The best hiking snacks are the ones that you look forward to eating while you’re on the trial; the ones that feel like a reward for all of the hard work you’ve been putting in. Since we like to have snacks that we really enjoy on our hiking trips (who doesn’t?!), Josh and I like to make some of them ourselves.

Homemade Beef Jerky

To be honest, I never actually liked beef jerky until Josh made it.   So, when we’re hiking, I insist on bringing homemade jerky instead of store bought so that I have a source of protein that I actually enjoy eating.  This means that before all of our hiking trips, Josh and I go through the tedious process of making our own jerky, but it’s totally worth it.  I’ll share the steps below, as well as two of our favorite recipes.

  • Equipment:
    • Meat slicer or knife
    • Cutting Board
    • Scale (optional)
    • Large bowl(s) with lid or large ziploc bag
    • Dehydrator
  • Step 1: Using a meat slicer or knife, cut meat into thin strips (about 1/4 in thick)
  • Step 2: Mix together all ingredients for marinade(s). I usually do this while Josh cuts the meat.


  • Step 3: Cover meat in marinade


  • Step 4: Marinate in fridge 18-24 hours
    • This is the part of the process that cures the meat, allowing it to be safely preserved after dehydration the meat.
  • Step 5:  Place meat in dehydrator and dehydrate for 4-8 hours

Beef Jerky Recipes

  • Our go-to, and absolute favorite recipe comes from The Great American Jerky Cookbook and is called “Alabama Honey”
    • lb Lean Meat (London Broil, Buffalo Tenderloin, or Rump Roast)
    • 1 garlic clove, minced
    • 1/2 cup honey
    • 1 pinch black pepper
    • 1 pinch salt
    • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
    • 1/2 cup soy sauce
    • Optional: 4-5 habanero peppers, chopped


  • Another favorite of ours is one that Josh came up with and we call it “Josh’s Jerky” (clever, I know). Heads up – this one is pretty spicy
    • 1b Lean Meat (London Broil, Buffalo Tenderloin, or Rump Roast)
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp black pepper
    • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
    • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
    • 1 tsp onion powder
    • 1/2 tsp paprika
    • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
    • 1/4 cup liquid smoke
    • Several dashes of Chipotle Tabasco sauce
    • 2 tbsp BBQ sauce
    • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
    • 2 habanero peppers, chopped
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced

Homemade Trail Mix

This one is pretty simple.  All you need to do is head to a grocery store like Sprouts or Whole Foods where you can buy bulk ingredients, pick out things you like, then combine them at home!

Here are some of our favorite trail mix ingredients:

  • Banana Chips
  • Protein Granola
  • Raisins
  • Dried Blueberries
  • Almonds
  • Pecans
  • Honey Sesame Sticks
  • Corn Nuts
  • Spicy Chili Peanuts
  • Honey Roasted Peanuts

As I mentioned, those are just a few of our favorites; we like to mix it up and try all kinds of combinations with different ingredients each time!

What are your favorite hiking snacks?  Comment below!