Day Hiking Food Ideas

If you’re prepping for a hike, you can’t forget your hiking food!

Food can be the difference between a miserable time on the trails and a fun, fulfilling one. Therefore, you’ll want to make sure your bags and pockets are full, whether it’s of snacks and more substantial items.

However, when you’re out in the wilderness, it can be overwhelming to figure out what will work for food and what won’t, especially when it comes to storage. We’re here for you. Read on to find a few of the best hiking foods out there!


It may not be food per se, but water is essential to powering through a hike, regardless of the distance. Make sure you’re carrying enough water to keep yourself hydrated – and some extra, in the case of an emergency.

You’ll want to make sure any companions you have are doing the same thing. Nothing’s worse than being stranded in the woods without water to help cut your thirst.

No matter the time of year, the sun and physical activity will wear you out quick, so make sure you’re hydrated!

Granola bars

Granola bars are one of the ultimate grab and go foods, which makes it a great hiking food! What’s more, several granola bars contain enough calories to translate into the energy you’ll need to continue your hike.

Be wary, though: some granola bars are loaded with more sugar than nutrients, which won’t serve you well when you inevitably crash.

Make sure you read the ingredients on your granola bars, and on any energy bars you might bring with you. Toss them in your bag for a quick snack or a hint of sweetness!

Dried fruit

Depending on the temperature, it may not be wise to bring fresh fruit on your hiking trip. However, dried fruits make a fantastic hiking food! 

Dried fruits, unlike fresh ones, don’t require temperature control. This way, you’re not lugging a cooler with you on your relaxing journey. 

Also, dried fruits provide a healthier source of energy than several other portable snacks. They may have quite a bit of sugar, so be careful you don’t crash, but organic dried fruits won’t have any preservatives.

Eat dried fruits and feel good about the energy you’re taking in!


If you’re hiking for a considerable amount of time, you may need something more sustainable in your hiking food pouch. Bagels might just be the answer you’re looking for.

Keep in mind you may not be able to bring some classic cream cheese with you, but that shouldn’t stop you from throwing some of these carb-loaded rings in your bag!

Top them with peanut butter or other kinds of nut butter, and they’ll be sure to hit the spot and provide you with the energy you need!


Nuts are a classic hiking food for a reason. They’re small, they fit easily in bags, and that makes them incredibly portable.

Nuts are also a great source of protein, which is necessary for all the muscle work you’ll be doing on your hike. Be sure to fuel up with something healthy that will do your body well.

You can combine nuts with different types of dried fruits to create the perfect trail mix. Try it out and munch on it on your designated path!


This one goes more for campers or those on hikes that will involve dinner. While instant ramen may not be the best thing for you to eat, and you certainly won’t gain any nutritional value from it, its convenience can’t be denied.

Make sure you bring the proper supplies for this one – a pot and that aforementioned water will come in handy! Even with something as foolproof as ramen, make sure to keep basic food safety in mind!

Instant rice

Another one that will take a little bit of foresight and planning, but instant rice is a great way to stay full on long hikes.

Boil water over a campfire and measure out the appropriate amount of rice. Keep watch over the pot until the water’s soaked, and boom! Instant rice! Toss some spices or extras in it, and you’ve got a great meal with minimal effort.


When it comes to hiking food, tuna is woefully underrated.

Tuna is more versatile than people give it credit for. Mix it in with your instant rice or ramen for a protein boost to your easy meal, or eat it on its own if you like seafood!

The great thing about canned tuna is that it doesn’t need to be temperature controlled. Toss it in your bag and pull it out when you need it, and you’ll be thankful.


Back to the foods that take a smidge more effort, but pasta is absolutely a valid option when it comes to hiking food. We don’t recommend dry pasta as you’ll need some other ingredients to make it worth eating (plus, do you really want to carry around a pot that big just to eat some spaghetti? Negative.), but canned pasta is a great option.

Bring along some canned pasta with hot dogs or meatballs to bring out your childish side when you’re on your hike. After all, hiking is all about reconnecting with nature, and that can inspire some childlike wonder. There’s no shame!

Prepackaged meals

When it comes to hiking food, you can’t go wrong with prepackaged meals.

When looking, try to find things that don’t require reheating and don’t need to be in a cool climate. Look for these in your soup aisle and store them in your bag. If it comes down to an emergency, you’ll be glad you remembered it!

Spices: the ultimate hiking food essential

Nothing’s worse than bland food on a normal day, and there’s no reason that doesn’t extend to hiking. If you’ve gone through the trouble of making that instant rice, you don’t want to eat it plain.

Do yourself a favor and toss a couple all-purpose spices into your bag before you go. You can even find convenient packets if you don’t feel comfortable bringing a whole shaker.

Add some spice to your food and show off your culinary prowess to the wilderness!


Some people believe that hiking food doesn’t offer much in the way of variety, but in reality, there’s a ton if you’re smart about it! The next time you’re on a hike, try out one of these options – especially if it never crossed your mind before,

Do you have any go-to hiking foods that we may have forgotten? Any tips or tricks for those pesky items that you need to cook? We’d love to hear them! Drop us a comment!

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