How to Do Trail Mix Your Way

Upgrade your next trek with these homegrown recipes from Backpacker readers and fans.
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Upgrade your next trek with these homegrown recipes from Backpacker readers and fans.
trail mix

Photo by Ben Fullerton

Find the mix that’s right for you.

Classic: Raisins, peanuts, and M&Ms. —Jesse Glover 

Quick Mix: I just use Costco trail mix and add peanut M&Ms. It’s not very creative, but it does the trick. —Mark Parrett

Fruit Lover: Almonds, dried kiwi, cherries, and strawberries. —A.C. Pastor

Candy Crunch: Dried fruit (including mango), honey peanuts, more nuts, M&Ms, and Sour Patch Kids—the magic ingredient. No mix is complete without Sour Patch Kids. —Anna Dottle

Breakfast of Champions: Froot Loops, dried pineapple, mixed nuts. —Patrice Barlow 

Coconut Lover: Raw or roasted salted almonds, peanut butter-filled pretzels, dried cranberries, and coconut chips. —Amanda Pennington 

Sweet and Spicy: Wasabi peas, walnuts, almonds, Smarties, dried cranberries, and sunflower seeds. —Deanna McGillivray 

Energizer: Cashews, peanuts, M&Ms, salted mini pretzels, raisins, dried cherries, and dried pineapple. This mix can keep me going all day long. —Armando Delgado

Bonus: Four reasons we love trail mix

1. Portability: It has a long pack life and (usually) doesn’t squish.

2. It’s easy to customize how much you carry. And you can eat just what you need, reducing wrapper mess.

3. It gets better with age. When the chocolate melts, melds, and re-hardens with everything stuck together? Amazing.

4. It is (or at least can be) nutritious. Nuts provide protein and healthy fats. Dried fruit adds carbs and fiber. Chocolate delivers antioxidants (dark chocolate with higher cocoa content has more antioxidants and less sugar). Of course, M&Ms are a common trail mix ingredient because they don’t melt. If you go with this old standby, we recommend the dark chocolate variety.