Obviously, having trail mix on the trail is a no-brainer. But finding one with the right balance of nutrients that you need while hiking (especially during thru hikes) can be difficult, so I thought I'd make some recommendations.
While most trail mixes are high in calorie content (which is ok), most of those calories typically come from fat. You don't want a lot of fat calories. You want a lot of carb calories.
You still want some fat calories, of course, as those are going to give you long term energy, but you need a mix, and the point of trail mix is to give you energy between meals. Protein and fat calories take longer to digest and provide energy while carbohydrate calories give you energy faster. So, a mix is necessary!
Mix #1 From Hiking Dude
If you want someone to just tell you what to make, I'm going to recommend this recipe. It has a great balance of fat calories and carb calories, and should be made dehydrating your own apples and bananas if possible.
Here's what to include:
Food Wgt Cal Fat Pro Carb
Banana 28g 100 .5g 1g 26g
Apple 28g 70 .1g .3g 19g
Raisins 28g 85 .2g .8g 22g
Chocolate 28g 150 10g 2g 16g
Pretzels 112g 380 3.4g 9.2g 78g
Animal 56g 250 7.6g 3.4g 42g
Totals 280g 1035 21.8g 16.8g 203g
According to Hiking Dude, this will be enough to get you through an 8 mile hike calorie wise.
Or, make your own! Mix and match ingredients, but make sure you keep your ratios of the fats and carbs in a ratio of about 15-20% from fat, 70-80% from carbs and the remaining from protein!
Here's some great ideas:
#1 Oven baked chickpeas, popped popcorn, pretzels, cheerios or chex, banana chips (dried banana), wheat crackers, oat granola
#2 M&M's, various dried fruits, pretzels (this is pretty traditional, but leave out the fatty, fatty peantus!!)
Or, add any of these things to your standard trail mix, while leaving out the peanuts if you can bare it!
dried pineapple (dried at home, not sugared)
sunflower seed meat
white chocolate chips
Then, use some seeds and beans to add in your protein and fats and you're good to go!
Time for me to go make my own mix....