Here you will find a full compilation of healthy trail mix ideas to make your own nutritious adventure snack. Camping or hiking? You will find a full list of all kinds of easy trail mix ingredients that you can put together in minutes and will love!
Why we love trail mix:
- it provides the needed energy on long hiking and setting up camp days!
- it is easy to make - make it in minutes!
- it is customizable for all preferences.
- it's super adaptable for any diet or allergies. Need peanut-free trail mix? Or dairy-free, or sugar-free? Keep reading.
- it's easy to store and lasts a long time.
- it is a nutritious snack, providing the fats, protein, and sugars your body needs on-the-go.
- Why we love trail mix:
- What is trail mix?
- Should I buy or make homemade trail mix?
- Hiking Snacks
- How to Make Trail Mix
- What's a Good Ratio of Trail Mix Ingredients?
- Nut & Seed Ideas
- Dried Fruit Ideas
- Treat Ingredient Ideas
- Other Fun Ideas
- Flavour and Spice Ideas
- Unique Trail Mix Flavor Ideas with Ingredient Lists
- High Energy / Omega 3 Trail Mix
- Tropical / Hawaiian Trail Mix
- Breakfast Trail Mix
- Spicy Trail Mix:
- Adventure Snacks
- Healthy Trail Mix Ideas
What is trail mix?
Typically trail mix is a combination of nuts, dried fruit, seeds, and treats (like m&m's or chocolate chips). It is a high-calorie nutrient-dense snack that is often consumed while hiking or backpacking. Also known traditionally as GORP (which stands for "good old raisins and peanuts" or to some, "granola, oats, raisins, and peanuts"), also known as scroggin, or snack mix.
Should I buy or make homemade trail mix?
If you are considering making your own trail mix instead of buying I say: make it! Making your own trail mix is often cheaper because buying nuts in bulk is often a better deal!
Homemade trail mix is healthier because you can monitor the amount of sugar and salt in your mix. A healthy combination of nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and some chocolate provides carbohydrates and good-quality fats as sustainable energy.
Tip: If you don't have time to put together your own mix at home, be sure to check the ingredients as many store-bought mixes can be loaded with sugar or refined oils.
Trail mix is great for hiking! However, I like to bring a variety of snacks on backpacking and hiking trips, my go to are:
homemade RX bars because they are high in protein,
chewy honey flapjacks an oat bar designed for quick energy on the hiking trail,
and energy bites that are filled with seeds, chocolate and nut butter!
How to Make Trail Mix
- To make trail mix pick about 4-6 ingredients (see ideas below).
- It's optional to toast the nuts and seeds first with seasonings or salt.
- Mix everything together in a large bowl.
- Store in an airtight container or bag to stay fresh longer (trail mix lasts a very long time if it's kept in a dry environment).
What's a Good Ratio of Trail Mix Ingredients?
I have gone on many long backpacking trips and hiking days where I enjoyed lots of homemade trail mix, generally a good ratio when making trail mix is to use:
- 2 cups nuts
- ½ cup seeds (optional)
- 1 cup dried fruit
- 1 cup treats or more dried fruit
Tip: When making your own trail mix, choose ingredients that are similar in size. Then when you grab a handful you will get a good variety of everything.
Example: If you have small sunflower seeds with big chocolate-covered raisins and big strips of mango, the seeds will sink to the bottom of your mix (sunflower seeds, cacao nibs and sliced almonds would work better together as they are all smaller in size!).
Nut & Seed Ideas
Store-bought nuts can be mixed with oil and salt, take note of this when choosing what nuts you are buying. The healthiest option is to buy raw nuts. If you like them toasted you can do that yourself and add salt and sweetener (like maple syrup or honey) in moderation. Salt (as a mineral) is good in moderation, and it's good to consume when doing a high-energy sport to regain electrolytes.
- macadamia nuts
- shelled pistachios
- brazil nuts
- pepitas also called pumpkin seeds
- sunflower seeds
Dried Fruit Ideas
Dried fruit is a high source of concentrated sugar (glucose and fructose) because the water is removed. Therefore, dried fruit can be great for a burst of energy on a high-energy adventure or hiking trip. Look for dried fruit that is not loaded and covered with sugar as it is already a source of sugar.
- dried cranberries or craisins
- chopped dried mango pieces
- dried papaya
- dried banana
- coconut flakes (I like to buy these chunks from organic matters, you can also buy the toasted coconut flakes from there.)
- dried cherries
- chopped dried apricots
- cinnamon dried apple pieces
- dried pineapple
- dried ginger
- dried strawberries
Treat Ingredient Ideas
Is it really trail mix if there is no chocolate in it? The classic go-to is M&M, however, pick your favorite treat to add!
