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Desert Companion

Trail Mix: Eating Out: Hike to eat, eat to hike

Nothing deflates the elation of arriving at the summit of a challenging hike like tearing open your much-anticipated snack and finding that it tastes like a prune juice-infused pencil eraser. If you must eat while hiking — and you must; according to the Mayo Clinic, a 160-pound person burns 438 calories per hour doing the activity (variables apply!) — eat well. Even functional food can be delicious. Here are our suggestions for tasty nourishment on long (or long-ish) spring treks.


Trader Joe’s Omega Trek Mix

Why TJ’s has 100 kinds of trail mix and only, like, five soups is one of the great mysteries of TJ’s (another: why the produce is individually wrapped). Still, they have the best trail mix, and this one’s the best of the best.


Glaceau Smartwater

There’s no such thing as negative ion-infused water. There is, however, electrolyte-enhanced water, which helps your body function optimally during vigorous exercise.


Mamma Chia Chia Squeeze

A squeezy snack for adults! Who expend a lot of energy on the trail and need a handy, easily-digestible calorie replenisher! A legit excuse to eat baby food!

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Bronze Café Guac & Mole Sandwich

with a side of Curried Quinoa Salad Takeout and Snickerdoodle in the car at the trailhead is either a) a great start to a long day-hike or b) effective motivation to get back from a half-dayer in time for lunch.


Clif Mojo Bar

The Mojo is a perfect compromise between the coagulated oatmeal texture of the original Clif bar and the candied cloy of most other energy bars.


Wild Planet Albacore Wild Tuna

Squeeze this pack of salty protein onto a tortilla with some mayo and relish, and you’ve got yourself the perfect lunch for a long day hike or overnighter.


MRE Mixed Fruit

Unless you like eating out of a large plastic envelope (which is possible, but annoying), you’ll need a bowl and spoon for this ready-to-eat fruit cocktail.


MRE Vegetarian Taco Pasta

The only thing you have to add to this Mexican-flavored meal is heat, which makes it a little heavier than dehydrated meals, but fine for an overnight trip.


Nature’s Path Blueberry Cinnamon Flax Instant Oatmeal

For overnight backpacking trips, we like a hot breakfast that’s compact and lightweight, yet nutrient-dense. Check, check, check.


Trader Joe’s Salmon Jerky

This savory snack provides a protein-rich alternative to bars and trail mixes, almost all of which are sweet. And your body will thank you for the salt (see: electrolytes, above).

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