With the summer season in full swing, it’s time to get outdoors and have a little fun!
But, while you are soaking up the sun, communing with nature, and enjoying great company, you want to be sure that you keep yourself adequately nourished.
We all know that staying hydrated is essential, especially in soaring temperatures, but when it comes to fueling our bodies, and at times away from modern conveniences, you have to stay on top of it!
To ensure you stay alert, energized, and feeling your best, you need to load up on the best snacks possible.
But, what exactly constitutes the best snacks for outdoor adventures? To help you make healthier choices while camping or exploring the great outdoors, we’ve put together this handy checklist.
Before you hit the road, hike that trail, launch your boat, or set up camp; make sure your snacking options fit the bill!
What Makes the Best Snacks for Camping or Outdoor Adventures?
When packing snacks for camping or outdoor adventures, you want to think about flavor, nutrition, and, of course, convenience.
Fortunately, there are several healthier and effective options available that won’t let you down!
Here are four primary elements you should consider when finding the best snacks for camping or outdoor adventures:
When packing food, gear, and snacks for camping or outdoor adventures, you want to think about portability.
It won’t take long for you to regret your snack choice if it isn’t easy to pack or carry with you.
If you are hiking, the farther you go, the heavier your pack is likely to feel. While you may eat a lot while on the trek, you should be thoughtful about how you pack.
Try to pack light and make sure to pack your trash and bring it back to the car or campsite with you.
Ideally, the best snacks will be something lightweight, small, and conveniently packaged. If you are making the snacks yourself, pack them in small and easy-to-grab baggies for a quick bite while out and about.
For longer outdoor adventures, like multi-day hikes or extended camping trips, or even hot days, finding a non-perishable snack can be a real benefit.
This will mean you do not need to lug a giant cooler with you everywhere you go, nor do you have to keep worrying about your ice supply. You are likely planning dehydrated meals for long, overnight excursions, so put as much consideration into your snacks.
Some of the best snacks for camping and outdoor adventures are the ones that you can shove in a backpack and forget about until you need them.
Fruits and vegetables are some of the best snacks for outdoor activities, but you need to make sure you have options.
Fresh foods are nutritious and will supply you with important nutrients, so by all means, bring some along, but they may spoil quickly and attract animals at overnight campsites. If you need to bring raw or fresh foods, be sure to bring hanging food bags.
In this same vein, you will want to be mindful of snacks that can bruise easily. Fruit, like peaches, can give you a little calorie boost and supply some needed fiber, but they can also bruise. These fruits are best for basecamp, road trips, beach days, or boat trips—activities that won’t require you to move or handle the food frequently.
When it comes to backwoods camping or extended hikes, the best snacks to bring along can stand up to a little bit of punishment.
3) Easy to Eat
Convenience and ease are important when choosing the best snacks for camping and outdoor adventures.
You do not necessarily want food you will need to prepare or fuss with. And you do not want something that will be overly messy or produce a large amount of waste. We all want to respect the natural environment, and so you can’t be leaving trash behind, and you don’t want to devote too much space to carry that trash back with you!
Even if you are just sitting by the lake or embarking on an epic road trip, the less mess, the better.
Look for prepackaged snacks with minimal packaging or make your own and transport them in lightweight containers.
If you are embarking on an active outdoor adventure, like a hike, a long cycle through the countryside, or a kayak or canoe trip, you will want to find snacks that provide carbohydrates AND protein to give your body what it needs to do that hard work!
Snacks high in carbohydrates and sugars can leave you feeling less alert and more fatigued within an hour of consumption. Depending on the activities you are performing, this can be downright dangerous.
Focus instead on snacks with a lower glycemic index, like those with more protein, fat, and fiber. It takes longer for your body to digest these macronutrients, which means that the carbohydrates they contain provide a steady release of energy without the infamous crash.
Consider snacks that are made with plant protein. These types of snacks are more likely to be non-perishable while providing your body with a number of healthy benefits. Most significantly, plant-based diets have been found to have anti-inflammatory properties, which can be helpful if you are in the middle of a period of extended, intense activity.
The Best Snacks for Camping and Other Outdoor Adventures
Now that you know the traits that make a good snack for camping or outdoor adventures, we have some suggestions to get you started!
Consider snacking on:
- Nuts and seeds
- Trail mix
- Homemade granola or protein bars
- Meat jerky or fruit leather
- Whole dried fruit
- Vegetable-based snacks like Harvest Snaps
- Prepackaged pureed fruits and veggies, like applesauce
- String cheese
- Nut butters
The Best Snack Recipes for Camping and Other Outdoor Adventures
Some of the best snacks for active adventures are homemade. With homemade snacks, you can control the ingredients and avoid additives that may end up working against you! Here are just a few of our favorite snack recipes!
Simple Trail Mix
Why complicate a good thing? This simple trail mix offers plenty of protein and healthy fat, making it one of the best snacks for camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities.
