Whether you’re the type to take on day-long hikes or you’re more of a laid-back, hour-long hike kind of person, you’re probably going to want something to keep you going while out on the trail. Sure, energy bars are fine for this purpose, but what ever happened to good old-fashioned trail mix?
I for one love a good trail mix, and there is no reason this snack has to be boring. In fact, if you choose the right recipe, trail mix can actually be one of the more delicious and wholesome snack options out there.
Not sure what kind of trail mix might suit your tastes? Not to worry! Below we’ve put together a collection of our favorite trail mix recipes out there. Of course, you can always take ingredients out, or sub one for another to make these delicious recipes your own.
1. Classic GORP
The most well-recognized trail mix there is, the Classic GORP (“Good Old Raisins and Peanuts”) mix contains salted peanuts, raisins, and candy-covered chocolates such as M&Ms. This is a reliable mix that provides a nice balance of nutrients and sweetness, making it ideal for kids.
Unsalted peanuts can be used if you’re watching your sodium, and some like to use dried cranberries or cherries instead of raisins. Many people also like to add sunflower seeds to this basic recipe.
2. Tropical Trails
Want to feel like you’re on a tropical island while hiking the trails? Tropical Trails mix will allow you to do just that.
Combine dried mango, dried pineapple, and dried banana chips with some roasted salted almonds. Add a sprinkling of unsweetened coconut flakes and a handful of chocolate chips for added sweetness and enjoy your trip to paradise!
3. Monkey Munch
This recipe gets its name from tasty dried banana chips, which mix perfectly with the peanut and chocolate flavors.
To create this mix, stir together some dried banana chips, peanut butter chips, chocolate chips, peanuts, and Wheat Chex. Enjoy during a hike, or even while monkeying around the campsite.
4. The Nutty Fruit
Are you a fruit fan? We certainly are! Luckily, dried fruit makes an ideal hiking snack. Mix some tasty dried fruits with some nuts and you’ll have something yummy and nutritious to munch on for the entire day.
To make this trail mix, simply mix dried apricots, dried cherries, raisins, and any other dried fruit you like with an equal amount of salted mixed nuts. The saltiness of the nuts will really bring out the sweet flavors of the fruit, making this quite the harmonious mix.
5. Movie Mix
Perfect for hiking—but even more perfect for movie night—this mix takes some of your favorite movie treats and puts them together into one simple, tasty snack.
Start by popping popcorn on the stovetop or using an air popper. Microwave popcorn isn’t ideal because it tends to be less healthy. Let the popcorn cool before adding in chocolate-covered raisins or peanuts. Yum!
6. Fall Flavors
No matter what time of year you prefer to hike, you’ll love bringing along this trail mix. That said, it is best enjoyed in the fall when the air is crisp and fall flavors are around every corner.
To make your own Fall Flavors trail mix, throw together some dried cranberries, cinnamon Chex or cinnamon Cheerios, pumpkin seeds, pecans, and butterscotch chips, and raisins. Add a sprinkling of cinnamon if you like, or enjoy without any added spices.
Tips for making homemade trail mix
- If you have kids, let them make their own mix. Use a muffin tin to present all ingredient options, and give each kid a baggie to fill. You might want to limit the sweets during this project.
- Mixes can be made more interesting with the addition of seasonings. Garlic salt, cayenne pepper, and even popcorn seasonings are all good options for adding a little spice or zing.
- Another way to change up the flavor of a mix is by adding flavored nuts, crackers, or cereal. For instance, using Honey Nut Cheerios instead of plain Cheerios can add a nice hint of sweetness. Meanwhile, using peanuts with Cajun seasoning can take the flavor up a notch.
- Trail mixes with chocolate don’t do well on super hot hikes. If you plan to head out on a summer day, you may want to pack the mix with an ice pack or just skip the chocolate bits.
- One of the benefits of making your own trail mix is the fact that you can reduce the amount of pollution put into the environment. Buy all ingredients from the bulk bin using reusable containers, and put your mix into reusable snack baggies to make your trail mix as eco-friendly as possible.
- Want protein, but can’t have nuts? Adding seeds or bits of beef jerky works quite well in some instances. Give it a try!