- chocolate chips (for dairy free use Enjoy Life brand, and for sugar free use Lily's chocolate chips)
- dark chocolate chunks
- peanut butter chips
- skor pieces
- chocolate-covered raisins or fruit (like brookside)
- chocolate covered nuts
- yogurt-covered dried fruit (like blueberries or raisins)
- yogurt chips
- cacao nibs
- jube jubes
- jelly beans
- teddy grahams
Other Fun Ideas
- granola (if you want to make some, I like this recipe for clumpy granola)
- chex cereal
- roasted chickpeas
- roasted edamame beans
- wasabi peas
- fish crackers
- salad topping mix (sounds strange but it works well!)
- chocolate covered chili dusted almonds
Flavour and Spice Ideas
See more instructions in the recipe card below on how much to add to your mix!
- maple: maple syrup
- spicy: chili powder or sriracha
- sweet and spicy: honey and siracha
- thai: curry paste
- chocolate: cocoa powder
- cajun: try this recipe from eating bird food
Unique Trail Mix Flavor Ideas with Ingredient Lists
High Energy / Omega 3 Trail Mix
See recipe card below for quantities.
- a mix of almonds, pecans, and walnuts
- pumpkin seeds
- dried cherries or craisins
- dark chocolate chunks or dark chocolate chips
Tropical / Hawaiian Trail Mix
- dried mango
- dried papaya or dried pineapple
- banana chips
- coconut flakes
- macadamia nuts, Brasil nuts, or cashews.
Breakfast Trail Mix
- dried blueberries or dried cranberries
- granola clusters
- yogurt-covered raisins
Spicy Trail Mix:
- roasted chickpeas
- wasabi peas
- dried mango
- sunflower seeds, or pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- chili powder
Tip: When hiking with trail mix keep your mix out of the sun so the chocolate or yogurt chips don't melt.
For a backpacking trip, I like to have a couple of handfuls of trail mix a day, which is equivalent to ½ cup to 1 cup. A handful is good for a quick snack before setting up camp or while on the trail. If you are supplementing trail mix for a meal I would pack about 1.5 cups for a meal.
The healthiest trail mix is a mix without nuts covered in refined oils and sugary dried fruit. When you are looking to buy trail mix or make the healthiest trail mix, look for plain dried fruit, unsalted nuts, and dark chocolate (instead of high-sugar candy or treats). Add your own salt, as many mixes are over salted.
To make a spicy trail mix, combine wasabi peas, roasted chickpeas, dried mango with chili powder, or cayenne pepper, or paprika. Alternativity roast nuts and seeds with sriracha or hot spices (chili, cayenne, or paprika powder).
Ingredients for trail mix can be bought in bulk stores such as bulk barn, or in the bulk section of the grocery store, this ensures you get the right amount at usually the best price. You can also buy large quantities of each ingredient at any grocery store, amazon.ca, organic matters, walmart, or costco.
Trail mix is healthy depending on the ingredients used! Stay away from trail mixes with high sugar and oil covering the nuts and fruit, often store-bought trail mix has too much salt, oil, and sugar. It's better to buy it without these ingredients and add your own in moderation. Trail mix is a healthy snack for someone who is hiking or very active because the high fat and protein provide constant energy.
For freshness eat trail mix within 4 months, however, nothing in the trail mix will go bad it will just not taste as fresh. Trail mix can be kept in the fridge or freezer to stay very fresh, as the nuts have a high oil content they will keep better if they are cold. Store trail mix in an airtight container or ziplock bag.
Looking for other recipes high in protein, giving energy for hiking or on the go? Try some other favourites:
Did you make your own from my healthy trail mix ideas? Take a picture and share it on Instagram, tag @besidethemountain. I’d love to see what combination you have made, and I want to hear if you found this trail mix inspiration helpful!!
Healthy Trail Mix Ideas
- 2 cup nuts peanuts, macadamia nuts, almonds, cashews, walnuts, shelled pistachios, hazelnuts, pecans, brazil nuts
- ½ cup seeds (optional) pumpkin seeds (pepitas), sunflower seeds
- 1 cup dried fruit raisins, dried cranberries or craisins, chopped dried mango, dried papaya, dried banana, coconut flakes, dried cherries, chopped dried apricots, cinnamon dried apples pieces, dried pineapple, dried ginger, dried strawberries
- ½-1 cup treats chocolate chips, dark chocolate chunks, M&M's, smarties, peanut butter chips, chocolate covered raisins or fruit, chocolate covered nuts, yogurt-covered dried fruit, yogurt chips
- (For a roasted and flavored mix, see instructions in the notes section below)
- Place all your ingredeint in a big container or ziplock bag and mix together well.
- Seal the container or bag and keep in a cool dry place. Store in the fridge up to 4 months.
- sweet: maple syrup, or honey (2 tbsp)
- spicy: chili powder or sriracha (1 tsp)
- sweet and spicy: honey and siracha (1.5 teaspoon of each)
- thai: curry paste (1.5 tsp)
- chocolate: cocoa powder (2 tbsp)