Every experienced hunter knows that hunting is a test of patience. On average, hunters will sit for about three hours at a time, waiting in stillness for their game. Hunting trips usually span anywhere from a few hours to a few days. No matter your trip length, location, or desired game, one thing is certain: you will need proper sustenance.
Whether you are an active hunter searching out game or one that sits and waits for game, your body will need something to run off of. Hunters need food that will keep them alert and sustained throughout the duration of their hunt.
Not only is it essential to fuel your body with the calories you need, but you also want to ensure that your food isn’t made of empty calories. Your hunting snacks should be nutrient-rich and full of protein and healthy fat.
Choosing the right snacks for your hunting trip can mean the difference between mid-morning grogginess and an alert, awake mind. Here we’ll determine which foods should accompany you on your next trip and the ones that might be better left at home for after the hunt.
So give this list of ten hunting snacks a shot on your next hunting trip:
Why You Need To Pack Satisfying Food
Depending on the type of hunting that you fancy, you have the potential to burn between 6,000 and 11,000 calories per day. The game and hunting method will factor into this number, but, in general, hunting can burn between 295 to 558 calories an hour.
Failure to replenish these lost calories can result in exhaustion and mental fogginess. Not only will hunger interfere with your hunting ability, but it will also result in a less-than-enjoyable trip.
High-calorie, filling snacks are desirable because they will keep you full for hours, and you won’t need to pack as many. High-calorie snacks leave your stomach full and your pack light. Be strategic when packing for your hiking trip. Choosing snacks that the digestive system can easily metabolize results in long-lasting energy.
10 Snacks For Your Hunt
Now we will look at some snack ideas to keep you going strong throughout your hunting expedition.
1. Beef Jerky
Beef jerky is a great companion for the outdoorsman. Jerky has a high amount of sodium, which is important for replenishing what we lose when we sweat. Beef jerky is also high in protein, keeping you feeling full. Jerky’s savory and delicious flavor will also satisfy any hunger craving.
Loaded with B12, zinc, and iron, this snack is healthy for the mind and body, and it’s stored easily in any to-go backpack.
Beef jerky also has a long shelf life meaning you can buy it in large quantities without worrying about expiration. Jerky also comes in a variety of flavor profiles, making it an appealing snack choice for many. Turkey jerky and salmon jerky are also fan favorites.
2. Granola Bars
Granola bars are your one-stop shop for essentials your body needs while hunting. This snack has a harmonious blend of carbohydrates, fats, protein, and fiber necessary to refuel.
The digestive system turns carbohydrates into usable energy. Carbs provide us with glucose which then creates the energy needed for strenuous activity. Carbohydrates are essential to power through any hunt.
Granola bars also provide healthy fats from nuts or nut butters found in most bars. Healthy fats are also essential for the body’s production of usable energy. Fats aid in nutrient absorption, which is vital throughout the duration of your hunt. These fats are called monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats and are often found in nuts, seeds, and fish.
Granola bars are small in size and easy to pack for your hunting trip. They don’t take up much room in your bag but will help satisfy hunger cravings.
Nuts are a great snack for replenishing vitamins and minerals you lose while hunting or exerting energy. Nuts are packed with healthy fats, fiber, and protein to sustain you throughout your journey.
Nuts are also high in antioxidants, a natural boost to the immune system. Nuts are also high in fiber, keeping you feeling full longer and reducing your need to snack.
4. Nut Butters
Nut butters such as peanut butter and almond butter are satisfying snacks that contain all the health benefits of nuts in a convenient spread. Nut butters are great to spread on fruit or rice cakes or as a topping for your oatmeal.
Nut butters have a high-fat content, supplying us with essential nutrients and preventing us from feeling peckish. Since nut butter is not always so easily accessible and may take up precious room in your pack, check out some nut butter packs that are portable and handheld.
Bananas are a quick and easy snack to pack and eat. Bananas and other fruit offer natural sugars that boost energy levels. Fruit is a perfect snack that requires little clean to no clean-up and packs well in any hunting pack. Fruit such as bananas are packed with nutrients such as potassium and vitamins B and C.
6. Freeze-Dried Meals
This may be a bit outside the box since we are talking about snacks here. However, freeze-dried meals are an incredible and easy way to replenish calories lost after a long day or week of camping.
Freeze-dried meals simply require water and a source of heat, such as a fire to boil water. You can fill your 36oz Stainless Steel Water Bottle full of water to use ahead of time so that you don’t need to worry about finding water out in the wild.
Freeze-dried meals come in a vast array of choices, appealing to even the pickiest of eaters. They are high in calorie count, lightweight, and easy to store.
7. Instant Coffee
Instant coffee may not technically qualify as a snack either, but we definitely consider it an absolute must-have. For the hunter that wakes up before sunrise, instant coffee is a must to keep you alert and kickstart your day. Coffee is more than caffeine — it’s a main source of antioxidants, namely hydrocinnamic acids and polyphenols.
8. Trail Mix
Trail mix, like beef jerky, is one of the snacks that most readily comes to mind when talking about hunting, hiking, or other outdoor activities. Trail mix is an essential snack for the outdoor adventurist because it is delicious and convenient to transport. Trail mix provides healthy fats, natural sugars, and carbohydrates.
Purchase trail mix at the store or make it at home to customize it to your preferences. Choose from your favorite nuts, candies, dried fruits, and seeds to create the ideal handheld snack for your next hunt.
9. Summer Sausage
Summer sausage is another alternative to beef jerky. This cured meat was a European invention before the days of refrigeration in every household. “Summer sausage” is more of a general category; the multiple variations accommodate every palate. You’ll typically find summer sausage made with combinations of beef and pork.
Summer sausage pairs well with cheese and crackers or as a standalone snack, offering hunters a unique opportunity to transform their cooler cutting board into a charcuterie board on the go.
This year-round sausage has essential proteins and fats for the perfect hunting snack. Or, fry it up in a burrito for a delicious cookout meal.
10. Oatmeal Packets
Oatmeal is an ideal way to start your day. Oatmeal is an excellent source of essential carbohydrates that keep you fueled for hours. The carbohydrates and fiber supplied in the oatmeal will keep you feeling full and satisfied but not weighed down. Pack oatmeal packets and mix with hot water for a quick breakfast or afternoon snack.
Up the nutritional value by adding fruit or nut butter to your oatmeal. This will supply you with essential healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals as well as flavor.
On the Hunt for the Perfect Snack
Hunting is a sport that requires time, patience, and great endurance. To maximize your hunt, bring foodstuffs that will refuel your body with the critical vitamins and minerals you need. Your snacks should be filling while taking up little room in your hunting pack.
Choosing hunting snacks that are kind to the body will improve your energy and sustain you during a hunt. The right snack might just be the difference between bringing home dinner and coming home empty-handed.