Best Backpacking Food Ideas

The best backpacking food ideas for simple, healthy and delicious meals on the trail can be found at Hiking For Her. #backpacking #backpackingmeals #hikingfood #backpackingmenu #hikingfoodideas

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The best backpacking food ideas for simple, healthy and delicious meals on the trail can be found at Hiking For Her. #backpacking #backpackingmeals #hikingfood #backpackingmenu #hikingfoodideas

Prepared for some nice backpacking meals concepts?

Earlier than you uncover the meals to take backpacking, only a phrase of warning:

As you propose your backpacking meals, you’re confronted with trade-offs among the many prime Four elements in the perfect backpacking meals concepts:

  • weight (freeze dried, dehydrated, or recent)
  • taste (salty, candy, spicy or bland)
  • value (low cost versus expensive)
  • vitamin (energy and vitamins)

You additionally have to know learn how to calculate precisely how a lot meals (energy and vitamins) you will want.

These backpacking meals concepts have been picked with all of those elements in thoughts.

So let’s undergo a typical day of climbing meals you’d eat on a backpacking journey.

Notice: Climbing For Her is an Amazon affiliate. Once you buy your backpacking meals right here, HFH receives a small proportion of your buy worth.

You pay nothing additional for these nice backpacking meals concepts.

Backpacking meals concepts:

Once I shed my sleeping bag within the morning, I am in a “let’s get on the trail” state of mind, so velocity is of the essence.

Boiling water added to immediate oatmeal, plus a mug of antioxidant loaded inexperienced tea, present quick satisfaction

I additionally throw a handful of unsalted dried fruit & nuts into the oatmeal, which ups the dietary worth and retains my style buds from grumbling about bland previous oatmeal.

Word that this mix balances the three main gasoline sources a backpacker wants: carbohydrates, fat, and proteins.

My favourite on the spot oatmeal: McCanns Irish oatmeal, maple and brown sugar selection.

  • You possibly can drip a little bit of oil (EVOO) into it to up the gasoline quotient in cooler climate.

I just like the comfort and portion management of particular person packets.

And the glucose within the brown sugar might be put to good use on the path.

You may also select plain oatmeal, and add some hacks (see under).

Backpacking oatmeal tip:

You possibly can permit your oats to soak in a single day in a water bottle or coated pot, eliminating the time and power to fireside up the range to rehydrate them.

This path to a hearty backpacking breakfast is not really helpful in chilly spring or fall climate, as a result of it robs your physique and thoughts of the welcoming heat of piping scorching oatmeal.

Low cost backpacking meals

My least expensive backpacking breakfast?

  • Prompt oatmeal from the majority bin at my native meals retailer.

It does not come close to to the creamy goodness of McCanns, however typically that is all that is out there on brief discover or once I’m touring for a backpacking journey.

This is a normal backpacking meals tip:

Go to your nearest grocery retailer or outlet and spend fifteen minutes making an inventory of the majority meals you should use for reasonable backpacking meals.

Then sit down and plan your artistic backpacking menu, figuring out that you are going as low value as attainable.


Though that is the most cost effective meal preparation for a backpacking journey, it will not be the most effective backpacking meals should you’re looking for wholesome decisions (preservative free or decrease salt) or top quality specialty (gluten free, paleo) sources of mountaineering vitamin.

Add some dietary oomph
to these oats!

Bonus factors for including a tablespoon of chopped walnuts, floor flax seeds, or chia seeds!

  • Typically the little particulars in backpacking meals concepts make an enormous distinction in style and vitamin.

If you are going to add flax, go
for the golden flakes!

Gluten free and excessive in fiber, however keep in mind to
drink additional water to benefit from the scraping motion inside your
digestive system.

(was that TMI?)

Chia seeds are superb powerhouses of vitamins, and weigh virtually nothing.

I extremely advocate these as an addition to your micronutrient provide.

Tip: Chew slowly to grind down these seeds so the vitamins are launched and might help you on the path.

One other option to get a fantastic backpacking breakfast into your physique quick is so as to add a number of spoonfuls of an antioxidant combine to your oats.

It is light-weight and you will love the way it improves the flavour profile of excellent previous oatmeal.

Barlean’s antioxidant mix mixes flax, coconut, acerola, acai and camu camu for top fiber and plenty of omega-Three and nutritional vitamins.

Different grains to attempt
for a backpacking breakfast

Oatmeal is a tried and true path meals for backpackers.

However let’s be extra artistic, given the constraints of daybreak’s early mild.

  • Very first thing within the morning, you need to eat and hit the path.

So which grains might be rehydrated shortly, and style good?

