This article is brought to you by our friends at Wild Zora, who believe we should all know what goes into our hiking snacks. When the founders couldn’t find a healthy alternative to sugary snack foods, they decided to make their own.
One of the best parts of planning any adventure is the grub: what you’ll eat before, after, and especially during your hike. It’s a joyous moment when you take a break to bust out some snacks on the trail. But focus too much on your favorite snack cravings and you might miss out on the energy you need to fuel the rest of your day.
Whether you’re hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, or climbing, your body is working hard to keep you going. Don’t forget to give yourself the energy you need to make the most of your activities.
Tips for Healthier Hiking Snacks
Not all hiking snacks are created equal — a lot of them come with added sugar and other unwanted ingredients. Here are some healthy (and tasty) alternatives in lieu of the usual snack suspects.
Ditch the Chocolate
What would hiking be without the tried and true trail mix? The good news is that it’s good for you, too (depending on what you put in there). You can pack in the protein with nuts and necessary carbohydrates with raisins. But a little somethin’ somethin’ we call milk chocolate can add refined sugar that can lead to a sugar crash up ahead. If you want to keep your hiking snacks on the sweeter side, try adding banana chips, dried coconut, and dried pineapple instead. If your heart is set on chocolate, go for the dark kind.
Try Homemade Veggie Chips
Sometimes you just need that crunch when you reach the top of the peak, but it doesn’t have to come from pre-packaged chips.
With a little extra prep before your trip, you can get that satisfying, salty crunch in a healthier fashion. Instead of pre-packaged potato chips, bake your own veggie chips. They will be full of vitamin C, antioxidants, and fiber – perfect for a mid-hike snack. We recommend slicing and baking root vegetables, like sweet potatoes, turnips, parsnips, rutabagas, beets, and radishes.
Skip the Sports Drink?
We all know how important it is to stay hydrated. But should you bring plain ol’ water or a flavored sports drink?
Sports drinks tend to have a lot of sugar, which does not make them ideal for day-to-day activities. If you’re not working up a sweat, you should probably skip the sports drink. However, if you’re going on a hike that is longer than 90 minutes, it might be a good idea to bring a sports drink in tandem with your camelback full of water.
Sports drinks contain electrolytes and carbohydrates, which help your body rehydrate and rejuvenate. If you’re trying to avoid sugar but still need the electrolytes, you can always mix half a bottle of a sports drink with water. At the end of the day, you will stay hydrated with either water or a sports drink, so don’t get too hung up on it.
Switch Up Your Protein (Bars)
Protein, granola, and cereal bars are staples on trodden trails. But many bars have unnecessary added sugar, or whey and soy protein which isn’t always an option because of diet restrictions.
Enter: Wild Zora’s meat and veggie bars. These bars are made with 100% grass-fed meat and their recipes are naturally free of gluten, grain, nut and tree nut, soy and MSG. There’s no added sugar or hormones either, so you know you’re getting a healthy and wholesome snack while still getting enough protein to improve your performance.
What the Heck — Pack the Gummy Worms
Every hiker deserves something to look forward to, and gummy worms sure do hit the spot on the car ride home from a wild adventure. Staying healthy is a big part of exploring the outdoors, but don’t forget to indulge a little. Especially when you’ve been working hard all day to cover those miles.
You can win free snacks from Wild Zora and gear from 19 other outdoor brands by reviewing campgrounds on The Dyrt. Share past camping experiences, photos, and videos to earn points towards monthly prizes in The 2018 Great Camping Giveaway!