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10 Hiking Food Ideas for Long-Lasting Energy

Food always serves as fuel for the body, but strenuous activities cause your body to need even more long-lasting energy. Hiking is not only an activity that requires some nutritious fuel for your body, but it’s also a time to pack lightly.

The best energy food for hiking will keep you full and feeling great for a long time. Today, we’ll go over some of the best snacks for hiking to make sure you’re fueled and ready to tackle your adventure.

Hiking Food Ideas for Long Lasting Energy

1. Almonds

Almonds may be tiny little nuts, but they pack a whopping 165 calories per one ounce. Almonds are an excellent source of healthy fats and even contain some protein—both of which can help keep you feeling full for longer.

This snack is also super convenient due to its size and composition. It’s easy to throw a plastic bag of almonds into your pack. Plus, you don’t have to worry about them melting or freezing, depending on the climate.

Almonds also don’t crush as easily as other nuts, leaving you with a healthy and practical snack for the trip.

2. Beef Jerky

If you ask any hiking enthusiast what the best outdoor snacks for hot weather are, you’ll likely hear “beef jerky” on a lot of those lists.

Beef jerky is one of those snacks that, once you start eating it, it’s hard to stop. With so many manufacturers and a wide range of flavors these days, this dehydrated meat never seems to get boring.

Beef jerky is super high in protein, so it will fill you up and keep you energized. Plus, it pretty much never goes bad, and you don’t have to refrigerate it.

On top of all the other benefits of beef jerky, this snack is great because you can even make it yourself with a dehydrator or your oven.

3. Nut Butters

Nut butter is another treat that has become very popular in recent years. Nut butter is similar to peanut butter, but they tend to be a little healthier than the average jar of Skippy.

While traditional peanut butter has tons of sugars and preservatives, other nut butter is more natural and provides you with plenty of filling nutrients. You can find nut butter made from almonds, cashews, peanuts, and hazelnuts.

Nut butter has lots of protein, vitamins, good fats, and calories, and they go great with fruit, rice cakes, bread, and crackers. They’re so good that you can even eat a mouthful right off of your spoon!

4. Cheese

Who doesn’t like a couple of slices of high-quality cheese? Hard cheese is a great snack to take on the trail. It’s filling and has lots of good fats and protein to power those muscles of yours.

Cheese also goes well with other snacks, like nuts, seeds, pretzels, crackers, and summer sausage, so it never gets boring.

And contrary to popular belief, the cheese will actually stay good outside of the refrigerator for several days. It might get a little oily or gooey, depending on how hot it is, but it’ll still taste good.

5. Apples

One of the best snacks for hiking in hot weather is a juicy, crisp apple. Apples provide a wide range of nutrients to the body, including fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Apples can also give you an energy burst, and since they take longer to digest than other foods, they’ll fuel your system for a bit longer too. A sustained source of energy is critical during a long, hot hike.

6. Banana Chips

We all know that bananas are good for you. They contain several important nutrients—particularly potassium, which can help combat muscle cramping.

But bananas may not always be the most convenient snack to carry on a hike. Sure, they come in their own carrying case, but they also squish easily.

Banana chips are dehydrated slices of banana that carry the same nutrients in a more hiker-friendly form. They are lightweight, have lots of electrolytes, and pack a satisfying crunch.

7. Dark Chocolate

Did you know that dark chocolate is one of the top energy-dense foods out there? It has 169 per ounce and offers some extra fat and carbs to keep you running smoothly.

While dark chocolate has a very long shelf life, it will quickly melt in the heat, so just be careful how you store it. You could end up with a mess on your hands (or in your pack).

8. Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds are another small, convenient, and all-natural snack that have a decent amount of macro-nutrients for their size. Like other nuts and seeds, sunflower seeds contain healthy fats along with some carbs and proteins to keep you energized.

Sunflower seeds are also super common—you can find them in any grocery store. If you like a little extra flavor, you can get various kinds like barbecue and ranch. Just keep in mind that the flavorings are often pretty salty and might make you more thirsty during your hike.

9. Raisins

Raisins are surprisingly high in carbohydrates, and carbs give you lots of energy. They’re also low in fat, so there’s little room for health concerns with this snack.

Raisins are available anywhere you buy groceries and even in local convenience stores. Since they’re already dehydrated fruits, you know they’ll stay good for a long time. These tasty snacks will give you the energy you need with a touch of sweetness.

You can often find raisins in trail mix, along with many of the other foods we listed above. Instead of sticking to just one of these, try going to a mixture.

10. Protein Powders

Protein powder is all the rage these days, especially among bodybuilders and athletes. These powders contain enough protein to serve as a single meal replacement. Not only are they great for weight management, but they’re convenient and easy to use.

On a hike, you’re likely to carry a water bottle with you anyway. If you’re looking for some extra fuel to keep you full and energized, you might consider mixing some protein powder with your water.

There are tons of flavors and dietary considerations to choose from, too.

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