High protein hiking snacks not only keep the hangers at bay, but are super beneficial for your body. Protein helps hikers regulate their metabolism, repair tired muscles, and boost their immune systems. Plus, you’re not yourself when you’re hungry – I should coin that line. 😂
There are loads of options out there that serve almost any dietary needs or cravings. We put together a quick-hit list of 7 of our favorite high-protein hiking snacks. To try to cover as many diets/needs as possible, we include some alternatives that still fall under the same category. Also, because we follow a keto diet, any items that are keto-friendly will be denoted with a (k) next to it.
Let’s get to the snackies!!!
Beef Jerky (k)
Jerky made from beef is ideal for hiking. It’s easy to carry and high in protein and one of the best high protein hiking snacks. The high salt content found in beef jerky is actually beneficial for hiking because it aids with hydration regulation. This snack is packed with protein as well. Any other snack option can’t compare to the quantity of protein you get from even a little strip. Protein is good for your body and provides an energy boost while also satisfying hunger rapidly.
The question is, is jerky good for you? The quick answer is that it is debatable. Jerky can be healthy if it suits your dietary objectives and the sort of product you select. Dried meat snacks can be a good source of protein when consumed as part of a balanced diet.
Jerky skeptics can be a little out of date. With additional MSG, nitrates, and chemical preservatives, many individuals warn that they’re rich in sodium. The truth is that jerky is no longer made in this manner.
Sodium, on the other hand, is a valid cause for concern. Although sodium is a necessary nutrient, it is far too easy to consume too much in the average American diet. According to the FDA, the daily recommended dosage for the average individual is 2,400mg, which is just over a teaspoon of table salt.
How to Choose a Healthy Jerky
- Look for jerky with fewer than 500mg sodium content per serving
- Opt for brands that have no more than 5g of added sugar
Packaged Tuna or Salmon (k)
Packaged tuna or salmon is an excellent choice for people who prefer fish to meat on their next trip. Instead of tinned salmon, opt for foil pouch types. These are little and simple to unwrap and eat. Plus, after you’re done with your food, you won’t have to worry about carrying empty cans off the route.
In recent years, foil pouch snacks and meal supplements have become increasingly popular. They come in a variety of tastes, including buffalo, hot Thai, and lemon pepper. These, like beef jerky, are perfect for replacing a meal on the road or delivering a protein boost when you start to feel lethargic.
Hard Cheese Snacks (k)
Another tasty one of our high protein hiking snacks that is easy to consume on the trail is string cheese. String cheese is high in protein and comes in a number of flavors, including Colby Jack, cheddar, and the most popular, mozzarella. It’s great on its own or with meat or fish for a quick trail supper that doesn’t require any preparation!
Cheese that is good for hiking typically has the following characteristics:
- It is a Firm or semi-firm cheese
- It has been aged
- It has a low moisture content
These bars provide a remarkable quantity of healthy fats and protein for having only a few ingredients. Plus, although being vegetarian-friendly, they contain a healthy quantity of salt , which the body craves after a long day on the trail.
These bars are fantastic, and I’d suggest the chocolate one as a treat while hiking. On longer treks, bring at least a couple – they’re healthy to eat and simply plain good for the soul.
Pro Tip: Go with a variety pack to try a few of them out!
Fatty’s Beef Sticks (k)
There isn’t much to say about these hefty sticks o’beef other than they are just what you need and want! They are the O.G. BIG meat snack. Packed with protein. Low in Sugar. Crafted with real ingredients. Cut out all of the marketing lingo and fancy packaging, Faty’s serves up a fantastic chunk of meat, that’s relatively healthy and keeps you moving on the trail!
Peanut Butter Packets
Peanut butter is a common ingredient in protein bars. While it’s fantastic as a bar, it’s also a great snack on its own. You can get up to 7 grams of protein per ounce if you spread it on crackers or consume it with a spoon.
Don’t worry if peanut butter isn’t your thing; there are plenty of different nut butter variations to pick from. Protein is plentiful in almond butter, cashew butter, peanut butter with honey, and even chocolate hazelnut butter. However, like with protein bars, keep in mind the amount of sugar in the brand and flavor you choose.
I have heard of people bringing their own peanut butter by using the Coghlan’s Squeeze Tubes and they say it works pretty well. But there are many options for pre-packaged peanut butter brands out there.
Nuts, seeds, dried fruits, and trail mix containing all of the above are easy to carry and eat while hiking. Purchase pre-made trail mix or make your own with your own components, or GORP.
Even if they don’t know it by that name, it’s difficult to meet a hiker who hasn’t heard of GORP. GORP stands for trail mix, a popular outdoor snack noted for its high-protein, high-fat content as well as its sweet-and-salty flavor. But where did it come from, as well as the name GORP? That turns out to be a difficult question to answer.
Today, we spell GORP with capital letters, as if it were an abbreviation. One camp advocates “good ol’ raisins and peanuts,” while the other advocates “granola, oats, raisins, and peanuts.” However, according to a 1913 citation in the Oxford English Dictionary, “gorp” is a verb that means “to eat greedily,” which sounds about right. If gorp gave birth to GORP, then “good ol’ raisins and peanuts” is a backronym—a creation of well-intentioned GORP fans attempting to give meaning to an already existing word.