6 Trail mix recipes to get you excited


Been busy this week doing a lot of planning. I am maildropping most of my food in order to save money and eat more healthy (I refuse to subsist for 5 months on a diet of PB/tortilla rollups, snickers, and ramen. Actually I don’t even like that stuff- excepting REAL ramen in a proper Japanese restaurant- I digress).

Anyway looking at trail mix, as that’s one of my key snack categories. There are people who just like individual types of nuts, fruits, etc in separate bags, and there are those that like pre-mixed. I’m down with both ways, but I think in order to keep things mixed up (I tend to suffer from culinary variety fatigue) I think I’m going to make bags of mix. Not sure if for every drop I’ll have a bigger bag of “flavor of the week”, or get really anal and do mini bags per day. Probably the first as it will likely be SLIGHTLY lighter in weight.

Studies indicate that eating nuts every day lowered risks of a whole assortment of health issues- from diabetes to cancer, as well as promoting longevity.  Most studies indicate 1-2 oz as an optimal amount, so I’m shooting for 3 oz servings of trail mix, with around 2 oz nuts.

Trail mix is a great option for the ultralight backpacker. There’s this magic number of 100 cal/oz that ultralighters aim for. I like round numbers. It works for me. I am not going to get into that whole debate of paleo being ok with higher number of calories per day for now. I think everyone can agree that trail mix is something we all like to a degree out there in the woods. Nuts have a good calorie/weight profile. Chocolates are often in mixes and also have this good ratio.

Now, the problem with trail mix is that people tend to get sick of it at some point, and from what I understand, a ton of it gets left in hiker boxes. I have to hike on a budget and want to get the cheapest price on (healthy) food, which involves buying up front vs on trail. So my solution is to make stuff that is more tasty than whatever I’d source on the hike.

Another big issue that bears mentioning is the amount of added things like salt, sugar, and preservatives. While your body might tolerate this stuff more while you’re doing a strenuous activity like thru-hiking, I’d rather give it the best fuel possible.  At least most of the time.

So here are 6 recipes to tempt your palate. I’m leaving specific amounts up to you- in general I like more nuts than fruit, kind of a 3 or 4:1 ratio, but people vary.

Springer Mountain Mix

Go Raw Sprouted Watermelon seeds* (They kindly donated some product for my trip)
Dried peaches


Mixed nuts (I like costco Premium nuts, which doesn’t have peanuts, and contains fancy things like macadamias and Brazil nuts)
Dehydrated berries of choice (I LOVE raspberries)
Dark chocolate pieces, M&M’s, or chocolate-coated sunflower seeds (the BEST)

Persian delight

Almonds (slivers if possible)
Chopped rosewater Turkish delight (coat in rice flour etc to keep from sticking)

Penang mix

Lime-chili cashews (easily available at Trader Joes’, among other sources)
Dried mango
Coconut chips


Goji berries
Go raw sprouted pepitas* (They kindly donated product to my hike)
Chopped spirulina bites (I like Go Raw’s version, which contains only 5 ingredients. If you can’t find that, try your local health food store, or something like Odwalla’s spirulina bar).  If you aren’t into spirulina, try something like roasted cacao beans or nibs.


Marcona almonds (get rosemary flavored ones, or just throw some dried rosemary into your mix)
Pine nuts
Chopped figs (if you dehydrate yourself, simply slice before dehydrating. If using dried whole figs, you may wish to chop and coat in rice flour to prevent sticking)


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Comments 2

  • BunnyHikes : May 3rd

    love your recipes for out of the ordinary trail mixes. YUM!

    for the Choco-berry Trail Mix, I would substitute dried cherries for berries. mmmmm!!

    I’ll be sharing this with the Appalachian Trail: Women’s Group on FB 🙂


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