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10 Ideas for Outdoor Snacks

by Karo

If you’re wondering what to take on a backpacking trip for a longer walk in the forest, a mountain trek, or a hike with kids by the river, you’ve come to the right place. I’ve prepared 10 ideas for our favourite outdoor snacks for you.

Most of these snacks work great for any hike. You just need to remember that outdoor snacks may vary a bit in the summer when the outdoor temperature is higher (and for example, chocolate might just melt). In winter, on the other hand, a good idea might be, for example, to replace a sandwich in your lunchbox with a warming soup in a thermos.

Long hikes, on the other hand, require more protein and carbohydrates to sustain energy, while for shorter walks, you can pack more fruits and vegetables.

Our favorite outdoor snacks for backpacking hikes (with or without kids)

1. Nuts!

Nuts, as well as various seeds, are undoubtedly the best companions for hikers – they provide a lot of high-quality energy and are just healthy! Especially for our brains. Almonds, walnuts, peanuts, or sunflower seeds easily fit into a backpack, for example, in a drawstring bag or a lunchbox. I also recommend various mixes of nuts, seeds, and dried fruits. Additionally, when we go hiking in colder months, I always add a bit of dark chocolate to the nuts.

2. Protein Energy Bars

    Protein bars are a great option when we want to precisely control our energy balance – each of them has precisely outlined nutritional values. You can find plenty of different bars with good ingredients on the market. You can choose from low-carb options, those with natural ingredients, to high-calorie ones. They are available in sports stores, grocery stores, and even… at gas stations (super useful when buying last-minute supplies before hitting the trail!).

    3. Dried fruits, fruit strips

    Our favorite dried fruits are mangoes and apples. Interestingly, you can easily make the latter yourself! It’s their taste that I remember from my childhood when my grandma used to dry them in her attic, and then I would get a few of those dried apple necklaces for my scouting adventures ❥.

    4. Freeze-Dried Snacks

    Freeze-dried meals, which are meals deprived of water but still nutritious dishes, are something we got to know quite a few years ago during our trips to Iceland. They take up much less space, are super quick to prepare, and – very importantly for longer hikes – very lightweight. All you need to prepare them is boiling water (so you need to have a stove and a small camping gas bottle with you). Currently, there are several companies on the market producing high-quality freeze-dried meals – so there is plenty to choose from.

    5. Dried meat, sausage sticks

    Dried meat is becoming increasingly popular – you’ve probably seen it packaged in “ready-to-eat” portions in most large stores and gas stations. It’s great because it’s truly a very nourishing outdoor snack. But what makes me even happier is that there are more options emerging on the market beyond just beef (which is the most common) or poultry. There are also high-protein vegan versions with very good ingredients starting to appear.

    6. Crackers + peanut butter / almond butter

      Who loves peanut butter? Meeee! Peanut butter or almond butter is a very cool way to get protein, healthy fats, and vitamins on the go, such as niacin, vitamin E, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, iron, and many others. What’s more, you can easily pack them in single servings (into small plastic containers or into a ziplock bag), which you can then use with crackers as an instant snack on the trail.

      7. No-Bake Healthy Energy Balls

      This is a great option for colder months. No-bake healthy energy balls are an excellent snack for hikes – they provide complex carbohydrates and healthy fats. You can prepare them the day before with cocoa, crushed nuts, dried fruits, and peanut butter, refrigerate them overnight, and keep them close to a cool water bottle in your backpack to prevent them from melting.

      8. Homemade Snacks for Lunchboxes

      When we go on full-day hikes with the kids, have a picnic in the forest, or on the beach, we always bring along lunchboxes (we usually buy them from TwójLunchBox.pl – this store is a Partner of the Brand in our outdoor campaign COME OUTSIDE!). We fill them with everything the kids like, doesn’t require the use of utensils, and can be eaten “on the go”. These include sliced fruits and vegetables, chicken pieces skewered on sticks (satays), nuts, nachos, and spring rolls.

      When it’s cooler, we take along warming soup in thermoses. We also make hot tea with honey or raspberry juice. Sometimes we also bring cocoa and favorite mugs (plus surprise marshmallow puffs added sneakily on top – then the kids have extra fun.

      9. Smoked Cheese

      Smoked cheese, especially when formed into balls or strips, is a great snack full of protein and calcium. It’s light and portable, making it easy to take on the trail without weighing down your backpack. Importantly, such cheese is a “ready-to-eat” meal – it requires no preparation to enjoy.

      10. Electrolyte Gummies

      Something that perhaps isn’t widely known in Poland yet, but I think it’s worth bringing along if you’re going on a multi-day backpacking trip. Electrolyte gummies are small single servings that provide essential vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes, which in turn help maintain hydration and energy levels during the hike. Pretty cool!

      And something for true #coffeelovers – coffee!

      Last, but not least! Although it’s not an outdoor snack per se, it’s something we love! For every longer backpacking trip, we always bring our favorite coffee + equipment to make it: a portable aeropress, a collapsible kettle + a burner bottle. It doesn’t take up too much space, and it brings so much joy on the trail! Highly recommended ❥.

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