Camping is a fun way for you to get in touch with nature, while spending time with your family and friends. Take some time to get away from the stresses of your daily life (and technology’s constant reminders of the things you need to do) and enjoy the present. Aside from being able to get away for a while, camping is great because it’s inexpensive and, regardless of where you live, you don’t have to travel far if you don’t want to.
While camping, many people like to hit the trails in search of waterfalls, mountain vistas, or wildlife. Not sure where to go? There are more than 400 national parks in the U.S.—as well as a plethora of state parks—so there is likely a location that fits your family’s interests near you.
But, before you head out on the trails, be sure to pack plenty of water and snacks for everyone. It’s important to stay hydrated while hiking and a well-timed snack can keep you level-headed and safe.
Instead of loading up on overpriced, individually packaged energy bars and single-serve trail foods, why not make your own snacks? With a little advance planning, you can make foods that are healthier for you than store-bought—and can also cut down on the amount of waste. If you are trying to get in touch with nature, it makes sense to be as green as possible on your trip!
If your family is big on hiking, consider investing in a food dehydrator if you don’t already have one. This handy kitchen device allows you to make your favorite trail snacks—but as much healthier versions than if you bought them in the store.
Trail mix can be whatever you want it to be. It really is that easy. That's what I love about it because it satisfies my need for spontaneity. But if I stick to the categories of ingredients below I know it will be a healthy, protein-rich, snack to help me stay focused. (Thanks to Kathryn Vercillo, a blogger and freelance writer, for compiling this great information! Read her original post and visit her website.)
Combine one quarter cup each of the following: unsalted peanuts, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, dried cherries, dried apricots, raisins, chocolate chips, pretzels, Cheerios, Chex, granola. (Leave out any that don’t sound good.) Mix in a big bowl. Store in an airtight container or eat immediately.
Combine one quart cereal with two cups each of a dried fruit and a nut or seed of your choice. For example, one quart of Cap’n Crunch Cereal with two cups walnuts and two cups apricots. Or, try one quart of Cheerios with two cups mixed dried fruit and two cups sunflower seeds. Toss it and take it!
In this recipe, more = better! Combine equal parts of: dried cranberries, dried blueberries, dried apple, dried pineapple, peanuts, cashews, almonds, chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, butterscotch chips, mini marshmallows. Mix it all thoroughly (omit what you don’t like) and eat it before those sweets start to melt!
Trail mix can be a healthy snack food if you choose the right ingredients when you’re making it. This simple recipe combines equal parts white raisins, raw almonds, raw sunflower seeds, and dried pineapple. Make sure the pineapple is organic, unsulfured, unsweetened dried pineapple. Mix completely.
If you’re looking for something that will take a little bit more time to make so you can really enjoy the process of cooking, this is for you. This recip[e takes 30 to 60 minutes to make—but only moments to enjoy!
1 cup uncooked old fashioned oats
2/3 cup dried cherries, chopped
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 tablespoon stick light butter, or similar product, melted
1/4 cup honey
Preheat oven to 350.
Combine rolled oats, cherries, almonds, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add butter and honey slowly. Mix.
Line cookie sheet with parchment paper and spread mixture on cookie sheet.
Bake 20 minutes, stirring periodically for even cooking. Let cool. Enjoy.
These snacks are so easy to make everyone in the family can get involved with preparing food for the trail. To help build excitement, have an energy bar party before you leave where everyone makes a sheet of their own personalized mix so they’ll have something that fits with their particular tastes while on the trail.
Since you have complete control over the ingredients, you can also make bars that fit within everyone’s dietary needs. Say someone in your family has a nut allergy or gluten intolerance, simply substitute ingredients they caneat for ones they can’t. Then be sure to package them separately from the others.