- Read our review guidelines
Embark on your kayak adventure fully fueled with the best kayak snacks.
Whether you’re gliding across serene lakes or navigating challenging rapids, these tasty, portable snacks will keep you energized till you hit your destination.
13 Kayak Snacks To Keep Hunger Pangs Away
1: Trail Mix
Trail mix is a great snack to take on any outdoor adventure and it can be the perfect snack for a kayaking trip. You can buy trail mix in grocery stores and drug stores as well as gas stations.
It’s a pretty inexpensive snack whether you purchase a pre-made mix or make your own, for example, with lots of peanuts and a good balance of dried fruits. Plus, it’s easy to carry and non-perishable.
Because it consists of nuts and seeds, it’s a good source of protein to maintain strength and muscle health. Some trail mixes also contain dried fruits, pine nuts, cereals, pretzels, and even candies, so there’s a good dose of carbohydrates in there to keep your energy levels up.
Find out how to make your own trail mix to add to your box of snacks for the journey.
2: Granola Bars
Like trail mix, granola bars are an ideal snack to eat when you’re on the go, with the added advantage being you can eat them with one hand. They’re easy to store on your kayak or in your pocket and they don’t need to be kept refrigerated.
There are lots of granola bars to choose from, including protein bars, energy bars, and breakfast bars. You can buy them in grocery stores and gas stations or you can make a granola bar at home.
Some granola bars can often be high in sugar or sodium, so check the label if you’re concerned. You could make your own bars using a mix of rolled oats, nuts, maple syrup, and peanut butter if you want them to taste fantastic without the extra salt.
3: Fresh Fruit
Fresh fruit is a healthy snack to take with you on a kayaking trip. Some fruits will travel better than others. For example, apples, oranges, and bananas can be easier to pack in your backpack than strawberries and other soft fruits.
If you want to bring along soft fruits, I recommend storing the fruit in a Tupperware-style container to avoid it being squashed. You could also blitz fresh fruits into a smoothie to take with you.
Harder fruits, such as apples, can be stored just about anywhere on your kayak, including the hatches on sea kayaks. Plus, they don’t require a plastic container, making them ideal for kayaking trips where you want to limit your gear to the bare essentials.
Some kayakers might suggest that the best fruits for a picnic are the ones that are in season. The types of fruit that are in season will probably depend on where you are in the country (or the world) but you can usually get every type of fruit all year round no matter where you are.
I recommend opting for locally-grown fruit but, again, you may not always get what you want depending on your location and the time of year.
4: Dried Fruit
Dried fruit can be easily stored in a ziplock bag and kept in your pocket or inside your gear bag. It’s a good source of nutrients, such as fiber and antioxidants to keep you healthy. It’s also a good source of energy for long kayaking trips, as fruit is packed with carbohydrates and natural sugars.
You can make your own mix of dried fruits in a small bowl at home. It’s usually cheaper to buy large bags of single-variety dried fruits than a pre-mixed bag of multiple varieties. Raisins, for example, are usually pretty inexpensive. But you can add dried apricots, dried banana chips, and dried mango.
Some dried fruit benefits include being higher in antioxidants and fiber than the equivalent fresh fruit per ounce. Dried fruits are also believed to reduce the risk of heart disease and some types of cancer, thanks to the high levels of phenols (a type of antioxidant).
As a tasty, versatile, non-perishable food, crackers are up there with the best of snacks. Crackers can be very easy to carry with you on your kayak and they can be stored easily in a plastic bag without refrigeration.
Crackers make a great base for tasty toppings, such as cream cheese, cold cuts, summer sausage slices, or peanut butter. They’re also perfect for dipping in hummus or even dipping in soup from a Thermos.
Crackers can be found in a range of different flavors and varieties. Whether you opt for simple saltines, a cheese cracker, or a more elaborate flavor, remember to pack them in a hard container to avoid them turning to dust during the trip.
Whether you’re planning a long kayaking trip or you’re simply heading out for a quick recreational paddle, pretzels are the ultimate snack food for an outdoor adventure. Pretzels can be easily stored in a ziplock bag and kept in your backpack.
A downside of pretzels is that they can often be salty, which may mean you get thirsty quickly. Make sure you drink plenty of water alongside your pretzels.
You can buy pretzels just about anywhere, such as grocery stores, drug stores, or gas stations.
