The Ultimate High Altitude Trail Mix Recipe - The Best Mountaineering & Trekking Food!
Updated: Jun 7, 2020
A good trail mix is one of the best foods to take on a high altitude adventure but often the store bought trail mixes are expensive and lack the proper nutritional balance that you need at altitude. Your trail mix should be a high calorie; fat and carbohydrate mix with nutritionally dense macronutrients that provide you with added vitamin and minerals as well as fibre.
The Ultimate High Altitude Trail Mix Recipe
1 cup of your favourite salted nuts
1 cup of your favourite sweet nuts
2 cups mini pretzels
1 cup Peanut M & M’s
1 cup Reese’s Peanut Butter Pieces
Half a cup coconut chips
Half a cup dried cranberries and raisins
Half a cup of your favourite roasted seed
The amounts per ingredient will depend on the length of your trip (you may need more or less than I’ve suggested) and your taste buds. As a guideline, assume that you will eat about half a cups worth of your trail mix per day. If you aren’t crazy about cranberries then add less of them and more M & M’s. See this High Altitude Trail Mix Recipe as the basics – you can add and mix as you please. If you don’t like pretzels then choose something else that is carbohydrate dense such as popcorn. If you’re not crazy about chocolate, add dates instead. Use this as a guideline and shape it to what works best for you
Nuts and Coconut Chips
The nuts and coconut chips provide a wonderful source of essential fats (specifically omega-6 and omega-3) that will not only give you the calorie dense nutrients that you need at altitude but also be a welcome relieve for anyone struggling with a lower appetite at altitude because you don’t need to eat a huge amount to get a decent energy boost. Nuts and coconut chips also provide your body with vitamins and minerals, including magnesium and Vitamin E. Magnesium is great for anyone who tends to struggle with muscular cramps and Vitamin E will do wonders for your skin at sea level and even more so at altitude where the air tends to be drier.
This is a great source of carbohydrates that are easy to eat, tasty and salty, which will make you a little thirstier and encourage you to drink even more water. The salt from the pretzels is also a particularly good source of sodium, which is an important part of muscular contractions.
M & M’s and Reese’s Peanut Butter Pieces
Chocolate is high in calories and gives you that sugar boost that you sometimes need on a long day climb or trek. I particularly like M & M’s because they are candy coated so don’t tend to get squashed and the Reese’ peanut butter pieces because of the slightly salty peanut butter filling.
Cranberries are great for lowering your chance of picking up a urinary tract infections, something that can be quite common at high altitude. Dried cranberries are also full of vitamins A, C and K. All of which are important to the maintenance of a healthy immune system.
I add seeds to my trail mixes because of the fibre they provide. If you’ve read some of my other Nutrition Blogs you’ll have read that having a slower digestion system at altitude is common and eating added fibre will help get things to move more regularly again. And that is where seeds come in. My favourites are sunflower and pumpkin seeds.
Remember to store your mix in ziplock bags – I always suggest to my clients to divide their mix into smaller bags rather than one big bag so that you can ration yourself but also avoid carrying excess weight in your day pack.