Headed for the mountains, the desert, or wherever else the roads don’t go? Perhaps the best part of owning a versatile vehicle such as a Jeep is that you can take it almost anywhere. When you do, there are some things you should always be sure to take with you—your first aid kit, your tools, and a spare tire, to name but a few.
Yes, there’s a lot you should have on hand before you set out for an adventure. However, putting together your emergency snack kit is a lot more fun than wrangling shovels and tire pumps. When you don’t know where the trails will take you and what can go wrong, it’s an excellent idea to make sure you have some extra calories on hand. Make sure they’re delicious ones. Here are the best snacks to pack for off-road trips.
What Makes a Great Off-Road Snack?
The term “nonperishable food item” should be in your memory from days of food drives gone by. Stability is what we’re looking for here. Given the extreme heat and humidity that you can experience on an outdoor adventure, especially in a hot motor vehicle, you don’t want anything that can spoil easily or melt in the sun. That means chocolate chip cookies, chocolate-covered protein bars, and anything else prone to melting. Snacks should be high in calories. “Calorie” isn’t a bad word, after all, but simply a unit of energy. You may need all the energy you can get. Most of all, you should look for snacks that are high in protein. Carbohydrates give you an immediate burst of energy, but not a long-lasting one. Off-roading snacks may need to give you a longer burn.
Long a favorite of overlanders before off-roading was even a phenomenon, beef jerky gives you the calories, protein, and durability you need in an emergency food kit. However, it’s also high in sodium, so stay hydrated with ample water in your kit as well. Make sure you go with the bagged beef jerky, however—the compressed beef sticks are higher in fat and could go rancid more easily.
You’d have to be nuts not to include them. Mixed nuts such as cashews, walnuts, and pecans provide healthy and long-lasting energy when you need calories in a pinch. With that heavily salted beef jerky in the package, you may want to avoid heavily salted peanuts—especially if you or your off-roading companions have an all-too-common peanut allergy.
The favorite snack of baseball players makes an appearance among the best snacks to pack for off-road trips. You may not be in the dugout, but if your Jeep needs some digging out, snacking on sunflower seeds is a great way to get some energy while you navigate a sticky situation. With the same healthy fats and proteins as nuts, they’re a great choice.