Best Trail Snacks From Trader Joe’s

woman offering gummy bears while hiking
woman offering gummy bears while hiking

Trader Joe’s is a staple in my day to day life but when it comes to food for hiking and backpacking, they have a variety of snacks and things that you’ll be surprised make a great addition to your adventure meals.


Plus Trader Joe’s always adds fun new things. I saw this meme once, you don’t go to Trader Joe’s with a list, you let the energy of the store guide you. I might be botching it, but if you’re a frequent Trader Joe’s visitor like me, you know that truer words have not been spoken.


So let’s get into some of my favorite things to get at Trader Joe’s for hiking and backpacking.

outside of trader joes


olives at trader joes

This one is a newer addition to Trader Joes, but seriously my favorite thing to bring on a backpacking trip. There are these small packets which are perfect to fit into your hip belt pocket and snack on as you walk or take a quick break.


Plus they are good on fat and sodium. Fats help your energy stores when hiking and sodium is essential for staying hydrated and preventing things like heat exhaustion.


Hard Meats

hard meets at trader joes
jerky at trader joes

Personally, I eat seafood and chicken only, so sadly this section is lost on me. But they have a great selection of hard meats. These are things like summer sausage which since they don’t need refrigeration and are a good source of protein and sodium are great for backpacking



babybel cheese
cheese bites from trader joes

Hard cheeses and things like Babybel cheese which are wrapped in wax, hold up well on hikes and backpacking trips. I’ve also seen “oven baked cheese bites” which are Trader Joes take on Moon Cheese. Basically they’re cheese crisps. Light weight and cheesy, perfect for hiking.


Dried Fruit and Nuts

Trader Joe’s has a giant selection of dried fruit, freeze dried fruit and nuts. Basically, go nuts here! I love dried blueberries or cherries, but pick what speaks to you.



cereal bars at trader joes

There is also a giant selection of bars! Cereal bars, protein bars… you name it.


Tortillas and Pita

For lunch, I always bring a tortilla (or sometimes a pita) and add tuna to it and it makes the perfect lunch. It’s quick, easy, and holds well. Trader Joes has a variety of tortillas and their pitas are pretty good too. Even if you don’t like tuna, these are a staple for lunches.


Tuna Packets

tuna packet trader joes

And as I mentioned above, I love tuna packets for lunch. They’re a great source of protein and easy to pack. Just please don’t bring cans. I’ve seen people bring cans and they’re so heavy. You don’t need this when backpacking.


Popcorn and Chips

popcorn at trader joes

Although popcorn and chips don’t compress well, if you’re going on a day hike or even the first day on a backpacking trip, these are a good addition to your snacks.



Candy! I love their small gummy bears. Plus they come in small packets already. But thankfully, even if you don’t like gummy bears, Trader Joe’s has no shortage of candy. From a variety of chocolates (just careful they don’t melt) to other types of gummies and candy.


Apple Sauce

apple sauce from trader joes

These might be designed for kids, but I don’t really care. Trader Joes has squeezable apple sauce packets. These are fantastic for as you’re walking and you feel the shakes coming on and you just need to get something inside you. Personally, I like the strawberry or the mango flavor.


Indian Food Packets

indian pouch from trader joes

If your stomach can handle it, Trader Joes also has these Indian food pouches. Basically you just heat them up and go. On a camping trip or a shorter backpacking trip these are great. On a longer one they might start getting too heavy since there’s already liquid in them and that adds on weight.



Something Trader Joe’s introduced recently are their ramen bowls. Ramen is a great food to bring with you on a backpacking trip or a camping trip. It’s easy to make and always tastes yummy.

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