GORP and hiking snacksGORP stands for "good old raisins and peanuts." The first ones I remember from Girl Scout backpacking added chocolate. Stores sell various mixes, often at at much higher cost than creating your own custom mix(es).
For my own snacking I like to carry various ingredients separately and mix as the mood or tastebuds or scenery/weather dictates. (Although I will admit that anything sharing a bear-resistant food can or just a large plastic bag for days (even if the separate ingredients are double-bagged) will all smell and taste somewhat like all contents of the other baggies.)
Invent your own mix. Most people like a mix with something nutty/crunchy, something sweet and something salty. Do plan a taste test before hand of any new ingredients you are considering.
You'll need to look to health food stores or grocery baking sections for some of the following. Trader Joe's has a large selection of dried fruit, nuts and seeds.
Don't limit your dried fruit to just raisins and apricots. (Some of the following suggestions may only be available freeze-dried, not simply dried.) You might want to buy these chopped or cut them into bite-sized pieces at home. Taste test some tropical fruit mix, cranberries, bananas, blueberries, tart cherries, sweet cherries, carrots, yogurt-covered raisins, berries, pineapple, papaya, guava, soft or crunchy apples.
For the salty/crunchy/nutty part : (roasted, dry-roasted, salted, unsalted, raw or smoked) almonds, cashews, peanuts, pine nuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pistacio nuts, sunflower seeds or kernals, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, corn nuts, beer nuts, soy nuts, Wheat Chex cereal, Goldfish cheese crackers or pretzels, Cheerios or Honey Nut Cherrios, granola, corn chips, pretzel nuggets, Chex Party Mix, wasabi peas, rice crackers, spicy sesame sticks, garlic/cheese croutons.
Would halves of walnuts be better than chopped up?
For the sweet part (chocolate is a food group and yes, some kinds are more likely to melt, even if kept in the center coolest part of your pack) white or dark chocolate, M&Ms, candy corn, jellybeans, vanilla wafers, flaked coconut, chocolate-covered coffee beans, sugar-coated (or not) rice cereal, Raisinettes, Reese's Pieces, red or black licorice, baking style semisweet chocolate chips or butterscotch chips, peppermints, toffee peanuts, hard candy.
I've been known to pack crackers for snacks in a small box so they don't crunch into bits. Small cloth drawstring bags can hold plastic baggies of snack or other food items and protect the plastic from wearing out too soon.
Crackers and toppings.
Peanut butter (with or without jelly) may leak from squeeze tubes, so put it in a baggie in a plastic container. Or bring pre-made, pre-packaged cheese crackers with peanut butter.
Monterey jack cheese, gouda or cheddar keep well, especially in the center of your pack insulated from heat. The cheese will "weep" (sharper cheeses will almost melt) but will last long enough for a short trip. Brie will not hold up.
Tiny cans of tuna in oil (not in water; you'll want the calories), deviled ham, sardines in mustard.
Salami or beef logs, double bagged and kept from heat.
Other fresh food will also keep for a day or two, like carrots, tomatos, and cucumber if you don't mind the weight.
Snack bars, athlete's bars, popcorn, brownies and cookies. Be prepared for crumbled cookies or pack only hard ones.
Mix drink mixes (athletes' drink mixes, Tang, or Koolaid) in your cup, not your water bottle, or the bottle will smell like food and you won't be able to keep it in your tent at night without
risking a visit by a bear.
Search nutrition at the Ironman website for lots of recent articles:
Enhance your hike by reading:
The day hike gear section at Camping equipment checklist
Thunderstorm and lightning safety