You can make your own bars, and I do this quite frequently, or take lunch out with you, but if you want some pre-packed quick energy snacks to grab then these are great options when you're on the move!
1. CLIF Bars
I had my first CLIF bar at a screening of the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour (post on that here) and they soon became a staple item for my daysack on a hike, as well as for a filling replacement if you've not got time for breakfast! There are so many varieties as well, including Almond Fudge, Pecan Pie, Oatmeal & Raisin and Blueberry Crisp, to name but a few!
They aren't a low calorie snack by any means, but nor are they marketed as such. They work out at about 15% protein, 66% carbs (of which sugars 30%), 7% fat (of which saturates 3%) and 4% fibre as well. If you need a quick energy boost then they are perfect. They're not as dry as some of the other options out there, and they don't get stuck in your teeth (always a bonus). Plus, for the more consciously minded out there, they're made up of 70% organic ingredients and even some vitamins.
They're also not the cheapest, but I think given that they are one of the best tasting, it's worth it.
I buy them in GO Outdoors and they retail for about £1.39 if you have one of their discount cards. £1.59 if not.
2. Kendal Mint Cake
"It was easily the most popular item on our high altitude ration - our only criticism was that we did not have enough of it." - Romney's Website
It's not to everyone's taste because of how sweet it is. It's made up of glucose, sugar, water and peppermint oil. It's simple, but it works when you need a good energy boost. You can even buy a chocolate covered version if you have a real sweet tooth...
I shared mine with my 2 guides up the mountain and they loved it, calling it 'their favourite'. Can also add that it didn't melt on the sunny warm days at the beginning of the trek, and kept me going through the cold, pitch black summit ascent from 2300-0700! So there's an added bonus!
You can buy it in most outdoor shops for not very much money. It's easy to spot thanks to its iconic packaging!
3. TREK Protein Flapjack
Again, whilst there are no artificial ingredients, there's a reasonable amount of of sugar in them (from the fruit) but for a quick energy boost they are great. They also keep you full for a good length of time due to their protein content.
TREK Bars come in a few different flavours, including Peanut, Cocoa Coconut, Berry and Banana,
They retail for about £1.39 in supermarkets and you can also pick them up in Holland & Barrett.
4. Energy Gels
I took only the Citrus flavour by CLIF, and once you get past the gel texture (something I wasn't used to) it's not too bad. It was kind of like eating a smooth lemon and lime flavoured toothpaste. They also sell Vanilla, Espresso, Raspberry and a couple of other flavours if citrus isn't your thing!
I didn't use them on summit night due to their caffeine content. Whilst it's not a high amount (25mg) I wasn't
suffering from any altitude sickness effects, and I didn't want to risk adding caffeine in to the mix and causing myself to!
Again, you can buy these in GO Outdoors or online at a number of places for about £1.59 each.
5. Chimpanzee Energy Bar
Made up of completely natural ingredients, they're a great mix of protein, carbs, fibre, vitamins and minerals & seemed a good choice. They also taste incredible. Perhaps a little drier than the CLIF and Trek Bars though, so you do need a drink with them, but again they've got a good amount of protein in, so keep you reasonably full!
The Apricot and Lemon flavours were my favourites, but they make a good mix including Raisin and Walnut.
Chimpanzee make a whole range of snacks including shakes and an energy drink, which I'm definitely going to look in to trying in the future!
Again, I bought these in Go Outdoors but you can get them online too for about £1.50.
These are all items I took up Kilimanjaro with me as I couldn't take my own home prepped equivalents, so if you need a quick fix, or something to leave in your cupboard and grab for a spontaneous trip they're ideal.
It's worth mentioning that if you are going to buy the above, and want more than a couple, it can sometimes work out cheaper to buy them in bulk online.