25 DELICIOUS BACKPACKING FOOD IDEAS
Oatmeal is quick and easy to make and you can adjust the flavor to your liking. Just add hot water and whatever strikes your fancy. Chocolate, fruits, milk powder, nuts, peanut butter, the possibilites are endless and will provide for a meal that gives you enough energy to go for hours on the trail
Omelette or scrambled eggs are one of the best foods for backpackers to fulfill your daily protein needs. It's very easy to make and infinitely customizable, add some veggies, potatoes, meat or tuna and combine with bagels or bread.
Grits are as easy as oatmeals and can be eaten as breakfast, lunch or dinner. Grits are made from dried, grounded corn cooked in water or milk or both - until the mix becomes thick and creamy. To create a mouth-watering mix, you can add ingredients like butter, cheese and vegetables or even bacon and fish.
Granola works great as snack during hiking breaks but bring some powdered milk or yogurt if you want to make it a complete meal. It's quick to make and like oatmeal there are endless options. It's a calorie-dense food that will give you the energy for long hikes.
Tortillas are easy to make and carry along on the trail. Tortillas are full of important fibers, whole grains and other nutrients. The best thing about tortialles though is that they can be combined with almost anything to make for a quick, but filling meal.
Dark chocolate has a high concentration of cocoa and is a rich source of powerful anti-oxidants and minerals. It contains less sugar than regular milk chocolate and can be a healthier alternative if you have a sweet tooth. It also works well as a sweet breakfast option in combo with oatmeal or granola.
Avocados are a great source of vitamins, magnesium and potassium. You can use toasted avocado with tortilla, bread or omelette. The creamy texture of this magical fruit will be a great addition to any main course during your trip. Avocados are full of unsaturated fats and provide many health benefits.
Honey is rich in anti-oxidants and has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, that are very much needed when you roam around the outdoors. You would be surprised to know that honey can even help heal burn and wounds and has been used as a medicine since ancient times. Use honey instead of suger wherever you can.
If you don't like flat bread, you can go for bagels instead, that can provide you with the fluffy texture of bread. Bagels are a stable backpacking food, they pack well, just consider they don't stay fresh as long as some other food options. Cheese and salami are two popular choices put on your bagels.
No matter the time of day, surrounding nature is even more beautiful with a cup of tea. It gets you up and going in the morning, can be a quick refreshment drink during an afternoon break or reenergize you after a long hard hike. Tea bags are easy to carry and come in a multitude of flavors.
Fruits are usually too heavy to carry on a backpacking trips and long hikes, but you can carry some dried fruits with you instead. Dried fruits are a great source of dense sugar which is a healthier alternative to candy and can be used as dessert or sweet snack. They are a great option to add to your oatmeal as well.
Granola & Energy Bars
Bars are one of the most weight efficient hiking foods in existence. Nowadays there are many options to name - protein bars, energy bars, snack bars, nutrition bars, food bars - you name it. Ready to eat and very high in nutrition, they don't slow you down and give you an instant energy boost when you need it.
It's easy to get carbohydrates on the trail, but packing in some whey or plant-based protein powder is a great way to take care of your protein needs. Add it into granola or cereal or just consume as a shake with water or milk powder. Getting enough protein is critically important to fuel your muscles.
Adding some cheese to your tortilla, omelette or bagel is a great option. Hard cheese can easily last a few days without refrigeration and doesn't contain as much moisture as soft cheese, it's high in protein and easy to carry.
Beef Jerky & Dried Meat
Jerky and dried meat tend to be a little low on calories, but high in protein - which is critical for muscle repair. They are a great dinner option at the end of the day and will help your body repair from the strain of covering mile after mile during the day.
Nutella is fully packed with calories that are derived mostly from fats, making it well worth the weight. While not healthy, when walking all day you'll need an insane amount of calories, thru-hikers often consume more than 6000 calories per day. This makes nutella a great option for the trail and it's absolutely delicious.
Peanut butter is loaded with calories, protein and fat and can be easily eaten with other hiking staple foods. Like nutella, peanut butter is one of these ultra calorie-dense foods that are a must-have when optimizing for high calories per weight and volume.
Hummus makes for an awesome meal on the trail. It's usually made from mashed cooked chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice and garlic. It's a great and super quick no-cook backpacking lunch. Eat it with crackers, pita chips or a tortilla, or just on it's own.
Instant noodles are the easiest and quickest option for a meal on the trail. These take just about 3-5 minutes to rehydrate. Endless options of flavour are available these days. Enter the "Ramen Bomb", a combination of mashed potatoes, ramen instant noodles and meat, cheese or both.
Lentils are filling and rich in calories, B vitamins, fiber protein as well as iron, magnesium and zinc! Just remember, they take a bit longer to rehydrate, with yellow and red lentils being the best option if you want to save time. It's a great base for a flavorful chili.
Packing an assortment of trail mix nuts is a great way to have some calorie-boosts on hand to eat while hiking. There are countless varieties of nuts as well - peanuts, cashews, walnuts, almonds and many more. Nuts are a rich source of protein, fats and fiber.
Tuna is the most popular meat of choise of thru-hikers. Tunas are loaded with protein and great in a tortilla. Cans are a little heavy but some people prefer that over the packs, just don't forget to bring your can opener! Choose tuna in olive oil, rather than water for some added calories and healthy fats.
Freeze Dried Meals
If you want a full meal on the trail, freeze dried meals are good option. Surprisingly, freeze dried foods, once rehydrated have a similar nutritional value to fresh cooked meals. There are many brands, flavors and recipes to choose from and they take just a few minutes to make.
Couscous cooks even faster than rice or noodles and is made from wheat or barley, it's therefore a pasta despite its appearance similar to whole grains It's higher in calories and protein than brown rice, add some spices, meat, peas, cheese and mushrooms and you have a delicious meal full of nutrients.
If you need your coffee fix in the morning, instant coffee is the way to go. It might sound like blasphemy, but flavor and options have improved over the years, so you don't have to settle for poor taste. It's far more lightweight if you don't want half of your pack weight made up of coffee grinder, coffee beans and a french press.
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