While you might not think that pretzels are healthy, the benefits of pretzels include being low in fat and high in carbohydrates. The high carbohydrate level means you can gain energy for paddling, helping you go the distance whether you’re out all day or just for a few hours. Pretzels also contain vitamins and minerals, such as riboflavin and iron.
Jerky can be the perfect snack for a paddling trip and you can find it just about anywhere. Beef jerky tastes great and comes in a variety of different flavors. There’s also the alternative of turkey jerky if you don’t want to eat dried beef.
For the vegetarians out there, you’ll also find veggie jerky options and vegan jerky in different flavours. However, veggie jerky is not as easy to find as beef jerky.
Jerky can be easily stored in a sealed food bag and you can snack on it for a high-protein kick during your trip. However, you might want to avoid eating large quantities of jerky because it tends to be particularly high in sodium because of the curing process that involves a lot of salt.
Veggies are a healthy snack to bring along on paddling trips. Not only are vegetables nutritious and packed full of vitamins, but they’re also usually good for hydration, as many vegetables contain a lot of water.
Raw carrots and cucumber can be easily chopped into sticks and stored in a ziplock. Celery is also a great option.
You can bring along dips for added flavor if you’re not keen on eating raw vegetables. Hummus, for example, is great with carrot sticks or celery sticks. You could also make a salad dressing using olive oil.
If you don’t like store-bought hummus, you can make hummus pretty easily if you like food preparation at home, with very few ingredients.
If you’re anything like me, it’s hard to go on any adventure without packing some chocolate as a snack. As well as being delicious, chocolate is also high in antioxidants.
Dark chocolate offers more nutritional benefits than other types of chocolate.
If you’re paddling during hot weather, it’s not as easy to carry chocolate with you. This is where candy-coated chocolate can be a better idea.
M&M’s, for example, can be a great choice no matter the weather. The brand’s famous tagline suggests they don’t melt in your hand. However, personal experience proves that wrong and you will likely end up with a rainbow-colored palm. That’s the price you pay for bringing along a chocolate snack in the heat.
10: Peanut Butter
As you probably know, peanut butter is packed with nutritional benefits. Peanuts are high in protein, fiber, minerals, and vitamins. Peanut butter is also high in Omega-6, which is an essential fatty acid that can help prevent heart disease and diabetes. It’s also good for maintaining healthy cholesterol.
Because peanut butter doesn’t require refrigeration, you can easily store it in a small container to bring with you on paddling trips. It also makes a good camping food because of its versatility. You can eat it with bread or crackers and you can even eat it on its own.
Peanut butter or any other nut butter is also good for adding to smoothies or using as a dip with apples or celery sticks.
While you can purchase peanut butter along with your groceries, you can also make peanut butter at home.
Cookies are a family favorite for kayaking trips (and canoe trips). Oatmeal or chocolate chip cookies can give you a quick energy boost during a short trip and they can be a sweet treat on a longer trip as well.
You can make your own cookies at home using chocolate chips. You can also customize them with extra energy-boosting ingredients and added dietary fiber, such as dried cranberries or dried pineapple and nuts.
Wrap them in parchment paper and store them in a small container to prevent them from getting broken. You can then pack them in a backpack or store them in a hatch on your kayak.
12: Bread And Cheese
So bread and cheese are technically two snacks but they go great together so I consider this one snack. If you’re heading out on a long day trip, I recommend packing your cheese in a cooler to keep it fresh. Whether you pack cream cheese or block cheese, it’s best to keep it out of the sun.
Similarly, bread could go stale quickly if you leave it out in the sun. Pack food below the deck if you can.
Bread and cheese can be ideal for a picnic during long or short kayak trips. Whether you eat it in the French way like an open-top sandwich or create a standard cheese sandwich, I think both are equally delicious.
I recommend packing a small cutting board and a knife to cut the bread and cheese.
Soup in a Thermos is one of the best snacks to eat after paddling in cold weather. You can easily make your own soup at home (cooking it ahead of time) and it’s an affordable and tasty way to increase your vegetable intake.
Storing your soup in a Thermos means it’ll stay hot while you’re paddling. This means you can warm up when it’s time to stop for a picnic lunch.
You could even add ground beef and make a chili for an even heartier lunch. It’s also easy to heat up (like heating water) on a small camping stove if you’re heading out on an overnight trip. I usually pack fresh soup in a cooler if I plan to heat it later.
With hot soup, pack your soup Thermos in a backpack or hatch on your kayak. The lid on the Thermos should be watertight so there shouldn’t be any risk of it leaking unless the lid isn’t secured correctly.