Healthy Backpacking Food and Snack Ideas

A guy and a girl sitting down drinking water on a break from their hike.

When it comes to hiking and backpacking, one crucial element for a successful and safe trip is proper nutrition. To help you stay energized, hydrated, and ready to conquer the trails, we’ve curated a list of healthy backpacking food and snack ideas. Whether you’re embarking on a simple morning hike or a challenging multi-day backpacking expedition through the pacific crest trail, these delicious and nutritious options will help you keep going from start to finish.

Plan on Eating Before Your Hike

What you eat before a hike can set the tone for your energy levels throughout the day. Eating something too heavy can slow you down and alternatively, eating something too light won’t give you enough energy. Consider having one of these balanced pre-hike meals to kickstart your adventure:

  • Whole grain toast topped with avocado and eggs for sustained energy, while not being weighed down.
  • Greek yogurt with berries, granola, and a touch of honey for a protein-packed breakfast.
  • A smoothie blended with frozen fruits, greens, and protein powder for a quick and nutrient dense breakfast.
  • Overnight oats made with rolled oats, flaxseeds, chia seeds, and fresh fruits and other toppings of your choice.

Hydration Tips for Hiking Trips

Staying properly hydrated is equally important as eating a balanced meal for any hiking adventure. Consider these hydration tips to keep you going strong and avoid dehydration:

  • Carry a lightweight water backpack or refillable water bottles to ensure you have enough for your hike.
  • Drink water regularly, even if you don’t feel thirsty.
  • If hiking in hot weather, increase your water intake to compensate for sweat loss.
  • Consider using a water filter or purification tablets to safely refill from natural water resources.
  • Electrolyte drinks or hydration enhancers can help replenish minerals lost through sweating.

Bring These Energizing Snacks on Your Hike

Snacks are a hiker’s best friend; they help boost your energy and help curb your hunger. Here are some ideas for convenient and healthy hiking snacks:

  • Trail mix with nuts, dried fruits, and dark chocolate.
  • Protein bars or energy bars for a quick energy boost.
  • Beef jerky for a protein-packed snack.
  • Fresh fruits like apples, oranges, or grapes which are great for hydration.
  • Rice cakes or whole grain crackers for a nice crunchy snack.

Pack Nourishing Hiking Food

It’s essential that you fuel your body with nutrient-dense foods after a long hike. It’s even better if you stop somewhere with a view to enjoy your lunch. Here are some easy-to-pack ideas for food to bring with you on Hikes:

  • Hearty sandwiches made with your favorite veggies, meats, and cheeses on whole grain bread.
  • Alternatively, a hearty wrap works just as well!
  • A bento box with sliced fruits, veggies, cheeses, and sliced deli meats.
  • Ready-made tuna packets with whole grain crackers.

Lightweight Backpacking Food Ideas


For longer backpacking trips, keeping your bag as light as possible is crucial for an enjoyable journey. Opt for these lightweight and nutritious food options:

  • Dehydrated meals that only require boiling water.
  • Instant noodles or rice pouches for a satisfying and quick meal.
  • Packets of tuna, salmon, or chicken for a protein source that’s easy to carry.
  • Protein and granola bars, trail mix, and beef jerky for quick snacks.
  • Instant coffee or tea for a refreshing pick-me-up.

When it comes to hiking and backpacking, choosing the right foods, snacks and staying properly hydrated are key to maintaining your energy levels and a safe hike. With these healthy backpacking food and snack ideas, along with essential hydration tips, you can enjoy your outdoor adventures while fueling your body with delicious and nutritious options. Remember to pack foods that are lightweight, easy to prepare, and provide a good balance of macronutrients! Stay hydrated, keep your energy high, and embrace the beauty of nature as you embark on unforgettable hiking experiences!