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What Halloween candy is the best hiking snack?

By: The Outbound Collective + Save to a List

Spooky season is here and It's the perfect time to dig into some seasonal CANDY! If you head out for a hike in the coming week or two, don't hesitate to pop a sweet treat in your day pack! But, which ones? 

We thought it would be fun to evaluate some classic Halloween candies to take on trail! Though it's definitely not the best (nor healthiest) option for fuel, packing a sweet treat can give you an extra energy boost, work up your motivation, and be a satisfying reward after a long day of activity. 

Since taste can be wildly subjective, we’ll leave that aspect out of our ranking system, but read on to find out how we rate your favorite Halloween candies in other categories to help you decide what to pack for your next adventure!

Ratings are based on a  to ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ system, with more stars indicating a higher, more positive rank.

1. Twizzlers

Packability: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
These classic red strawberry licorice twists come in packs, which are easy to throw in your bag and take on the go! They likely won’t melt on you, which is an added bonus! (Pro tip: Looking to shed pack weight? Choose individual serving Twizzlers.)

Nutritional value: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Mostly composed of carbs, sugar, and a small amount of fat and protein, Twizzlers aren’t a bad choice for a snack break mid-hike! Since these ropes are chewy and longer in size, you can prolong your enjoyment by taking your time as you chew.

Size: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
From regular to extra long, fun-sized, and bites, there are several options to select from. There’s also the larger pull’n’peel ropes, which usually come in a bigger bag. You're sure to find a Twizzler variety that matches your cravings and adventure needs!

Shareability: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Hiking with pals? Each can pull their own Twizzler straight from the bag and be good to go! No mess, no crumbs, no chocolate melting on fingers! 

Average Rating: 4.75

2. Snickers

Packability: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
A solidly layered bar, Snickers are pretty durable and won’t take up too much space in your pack. The peanut layer adds an extra bit of sturdiness.

Nutritional value: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Snickers consist of nougat (chewy sugar or honey mixture combined with roasted nuts and whipped egg whites) topped with caramel and peanuts fully encased in a milk chocolate layer. This bar stands out from others with its distinguished peanut layer, adding a bit of extra protein (~5%). A heartier bar than other options, you may feel fuller and more satisfied after nomming on a Snickers bar!

Size: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Full, fun, and mini size options for easy transport.

Shareability: ⭐⭐⭐
These bars are typically found in packages of one, but there is a two-bar package that's better for sharing. Or, bring a couple fun-size Snickers if you're hiking with friends.

Average Rating: 4.5

3. Twix

Packability: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Twix bars are pretty sturdy– the shortbread cookie layer makes them a bit more durable than the average purely chocolate treat, which may melt more easily in your bag or pocket.

Nutritional value: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
With each bite, you’ll get a taste of chocolate, caramel, and shortbread cookie all in one, layered in perfect proportion. The bar contains a combination of sugar, carbohydrates, and a small amount of caffeine, protein, calcium, and iron– offering a bit more substance than other candy bar options.

Size: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
In full and mini sizes, these delectable chocolatey-cookie bars are super easy to bring on-the-go!

Shareability: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Twix can be packaged with one, two or four bars in a wrapper. The even number packages and mini sizes make it easy to share with a friend. Snapping a bar in half doesn’t create too much of a mess either!

Average Rating: 4.25

4. Skittles

Packability: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
These chewy candy pieces easily hold their shape and aren't going to melt quite like chocolate does if left out in the sun, especially when kept in its packaging! The coloring may melt off in warm temps, but you won’t be dealing with the squishiness of a sun-baked chocolate bar.

Nutritional value: ⭐
Choose between original, tropical, wild berry, and sour packs! The variety of flavors adds extra points to this well-loved candy classic. You’ll likely be satisfied by the abundance of flavors you get in a single pack and even in a single handful, but there’s really not much going on nutritionally.

Size: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Regular and fun sized packages to suit your cravings!

Shareability: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Great for sharing as you can pour the candies into a friend’s hand with minimal mess.

Average Rating: 3.75

5. Reese's Peanut Butter Pumpkins

Packability: ⭐⭐
These soft, pillowy peanut-butter-filled cups are bound to get squished or become a melted mess in your pack, especially during the warmer months.

Nutritional value: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Reese’s is all about the peanut butter, which is a good source of protein. For a healthier version of this fan favorite, make your own peanut butter cups at home with natural peanut butter that has less sugar!

Size: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Full size cups, minis, pumpkins, and pieces! No doubt the variety is A+!

Shareability: ⭐⭐⭐
The regular size Reese's usually come in a pack of two– good for you and a bud. The problem is, you might want both to yourself! Opt for the Reese's pieces option for even easier sharing as you can shake out a handful into your friend’s hand. Just beware that they may ask you for more!

