Planning a hiking trip near NYC? Searching for portable and healthy hiking snacks? You’ve reached the right place. It’s no secret that hiking burns a lot of calories. In fact, the benefits from hiking are on par with the benefits of cardio workouts.
When you’re in the middle of your trail and hunger pangs start to kick in, chewing on a candy bar is simply not enough. Your snack choices must be more appropriate to the context.
Here is a list of 21 healthy and portable snacks you can take along on your next hiking adventure.
You can also check out Res Marty’s Guide on best hiking backpacks to find a comfortable backpack that fits your gear and snacks.
21 Portable and Healthy Hiking Snacks:
1. Dried Fruits
Carrying fresh fruits on the trail can get messy. Dried fruits are an equally good alternative to this. From mangoes to bananas, you have many options to snack.
Dried fruits are rich in vitamins, calcium, magnesium, and fruit sugar (fructose). If you’re on a diet and don’t wanna load on artificial sugar used to preserve dried fruits, go for trusted organic brands.
Simple sugars in dates are easily digestible and are proven to re-energize the body almost immediately after eating. Medjool dates being one of the sweetest date varieties are a popular snack choice among hikers.
Dates are also good sources of sodium and potassium. As your body’s salt levels drop quickly while hiking, this healthy treat should be on your list.
3. Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches
The calories you burn on your hike can be restored deliciously. So, pack some classic peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, fondly called PB&J sandwiches.
The goodness of peanut butter and the sweet touch of jam or jelly is yum. And you get about 400 kcal per serving.
4. Seeds and Nuts
Nuts and seeds are proof that you can find magic in little things.
Almonds, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, pecans, cashews are some easily available options. Plus, a handful of them doesn’t make your luggage heavier.
There’s scientific evidence that eating nuts improves your brain health. Remembering trail routes is not confusing anymore.
Granola is made of oats, dried fruits and nuts sweetened with honey or brown sugar. A few variants may include chocolate chips.
Oats are rich in fiber and will keep you full for a long time.
Given its long shelf life, you don’t have to worry if it goes bad on your way.
6. Veggies and Hummus
Hummus is a tasty dip you can make in a few minutes, and it’s one of my favorite healthy hiking snacks. Simply blend chickpeas with salt, garlic, cumin, and paprika.
An alternative is to dehydrate the hummus and powder it for better storage. Add some water to make it creamy before eating.
Fresh vegetables like carrots and celery boost your immunity and go well with hummus.
7. Fruit Leathers
Can’t go shopping and get dried fruits? Or do you have way too many fresh fruits that are sadly not ideal for your multi-day adventure? Then let’s get quirky with fruit leathers.
Blend fruits of your choice and make your own fruit leathers using an oven or a dehydrator. No sugar and no fuss. Store them in an airtight container and enjoy them for weeks.
8. Banana Chips
Banana chips are sturdier than potato chips. So, there’s hardly any chance for them to break down into chunks. They’re crunchy, high in calories, and convenient for packing.
Fried banana chips are high in fat content which isn’t much of a concern for occasional consumption. But if you’re extra-conscious, baked banana chips have got your back.
9. Fig Bars
Figs have lots of calcium and potassium. They improve bone health so that you don’t have to give up hiking in the future citing problems like osteoporosis.
Pulse figs, honey, maple syrup, and cinnamon in a food processor until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a deep tray and freeze it for 6-8 hours before cutting. You can also bake cookies and fill them with the fig puree to add a twist.
10. Beef Jerky
A list of perfect hiking snacks is incomplete without beef jerky. Even a small strip of beef jerky is loaded with protein.
The process of drying beef to make it into jerky removes the excess fat and makes it even healthier. It’s also rich in sodium and reduces dehydration.
11. Roasted Chickpeas
Another one of these great healthy hiking snacks would be the humble roasted chickpeas. Chickpeas have iron, phosphate, calcium, zinc, and vitamin K.
Bake chickpeas in the oven until they’re crunchy and add seasonings of your choice.
All that’s left is to munch them when you’re hiking.
12. Pretzels and Nutella
What if you can’t decide between sweet and savory?
Indulge in the best of both worlds with this snack that needs no prep.
Although I suggest Nutella, any chocolate-flavored spread with salty pretzels is indeed a match made in heaven.
13. Canned Tuna
Canned tuna is considered an essential camping food. It may not be as exciting as the other snacks on this list but it’s hella nutritious for long hikes (that may take a couple of days).
Don’t forget to pack your can opener, though!
If you’re not a fan of canned foods, you can make fish jerky in advance.
14. Dark Chocolate
“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”
Getting tired on the trail is common.
Enter dark chocolate with stimulants like caffeine to help your body overcome exhaustion.
One or two bites of dark chocolate will work wonders. Did I mention that it’s good for your heart’s health too?
15. Hard-boiled Eggs
There are several ways to cook eggs and hard-boiling them is hikers’ favorite. Hard-boiled eggs can last for 2 or 3 days and they won’t make your backpack stench.
Need I mention their ‘eggcellent’ nutritional value?
Always smell the egg before eating it because sometimes the weather can be a villain and spoil your eggs quicker than we estimated.
16. Instant Rice Noodles
Instant noodles are unhealthy. But there are several stores selling healthy instant noodles made of rice or millet.
You can take a pack of instant rice noodles to keep you full or just in case your cravings get stronger when you’re tired.
17. Pork Rinds
Pork rinds or pork cracklings are high in protein, sodium, and fat. However, they’re low on carbs. Even most of the fat is unsaturated and healthy. Since they’re deep-fried in oil, they’re not recommended for everyday snacking.
But as you sweat it out on the trail, munching on a handful is not bad. If you’ve got time to spare, you can make a batch at home instead of buying from the store.
18. Trail Mix
Trail mix or scroggin is a snack mix designed to be an ideal snack for hikers. It is lightweight and balanced due to carbs from the dried fruit, fiber from oats, and energy from nuts.
Trail mix is made by combining granola, nuts, seeds, legumes, chips, coconut, and even candy or chocolate chunks to satiate those sweet cravings.
19. Olive Bread
Olive bread is salty with a chewy crust. It takes a few hours to make but needs no kneading (hence nicknamed No-Knead Bread). It is also dense and will not crumble in your backpack.
As olive bread stays fresh for at least 3 days, you can relish it the way it is or cut loaves to make an instant sandwich.
20. Protein and Energy Bars
While hiking, it is important to keep up your blood glucose level. Energy bars will boost this and give you the needed complex carbs.
Protein bars strengthen your muscles helping you continue forward.
Don’t worry about the differences between protein and energy bars. Check the ingredients and if you’re satisfied, go ahead and buy it.
21. Cheese and Tomato Sandwiches
Next to PB&J, cheese and tomato is another classic combination for sandwich fillings.
Grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches are hearty and there’s no reason you shouldn’t make them for your day trip.
It’s easy to get lost in the beauty of Mother Nature, especially with all the beautiful hiking trails near NYC, but do not ignore the importance of snacking. To maintain your body’s energy levels, experts recommend snacking for every 60 minutes of hiking. I hope you’ll make use of this list of 21 healthy hiking snacks!
What’s your favorite snack while hiking? Let me know in the comments.
Want to read more of our latest posts? Check out our review of MIFUNE in NYC.
Res Marty is an avid traveler who loves hiking and camping. He aims to provide value on his blog by introducing netizens to some of the best trails in the world. Additionally, he shares honest reviews and comparisons for all kinds of hiking equipment.