- 2 cups unsweetened coconut chips
- 1 cup raw almonds
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1 cup raw pecans
- Place all ingredients on a rimmed baking sheet and toss so well combined.
- Place the baking sheet in a cold oven. Set to 350℉ and roast for 15-18 minutes until golden brown.
- Cool, package, and enjoy!
If you are participating in very strenuous activities and are likely to sweat a lot, you may need to consider replacing your electrolytes. To make this a snack that can help in that department, add Harvest Snaps Snack Crisps to the mix.
Cinnamon Raisin Protein Bites
Store-bought protein bars are great. But when you make your own, you can play with the flavors and the ingredients to find your perfect snack! This protein bite recipe tastes like a delicious treat and uses protein powder to give your body that extra boost.
- 1 ½ cups of rolled oats
- 1 cup cashew butter (use tahini for a nut-free option)
- ¼ cup of honey or maple syrup
- 2 scoops (or 50-60 grams) of your favorite vanilla protein powder
- 2 tablespoons of raisins
- ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon
- Place oats, cashew butter (or tahini), honey (or maple syrup), protein powder, raisins, and cinnamon in a large bowl and stir to combine. It may take a while to get all the ingredients to come together. The mixture may appear crumbly, but it should come together. Use your hands to knead the mixture if necessary.
- Some protein powders absorb more liquid than others. If the mixture remains too dry to hold together, add water to the bowl one teaspoon at a time until you are able to form a ball.
- Once combined, use a small scoop or a large spoon to portion the mixture and roll into balls.
- Store balls in the fridge or freezer until you are ready for your adventure!
Raspberry Chocolate Protein Bars
Sometimes a little protein ball just doesn’t feel satisfying enough. Protein bars are among some of the best snacks for periods of physical exertion, and making your own is easier than you might think!
With natural sweeteners, fruit, healthy fats, and proteins, you’ll wonder how you survived so long without this recipe in your life!
- ½ cup peanut butter or almond butter
- ⅓ cup of blue agave or honey
- 1 cup instant rolled oats
- ¼ cup of your favorite chocolate protein powder
- ¼ cup flaxseed
- ½ of raspberries
- Put oats, protein powder, and flaxseed into a large bowl and set aside.
- In a small saucepan over low heat, mix peanut butter and agave or honey. Stir until consistent and smooth.
- Remove peanut butter mixture from heat and pour over oat mixture. Stir until totally combined. Fold in raspberries.
- Spread mixture into a 5×9 inch loaf pan and press down to make it flat.
- Place in the freezer for an hour.
- After an hour, remove from the freezer and cut into long bars or squares. Wrap in wax paper or parchment paper and store in the fridge until you’re ready to go!
Homemade Fruit Leather
As we’ve said, fruit are some of the best snacks for camping and outdoor adventures but they are not always that convenient. Making homemade fruit leather means you can get the carbohydrate and fiber benefits of fresh fruits without having to worry about bruising, spoilage, or excess waste.
With homemade fruit leather, you have more control over the sugar levels and have free range to get creative with the flavor combinations! And the best part, you don’t even need a dehydrator!
- 3 cups of chopped fresh fruit (peaches, apricots, plums, apples, pears, strawberries, mangos, or a combination)
- 1-2 tablespoons of honey or maple syrup (optional)
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
- Spices (like cinnamon or nutmeg), to taste
- Preheat the oven to the lowest temperature. Usually 150℉ or 200℉.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment or a silicone baking mat. Spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray.
- Puree the chopped fruit in a blender or food processor. Add lemon juice, sweetener, and spices if using. Continue to blend until smooth.
- Pour fruit mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and spread to make a thin layer.
- Bake in the oven for 2-8 hours or until the fruity is barely tacky to the touch and peels easily from the sheet.
- Allow to cool completely and cut into thin strips.
- Roll with parchment paper and store in the refrigerator until you are on your way out the door.
Make Snacking Simple With Harvest Snaps
Choosing camping snacks from the Harvest Snaps lineup is a no-brainer. These tasty morsels are portable, non-perishable, easy to eat, and provide plant-based protein.
One of the best snacks to choose from are Harvest Snaps. Harvest Snaps Snack Crisps are made from green peas, red lentils, or black beans and give you the satisfactory crunch you are looking for at snack time. And with multiple flavor options, there is one sure to satisfy every snacker! Harvest Snaps Snack Crisps are available in Lightly Salted, Caesar, Tomato Basil, Wasabi Ranch, Parmesan Roasted Garlic, Mango Chile Lime, Black Pepper, and White Cheddar.
Harvest Snaps Crunchions are made with red lentils. The bite-sized ring shape and bold flavors make healthy snacking a real joy. Try Crunchions in Kick’n BBQ, Sour Cream & Onion, and Tangy Sweet Chili.
Finding the best snacks for camping and other outdoor adventures doesn’t need to be complicated. Follow our tips above for functional, happy, and healthy snacking!