Skip to main content

Best Hiking Snacks

Four small pots in a row filled with brightly coloured veggies, salads, and snacks

You’ve clicked on this because you like hiking, and more importantly, you like snacks! The backpack is filled, the boots are strapped up, the sunglasses are on, and there’s nothing between you and the wonderful hike ahead—except maybe the rumbles of your own stomach. A full day’s hiking can be physically demanding and there aren’t many restaurants in the Big Bend wilderness where you can fuel up, so you need to be organized!

There are a number of hiking trails throughout Big Bend National Park for beginners to experts and you need to make sure you come prepared—we don’t want any hungry mouths on the Chisos Mountain range!

Throughout this piece, we’ll discuss why it’s important to be prepared for a day out in the mountains, the benefits of eating well before, during, and after exercise, and also give you some delicious snack ideas (the best part)!

The Importance & Benefits of Snacks

When we think of snacks, we sometimes think of popcorn, nachos, chocolate: the tempting and delicious, but unhealthy snacks. Finding a balance between tasty and healthy on a day out into the wilderness is beneficial not only for the body but the mind as well. To maximize your performance and recovery, it’s important to prepare properly for the day ahead. Because hiking is a long-duration, medium-intensity activity, carbohydrates will help your body use glycogen to fuel the intensity of the hike, while fat will help sustain you for the duration.

Before the big day out, we’d recommend a breakfast consisting of oatmeal, eggs, whole-grain toast, peanut butter, avocado, fruits, non-sugary cereal, and some low-fat yogurt. Keep it light and keep it healthy. And don’t forget to drink lots of water to keep hydrated.

During the hike and depending on the intensity, whether it be half-day, full, or multi-day, it’s important to try and double your normal intake of carbohydrates and salty foods and eat at least once an hour.

And once you’ve finished your day and your legs are tired, it’s advisable to eat within an hour of finishing your hike and to eat well! Protein and complex sugars (like sweet potatoes, broccoli, spinach, etc) are the ideal food groups. And, now that you’ve stopped for the day, treat yourself to a dessert—you’ve earned it!

Day Hiking Food Ideas

We’ve talked about the importance of why you should eat and now for the fun part: what to bring on a day’s hike?
Here’s a list of what to pack:

  • Protein bars
  • Any type of jerky
  • Trail mix (be careful as many packets contain high levels of sugar, go for 100% natural)
  • Veggies (celery, baby carrots, cucumber, etc) with a dip, hummus perhaps?
  • Mixed olives
  • Fruits (apples, bananas, kiwis, strawberries, etc)
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Something sugary. Make some homemade ‘energy bites’ aka rolled oats with chocolate chips, peanuts, raisins, mini M&Ms, peanut butter, and honey—sounds good, right?

We hope that you’ve found this post useful and we look forward to welcoming you to Far Flung Outdoor Center. Here, you will have the chance to explore the vast wilderness and many hiking trails in the park. If you’re looking for more expert advice on options around Big Bend then get in contact with us or just send me an email at

– Greg