Listed here are my two favourite grains  for a easy backpacking breakfast:

Quinoa takes little or no time or water to rehydrate, however delivers a protein punch to a backpacker’s breakfast.

You possibly can jazz up quinoa’s delicate taste with dried fruit or any of the options above.

It may be the inspiration of a backpacking dinner, too.

Quinoa tip:

This historic gluten free grain is obtainable in two extra colours:

Or why not attempt a quinoa mix, like this tri-color one?

Second oatmeal various to attempt: amaranth

Numerous protein!

Takes longer than oatmeal and quinoa to rehydrate.

Texture could also be a bit gloppy in comparison with these grains, however you’ll be able to taste hack it after which gobble it up.

Backpacking meals concepts:

When it is time to discover an amazing sit-spot round mid-day, I am famished.

However backpacking lunches have to be consumed shortly and with a minimal of preparation.

So I pull out the sandwich I made that morning, and munch away whereas having fun with the view.

That is just for the primary few days, nevertheless.

  • Bread isn’t on the record of meals to deliver climbing.

Though this dense (and attractive) model can maintain up fairly properly for those who hold it dry.

Backpacking bread options
for lunch

When there isn’t a bread out there, it is time to escape tasty crackers and nut butters.

You’ll want to guard the crackers from inadvertent “smush” occasions (like sitting in your backpack).

Crackers packed like this can be a great way
to maintain them from crumbling, though the additional packaging takes up area
(however no weight) in your backpack.

One other strategy is to make use of crackers like a spoon to switch your nut butter into your mouth.

Select sturdy ones, like these!

And if you are going to be counting on some that pack an enormous dietary punch like these seed studded crackers?

Attempt a fishy backpacking lunch

additionally unearthed light-weight tins of easy-open sardines or herring in
nutrient dense olive oil from the bowels of my backpack to complement my crackers.

Actually, paired with crackers, these little salty fishes are fairly tasty and extremely satisfying because of the oil!

Be certain you’ve got a spork to seize each final drop.

  • Simply watch out to maintain any fishy oil away out of your clothes or pack in bear nation.

And about that spork… I are likely to lose them, so I purchase a Four-pack firstly of each climbing season.

Inexperienced for spring, blue for early summer time, purple for the recent months, and orange for autumn!

I comply with these carbs + protein lunch decisions with some tasty cookies (assume nut butters or nuts plus oatmeal), a piece of darkish chocolate with almonds, or a Mountaineering For Her power sphere (free pdf).

Need extra energy
or a heavier lunch?

I understand that some hikers want chunks of cheese/salami with crackers.

Jerky + huge handfuls of path combine (nuts, dried fruit, chocolate) and granola bars are additionally basic backpacking meals concepts for lunch.

I used to do that in my long-ago 20’s and 30’s, however discovered that processed, heavy meals don’t agree with my digestion.

So now I hold it mild and carb wealthy, figuring out that I’ve received some tasty backpacking snacks for later.

I’ve additionally backpacked with individuals who munch solely nuts or dried fruit for lunch, they usually appear to do exactly fantastic.

However that is a bit too mild for me!

Ethical of the story:

Mess around together with your meals on day hikes to see which sort of backpacking lunches, day after day, will work greatest in your digestion.

And be ready to vary issues up as you age.

  • Extra ideas for wholesome older climbing right here

Now for some  
backpacking meals concepts
for dinner

Ah! First the boots come off, then the range will get cranked as much as boil water.

This scorching water is used to rehydrate some soup as a backpacking appetizer, which I sip slowly as extra water

  • Boiling water can also be one technique for backpacking water purification.
  • Your range can accomplish double obligation when you are establishing camp for the night time.

This salty soup takes the sting off my ravenous starvation, rehydrates
me, and provides again a number of the salt I misplaced throughout my hike.

Just a bit backpacking meals concept was handed alongside by my Woman Scout leaders 5 many years in the past!

Best backpacking dinner entrees

After a lot experimentation, I
principally use the Backpacker’s Pantry line of ready backpacking meals.


As a result of they’re
lean on synthetic components however excessive on taste and vitamins (some even
have nutritional vitamins and minerals added).

Go to this firm for nice backpacking meals concepts – numerous breakfast and dinner entrees,
greens, and desserts so that you can scope out.

I feel they seem to be a dependable
backpacking meals choice on the finish of an extended path day.

Are they the most cost effective freeze dried meals available on the market?

No, however they seem to be a prime model for wholesome and satisfying backpacking meals.

