Sweet, salty, fresh, or smoked cured, everyone has a go-to snack when they are outside.

After a long hike or a sit in the deer woods, we all get hungry. We may have our three meals a day rounded out but, for those times between, we need to keep our energy up. Besides, everyone knows that calories consumed outdoors don’t count anyway. For this field guide installment, we are covering some of the most popular snack options for your pack as well as our favorites here at Venku.

Trail Mix

Called GORP by some Granola, oats, raisins, and peanuts, it is the base for everyone’s trail mix. The deconstructed granola bar has been a staple of outdoor culture for over two centuries, originating with alpine hikers who carried Swiss chocolate and dried nuts and berries as trail rations. The mixture of fat, sugar, and protein is an excellent base for folks to get creative with. With bulk sections in grocery stores, anyone can add whatever seed, sweet, and nut they want. Go ahead and enjoy your dried papaya and pumpkin seeds while we toss a handful of M&M in ours.

Photo Credit: Massala Chilli Healthy Homemade Trail Mix


Whether you want to mess with Sasquatch or feel like a cowboy out of the range, jerky is a staple for the carnivore in many of us. The popularity of this gas station snack has created a boom in varieties, so shelves are stocked with everything from spicy beef sticks to cranberry-infused venison. For those who don’t care for the smokiness of traditional jerky, Biltong is the African alternative featuring air-dried meat that results in a softer and saltier end product.


Fresh fruit is great, but in the case of most fruit, you will end up with a peel, core, or pit. With the tenet of “leave no trace” being core to the outdoors, we can’t leave behind a discarded banana peel or apple core. Unless you want to pack a banana peel or orange rind back to camp, we recommend going the route of dried fruit.

Dried Fruit and Nuts


While beef jerky is in every one of my backpacks, Goldfish are my go-to fishing snack. I always toss a handful of them into the water as an offering to the fish gods. It hasn’t let me down yet.

Photo Credit: Farm Wife Cooks Zesty Goldfish Crackers


My favorite hunting snacks are hard-boiled eggs, cheese, and salami. The eggs are a great meal substitute and keep me full; I can also season them with anything depending on what I feel like (Tony Cachere’s Cajun Seasoning is my favorite). The cheese and salami stay good for a long time, so they’re perfect for that little pick me up at the end of the hunt and before drag out / field dressing, etc.

Outdoor snacks can be as in-depth or simple as you want. The important factor is they provide nutrition and support for your time in the field. That’s not to say you need to be spartan with your rations. Your snacks should serve as a fun break and give you time to enjoy the moment. Especially if you’re out with your kids, a gas station snack cake that is only consumed in a tree stand can make for special memories, or a slice of chili mango can give you some extra pep on your hike. Whatever your snack may be, just remember to leave the woods cleaner than you found them.