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Healthy Homemade
Trail Mix Recipe

With an easy trail mix recipe in your repertoire, you'll never again have to wonder what to take for an easy camping snack.

trail mix with banana chips

Trail mix is the ideal snack food for any camping trip. Here's why:

Trail mix is

  • filling
  • tasty
  • easy to pack

Trail mix supplies lots of food energy.

It is easily tailored to your own taste and needs. Use your favorite ingredients and make it as nutritious or as decadent as you choose.

Basic trail mix recipe: GORP

GORP is the classic trail mix recipe. GORP stands for Good Ol' Raisins and Peanuts, and the recipe couldn't be easier: throw some raisins and peanuts in a bag, and off you go!

If you're a purist, take some GORP on your next trip. If you're more adventurous, use GORP as the base and throw in some add-ons.

How to make homemade trail mix

1. Buy a selection of trail mix ingredients. See my list below for some ideas, and feel free to use your own creative ideas.

2. Give each person a ziplock bag. (Freezer ziplocks are the sturdiest.) Have each person fill the bag with favorite ingredients.

3. Give the bags a good shake to mix things evenly.

Letting each person make his or her own batch of trail mix ensures that everyone gets a snack that s/he enjoys, and there are no issues with allergies or food intolerances.

There's another advantage to having a separate bag for each person: it eliminates the risk that someone will mine out all the M&Ms from the group's snack!

trail mix with M&Ms

Trail mix ingredients


  • peanuts
  • cashews
  • almonds
  • macadamia nuts
  • pecans
  • walnuts

dried fruit

  • raisins
  • yogurt covered raisins
  • cranberries
  • blueberries
  • cherries
  • apricots (cut in small pieces)
  • mango cubes


  • pumpkin
  • sunflower

rice crackers

soy nuts


wasabi peas

banana chips


sesame sticks

trail mix with raisins

What not to put in trail mix

  • chocolate chips
  • butterscotch chips
  • chocolate covered nuts or raisins

All of these will melt on a hot day, leaving you with a sticky mess. Instead, use candy-covered chocolate morsels, like Smarties or M&Ms. I've found that M&Ms are sturdier. You might also be able to find a healthier alternative at a natural food store.


Trail mix is especially well suited for a backpacking trip since it is lightweight and nutritionally dense.

backpacker on trail

It provides lots of food energy for its weight. If allergies are not an issue, put lots of nuts in your trail mix snack for backpacking to maximize its protein and food energy.

Let kids carry their own trail mix in an accessible pocket and snack as they hike.

trail mix with wasabi peas

For a multi-day hike, make one bag of trail mix per person per day. You may want to make a rule that you have to finish yesterday's before you can start on today's. This helps to avoid the temptation to eat just the tastiest bits and leave the rest.

Now that you know how to create your own trail mix recipe, click here for lots more great camping food ideas.

Visit The Camping Family's home page for information on every aspect of your next camping trip.

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