There’s one thing we and your dentist can agree on: Nothing is worse than biting into a frozen protein bar. Sure, you can try to warm it up in your pocket, or chip off flakes with a knife. But somehow, that just doesn’t sound as good as say, homemade banana bread or a family-size pepperoni pizza.
To help you level-up your winter snacking game, we polled the whole Bluebird Backcountry squad—a team of seasoned patrollers, skiers, splitboarders, and all-around winter adventurers. Here are the results.
1. Banana Bread
It’s delicious and freeze-proof, and bananas and chocolate chips provide a blood-sugar lift without being overly sweet. “This was my go-to for mega-cold ice climbing days before I started skiing. It’s still the best winter snack there is,” says our storytelling lead Corey Buhay.
They’re great pocket-temperature, and even better frozen. Plus, the added nostalgia points keep these high on our list of classics.
3. Pocket Bacon
Crunchy. Salty. Oh, so perfect. Don’t have time to make yourself a pound of hickory-smoked before your ski day? We’ve got you covered. Head to Bluebird’s Perch warming hut, where we’ll be serving bacon strips hot and fresh off the grill all day, every day.
4. Cinnamon Raisin Bagel with Cream Cheese
This sweet, creamy classic is an easy make-ahead meal that always hits the spot. It’s a freeze-proof winter snack, and bagels have natural structural integrity: “It doesn’t get smooshed in your pack like a sandwich,” says Bluebird Planning Squad Member Doug McLennan.
5. Breakfast Burritos
Make two in the morning, and you’ll have both a hot breakfast and a perfect, high-protein lunch. “They’re still delicious, even if slightly chilly from riding in your pack,” says Bluebird marketing guru Emma Walker of her go-to winter snack.
6. Full-fat Trail Mix
This is an easy recipe: Coconut flakes, cashews, and dark chocolate chips. It’s all the best parts of trail mix, but with none of the tooth-breakers. Plus, the high-fat content of the ingredients means they’re relatively lightweight, high-calorie, and ideally suited to providing all-day fuel on the mountain.
7. Cold Pizza
Step one: Buy a large pepperoni pizza the night before your backcountry ski or splitboard day. Step two: Fold it into quarters and stuff it into a gallon zip-top bag. Step three: Enjoy your favorite food, all day long.
8. Salted Baked Potato
It’s tough to replenish electrolytes on the mountain, especially when you’re not in the mood for goos or gummies. Our fix: Throw a few small potatoes in the oven when you wake up. Right as you’re walking out the door, pull them out, roll them in salt, wrap them in tin foil, and stick them in your pockets. “A friend of mine once pulled one out during an adventure race, still warm—it was amazing,” says Bluebird team member Rob McLennan.
9. Toasted Banana Peanut-Butter Sandwich
Almost like the classic PB&J, but way more elevated. Well-toasted bread provides a satisfying crunch come lunchtime, and the natural sugars and fiber from the banana will keep you energized during those final laps.
10. Hot Soup in a Thermos
In the morning, throw some ramen noodles into hot broth and seal tight (we like fancy ramen and those KeenOne quinoa cups, which is why we convinced the Bluebird Snack Yurt to offer our flavors.) By lunch, they’ll be soft enough to slurp, and you’ll have a hot, hydrating meal.
11. A Flask of Maple Syrup
Don’t knock it until you try it. A quick hit of Grade A maple syrup brings you right out of a low blood-sugar bonk. “Never leave home without it,” says rental gear fleetmaster Brock Nelson.
12. Hot Coffee
Coffee is a food, right? Bring a thermos in the morning to keep you warm and energized. (If you forget to fill up, grab Alpine Start or Wild Barn Cold Brew at the Bluebird base area to get your caffeine fix.)
13. Whitney’s Famous Power Balls
These bite-sized morsels have everything you need for a day of hard charging. Whitney Bradberry, Bluebird’s social media extraordinaire, was generous enough to share her special recipe:
- 1 cup honey
- 1 cup unsweetened peanut butter
- 3 cups rolled oats
- Flax seeds (ground or whole), to taste
- Dark chocolate chips, to taste
- Dried cranberries or pomegranate seeds, to taste
- Combine ingredients in a large bowl until the mixture is wet enough to form clumps. (If too sticky, add more oats)
- Roll into balls with your hands. Let chill in the fridge.
- Pack a few into a zip-top bag and throw into your pack the morning before your backcountry ski touring or splitboarding outing