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While snack bars have become a staple of many outdoor enthusiasts, especially if someone has a hectic, on-the-go lifestyle, they are even more important to outdoor recreationists like campers, hikers, backpackers, anglers, and hunters. When you’re feeling fatigued on the trail or in camp, a high-quality snack bar can provide you the boost you need to continue enjoying the great outdoors to its fullest. Be careful, however, when shopping for snack bars, because not all provide the same nutritional benefits. Before you buy a snack bar for your favorite pastime, consider these three things.

Nutritional Value

This bar has only five grams of sugar, low sodium, and a nutty texture that provides six grams of protein per bar. KIND

All-natural ingredients and high levels of fiber are often two hallmarks of top-quality snack bars. While some bars can be very high in calories, it’s best to look for snack bars with 150 calories or less. Any more calories than that and you’re likely eating empty calories you really don’t need. Most bars that aren’t so good for outdoors enthusiasts also have added sugar you don’t need during outdoor activities. Fat is another consideration. Most snack bars contain three to 11 grams of fat. It’s better to stay on the low end of that spectrum since, for comparison, a Snickers bar contains 12 grams of fat. Lastly, while more protein is usually better, some high-protein bars contain more fat and calories, so choose wisely.


These nutritious, high-protein snack bars come in three different flavors. Pure Protein

While taste is an important consideration, it is also most often a matter of personal preference. However, since you’ll probably leave a bad-tasting snack bar in your pack, yielding no extra energy, it’s important to choose a selection you and your companions find palatable. The good news is there are more different snack bar flavors now than there have ever been before, running the gamut from sweet to sour, and salty to spicy. Just don’t forget the importance or nutritional value when choosing the snack bar, you like best. Some healthy snack bars come in variety packs, which are good if you’re looking for a number of different options.

Specialty Snack Bars

These wholesome snack bars are gluten free, non-GMO, and dairy free. Larabar

In the past, outdoors enthusiasts with special dietary needs had a hard time finding a snack bar that wouldn’t make them ill. That’s not as common anymore. Many companies now make gluten-free snack bars for anyone on a gluten-free diet for whatever reason. Others ensure their snack bars are non-GMO or dairy free. While many snack bars are nut based—not a bad thing, since nuts are nutritious and delicious—some companies offer bars that are guaranteed nut-free for those with allergies that restrict them from eating nuts. Dieters following a low-carb plan can also find a snack bar to meet their needs like fewer carbs and low sugar—ideally less than 10 grams.