When choosing snacks for camping, there are many things to consider. What is the most nutritious, what is most filling, and what can be taken camping that doesn’t need any special care such as refrigeration?
So what are the best snack for camping? While there are many snack options for camping, you’re going to want a food that is rich in vitamins, protein, and carbs. There are many options that fit this category, no matter what your preferences are.
Best Snacks for Camping
While there are many options, some snacks will be more abundant in nutrients than others. Always stick to the healthiest snacks possible, especially when backpacking. There are options available for any appetite and preference.
- Beef Jerky
Beef Jerky is an excellent choice when it comes to camping snacks. It is suitable for backpacking, RV camping, and even car camping. Beef jerky is high in protein and is lightweight enough to carry in your backpack. Beef jerky is also a great source of healthy fats, fiber, and carbohydrates.
Nuts are another excellent choice for any type of camping. There are many options on the market including peanuts, almonds, pistachios, cashews, etc. If you’re backpacking in the summertime, try to stick with unsalted or lightly salted. Taking in too much salt when it’s hot out can lead to dehydration at a much faster rate.
- Trail Mix
Trail mix is a variety of various foods and can include things that are very rich in nutrients. Many trail mixes will have nuts, dried fruit, pretzels, and even chocolate on some occasions. One advantage to trail mix is that you can make your own. Merely pick the foods that you want in the mix and put some of each in a plastic baggie.
Crackers are an excellent choice in snacks due to their variety. You can find crackers that are seasoned, as well as being made from different grains that can be healthier. Crackers are perfect with nut butter and even pre-packaged meat. Peanut butter/cracker combos are an excellent cracker option. These crackers will save space and will be rich in protein and nutrients.
You can purchase aluminum packets of tuna for a meager price. These are great to go with crackers and are packed full of protein. These packets handle temperature very well and have a long shelf life. Tuna is also known to have many health benefits including lower blood pressure, heart health, stronger immune system, and an increase in metabolism.
Many fruits are a great healthy choice for camping, although sometimes they can be a bit heavy for backpacking. Fruits like apples, oranges, and other citrus fruits hold up well and don’t smash as easily as fruits like grapes and bananas.
- Dried Fruit
Dried fruit is a very healthy option and a great alternative to fresh fruit. With dried fruit, you don’t have to worry about the fruit going bad or getting smashed. Dried fruit has a long shelf life and is significantly lighter than fresh fruit. Dried fruit, as well as fresh fruit, is rich in fiber and vitamins.
- Granola Bars
Granola bars can have a wider variety of nutrients including protein, fiber, and carbs. This snack is an excellent option for quick stops on the trail as they are lightweight and pack easily. Always make sure that you pack out any wrappers that you may have when you leave the trail.
- Protein Bars
These are very similar to granola bars, except they are more abundant in protein than granola bars. These snacks are often made with some type of nut and held together with nut butter or something similar.
- Whole Grain Tortillas
Tortillas are a great option to make wraps, as bread is often too bulky for backpacking. You can add things like peanut butter, M&M’s, or peppers to add flavor. Tortillas are lightweight and pack very easily. Whole grain tortillas are high in potassium and protein.
- Pork Rinds
Pork rinds are an excellent source of protein, but they are also high in bad fats, cholesterol, and sodium. Although there are downsides, on occasion pork rinds can be a tasty snack that is rich in protein. Pork rinds are not suitable for backpacking, as they can be a bit bulky, but if you’re camping near your car, they make a great quick snack.
- Fruit Leather
Fruit leather is a great option, and very similar to dried fruit. The main difference is that fruit leather can be made from various fruits, instead of one fruit being dried. Fruit leather has a long shelf life, is lightweight, and is easy to pack. Fruit leather, similar to dried and fresh fruit, is rich in vitamins, fiber, and potassium.
Seaweed is one of the lightest and most packable camping snacks that you will find. Seaweed is packed full of Vitamin A, C, E, & K, as well as calcium, magnesium, and iron. Seaweed is considered to be a superfood amongst the backpacking community. Seaweed snacks are dried and have a “potato chip” like texture.
- Nut Butters
Nut butter is full of protein and can be made with many different types of nuts. Peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, and even sunflower butter are just a few of the options. If you’re backpacking, always make sure to get the smaller plastic container. These jars can be a bit heavy when carrying them on the trail.
- Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is excellent for those campers that have a sweet tooth. Dark chocolate is packed full of iron, magnesium, copper, potassium, and fiber, so you get nutrition while enjoying some sweets. Always be cautious of chocolate in the warmer months, as it melts very quickly.
Roasted chickpeas are very similar to nuts, as they are very high in protein. You will also find plenty of fiber, calcium, Vitamin C, and iron in chickpeas. Chickpeas are very lightweight and easy to pack and can also be added to trail mix. Roasted chickpeas have a texture that is very similar to cheese puffs.
Granola is an excellent source of fiber and can be used as both a snack or a meal. If you’re car camping and have a cooler, you can pour milk over your granola and eat it as cereal. You can also add raisins or sliced bananas to this for added flavor. Granola, similar to chickpeas, can be added to your trail mix.
- Whole Grain Bread
Bread, although not suitable for backpacking due to its size, is excellent for car camping. It can be toasted over a fire or used to make quick sandwiches. If you’re only backpacking for a night or two, you can plan out how much you’ll need and just take that amount. This will save space, and you can use the bread to make nut butter sandwiches or make toast over a fire with breakfast.
Cheese is very high in protein and can be eaten alone or on a sandwich. While it may be a bit heavy for backpacking, it’s excellent for other types of camping. Always make sure that the cheese that you get doesn’t require refrigeration. If you’re car or RV camping, make sure you have adequate ice in your cooler if it does need to be kept cold.
- Dried Veggie Chips
Dried veggie chips are a great snack that tastes good and is healthy. These snacks have the same consistency as cheese puffs, but they are much healthier. These will be a bit cumbersome for backpacking and will crumble very easily, but if you don’t have to carry them in a backpack, they make a great tasty snack
Tips for Snacking
- Always make sure that you pack out any trash that you might produce when camping. It is every outdoor enthusiasts’ job to keep our forests clean and leave no trace of our presence.
- When taking items that are individually packed, you can unpackage them before you get on the trail and put all like items in one single bag. This will reduce trash on the trail, keep your things organized, and make it easier to access the items.
- Always write any preparation instructions down on the bag that you take, this way you don’t have to try and remember several days after you’ve gotten on the trail.
- Be sure of any storage information on the food that you take. Always make sure that no refrigeration is required, check the expiration date, and note if it has a limit on when to consume after opening.
- Never burn or bury any trash or excess food when you’re on the trail. This can be harmful to both the environment and the wildlife in the area.
- Avoid taking canned foods if you’re backpacking. Canned food is usually heavier than items that are in packets. You also must pack your trash out, and packages will be easier to put in a small plastic bag for trash.
When camping, no matter whether car camping or backpacking, nutrition is critical. Always make sure that you have plenty of snacks between meals that are high in protein, carbs, and vitamins. These things will keep your body healthy, as well as keeping your energy levels high.
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