Super Packable Summer Trail, Training, and Festival Foods


backpacking and training snacks

Keep these items on-hand all summer so you can adventure at only a moment’s notice and without the risks of bonking and dehydration—not to mention…sobriety.

These nicely sized and portable snack packages go from pantry to backcountry in a flash, require no prep work, and nourish your better for your body than Pop Tarts and Tang. Well, at least the foods do. The wine is a bonus substance for those of us who like to reward ourselves after hot workouts and sweaty yard games.

Trail Activities

Ricky’s Lucky Nuts.
Peanuts aren’t just for circus goers and drab trail mixes anymore. Ricky’s does peanuts with pizazz. These GMO-free nuts have a crunchy and flavorful coating and come in convenient 140-calorie pouches, making them ideal for travel, hiking, and whatever else you please.

Durango, Colorado, company Ricky’s Lucky Nuts relaunched this all-natural, five-flavor line this year, giving their packaging a major face lift and reformulating their spice blends to create several new flavors.

$24 for a 12-pack;

KIND STRONG & KIND Savory Snack Bars.
And bold. The flavors KIND manages to pack into these hearty bars are equal parts unusual and wholesome. My favorite is Thai Sweet Chili. Each bar contains 10g of soy-and-whey free protein but doesn’t have the powdery mouth feel and synthetic taste that some bars do.

$$37.50 for a 24-pack;


Endurance Sports

CLIF SHOT Electrolyte Hydration Drink Mix.
Dump a scoop of this hydrating drink mix from your stash into a water bottle, then toss a single-serving tube of Cranberry Razz or Lemon Lime-Ade powder in your pack and you’re good to go—whether you’re hiking, riding, running, or paddling. When you refill your bottle, use the second packet and keep playing strong.

Clif Bar & Company partners with the national non-profit PeopleForBikes as a continuation of its long-standing commitment to bicycle advocacy, and also developed the CLIF Kid Backyard Game of the Year—a nationwide initiative that helps kids explore imaginative outdoor play for their physical and emotional health (

$1.99 for a single-serve stick pack, $19.99 for a stand-up pouch (20 servings);

Honey Stinger Strawberry Kiwi Energy Gels.
Who wouldn’t love a tropical tasting gel on a hot ride or a long summer run? The natural energy these gels provide kicks in just at the right moment and sustains you through a tough training session without leaving behind a chemical aftertaste.

$33.36 for a box of 24, $1.39 per individual gel packet;

Camping and Backpacking

Developed by a mother of five in Broomfield, Colorado, this is a high-protein pancake mix made from wheat-free flours with whey protein, using all natural and non GMO ingredients. The just-add-water mix is a synch to take it on a camping or backpacking trip and makes for hearty fuel to power a day outdoors. These portable packages of protein pancake mix are carried in all REI stores.

$11.99 for a 12-ounce packet, $27.99 for the All Flavor Family Pack (12 ounces of each flavor);

PROBAR Meal Bars.
The new meal bar flavors unveiled this week: Strawberry Bliss and Almond Crunch. The 100% plant-based bars are real heavyweights in this category, containing 400 chewy calories worth of dense organic nuts, berries, fruits, seeds, and even vegetables. At three ounces apiece, one bar is plenty to replace a meal. They’re high in fiber, boast more than nine grams of protein, contain Omega 3 & 6, and are certified chemical-free (non-GMO & organic). Mostly-raw ingredients keep these bars from freezing in cold temps or spoiling easily.

$3.29 per bar;

Good To-Go Smoked Three Bean Chili, Herbed Mushroom Risotto and Thai Curry.
This gourmet dehydrated food company was founded by Jennifer Scism, an award-winning chef who also loves adventure. She enjoys exploring the backcountry with pole, pedal, paddle, and feet with her husband and Good To-Go co-founder, David Koorits.

“After trying many of the different packaged options on the market, I knew there had to be a better way to eat on the trail,” she says. “I started experimenting, making some of my favorite dishes and dehydrating them in my countertop dehydrator. We’ve come up with three meals that not only taste great on the trail, but you’d feel good offering to house guests as well.”

Good To-Go’s three lightweight, dehydrated gourmet meals made with all natural ingredients, no preservatives or additives. They’re also gluten free and vegetarian, except for the Thai Curry, which works for pescatarians. Find them at outdoor specialty stores including EMS, Outdoor Gear Exchange and Hilton’s Tent City.



Black Box Black Box Platinum Chardonnay and Cabernet.
The wine for adventurous women! Festivalgoers, car campers, and pretty much anyone else with an active lifestyle can appreciate the convenience and affordability of boxed wine. The less you spend on wine, the more you have to splurge on travel and gear, right?

The recently released Black Box Platinum Series (available exclusively to the Colorado and Minnesota markets) is a particularly good option for wine snobs who like to keep things low-key and environmentally friendly. Sourced from California’s Central Coast Vineyards, the Chardonnay or Cabernet in each 3-liter box stays fresh for up to four weeks after opening.

My personal favorite, Black Box Platinum Chardonnay, brings elegance to any elevation. Plus, its citrus notes and creamy finish really satisfy after being outdoors. Spiced with a hint of coconut, the Chardonnay’s refreshing flavor complements my mountain adventures and gets the party rolling.


Last modified: July 3, 2014

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