Whether I’m exploring, hunting, or on another adventure, the high country is a place I love. When I’m out for a day hike or week long expedition I always carry rations of food. Snacks come in handy in the event you wind up stuck on the side of the mountain for more than your intended time. They’re also important because at high elevations our bodies burn a lot more calories.
However, we don’t want to carry any unnecessary weight. When we’re choosing which snacks to put in the pack we have to be fastidious.
An important thing to throw in the pack is an emergency meal. This is one that won’t spoil. I choose dehydrated meals such as those made by Mountain House. No, I’m not sponsored by them. I’ve just had good luck finding ones that are tasty and easy to prepare. After a 14 hour day of hiking at 12,000-foot elevation, the last thing I want to do is follow multi-step directions on how to cook the meal my body is yearning for. Heck, sometimes it’s a chore enough to remember to take the silica packet out of the bag.
One of my favorite flavors is Mexican Style Rice & Chicken. There are hundreds of others, and I’m sure you can find one to tote around for years, just in case you have an emergency.
Oh yes. It’s not food, but don’t forget to throw in the JetBoil so you can cook it up quickly.
Every Day Snacks
I know what my favorite snacks are, but I wondered what everyone else likes to carry in their packs. I posed the question to my followers on social media and many like the same things I do. There were a couple of new ideas too. Tell me in the comments, what are your favorite snacks to carry in your pack. Here are a few of mine.
- Bars – I’m pretty simple and try to eat as healthy as I can when I’m in the high country. I like Nature Valley’s Crunchy granola bars. Although I’m not too particular on flavor, if I had to choose one, it’d be the peanut butter. My horse likes them too.I also throw in protein bars. You’ll probably have to test a few out to see which you prefer. Honestly, I think some taste like dirt, and that’s the last thing I want to taste when I’m exhausted from a hike. My latest favorites are the Quest Nutrition Protein bars.
- Nuts & Fruits – Dried fruit and nuts are good to carry. They pack nutrition and provide the body with needed energy. You know there are a lot of varieties out there. Choose your favorite, but remember salt can cause water retention.Many friends said they like to carry trail mix in their packs. I asked specifically what type and most indicated they like the ones with peanuts, raisins, and M&M’s. I’ll often make my own trail mix, sorting through the bins at the store and selecting nuts and dried fruits that suit my pallet at the time.When I’m in a hurry or am not sure what I feel like, I’ll buy packages. I don’t know about you, but my pallet changes from time to time. Maybe I wear it out with the same things, over and over again. Does this happen to you? My recent favorite packaged mix is the Omega-3 Mix by Orchard Valley.
- Jerky – As a hunter, I always make several bags of jerky from the animals I tag. I enjoy taking the time to cut, season, dry, and package the meat. It’s organic. I know where it came from, and I know how it’s been cleaned and taken care of from the field to my mouth. Yes, the process does take some time, but the return is worth it.If you don’t have the time to hunt, process, and make your own jerky, you can find tons of food flavors at the store. A while back a Twitter follower, Jerky Dynasty, sent me a variety pack of exotic jerky to try. This is fun because you get to try various meats. They’re individually wrapped and delicious.
- Sweet Treats – I tend to shy away from the sweet treats. Those Quest bars I mentioned are close to it. Some are chocolate covered, but keep in mind chocolate melts on a hot day. I mentioned asking friends and followers what they carry. Here’s a list of the sweets they shouted out: Snicker’s Bars, PayDay, Green Apple Blow Pops, Cherry Mash, honey buns, gummi bears, and more.
The list of deliciousness that you can throw in your pack can go on and on. My tip is to keep it as nutritionally valuable as possible. The occasional sweet-sugary treat is a pick-me-up when you’re tired, but remember the healthy calories will do your body good.
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