One other viable choice
for backpacking meals concepts

I began backpacking means again within the 1970s, when Mountain Home freeze dried meals was nearly the one choice for a hungry hiker.

Lately, I revisited their product line and was pleasantly stunned by its style and selection.

  • Learn my Mountain Home evaluation right here.

In the event you’re in search of low cost and filling backpacking meals which you should purchase in bulk, Mountain Home ought to be on the prime of your listing.

Do not skip your antioxidants

may be onerous to return by after a couple of days on the path.

Often you get
these plant-derived protecting molecules (a.okay.a. “phytonutrients”) in
salads, cranberries, apples, pink wine.


On the path, flip to peanuts and darkish chocolate as backpacking snacks to
maintain your cells shielded from damaging free radicals (extremely energetic
little guys, trying to trigger hassle on a molecular degree).

  • Extra antioxidant concepts right here

Attempt one thing a bit wacky!

Dare to deviate outdoors the bounds of accepted backpacking meals concepts. For instance:

Backpacking food can get to be dull and unappetizing after a few days on the trail. Hiking For Her tips to jazz up your backpacking menu. #backpacking #hiking #hikingfood  #backpackinginfographic

Tons extra backpacking meals ABCs to boost your life

right here!

Rice is all the time good

Rice has been a tried and true basis for a lot of a tasty backpacking meal, for good causes.

However a sensible hiker chooses the proper sort of rice, which is defined intimately right here.

How a lot protein
does a backpacker want?

Protein is used to restore and rebuild your muscular tissues, and that is necessary on your stamina and power.

Carrying recent protein may be heavy, should you concentrate on animal protein sources.

Nevertheless, dried beans and nuts, together with different light-weight dehydrated and freeze dried animal proteins, could be labored into your backpacking menus with ease.

Unsure which protein sources for hikers are greatest for you?

Roaring mountain stream with Mt. Rainier in backgroundYou will have to be robust to cross streams on the path, and protein helps you keep robust

Natural freeze dried choices

In case you are involved about pesticide residue in your backpacking meals, flip to natural meals choices for wholesome backpacking.


I occur to have some info on natural backpacking meals that will help you measurement up your choices.

A word a few hearty dinner

You need to eat sufficient meals to maintain up your core temperature all through the night time and to exchange the water you sweated/peed out through the day.

Do not skimp on energy once you’re backpacking. Think about it hard-earned gasoline!

You may need to erase or block all the advertising messages about thinness when you’re on the path. Eat up!

When you are in “rest and digest” mode, dominated by the parasympathetic nervous system, the vitamins from dinner are getting used to rebuild glycogen reserves for the subsequent day’s hike.

Additionally, your physique is repairing injury to muscle mass, tendons, and bones from lugging your pack up the path. No irritation for you!

As a further profit, you will not get up at 2AM with starvation pangs when you take the time to organize and ingest a scorching dinner.

And chilly nights will not hassle you, as a result of your inner furnace is nicely stoked.

  • Extra ideas for satisfying backpacking meals to maintain you full right here

Flip to seaweed
for a lot wanted vitamins

Sea greens are full of necessary salts and hint minerals that your physique wants after an extended day on the path.

There are many methods to take pleasure in seaweed snacks in your mountaineering journey, together with my favorites.

Tea time ritual

Another cheap factor you are able to do to maintain your self wholesome on the path: brew up a cup of tea proper earlier than bedtime.

Click on on the photograph to find six the reason why backpacking mugs of tea must be in your mountaineering menu.

  • And proposals for the most effective backpacking teas
Drinking tea on a backpacking trip can be a fun food item, or a healthy enhancing habit. Discover 6 reasons why tea is a good idea for hikers. #backpackingfood #backpackingteas #tea #teaforhikers

Backpacking dessert concepts

After you sip your soup, munch your dinner, and loosen up with a mug of tea, it is time for that remaining scrumptious deal with of the day: your favourite backpacking desserts.

A quick method to get one thing candy into your mouth is to make your backpacking snacks do double obligation (recommendations under).

Nevertheless, with just a little planning and a few additional water, you’ll be able to take pleasure in one thing extra substantial and filling.

And attractive.

Do not skip tasty!

One other satisfying solution to conclude your day is to slowly chew some dried fruit that you do not usually take pleasure in at residence.

For me, that is dried cherries, both unsweetened or coated in darkish chocolate with their associates, blueberries and raspberries.

Pull these out of the meals sack and watch your path buddy’s eyes mild up!

Remaining tip on backpacking dinner meals

This is the most effective recommendation on backpacking meals concepts that I may give you:

Attempt your backpacking meals at house earlier than you hit the path.

