides extensive details.