Best Foods to Take Hiking: The Ultimate List

Hiking is a beautiful exercise to do with yourself or others you spend life with. Not only that, but if you are doing a multi-day hiking trip, it can be exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time.

Because of this, knowing what to bring during your hike is imperative. This is because you could get fatigued quickly, especially if you are not used to doing anything strenuous. So, what should you bring?

The best foods to take hiking are those high in protein, fiber, and lots of dried fruits and veggies. Consider bringing freeze-dried meals containing lots of nutrients to ensure you receive what is required in your body while walking a long distance. 

That being said, there are plenty of specific foods that you will want to bring. Suppose you are hiking for a few hours and only need a snack. In that case, get something that will last you during that time (or a little extra, just in case.) However, if you are hiking on a multi-day trip, finding what meals and snacks to bring is also essential.

In this specific case, we will delve into the categories. Let us continue for more information.

What Is the Best Food You Can Take for Hiking?

As mentioned above, the best foods to take are those high in fiber, protein, and dried fruits and vegetables. Doing so helps you get a well-balanced diet while being away from home, where there are more things at your convenience. Still, keep reading for more ideas and information.

1. Snack Ideas

Energy Bars, Chews or Gels

One of the biggest things you will need is protein and energy. In that case, packing energy bars will help you continue your hiking journey. However, depending on your preference, you can also get chews or gels.

Trail Mix

Trail mix has been used for a long time, with good reason, as it contains nuts, seeds, and other dried fruit. Make sure to invest in one you like. For example, if you are allergic to chocolate or cranberries, find one that does not contain these ingredients. Additionally, you can make your nut-free trail mix. Here is a fantastic recipe for those with a nut allergy.

Nuts & Seeds

If you do not like having a mixture of items, consider getting only nuts or seeds on your journey. Both of these wonderful snacks are rich in protein and fiber.

Dried or Freeze-dried Fruits & Veggies

There are numerous options when it comes to freeze-dried foods. However, on Amazon, there are plenty of freeze-dried fruit and vegetables.

Not only that, but you can invest in something to make soup out of if you get hungry enough. All you need is boiling water, meaning you must carry some pots and pans to ensure you can boil said food. However, for a quick snack, both are an excellent option.

Fresh Whole Fruits

Alternatively, you can bring fresh fruit! Nothing tastes better on a hiking journey than something fresh. However, it is imperative to store it correctly, as many fruits become bad quickly without refrigeration or cool areas. In this case, bring bananas, oranges, and apples.

However, consider the weather you are hiking in as well. If you walk on a hot day, the fresh fruit will spoil much quicker, so consider putting said items in a small lunch bag with an ice pack or something similar.

Whole-grain Bagels or Tortillas

Whole-grain wheat provides a slow release of energy as grain fiber takes longer to break down in the body. Not only that, but whole-grain foods contain more nutrients than refined breads. For example, you reap the benefits of getting fiber, zinc, vitamin B minerals, magnesium, iron and antioxidants (like selenium and vitamin E) on your journey.

Dried Jerky

Whether you are just starting your hiking journey or are a few hours in, jerky will provide you with a massive energy boost. It is an excellent source of iron and protein, both critical while walking about. Consider investing in beefsalmon, or poultry.

Granola Bars or Granola

Granola bars or granola mixtures provide multiple benefits, including healthy fats, fiber, energy, and protein. This is especially true if you invest in a protein granola bar, such as Clif Bars (which gives you ten grand of protein) or something similar. Also, granola or granola bars will give you a wide variety of flavors, ensuring you get precisely what you want!

Nut Butter Packs or Nut-based Bars

The last on our snack list are nut butter or nut-based bars. This is similar to granola bars, but they are made with nuts. These bars provide a lot of protein and fats you burn during your hiking journey.

2. Breakfast Ideas

Freeze-dried or Dehydrated Meals

One of the best things you can get on a multi-hiking journey is a freeze-dried or dehydrated meal. Boiling water and adding it to a meal pouch is relatively easy. Depending on your preference, there is a lot of variety on Amazon by Peak Refuel or Mountain House.

Instant Oatmeal

Nothing is better than instant morning oatmeal, especially if you add fresh fruit and veggies! Add some chia and flax seeds to add extra protein and fiber to make it more worthwhile.

Quinoa Flakes

If you want an alternative to instant oatmeal, try quinoa flakes! It is relatively the same as oatmeal, as you add boiling water to the mixture. Quinoa provides essential B vitamins with fiber, protein, and other vitamins to help you get through the day.

