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21 Healthy Snacks to Pack On Your Next Hike

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By: KURU Footwear
Fuel your next hike with these 21 healthy hiking snacks.

As you gather your hiking gear, don’t forget to plan your snacks! Choosing the right hiking snacks can make a world of difference in your outdoor adventures. Healthy snacking not only provides sustained energy to keep you going on the trail but it also enhances your overall enjoyment of the hike. Nutritious snacks offer vital nutrients and keep you feeling fueled and satisfied—all the way to the summit.

As you select the best hiking snacks, remember to prioritize environmental sustainability by choosing products with minimal packaging or opting for biodegradable options. Your snack choices can help contribute to a healthier planet!

Below you will find 21 healthy snacks perfect for your next hike. Each snack on the list is easily packable, nutrient-dense, and will help you conquer any trail.

Key Takeaways

  • Choosing the right snacks for hiking is essential—they should be lightweight, nutrient-dense, and non-perishable. Whenever possible, choose eco-conscious packaging to reduce environmental impact.
  • ​​Staying hydrated and choosing suitable snacks are essential for a safe hike and preventing fatigue and allergies. Proper food handling and emergency preparedness, including informing someone of your plans, further ensure a successful and safe hiking trip.
  • Choosing the right footwear is crucial for a successful hike as it offers proper support to tackle challenging trails and prevent foot injuries. KURU hiking shoes—with innovative technologies like KURUSOLE, KURUCLOUD, and ULTIMATE INSOLES—prioritize heel health and provide a personalized fit for hiking in comfort.

What are Good Snacks for Hiking?

Let’s talk about the MVPs of hiking: snacks! The best snacks for hiking are like your trusty adventure companions—they keep you going when the trail gets tough. So, how do you choose great ones?

First off, they’re lightweight and packable. You don’t want to add any unnecessary weight to your backpack. Snacks that are easy to carry make your hike more comfortable and enjoyable.

You’re already hiking to improve your health, so why not provide your body with the best nourishment? Choosing snacks that are nutrient-dense ensures you’re fueling your body with the essential vitamins, minerals, and energy it needs to sustain physical activity. 

Incorporating nutrient-dense snacks into your hiking routine ensures that you’re not only satisfying your hunger but also nourishing your body. These snacks help maintain steady blood sugar levels, prevent energy crashes, and support overall physical performance.

Non-perishable snacks are ideal for hiking as they have a longer shelf life, reducing the risk of spoilage and ensuring you have a safe and tasty treat whenever hunger strikes on the trail. 

Last but not least, snacks with eco-conscious packaging help minimize environmental impact, promoting sustainability and responsible hiking practices.

So, whether you’re conquering peaks or navigating through forests, hiking snacks are your trusty sidekicks, ready to fuel your adventure and keep those taste buds happy along the way!

1. Beef or Turkey Jerky

Jerky is one of the best high protein hiking snacks and one of the easiest ways to get sustained energy on long trails. It’s shelf-stable and easy to carry so you can stash it in your backpack without worry. Choose from several flavor options, such as teriyaki, peppered, or sweet and spicy, for a tasty refuel.

2. Trail Mix With Nuts, Seeds, and Dried Fruits

Welcome to the quintessential hiking snack: trail mix! This popular snack, dating back to at least 1906, is available in various combinations and offers a blended balance of protein, carbs, and fats. A classic mix includes nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and sometimes chocolate. 

There’s a wide variety of packaged trail mixes available to purchase, but you can also visit the bulk food section of your local grocery store and pick up ingredients to make your own.

3. Homemade Granola Bars

When it comes to granola bars, grocery stores are chock-full of options. Looking at the labels, you will find that many are packed with sugar and offer little nutritional value. This is why we suggest making your own! By making your own granola bars, you can control the ingredients and customize them to your taste.

4. Olives

Olives are a good source of healthy fats and make great snacks for hiking. Whether you drain the liquid from a jar and pack them in a bag or choose a pre-packaged option, olives are easy to bring along.

5. Fresh Fruit

A hiker enjoying a scenic view while peeling an orange.

During a hot hike, there’s nothing better than biting into a refreshing piece of fruit, and it’s among the most healthy hiking snacks you can pack. Many fruits—like apples, oranges, and bananas—are naturally portable and don’t require any preparation. 

Just be sure to follow the Leave No Trace principle of packing out whatever you pack in, including fruit peels, to leave nature undisturbed.

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6. Whole Grain Crackers with Cheese

Crackers and cheese—the perfect duo—are a must for any day hike. Whole grain crackers will keep you fuller longer and they’re typically sturdier. The last thing you want is to find a pile of crumbs when you unpack your crackers! Also, keep in mind that hard cheeses are the best to bring along as they tend to last longer outside the fridge.