Average Rating: 3.5

6. Jolly Ranchers

Packability: ⭐⭐⭐
Small and less prone to melting than a chocolate bar! The downside is the abundance of plastic wrappers that may build up and get lost in the depths of your bag.

Nutritional value: ⭐⭐⭐
Not much going on besides sugar and artificial flavoring. But, since you are meant to suck on these candies, you can really savor the sweetness over a longer period of time. This may prolong your perceived energy boost and satisfaction. It might even fight boredom over long stretches of trail!

Size: ⭐⭐⭐
Very easy to fit into your jacket pocket since these hard candies are small and extremely portable. Dumping a loose handful into a backpack, however, may make it difficult to quickly locate these little individual candies, especially if they scatter around as you walk!

Shareability: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Individual wrapping means each person can have their own Rancher with no mess or portioning.

Average Rating: 3.5

7. Almond Joy

Packability: ⭐⭐⭐
Easy enough to throw in your pack or pocket! Just beware of the mess of potential melting– relevant for any chocolate treat left in the heat!

Nutritional value: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Shredded coconut topped with a whole almond and blanketed in milk chocolate define the classic Almond Joy. These treats are high in sugar and fat, but do contain a small amount of protein, iron, and calcium. While you wouldn’t necessarily want your child indulging in too many of these on Halloween night, having one or two on trail can give you a sugar induced energy boost when you need it most! Pro tip: you can make your own healthier version of almond joy protein balls with natural shredded coconut and almond butter.

Size: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
From king-size to regular and miniature, these are several options to suit your needs!

Shareability: ⭐
Not a great chocolate bar to share as the almond in the center can be difficult to split in half. You don't want to chip any teeth! Choose the mini bars if you plan on spreading the love with a hiking buddy.

Average Rating: 3.25

8. Fun Dip

Packability: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
This unique candy commodity is easy to carry and fit into tight spaces since it comes in a thin and flat package. It’s much more flexible/foldable than your average chocolate bar.

Nutritional value: ⭐
Basically pure sugar with artificial flavors and colors, this super sweet treat might give you an initial sugar high followed by a crash later on.

Size: ⭐⭐⭐
Usually found in regular and fun sized packs.

Shareability: ⭐
Consisting of a white-colored chalk-like candy stick and a flavored sugar to dip the stick in, this is not a good treat for sharing. Since most of the package’s content is loose sugar, it can also get quite messy if passed between people! Beware of the colored sugar staining your tongue and lips!

Average Rating: 2.5

9. Smarties

Packability: ⭐⭐
Smarties come in individually packed sleeves that are portable, but can be easily crushed, turning them into a broken and powdery mess!

Nutritional value: ⭐
Mostly just sugar and a low total calorie count per serving size, these tablet-like candies don’t offer much energy or added nutritional value.

Size: ⭐⭐
Smarties are typically found in their regular 15 candies per roll size. Mega smarties (bigger sized tablets) do exist, but are less likely to be found at your local store.

Shareability: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
As individual tablets, these are relatively easy to share.

Average Rating: 2.25

10. Hershey’s Kisses

Packability: ⭐
All dressed up in silver, these cute milk chocolate treats are iconic. In warm temps, the chocolate easily softens and melts. It’s also not likely you’ll want just one Hershey Kiss. A number of loose kisses, however, might get lost in the depths of your bag and leave you with a bunch of crushed up kisses and littered wrappers.

Nutritional value: ⭐⭐
A bit addicting, it’s hard to have just one chocolate kiss– you’ll want more like a handful. These bite-sized treats contain roughly 22 calories. While it’s great for squashing a chocolate craving, you’re not going to gain much energy from having a Hershey’s Kiss during an active day. Have more than one and you’ll be taking up time peeling off wrapper after wrapper instead of taking in your surroundings.

Size: ⭐
While Hershey’s Kisses can come in different sizes (have you ever seen the mega one?!), the classic bell-shaped kiss is quite tiny. Instead of packing multiple of these little sweets, you’re probably best off opting for a larger and more substantial bar.

Shareability: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Individually kept in their recognizably shiny wrappers, Hershey’s Kisses are easy to share among friends as each can grab a handful of their own.

Average Rating: 2

11. Candy Corn

Packability: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
This little sugar nuggets are probably bombproof. Put them in your pack and they will look like they did when you first bought them even if they're rattling around with all your other 10 essentials.

Nutritional value: ⭐
Candy corn is just sugar, corn syrup, gelatin, honey, salt, and artificial flavors. It doesn't offer much in the way of nutrients.

Size: ⭐
Candy corn is addicting. Good luck having one or two! You'll need at least a handful to feel satisfied.

Shareability: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Bring a big bag and pass it around to share handfuls, or take individual serving size packs to limit how many you can eat at once! 

Average Rating: 2.5


We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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