Do not danger bringing meals that you do not like and may’t make your self choke down, since you’re risking your power and stamina.

  • Belief me (an previous path canine) on how briskly you start to really feel depleted if you skip meals.
  • And that erodes your security margins when you’ll be able to’t clarify headed selections about navigation or path hazards.

Best backpacking meals concepts
for path snacks

Whenever you’re burning daylight making some mileage and do not need to cease to eat, what forms of backpacking meals are you able to eat as you hike?

You need one thing that is not too dry to choke down, and naturally you need to keep away from choking hazards.

Nutrient density ought to be excessive, together with quick digestibility.

After which there’s style. You need a scrumptious backpacking snack!

Listed here are a number of of my favourite path snacks that experience alongside simply in your backpack’s shoulder strap zippered pocket or a pants pocket.

Do you know that
your mindset is necessary?

How you consider backpacking meals wants to vary once you’re on the path day after day.

go right into a multi-day backpacking journey realizing that I’ll come out the opposite finish
with intense cravings for recent salads, juicy bowls of fruit, and scorching residence cooked

I chalk up these cravings as the worth of admission to the again nation, a worth I’m greater than prepared to pay each time I’m going on a mountaineering journey.

  • Plus, it feels so good to lastly eat no matter I am craving! In a perverse method, I virtually sit up for the deprivation.

This is the compromise I’ve reached with myself on selecting one of the best backpacking meals:

I carry dehydrated and freeze dried meals talked about above for breakfast and dinner with plentiful parts, and take time to organize them.

Then I make up time with lunches constructed round tasty, uncrushable path meals excessive in carbohydrates with protein and fats enjoying supportive roles.

As well as, I pack a multivitamin and different dietary dietary supplements, “just in case”.

So simply know that predicting forward of time what your thoughts and physique is perhaps screaming for after a number of days on the path is a clever transfer!

  • Issue your thoughts set into your selection of backpacking meals concepts, as a result of planning your backpacking menu based mostly in your favourite flavors may will save your sanity.

Summing up…

Backside line for the perfect backpacking meals concepts on your subsequent journey?

  • Fall again on the mantra of the three main courses of gasoline biomolecules: carbohydrates, proteins, fat.
  • Then construct a artistic backpacking meal plan across the decisions I shared with you.

This is an concept to attempt in your first (or subsequent) backpacking journey to gauge how you’re doing, nutrient clever: hold a day by day meals log in your path journal.

Notice which backpacking meals or mountaineering meals have been particularly satisfying, which manufacturers or flavors you liked, and any bizarre cravings you had.

  • This takes just a few seconds, however yields beneficial perception if you look again over it months later as you put together for an additional journey.

Should you’re susceptible to drama, you may also doodle the names of the belongings you hated, and embellish them with exclamation marks (or worse), only for enjoyable.

If you need suggestions from physique elements past your style buds, make sure to examine pre-trip physique weight with post-trip weight, plus hold monitor of your every day power ranges.

This information builds an entire image of how your “fuel burning plan” (a.okay.a. “backpacking food list”) labored out.

Tweak till good!

Wow! What a good way to justify plenty of backpacking adventures!

Simply gotta prepare dinner
on the path?

In case you wish to be a artistic
backpacker and dedicate valuable outside time to cooking & cleansing up
(see my bias?), there are tons of nice recipes for backpacking meals,
from gifted outside cooks.

Whipping up backpacking meals is an artwork, and Chef Glenn is a grasp of tasty path meals and fancy thrives.

Unsure about backpacking cooks?

This is an entertaining option to determine whether or not you are a minimalist or a gourmand again nation chef:

I’ve embraced the truth that I am in all probability within the minority: a cooking minimalist.

I humbly settle for my outcast standing, as a result of to me, the complete level of going into the again nation IS to discover the again nation!

However a hiker’s gotta eat, proper?

One final backpacking tip

I all the time belief the knowledge of my physique once I get residence from a backpacking journey, particularly if I am a couple of kilos lighter.

If I crave pickles on toast with a aspect of bacon, that is what I eat till the craving disappears!

It is simply my little “thank you” to the muscle mass and bones which obtained me up and down the paths, and again residence safely.

So you’ve got my permission to honor your cravings.

They may be little postcards out of your digestive system to your
mind, saying “Decide up a jar of pickles and three kilos of bacon in your means
house, honey.”

However do not go but!

Tons extra climbing meals choice ideas right here!

And when you’re a bit puzzled over the distinction between dehydrated backpacking meals concepts and freeze dried backpacking meals, learn this.

Best needs for staying nicely ate up the path ?

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