Being in the great outdoors means connecting with nature, the expansive landscape vistas, the warm sun, the sound of nearby animals, and breathing in the fresh air. And, arguably, the next best thing about heading outdoors (okay, maybe the third best thing after spending quality time with our friends and family) is river snacks. When it comes to our whitewater river rafting trips here at Cascade Outdoors, during our half-day trip, save the snacking for after we get back on dry land, where you can enjoy the picnic tables near our outpost. For our full-day trip, no need to worry, we take care of lunch and drinks during our riverside lunch.

While you don’t necessarily have to worry about snacks to this extent for a short rafting trip, those who catch the rafting “bug” and are interested in longer multi-day trips, this one is most definitely for you. Depending on the intensity and the duration of your rafting trip, you may need to be more precise with your rafting snacks and meal planning, however, we think this list has some tasty ideas for rafters of all skills. Plan for nutritious and no-fuss food that will have you happily munching, without taking away from your day of outdoor fun.

Something Salty

With infinite crunch potential, vegetables are a perfect go-to snack, with tons of fiber and flavor. Nuts are both filling and durable for a trip, and you can combine a few for a great variety in flavor and texture. Throw in some dried fruits like raisins, craisins, a few varieties of nuts, or even chocolate chips and you’ve got yourself some home-made trail mix. Pretzels can make for a nice snack, however, you’ll have to make sure they’re in a waterproof container because no one likes a soggy pretzel. Or for an ironic twist, pack some goldfish crackers. A serving of carbohydrates will keep you energized to help you finish off your day strong.

Something Sweet

Fruits (otherwise known as nature’s version of a snack) make for a perfect bite out on the river or during a stop. Unless safely packed away, opt for more durable fruits such as apples or pears which are a perfect grab-and-eat-snack. Similarly, dried fruit provides something sweet and won’t go bad if they get squished. Fruits are a great source of vitamin C as well as antioxidants plus are a great alternative to processed sugars. Did someone say chocolate? If you’ve got a craving, chocolate (in particular dark chocolate) can give you a great energy boost to keep you happily paddling downriver.

Power-Up With Protein

If you’re looking for a snack that packs a protein-punch, we’ve got you covered. Protein and/or granola bars bring together the best of sweet and salty for those who just can’t decide. Or, with your favorite fruit or veggie in hand, why not dip into some smoothie (or crunchy) peanut butter. If you’re looking for something meatier, well then we definitely recommend the jerky of your choice. Whether it be beef jerky, turkey jerky, or even tuna jerky, you’ll have something to chomp down on.

Take Your Snacks To The Next Level

If you’ve embarked on a multi-day rafting adventure, after you’ve set up camp for the night the fun can really begin. And of course, no night out of camping would be complete without so ooey-gooey s’mores! Check our recommendations for a twist on this classic outdoor treat. Or combine bananas, chocolate, and marshmallows for the perfect campfire banana boat. Whether you are looking for an update on a classic, or your own gourmet take in your own private outdoor restaurant. Go out and get creative!

Choosing The Right Snack

When it comes to the perfect snack, balance is key: protein, fiber, sugar, and carbs. While snacks are there to keep you energized throughout the day, be sure to start things off on the right foot with a proper and balanced breakfast! Many of these snacks are ideal for any outdoor activity such as biking, hiking, or climbing. Additionally, no matter your snack of choice, remember to take all your garbage with you. Opt for reusable containers to minimize waste, but if you’re looking to save space your best option is reusable food bags. Finally, a significant factor in maintaining energy levels and feeling good is to stay hydrated. Even though you’re surrounded by water, make sure you’re putting some in your body too! So turn up the river fun and get snacking!