In this entry we talk snacks! You can find our breakfast review here, and our mid-morning snack and lunch reviews here.
As a reminder, we actively sought out sponsors for our hike to help offset the higher cost of quality foods. Every company below with an * next to their name either gave us free food or a discount. While we remain grateful to these companies, their generosity has not influenced our comments.
We ate snacks while walking, during rest breaks or as part of our meals. There was never a bad time to snack. Like with anything we ate over 6 months, we got really tired of some things, while we regularly looked forward to others.
All the nitty gritty is below!
Dang Coconut Chips* are simply amazing! We absolutely LOVED them. They are crunchy, flavorful and aromatic; and never got old! The Original Flavor (with coconut sugar and salt) is our favorite. Calorie dense, hearty, and sweet, with a drizzle of salt – oh it makes my mouth water writing about it.
Of all the snacks we shared with other hikers (and there were many), this was the clear favorite. Dang coconut chips are unique and really tasty. Calorie dense, tasty and lightweight – a true thru hiker food!
Andy also enjoyed the Salted Cacao flavor. It has a subtle chocolate flavor with a hint of salt. Neither of us liked the Lightly Salted variety. We found it to be rather bland. Having said that, it was a great addition to granola, oatmeal or with freshly picked huckleberries.
Dang Onion Chips* – Unlike Funyuns that are made with cornmeal and artificial flavors, Dang’s onion chips are minimally processed and made with real onions. We sampled their Sea Salt and Salt and Pepper flavors.
Andy enjoyed the crunch and flavors of both of these savory chips while Laurie felt they were too airy but continued to eat them anyway. Andy would include Dang Onion Chips in his resupply in the future, but Laurie would most likely stick with kettle chips.
Go Raw cookies* – We had both Carrot Cake and Raisin Crunch cookies throughout our hike. The Carrot Cake has a nice blend of spices without a lot of sugar. And they surprisingly (or not surprisingly) taste like carrot cake! Laurie loved them in the beginning but lost interest toward the end of the hike.
Andy, on the other hand, preferred the Raisin Crunch cookies in the beginning – they are made with buckwheat groats and he grew up eating buckwheat – but enjoyed the Carrot Cake flavor when Laurie got tired of them.
Initially, Laurie found the Raisin Crunch cookies bland but coveted them in Washington and toward the end of our hike. Laurie would eat all the pieces with more raisins and once satisfied no other cookie had more than one raisin in them, she’d hand the bag to Andy 🙂
Nuttzo* Nut and Seed Butter is an unknown gem. Nuttzo combines 7 nuts and seeds (almonds, cashews, flax seeds, brazil nuts, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds and chia seeds or peanuts or pumpkin seeds) into 3 types of nut butters – Original (with peanuts), Power Fuel (no peanuts) and Chocolate (with peanuts).
They come in little 2 Go packets and include no additional palm or hydrogenated oils. They take a few moments of kneading to get the oils to mix with the nut butter, but that’s a very small price to pay for such a quality, nutritious and delicious treat. Nuttzo nut butters also have less sugar than most other nut butters yet are equally delicious. Laurie loved the Power Fuel flavor and Andy LOVED the Chocolate flavor – he likes chocolate! A lot.
The Ginger People Ginger Candy* – Gin Gins Double Strength was a wonderful hard candy on the trail. They are moderately spicy but not overly sweet.
Laurie loves ginger and Andy has taken a liking to ginger since meeting Laurie so we both enjoyed these candies quite a bit! They will certainly be accompanying us on future adventures.
Banana chips – You can’t go wrong with fried and lightly salted banana chips. We purchased these in bulk and vacuum sealed them into smaller bags. Laurie loved these and even found a gigantic bag in 2 hiker boxes in Washington.
Dried fruit – Andy’s mom and Laurie dehydrated fruit. These were amazing and the best snack ever! Fruit is a luxury and is too heavy to carry for more than a day on the trail, making dried fruit feel like gold. Apricots, peaches, plums, bananas and persimmons – those are but a few of the types of dried fruit we enjoyed on the trail.
Salt and onion cashews – we got these at our local natural food store. We vacuumed sealed them to maintain freshness and it worked for over 7 months! You cannot go wrong with salted nuts on a hike, unless you eat them everyday. We included these in every third resupply box, which made them a novelty all the way to the end.
Trail mix – We bought Kirkland trail mix from Costco for Laurie and custom made some for Andy (he doesn’t eat M&Ms). It didn’t take long for Laurie to get sick of trail mix. But this wasn’t the case for Andy. He loves trail mix and still eats it! HYOH right? 😉
If you’re looking to buy quality trail mix, you can do so here on Amazon.
Far West Fungi Shiitake Jerky – These were gifted to us by Laurie’s good friend. We loved their texture and taste. Definitely the winner of the best surprise treat of the trail. Other hikers really loved them too!
Trader Joes Powerberries, Dark Chocolate Espresso Batons and Plantain Chips – all from Trader Joes. Despite the name, there really isn’t much healthy about the Powerberries – but they taste good, and on the trail that is all that really matters.
Andy’s chocolate fix came in the form of Dark Chocolate Espresso batons. They cost a dollar, are very sweet and very tasty. Andy doesn’t drink coffee but loves the taste of these batons.
We also enjoyed TJ’s Plantain chips. Fried, salty and crunchy. Laurie loved them. Andy thought they were ok. For him they are a bit chalky. He prefers his chips to have more crunch and less width.
Lastly, Laurie packed herself a ziplock of candy for almost every day. These candies turned out to be invaluable when she was tired, sad or grumpy. She ate them in the am, around 4pm as a pick-me-up, before dinner and as dessert. Truth be told, she should have packed herself even more candy!
Her favorite candies were Sour Patch Kids and Sour Jelly Bellies. They were heavy but worth every once! Over time, she got tired of (but still ate) Swedish Fish and peanut M&Ms.
We are happy to report that she has seen her dentist since returning from the hike and she has no cavities!
That’s all for snacks. In our next post we will cover dinners. Stay tuned!
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