Dried Eggs

Consider bringing along dried eggs with you. Although there are many options you can choose from, having it in a bag will help you make it quickly and be more efficient along your hiking journey. Not only that, but the eggs will provide you with an incredible energy boost!

Instant Coffee

Consider drinking instant coffee as you enjoy your breakfast. If you are used to caffeine in your system, it is better to have it on hand than none. Black coffee provides you with energy and focus. It also may reduce cancer risks and type 2 diabetes.

Breakfast Bars with Yogurt

As stated earlier, you can get many different types of bars, and having a breakfast bar is no exception. For those who love having yogurt early in the morning but want to go hiking, consider investing in a yogurt breakfast bar, preferably one with protein.

3. Lunch Ideas

Instant Tea

Instant tea is a great drink to have during your hike. It stabilizes your energy levels and helps when you start feeling sluggish. Not only that, but it is a healthier alternative to energy drinks and coffee. However, make sure to drink it in moderation, as tea is a diuretic, meaning you will have to urinate more frequently than if you drink water or something similar.

Freeze-dried Meals

Just like with breakfast, there are many excellent freeze-dried meals to have on your hiking journey. These options will save you preparation time and backpack weight that you can use for something else. Make sure to pick and choose the ones you will enjoy eating.

Tuna Pouches

Consider investing in tuna pouches for your hike. Not only are they extremely affordable, but they provide a massive amount of protein! Tuna pouches are extremely easy and convenient to use. All you need to do is tear and use.

Meal Bars

If you want to be constantly on the go and not stop to make a tasty meal for yourself, then invest in some meal bars. Although we briefly discussed some, some bars offer 12 or even 15 grams of protein! Not only that, but specific dietary options like Vegan or keto exist.


Suppose you are going on a one-day hiking trip. In that case, we recommend packing some highly nutritious sandwiches! You can never go wrong with a sandwich, especially if you know how to make it how you like it.

One thing to keep in mind is things like cheese and sauce may make your sandwich soggy. In that case, putting them on the side might be best. Consider bringing a sauce bottle and cheese package if you are in groups.

Deli Meats

Suppose you do not wish to have any sandwiches on the hike but still need some meat for extra protein. In that case, bring deli meats in a lunch bag with an ice pack to ensure your meat does not get spoiled.

4. Dinner

Dehydrated Refried Beans

Beans are excellent due to their many antioxidants, fiber, protein, and iron. Consider bringing some dehydrated refried beans along on the trip with you. Make it a meal by adding some pita bread and dehydrated meat.

Mac & Cheese with Bacon Bits

Consider bringing freeze-dried mac and cheese with bacon bits, which you can easily purchase on Amazon. This meal will keep you full for quite some time without worrying about making another stop before too long!

Chicken Alfredo Pasta

No one says homemade like chicken alfredo! Although technically, it would not be homemade, it will be made with love and care as you make it for your journey. Consider bringing a freeze-dried meal to ensure it does not go bad.


Lastly, chili is an excellent option to bring along during your hike. This is one of the best because you get a lot of protein intake, and it helps your muscles recover from a long hike.

Tips to Keep in Mind Before Going on a Hike

Now that we have all of the best foods to bring along the way, let us discuss some tips to remember before hiking.

  • Bring wipes: do not handle food with dirty hands. This could lead to cross-contamination and cause you to be sick. Consider getting some antibacterial wipes.

  • Bring plenty of water: Although coffee and tea are great on a hike, it is essential to bring plenty of water. Carrying 1 liter of water for every 2 hours you hike is recommended. If you will be hiking for 8 hours, bring one gallon of water.

  • Consider lightweight items: If you bring canned goods or perishable items, your backpack becomes heavy. In that case, we recommend lightweight items to ensure you have enough space for other objects, like a first-aid kit.

  • Remember dinnerware & cookware: Whether hiking one day or multiple days, consider bringing dinnerware (utensils, plates, bowls) and/or cookware.

  • Have a bag for garbage: One of the biggest mistakes some people might make is not bringing a specific trash bag for garbage. Since you will (most likely) be out in the wilderness with no trash surrounding you, it is extremely important to have something to put everything away in.

  • Consider meal prepping: Some people have a freeze-dryer on hand. In that case, consider meal prepping to save you money!

Final Thoughts

Hiking can be thrilling and exciting! However, you can quickly be stressed out without strategically planning what you will bring. In this specific case, it is essential to bring foods that will give you energy and enjoyment, especially multiple days in a row (like energy bars). If you need to know any more information, feel free to check out our other articles. Happy hiking!

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