Best 15 Trail Mix Recipes for Hiking

Best 15 Trail Mix Recipes for Hiking

Trail mix is commonly known as GORP (good old raisins and peanuts) in the hiking world and is one of the best foods for the trail because it is high in calories, healthy fat, and will give you the sustained energy you need to keep your body moving.  Not only is trail mix a calorie dense food , but it is easy to eat while hiking, and if you don’t like raisins and peanuts there are so many ways you can get creative with different ingredients.  The bulk food section of your local healthy food store is a great place to check for ingredients.

Mix and Match Ingredients


  • Some options are almonds, walnuts, pecans, peanuts, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, pistachios
  • Nuts should make up a good portion of your mix.  They contain lots of healthy fat, calories, protein, antioxidants, and fiber which will help regulate your digestion while hiking.
  • Look for organic, unsweetened nuts so you are not consuming harmful pesticides, chemicals, or sugars.


  • Healthy recommendations are sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, and pumpkin seeds
  • If you have nut allergies, seeds are the way to go.  Packed with protein, vitamins, minerals, and fiber, seeds will give your mix an extra boost.  They’re also high in trace minerals like magnesium, zinc, copper, and selenium.

Dried Fruit

  • Some of my favorites are dehydrated cherries, cranberries, bananas, raisins, apricots, apples, goji berries.  For freeze dried fruits I enjoy strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries.
  • You can choose dehydrated or freeze dried fruit for your trail mix but freeze dried foods retain more of their nutritional content than dehydrated.  It is, however, nice to dehydrate your own fruit at home and add that to your mix.
  • Sulfur dioxide is a preservative often used on dried fruit both to keep it from spoiling and to help it retain its appealing bright coloring.  Many people are sensitive to sulfur dioxide and experience asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, and other respiratory disorders when they consume it.  The FDA claims it is safe to eat in small quantities, but I don’t want to consume foods that are treated with a gas that is created by burning tar or coal.  Choose organic and unsulfured dried fruits.
  • Keep in mind that fruit is very high in sugar so you will want to use it sparingly in your mix.


  • While I try very hard not to consume a lot of sugar in my day to day life, I will eat a little on backpacking trips.  If I don’t put a little something sweet into my trail mixes, I find that it just ends up sitting in my bag and I have to force myself to eat it.
  • Popular sweets for trail mix include chocolate, m & ms, white chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, marshmallows, chocolate covered coffee beans, yogurt or chocolate covered raisins, yogurt or chocolate covered pretzels, or crystallized ginger.


  • Popular choices include cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cayenne, garlic powder, paprika, cumin, turmeric, black pepper
  • Spices are a great way to really add some variation to the flavors of your trail mix while at the same time adding some health benefits.  All spices come from plants and are antibacterial and antiviral.  Some are also high in B vitamins and trace minerals.  Turmeric has anti inflammatory properties and cinnamon has the highest antioxidant value of any spice.  Cayenne has been shown to reduce the risk of heart problems and helping with blood circulation.

Fancy Extras

  • I like to add extra nutrients and make my foods healthier whenever possible while backpacking.  Some additional foods to consider adding to your mix are cacao nibs, coconut flakes, hemp hearts.
  • Less healthy options include popcorn, pretzels, cereals, granola, or sesame sticks


Throw It All Together

Everyone likes different amounts of ingredients so there are no set measurements.  Add as much or as little of whatever ingredients sound good to you!  I like to take a few different kinds of trail mix with me on each trip so that I don’t get sick of the same old stuff.


1. Salty and Sweet:

Almonds, walnuts, coconut flakes, dark chocolate chips, sea salt, pretzels


2. Strawberry Fields:

Dried strawberries, macadamia nuts, white chocolate chips, coconut flakes, hemp hearts


3. Tropical Storm:

Macadamia nuts, brazil nuts, dried pineapple, coconut, dried mango, dried banana, cacao nibs, ginger


4. Need for Seed:

Pumpkin seeds, watermelon seeds, chocolate covered sunflower seeds, dried banana, raisins


5. Apple Pie:

Walnuts, hazelnuts, dried apple, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, granola


6. Cajun Caper:

Cashews, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame sticks, garlic powder, paprika, cumin, cayenne pepper, sea salt, black pepper


7.  Cherry on Top:

Almonds, cashews, dried cherry, dark chocolate, sea salt


8. Powerhouse Punch:  

Walnuts, dried goji berries, dried blueberries, chocolate covered cacao nibs, coconut


9. Coffee Fix:  

Chocolate covered coffee beans, hazelnuts, cacao nibs, dried bananas, raisins, cinnamon


10. Peanut Butter Cup:

Peanuts, Almonds, peanut butter chips, dark chocolate


11.Berry Almond Crunch:  

Almonds, granola, dried blueberries, dried raspberries, dried goji berries, cinnamon, white chocolate chips


12. Hot Stuff:

Peanuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, corn chips, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, thyme, sea salt, black pepper


13. Heavenly:  

Cashews, pecans, butterscotch chips, marshmallows, sea salt


14. Movie Night:  

Popcorn, m & ms, raisins, peanuts, pretzels, sea salt


15. Cran-Apricot:  

Walnuts, Almonds, dried cranberries, dried apricots, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds



Nutritional Value of Nuts

Type of nutCalories/1 oz Fat (g/1 oz)Carbs (g/1 oz)Protein (g/1 oz)Fiber (g/1 oz)
Brazil nuts186193.542

Nutritional Value of Seeds

Type of seedCalories/1 oz Fat (g/1 oz)Carbs (g/1 oz)Protein (g/1 oz)Fiber (g/1 oz)

Nutritional Value of Dehydrated Fruits

Type of FruitCalories/1 ozCarbs (g/1 oz)Fiber (g/1 oz)

Nutritional Value of Freeze Dried Fruits

Type of FruitCalories/1 ozCarbs (g/1 oz)Fiber (g/1 oz)

Nutritional Value of Sweets

Type of SweetCalories/1 ozFat (g/1 oz)Carbs (g/1 oz)Sugar (g/1 oz)Protein (g/1 oz)
Dark chocolate1551116142
M & Ms139620181.2
White chocolate chips153917171.7
Butterscotch chips142818181
Dark chocolate covered coffee beans1508.417122
Yogurt covered raisins1113.320171.2
Milk chocolate covered raisins1114.220181
Yogurt covered pretzels129 4.420102.3
Milk chocolate covered pretzels132520112
Crystallized ginger100026210

Nutritional Value of Fancy Extras

Type of FoodCalories/1 ozFat (g/1 oz)Carbs (g/1 oz)Protein (/1 oz)Fiber (g/1 oz)
Cacao Nibs130121049
Coconut flakes187186.724.6
Hemp hearts160123.592
Sesame sticks153101330.8


What are some of your favorite trail mix ingredients and recipes?


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