Hiking is a great way to get exercise and stay healthy, but it’s important not to forget about your other needs— especially if you’re planning a particularly long trek. After all, exercise and nutrition are equally important to staying healthy.
And while a hike can be invigorating, it’s important to make sure you’re well fed so that your energy levels don’t crash and ruin the fun of your hike.
A balanced breakfast before a long hike is vital, of course, but many people forget that bringing snacks to eat during the hike is also important. Even if you’re not planning on eating anything, exercise will make you hungry, and you can’t get food from anywhere if you’re in the middle of the woods! So, it stands to reason that you should pack a snack.
But what should that snack be? Well, in addition to all the health benefits of hiking, there are plenty of healthy snacks that will add a full stomach to your hiking experience— as well as plenty of nutrition qualities.
Here’s why you should consider planning a hiking trip in the near future, as the weather gets warmer, and why certain snacks are perfect additions to the occasion!
There are a lot of things that make hiking a really great exercise, and a lot of people don’t know just how many health benefits hiking has! Regular exercise in general is very beneficial, and can contribute to longer, healthier, and even happier lives.
Hiking can improve your heart health and bone strength, reducing risk of heart disease or other heart problems, osteoporosis, and arthritis. Cardiovascular exercise gives your heart the chance to grow stronger, and steep inclines will only add to that.
Difficult terrain on a hike also means that you’ll be using different muscle groups, and strengthen your muscles right along with your bones. Specifically working against gravity— going uphill —or carrying a backpack that adds some extra weight can go a long way.
Your balance can improve after hiking, too! In addition to strength, hiking can promote more stability within your muscles.
Hiking will also increase your blood flow. This can in turn lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, reducing risk of hypertension. And, of course, as with all exercise, going on hikes can help you manage your weight, and reduce diabetes or obesity.
It’s also an exercise that will help you build your endurance. If you’re new to hiking and looking to pick up a new hobby, it might be best to start with shorter hikes and work your way up to some longer, more difficult paths. This is why people often hike to train for other sports.
Hiking also has additional benefits that aren’t limited to the physical. For example, exercise such as hiking can help you get better sleep! With a lot of physical activity, our minds and bodies are more inclined to relax at the end of a day.
On the subject of the mind, hiking is great for mental health, too! Being in touch with yourself and with the world around you can reduce anxiety and stress, so hikes are a great way to take a mental breather that way.
Exercise releases endorphins, a chemical that makes you feel happy and less stressed out, which is a very good thing! Stress can be a detriment to your physical as well as your mental health if you let it build up. Luckily, hiking helps with both!
Hiking is a great exercise because it gives you a lot of time to think, and even to connect with others if you choose to go hiking with your friends. It’ll be time to bond and improve upon your relationships, or else take a solitary hike to think about yourself and about nature.
Your self-esteem can even improve with hiking, but all of this is only possible if you remember to take care of yourself while you hike, too. Make sure you grab a snack if you need to to be sure that you keep your energy up.
First and foremost— you’ll definitely need to stay hydrated on your hike, so don’t forget to bring a bottle of water with you, no matter how long you plan to be hiking for.
Especially with long hikes, you might want to have a snack with you. It can’t hurt to pack food just in case you happen to get hungry, and it’s always important to be prepared! There are a lot of things to look for in the perfect hiking snack.
You need something high in nutrition to keep your blood sugar up and replace any calories you might be burning. Snacks that are small but high in calories are the best bet, and you’ll want to look for something that has carbohydrates as well as protein.
Lightweight snacks are also good. You don’t have to worry too much about added weight with snacks for a single day of hiking, but be conscious that you’ll have to carry whatever you bring with you.
Portable snacks are your best bet so that they can be easily packed in your bag, and won’t get crushed if they fall to the bottom. It’s also better that your snacks don’t need to be kept cold so you don’t need to worry about the extra room for an ice pack.
Individually packed snacks are for the best, and the less packaging you have, the less you’ll need to throw away.
Don’t litter on your hikes, or even throw biodegradable food on the ground because it could disturb the ecosystem. When packing for a hike, bring everything that you brought out there with you on the way back.
The actual type of snack very much depends on the individual and can also very well be different due to the circumstances of your specific hike, but here are some general snacks that you can’t really go wrong with.
Nut butters— such as peanut, almond, and cashew butter —are very dense with calories, so you’ll get a lot of energy while only using a little. Pair it with some crackers and you’ve got yourself a very easy to eat hiking snack.
Nuts in general are great hiking snacks because they’re high in protein, and they’re also very small and sturdy— easily portable! Seeds are also a great snack for this reason.
Tuna is another great non-perishable choice for protein! High-calorie counts may make you think ‘unhealthy,’ but the opposite is true when you’re hiking. You’ll need those calories to keep you moving! Pack along some tuna or chicken salad packets to snack on while you’re on your journey.
Jerky will also give you a big boost in protein, and it’s shelfable! A lot of people crave salty snacks when they’re on hikes, and beef jerky is very easy to make at home.
Other salty snacks that are great to bring are bags of crisps— stores sell a lot of chips and other snacks in individual bags, which would be perfect to pack for hiking. If you want to stick to a bit of a healthier route, though, trail mix is a great choice, and you can make your own with whatever you’d like to include.
You may very well be craving something sweet, too, and you can throw a candy bar into your bag for good measure just in case. It may not be the healthiest snack, but candy sure is easy to throw into a bag.
Fruit is sweet too, though, and much better for you. Fresh fruit will definitely satisfy your sweet tooth, but if you don’t want to go to the trouble of packing it and maybe want something a little less expensive, dried fruit is also a great snack to bring on a hike.
A lot of vegetables make up good hiking snacks as well, and you can pair either a fruit or veggie with peanut butter to make a sweeter, healthier snack.
Granola bars are also a great, healthy choice, and the answer to every hikers’ prayers when it comes to easy packing. There’s nothing that fits so easily into a bag or can be eaten on the go like a bar. Stores offer lots of granola and energy bars to choose from, but we know one type of bar that will be the perfect snack addition to your hike.
Luckily for you and any future hiking endeavors, Simple Botanics Squares are the perfect, protein-based, packable snack!
The Simple Squares, which have recently returned to our site in two brand new and delicious flavors— Honey Nut and Chocolate Chip Honey Nut. They’re sold in packs of 12 for $23.99, but each square is individually wrapped. They’re super easy to fit in a bag for your hiking trip, and even easier to open up and eat!
Made with natural ingredients, these Simple Squares have almonds, cashews, and almond butter in them, so they’re pretty high in protein and sure to keep you energized. They’re only 190 calories each, however!
All of the other ingredients are healthy, too, though these Simple Squares will definitely satisfy your sweet tooth. Honey and vanilla are also part of the recipe, and chocolate chips are included in the titular flavor, of course.
Our Simple Squares are dairy free, soy free, gluten free, refined sugar free, and non-GMO. This is a snack that should be welcome on any hike as you can share it with someone who may have different dietary restrictions.
Of course, we won’t blame you if you want to keep all of your Simple Squares to yourself. They are delicious, after all.
Our Simple Squares are the perfect healthy hiking snack to bring along with you when you go on your next adventure. Don’t miss out on all the health benefits of hiking, and don’t miss out on a delicious snack that’s just as good for you!