7. Whole Grain Pretzels

Whole grain pretzels make good hiking snacks due to their lightweight nature and satisfying crunch. By choosing whole grain, you get more nutrients like fiber, vitamins, and minerals—all essential for overall health. Whole grain pretzels may be a bit more challenging to find in traditional grocery stores, so try your local health food store or an online retailer.

8. Nuun Tablets

Designed to replenish electrolytes, Nuun Sport tablets help maintain hydration and enhance performance during physical activity. Simply drop a tablet into your water, let it dissolve, and then drink! It’s a refreshing way to get essential minerals while making sure you stay hydrated.

9. Nut Butter and Banana Sandwiches

When you combine nut butter and bananas, you have one of the best hiking snacks. Nut butter is calorie-dense and bananas are high in potassium, so you’ll get sustained energy and prevent muscle cramps. It’s a win-win!

10. Dried Fruit and Nuts

A delicious and satisfying trailside treat, dried fruit and nuts have energy-boosting nutrients to fuel a long trek. The best nuts to pack are peanuts, walnuts, cashews, pistachios, and almonds. You have a lot of dried fruit options, but apples, raisins, bananas, dates, mangoes, or pineapples are among the best. Whenever possible, choose organic to avoid harmful chemicals and preservatives.

11. Dark Chocolate

Yes, you can bring some chocolate on the trail! For the most health benefits and resistance to melting, choose 70% or higher dark chocolate. It should stay solid under 80 degrees, but place it in a plastic zip bag and store it in the center of your backpack to help prevent melting.

12. Hard-Boiled Eggs

If you’re looking for high energy snacks for hiking, hard-boiled eggs are just what you need. They’re rich in quality protein and important nutrients to keep you full and energized. Eating them early on, especially in hot temperatures, helps prevent spoilage and ensures you get a nutritious start to your hike.

13. Fresh Veggies and Hummus

Veggies are easy and affordable healthy snacks for hiking. Cut them up beforehand so they’re quick to grab while you’re on the go. Choose nutrient-rich options like carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower. Cucumbers, celery, and bell peppers are water-rich veggies that’ll give you a hydration boost. All listed veggies are great dipped in the hummus of your choice!

14. Fruit Smoothie or Apple Sauce Pouches

Switch up your hydration game by bringing a smoothie on your next hike. For the healthiest option, blend your own at home using organic frozen fruit. You can also add some Greek yogurt and a scoop of protein powder so it’s more filling. If you’re going for convenience, apple sauce pouches are a great alternative.

15. Tuna or Chicken Packets

A hiker sitting on a rock, enjoying a protein-rich chicken snack packet.

Best enjoyed once you reach your destination, these protein-rich packets are good snacks for hiking—helping you replenish and refuel after exerting yourself on the trail. If you bring along crackers, they can be used instead of a fork so you save valued space in your backpack.

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16. Rice Cakes With Almond Butter

Rice cakes are so lightweight that you won’t even notice you’ve packed them! They’re a good combo of crunchiness and salt and will also give you a quick burst of energy. Spread on some almond butter for added protein and healthy fats.

17. Greek Yogurt With Honey and Berries

This one is a top choice when it comes to hiking snacks ideas. The natural sweetness of honey and berries pairs perfectly with the creamy yogurt for a delicious way to fuel your adventure. If this isn’t a snack you plan to eat early on in your hike, consider preparing it beforehand and placing it in the freezer. Now that’s refreshing!

18. Energy Chews and Gummies

These are like fruit snacks all grown up! Energy chews and gummies provide you with a quick and easy shot of energy—some even contain caffeine. To make the best choice, read the label and avoid those with artificial colors and flavors. Energy chews are great snacks to bring hiking, especially if you’re looking for a way to combat an energy drop.

19. Popcorn

Get some quick carbs with popcorn! Though extremely lightweight, popcorn does pack some volume, so this snack is best brought along if your backpack isn’t already crammed. Avoid microwave popcorn and opt for air-popped popcorn for a healthier, customizable snack. For added flavor, sprinkle with sea salt or your favorite seasoning.

20. Edamame

A hiker taking a break on a trail, holding fresh edamame.

Edamame is a great source of plant protein that’ll help you keep going—even on the toughest trails. It’s one of the easiest healthy snacks to take hiking and contains antioxidants supporting recovery and muscle health post-hike. Plus, its natural sodium content can help replenish electrolytes lost through sweat.

21. Fruit Leather

Not only is fruit leather delicious but you won’t have to worry about peels, cores, or seeds—this means less weight and less to clean up. If you’re up to making your own, you can dry fruit at home using a food dehydrator. If you’re short on time or aiming for ultimate convenience, you can buy fruit leather in various grocery and health food stores.

21 healthy snacks to pack on your next hike.

