In the UK, Pork Scratchings have been around for years and are a popular snack and bars and pubs around the country. The combination of soft fat, crispy crunch and the saltiness of the flavourings, combined with the taste like bacon (Mmmmm, bacon!) are an almost irresistible combination after a few pints.

Everyone knows they’re not the healthiest snack in the world but boy do they go down well. Eating them in copious amounts alongside 5 or 6 pints of beer is probably not the best weight loss strategy.

But what about when you’re out hiking? What about when you’re using and needing to replenish a lot of energy, plus get your protein in a manageable chunk? It’s fair to say that pork scratchings become a lot more sensible an option in these circumstances.

They’re light. They contain a lot of calories in a small space. They don’t get spoiled by being lobbed in a backpack. They are high in protein.

Scratchings Salted nuts Cashews Raisins
Typical values Per 100g Per 100g Per 100g Per 100g
Energy 2557kJ 2543kJ 2577kJ 1351kJ
615kcal 614kcal 622kcal 319kcal
Fat 46.2g 51g 51g 1.4g
of which saturates 16.4g 8.1g 10g <0.1g
Carbohydrate 0.2g 5.6g 19g 72g
of which sugars 0.1g 5.1g 5.6g 70g
Fibre 8.5g 3.2g 4.1g
Protein 49.7g 30g 21g 2.5g
Salt 3.0g 1.3g 0.70g 0.02g

The major downside is the amount of salt that’s likely to make you thirsty, although there are lower salt varieties available. In a situation of high energy usage pork scratchings are a valuable addition to a balanced set of trail snacks. I would never replace all of my nuts and dried fruit with them, but they certainly have a place in the hiking backpack.

You can buy wholesale pork crackling and pork scratchings from Snack Brands in the UK.