When it comes to eating on the trail, you want to keep a few things in mind: how long you estimate to be on trail, how quickly you digest, and what sits well with your stomach. Let's break it down.
How long you estimate to be on trail will affect how much food you bring with you. Your body can manage digesting 200-250 calories per hour while on trail. If you estimate your hike to take you 5 hours, with a plan to eat every 45-75 minutes, you might consider bringing +/-6 snacks. If pack weight isn't a big issue, I always recommend bringing +/-2 more snacks than you expect to eat for a couple reasons. 1, in case you get lost, 2, in case you get more hungry, 3, in case you come across someone in distress on the trail.
When deciding what snacks to bring with you, you MUST consider what sits well with your stomach. As they say, "nothing new on race day". Even if you're not racing, this still applies for hikes and runs that you've been training for. Test out your snacks on short-medium distances to make sure they don't make you feel uncomfortable or like you need to take a spicy poo in the middle of your run/hike. Trying snacks while not on trail is not enough. It is a completely different experience when you're in the elements with your heart rate up.
Some people are sensitive to fiber on the trails (hi, it meee), so choosing snacks that are easily digestible (simple sugars) are likely going to be best for your trail outings. I generally recommended staying away from foods heavy in fats because fats take much longer to digest than carbs. If you have a whole day excursion, protein would be something to consider, especially if you plan to stop to eat lunch.
Here's a list of 10 snacks I'd recommend for your trail adventures:
1. Energy chews (CLIF Bloks, Honey Stinger Energy Chews)
2. Gels (GU, Honey Stinger, CLIF, Spring Energy, Maurten)
3. Stroopwafels (Honey Stinger, GU)
4. Dried fruit (mangos, apricots)
7. Fruit (bananas, apples, raisins)
8. Squeeze packets (apple sauce)
9. Energy bars (CLIF bars, Bobo's)
There's PLENTY more snacks to test out, but this will get you started!
*All snacks recommended are not sponsored.