Hikers Trail Mix {gluten-free}

Gluten-free Hikers Trail Mix

Last Updated on November 17, 2022 by Kayla

This sweet and salty combo comes together to make the the best hikers trail mix! A perfect blend of macronutrients, this gluten-free trail mix can be assembled in less than two minutes.

3 things to consider when making homemade trail mix

1 – Temperature

Ingredients that melt easily should be avoided if you want a mess-free hiking snack. Dried fruits such as raisins and cranberries can also become sticky depending on the hiking climate and how food is stored.

This trail mix recipe is made without chocolate in order to withstand high temperatures. If water sources are far and few between, the last thing you want to carry on your hike are sticky fingers!

2 – Durability

Whether you are planning on a casual day hike or a longer multi-day hike, pack space is precious. Crammed among other gear, food can be scrunched and squashed, so it is important to identify sturdy meals and snacks that can hold their own.

This hikers trail mix consists of mixed nuts, banana chips, and roasted chickpeas. A rugged mix that stands up to whatever your adventure brings!

Hikers Trail Mix {gluten-free}

3 – Calories per ounce

Lightweight, calorie-dense foods are ideal for hiking. Food can take up a great deal of space if you don’t plan accordingly. Alan Dixon, a seasoned ultralight backpacker, recommends aiming for 120-125 calories per ounce of food.

Aaron Mayhew, registered dietitian and founder of Backcountry Foodie, touts her recipes average more than 135 calories per ounce. Regardless, the more calories and nutrition you can pack per ounce, the better.

Of the three macronutrients {protein, fat, and carbohydrates}, fat packs the most calories by weight. At 9 calories per gram, fat provides more than twice the amount calories by weight compared to protein and carbohydrates {4 calories per gram}.

Based on the chart below, pack weight from food can vary drastically, 3/4 lb to over 3+ lbs per day depending on estimated calorie needs. For this reason, many popular hiking snacks include high-fat foods such as nuts, nut butters, and added calories from oils.

How many calories do you burn on a hike?

From a casual day hike to long, steep inclines, the intensity of the hike will impact overall calories burned. Depending on terrain and duration, the number of calories burned during a hike ranges drastically.

A 160-lb person who hikes for 2 hours burns 870 calories according to the American Council on Exercise physical activity calorie calculator. While the level of intensity isn’t clear, the takeaway is that properly fueling {eating} for a hike is important for performance.

Backpacker.com recommends consuming 16-30 calories per pound of bodyweight depending on hike intensity. For example, an easy day hike or hiking without a pack requires a lesser amount of calories {16-20 calories per lb of bodyweight}. Compare this to more strenuous hikes or hiking with a heavy pack which requires up to 25-30 calories per pound of bodyweight.

How long you hike is another factor to consider. The table below should be used as a reference for hikes greater than 2 hours in length, regardless of hike intensity.

The left column represents a person’s body weight and does not include pack weight. Extra calories are figured in for pack weight, so simply find the row that best matches your body weight {only} and pair with the appropriate column for hike intensity.

Easy day hike,
no pack
{16-20 kcal per lb}
Moderately challenging,
with pack
{20-25 kcal per lb}
Strenuous,
with heavy pack
{25-30 kcal per lb}
120 lbs1920-24002400-30003000-3600
140 lbs2240-28002800-35003500-4200
160 lbs2560-32003200-40004000-4800
180 lbs2880-36003600-45004500-5400
200 lbs3200-40004000-50005000-6000
220 lbs3520-44004400-55005500-6600
240 lbs3840-48004800-60006000-7200
260 lbs4160-52005200-65006500-7800
280 lbs4480-56005600-70007000-8400
300 lbs4800-60006000-75007500-9000
320 lbs5120-64006400-80008000-9600
{Table} Recommended daily calories for hiking based on bodyweight & hike intensity

As you can see, hiking can burn a LOT of calories, and it’s important to fuel properly especially if you plan to hike multiple days in a row. This table is simply a reference, so eat to comfort. Don’t force-feed, and be sure to pack accordingly {like this hikers trail mix!}.

Happy trails my friends!

Kayla Girgen, RD, LD
Bariatric Dietitian & Mindset Coach
Digital Creator, LIFe app

^Indicates affiliate links. When you make a purchase through any of the links, there is no additional cost to you, and I may make a small {and very appreciated} commission. Thank you for your support!

Gluten-free Hikers Trail Mix

Hikers Trail Mix {gluten-free}

This gluten-free trail mix is the perfect blend of sweet, salty, and DURABLE. A 3:1 ratio of carbs to protein and 152 calories per ounce, it's the ideal food for any ultralight hiker!
Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Course Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 230 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup mixed nuts roasted & salted
  • 1 cup banana chips sweetened
  • 1/2 cup roasted chickpeas

Instructions
 

  • In a medium bowl, combine mixed nuts, banana chips, and roasted chickpeas. Stir to combine.
  • Portion into snack baggies.

Nutrition Facts

per serving (about 1/3 cup): 230 calories, 14g fat, 20g carbohydrates, 6g protein
153 calories per ounce
total recipe weight: 9 oz

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