In case you’re not sure what type of food to bring to the trail, here is a non-exhaustive list of backpacker friendly foods to give you some ideas. These are just my favorites, but you’ll find your own favorites. The most important thing to remember is to eat what you like to eat. Otherwise, you’ll get bored with your meals.
- oatmeal packets; Save time in the morning by pouring hot water directly into the packet. Then you don’t have to wash your pot.
- granola bars
- energy bars
- peanut butter
- cream cheese; It will keep for a few days on the trail. Maybe not during the hottest part of the summer, but it’s good the rest of the time.
- hot chocolate
- bacon; If you’re hiking in the spring or fall, bacon will keep for a day or so.
- cereal + dehydrated milk
- Fritos + cream cheese
- icing, from the jar
- tortillas + peanut butter + jelly
- tortillas + cheese + salami + mayo
- English muffins + cream cheese + strawberry jelly
- mayo, ketchup, mustard, Taco Bell sauce; Be sure to stock up on sauce packets every time you get fast food.
- Snickers minis
- dried mango, pineapple, cranberries, raisins
- fresh fruit, like apples, bananas, mangos; I like to get a few pieces of fruit at the grocery store, then eat them during the first day on the trail.
- Crystal Light
- Pasta Sides, Rice Sides, Italian Sides; Pretty much any variation of the Lipton Sides you can buy for $1.
- any powdered soup mix + pasta
- pre-made backpacker dinners
- dehydrated food that you made yourself
- mac & cheese
- instant mashed potatoes
- Ramen + instant mashed potatoes
- calzones over the fire
- beans and rice
Do you have any favorite backpacking foods? Share in the comments below!
To add to the bacon thing, the precooked boxed bacon by Oscar Meyer will keep in the summer. All you have to do is heat it up in a pot or on a stick over the fire and it is delicious. It’s my go to breakfast when I just don’t feel like getting out of my tent in the morning.
Also enchilada soup mix + applewood brand loaded baked potato instant potato mix has the exact consistency and taste of a bean burrito. Roll that sucker up in a tortilla and it’s good stuff without the ‘consequences’ of an actual bean burrito stinking up a shelter/tent all night.
The enchilada soup and potato mix sounds delicious. I was a vegetarian when I hiked (I’m not anymore), so I definitely missed out on some good recipes. Although, I probably came up with a few good ones too, so it balances out.
Quinoa is the best! I take vegetable bouillon cubes to cook with it and add whatever spices I have (garlic pepper, turmeric, cumin, coriander) and even a little peanut butter. I never get sick of it and if you make extra you can store it in an empty nalgene for quick breakfast
The bouillon cubes sound like a good way to make the quinoa not so bland. That’s a good idea! I’ll have to try it.
Here’s my recipe for tuna polenta casserole. I’ve also made italien mashers with pram and salami.
Parm and salami!
Way to make bacon keep: place some bacon strips on a paper towel (a good quality thick bacon) and microwave about 45 seconds at 5 or 6. Turn over and repeat. Let cool on a clean paper towel and then wrap in same. It will keep for 6 or 7 days, even In summer. Done it many times.
Tortillas. I put everything on a tortilla. Pbj. Tuna. Nutella & trail mix. Honey and Nutella. Rice. Tortillas were my staple.
Love dehydrated bean flakes. Easy and lightweight and perfect with tortillas or on their own. I use Ready Beans brand and enjoy the spicy and no salt options.
stove top stuffing and a pack of chicken gravy mix.