The best part about camping with Kampgrounds of America is that we’re your home base to some of the most beautiful and breathtaking natural wonders in the U.S. That includes hiking experiences you won’t forget, from the east coast to the west coast and everywhere in between.
Depending on your level of hiking expertise, you may be fully outfitted for a memorable all-day adventure, or you may just be trekking out a mile or two to see some beautiful vistas. No matter what, there are a few essentials that you don’t want to forget. Comfortable, supportive walking or hiking shoes — check. Water — double check. However, something some people neglect is an assortment of yummy snacks.
When you’re out there on the trail, your body exerts a lot of energy. It’s crucial to keep it fueled so that you can keep yourself energized and moving, no matter how far the winding path takes you. Now’s not the time to skimp on healthy fats, complex carbs and salt. As you chug along, your body will be sweating and working. Healthy snacks will help you make it that extra mile. Plus, what better way to enjoy a gorgeous waterfall or an incredible view than with a snack in hand.
If you’re looking for a few good snack ideas to take along on a hike, here are eight foods that will make your snack breaks almost as enjoyable as the trail.
Our old friend peanut butter is chock full of energizing goodness — proteins, calories and the healthy kind of fat. These ingredients act as a natural fuel, plus they keep you full. Combine that with potassium-rich bananas, which provide a sweet contrast and fight off muscles cramps after your day of climbing. If you’ve got a peanut allergy, you can substitute the peanut butter with any nut butter you like. Add some granola or one of your favorite whole grain cereals if you like a little extra crunch!
This protein-packed treat has been a favorite among hikers for years. Not only is it delicious and easy to pack, but it also helps refuel the muscles that you’ve been using and the protein can help to keep your blood sugar at healthy levels during your trip. Just don’t overload on jerky, as that extra sodium could end up making you drink up your whole water supply. There are many varieties, so hit your local grocery store and find a jerky that fits your needs and your taste buds!
We can guess what you’re thinking. Fish on the trail? The truth is, a can of tuna is actually a great non-perishable pack of protein. When mixed with those salty and cheesy crackers of your childhood, it’ll give you a replenishing, delicious snack break. Of course, if Goldfish aren’t your thing, any kind of bread or cracker will do.
Fruit, with its naturally occuring sugars and an extra dose of hydration, will always make the perfect snack for any occasion. May we suggest cutting up your favorite fruit and mixing it with a little cinnamon or cayenne pepper for an added kick? You could even freeze some grapes the night before to give yourself a fun frozen treat that’ll keep you cool. If you’re afraid of your fruit getting too squishy or going bad, you can always opt for energy-dense dried fruit like raisins, craisins, banana chips or apple chips.
Rolled oats, nuts and a little bit of sweetness — there are so many things to love about granola. It’s easy to find, full of flavor and won’t go bad no matter how long your hike lasts. If you want to bypass extra ingredients or sugar that your body doesn’t need, avoid the store-bought granola, and make your own instead. It’s easy to make, and you can fill it with your favorite assortment of ingredients.
We can’t leave vegetables off this list. They may be the thing you avoided on your plate when you were a kid, but veggies are packed with nutrients that boost your immunity and help with digestion. Hearty vegetables like carrots, celery and broccoli keep well on the trail without having to be refrigerated. You can also bring along cucumbers, which are mostly water and will help keep you hydrated. Add a little hummus for added protein to any of these options, and you’ve got a powerhouse snack for your hike.
Nuts are another great option if you’re looking for a lot of protein. Nuts and seeds are easily portable, plus there are tons of options available. After you down a handful of cashews or chomp on some pumpkin seeds, your tired muscles are sure to thank you. Have a variety of favorites? Combine them to make your own nutty mix!
There’s a reason this classic snack got its name. The mixture of dried fruit, nuts and yes, sometimes candy, will give you a huge boost of energy. Just don’t pick out the sugar-filled chocolate and eat only that. You have to get the healthy, protein-packed stuff in you too!