Hydration Tips

Staying hydrated during hikes is absolutely crucial for maintaining optimal performance and overall well-being. Dehydration can lead to fatigue, muscle cramps, and even more serious health issues like heat exhaustion or heatstroke. 

As a general rule of thumb, carrying at least one liter of water per person for every hour (about 2-3 miles) of hiking is recommended. However, this can vary based on temperature, individual needs, and the intensity of the hike.

Signs of dehydration include dry mouth, dark yellow urine, dizziness, fatigue, and headache. To prevent dehydration, it’s essential to sip water regularly throughout your hike—even if you don’t feel thirsty.

When it comes to carrying water on the trail, you have a few options. Hydration packs are convenient for hands-free drinking while lightweight water bottles are easy to refill and carry. Always remember to purify water from natural sources using filtration or purification methods to prevent waterborne illnesses.

For longer hikes, consider bringing sports drinks or electrolyte tablets to replenish lost salts and minerals. Timing your hydration breaks is also important. Aim to take short breaks every 20-30 minutes to sip water.

Proper hydration is key to a safe and enjoyable hiking experience. Always be prepared by carrying enough water, recognizing signs of dehydration, and taking proactive steps to stay hydrated.

Safety Reminders

Hiking safety goes beyond just wearing the right gear for the conditions—it also involves being mindful of what you eat and how you handle food on the trail. When it comes to allergies, many popular hiking snacks contain common allergens like nuts, dairy, and gluten. 

For those with allergies, consider alternative snacks like seeds, dried fruit, or allergy-friendly energy bars to ensure a safe and enjoyable hiking experience.

Proper food handling is critical to prevent contamination and foodborne illnesses. Always store food in sealed containers, wash your hands before eating, and avoid cross-contamination by keeping raw and cooked foods separate.

Nutrition plays a vital role in endurance during hikes, so choose balanced snacks rich in carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats to maintain energy levels and prevent fatigue.

Lastly, being prepared for emergencies is essential. Carry a first aid kit, know basic wilderness safety protocols, and inform someone about your hiking plans and expected return time. These precautions can make all the difference in ensuring a safe and successful hiking trip.

Minimize Your Environmental Impact

Minimizing our environmental impact while hiking is key to preserving the natural beauty of our trails for future generations. One way to do this is by choosing snacks with minimal or recyclable packaging. Look for brands that use eco-friendly materials or pick bulk snacks that you can pack in reusable containers to reduce waste on the trail.

Another eco-conscious choice is selecting biodegradable snack options. Foods like fruits, veggies, nuts, and seeds can be composted at home after your hike to minimize ecological impact.

Adhering to the Leave No Trace principles is also essential. Always pack out what you pack in, including any food wrappers, scraps, or peels. Dispose of trash properly in designated bins or carry it with you until you can dispose of it responsibly. 

Show respect for the environment by leaving it as you found it to preserve the natural beauty of our hiking destinations for everyone to enjoy.

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Achieve Peak Performance With KURU

Now that you’ve picked out your healthy hiking snacks, let’s talk about something just as important: your shoes. Having the right footwear is key to a great hiking trip, especially when you’re trying to reach the top of the mountain. 

Good hiking shoes give your feet the support they need and help prevent injuries on challenging trails. They also have grippy soles to keep you steady on slippery or rocky paths. Plus, comfortable shoes can make your hike a lot more enjoyable. 

At KURU, our hiking shoes outperform most because they’re packed with foot-loving features on the outside and inside. All shoes in our hiking collection prioritize the health of your heels. Why is this important? Your hard-working heels bear the weight of your entire body and every step you take begins with them—making your heels the very foundation of your health. With proper heel support, you can treat and prevent painful foot conditions such as plantar fasciitis. Now that’s a game-changer!

KURUs support your entire foot at every layer. KURUSOLE—our secret weapon against foot pain—is a special patented technology with a cupping design that supports and protects the natural round shape of your heel. We promise you’ve never felt anything like it! 

KURUCLOUD is our lightweight, shock-absorbing EVA foam midsole. You’ll feel like you’re hiking on air as it helps protect your bones, ligaments, and tendons from impact. Last but not least, our ULTIMATE INSOLES mold to the shape of your foot over time for a custom fit. This makes your hiking shoes uniquely yours!

You’ll get all three layers of support in every one of our hiking shoes, but how do you pick the right one for you? Great question! Consider the type of trails you’ll be hiking. Will you be on tough trails where you need the best traction possible? If so, you’ll love RIDGE Motion

Looking for a lightweight shoe with great traction for moderately challenging trails? Go with ATOM Trail. If you prefer a versatile shoe that tackles light hiking like there’s no tomorrow, check out CHICANE

With KURU, you can achieve peak performance on the trail and, instead of worrying about foot pain, you can focus on where you want to hike next!

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