Whether you're hiking, bouldering or just going for a stroll, you're going to want to eat something on the way. The best hiking foods compress the most energy into the lightest package, and they don't require utensils, napkins or too much thought. Here are some favorites.
They call it trail mix for a reason –– the compact, easy-to-eat and energy-dense blend of nuts, raisins and the occasional chocolate candy keeps you going all day long. Go with raw nuts (check out bulk bins at the grocery store to save money and customize your blend), or make it extra special by throwing Laura Calder's Spiced Almonds into the mix.
A Jerky Move
Feather-light, protein-packed jerky pulls its weight on the trail. Look for all-natural or locally made jerky to cut back on salt levels, or use Alton's box-fan method (or a dehydrator, if you have access to one) to make Homemade Beef Jerky. If you're not a beef eater, turkey and tuna make jerky that's just as tasty.
Fruit leather is basically jerky made from fruit, and it's perfect when you need just a burst of sweetness to get you over the next hill. Again, you can buy it or make it in the oven (like this: Fruit Leather Roll-Ups).
Granola bars pack a ton of energy into a convenient package (just be sure to take the wrapping with you for disposing properly). Store-bought bars are super-handy, or try making your own with this healthy Granola Bar Recipe from Drop 5 Lbs with Good Housekeeping.
The Perfect Picnic Sandwich
Picnic sandwiches are definitely more of a leisurely stroll food than a hardcore-hike food, but what a good leisurely stroll food they are. What's a picnic sandwich? Basically, anything that's supposed to hang out at room temperature for a while before being served –– the classic Provencal pan bagnat or a British shooter's sandwich both work nicely here. Try Laura Calder’s Pan Bagnat. (And while you're at it, a bottle of rose would be perfectly lovely with that, too.)