Snacking hacks
(Photo: Cavan Images/Getty)

Ingenious Snacking Hacks for Outdoor Excursions

Our editors share their best multitasking tips for fueling on the go


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Outdoor adventures and athletic endeavors often require a midway snack, but it can be tricky to squeeze in bites of food between cycling, running, hiking, and more. We asked our editors for their snacking hacks, and they provided!

“When I’m taking long hikes, I carry a lot of snacks in my pack and make sure to keep them cool and dry. But I religiously bring a KIND bar and use a hair tie to wrap it around my upper arm. I keep it there for a few miles so that it gets warmed up and the chocolate becomes melty and gooey. It becomes a delicious, delectable dessert that I can enjoy on the mountain top and lick the wrapper.”

Mallory Arnold, Outside Associate Editor 

“I’ve had this LunchBot literally ever since I started ultra running. I use it to house leftovers, PB&J triangles, and more. I’ve had it for about 15 years. It’s sleek, stainless steel, and the perfect size. People always comment on how cool it is.”

Nicholas Triolo, Outside Run & Trail Runner Senior Editor 

“When I’m doing long trail runs or ultramarathons, I program my Garmin smartwatch to beep every 20 minutes to remind me to eat. I try to take in about 100 kcal every 20 minutes, whether that’s in gel, block, or liquid form. Setting an alarm ensures I don’t miss out on valuable calories when I’m feeling the groove, or when I’m deep in the suck. An even, consistent fueling cadence has really improved the quality of my long runs and races. Now, I count down how long I have until the finish line in terms of how many snacks I have left.”

Zoë Rom, Trail Runner Editor in Chief, Women’s Running Managing Editor

“For long runs or when my friends or family are running marathons, 30-milers, or 50-milers, I make a bag of gummy bears that corresponds to the mileage. Think one gummy bear to mark each mile. It doesn’t have to be gummy bears, but that’s what works for me/us because you can chew them or suck on them. Plus, they’re cheerful, happy colors when the going gets tough.”

Amanda M. Faison, Outside Contributing Editor 

“Take dates, remove the pit, and stuff them with peanut butter. Put them in a bag and keep them in your back pocket while biking. It warms it up nicely and is a great riding snack!”

Melanie Mitchell, Women’s Running Brand Director 

“There are way too many nuances to this question, so I’m going to take the ‘I’m on a long ride or bikepacking trip and there are only gas stations for refueling’ route. In this situation, my favorite DIY junk food trail mix consists of Corn Nuts (original flavor), Cheez-Its (Goldfish will also do), M&Ms, and peanuts (or peanut M&Ms). Empty all of the above into a top tube bag, mix, and eat freely. The salt, fat, sugar, and carb combo keeps me both satiated and intrigued with every bite.”

Betsy Welch, Senior Editor Outside Cycling Group

“Lots of triathletes like to have a ‘fuel bottle’ with a super-concentrated blend of their favorite hydration-plus-calories mix. Rather than try to mix powder on the fly (and have it spray everywhere), they’ll pour a bit of the fuel bottle into a second bottle and mix it with plain water they get from aid stations (or gas stations). Just don’t mix up your bottles and take a sip of the sassy stuff by accident!”

Chris Foster, Triathlete Editor in Chief 

Lead Photo: Cavan Images/Getty