Backpacking Meals: Meal Planning Ideas



While you’re out within the backcountry placing in full days of exercise, you need meals that can nourish you, strengthen you, revitalize you and style actually good. This text will enable you to plan your backpacking meals and snacks.

How A lot Meals Ought to You Pack?

When pondering how a lot or little to hold, err on the facet of taking a bit extra. One of many Ten Necessities for an in a single day journey, the truth is, is a provide of additional meals.  An affordable aim is 1.5 to 2.5 lbs. of meals (or 2,500 to four,500 energy) per individual per day relying in your dimension, weight and exertion stage.

However, do not overdo it. A typical blunder is to pack an excessive amount of meals, forcing you to lug undesirable bulk and weight. Expertise will educate you what quantity of meals works for you.

Meal Planning Issues

Style: Eat what you want. Do not attempt to convert your style buds to new sorts of meals deep within the backcountry.

Energy: Do not inaugurate a food plan program throughout a multiday hike. You will want ample energy (and water) to combat off fatigue and complications.

Vitamin: It is superb to tear right into a sweet bar throughout a visit, however for the lengthy haul you need to depend on complicated carbohydrates and proteins. Clever fast snacks corresponding to nuts and dried fruits present extra steady power in your muscle mass than that sweet bar.

Weight and bulk: Stick with light-weight and low-bulk backpacking meals as a lot as attainable, particularly on lengthy journeys. Take into account repackaging meals into resealable plastic baggies to attenuate bulk and rubbish. Be sure you clearly label the baggies and embody cooking directions.

Ease of preparation: Except you’re an skilled camp chef, preserve issues easy. All the time embody no-cook meals objects in case your range malfunctions.

Availability of water: This can fluctuate drastically relying on the place you’re going and may affect what backpacking meals you select to deliver.

Gasoline: Verify the cook dinner time for meals corresponding to pasta, potatoes, rice, quinoa, and many others. and ensure to plan for sufficient gasoline (a few of these dishes take a deceptively very long time to cook dinner).

Price: Comfort has its worth. Freeze-dried meals and power meals might be costly, however on the finish of a protracted day when your weary physique solely has sufficient power to boil water, such luxuries are justifiable.

Meal Choices

Contemporary meals: Refrigeration is a type of luxuries you allow behind on the trailhead. Most recent meals are good for at some point inside your pack, perhaps two. Carrots normally last more.

Dry meals (pasta, noodles, prompt rice, soup mixes, drink mixes) are gentle, take up minimal quantity inside a pack and give you some respectable style alternate options.

Freeze-dried/dehydrated meals are tremendous handy. Whereas comparatively expensive, they ship above-average style and sustenance for little or no weight.

Canned meals have a spot in your pack provided that the journey is brief and your starvation for acquainted meals is excessive (some usually canned meals additionally are available in vacuum-sealed pouches). Tuna or different canned meat merchandise could be a good toss-in merchandise for a pot of rice, as an example. However skip meals packaged in conventional 15-ounce (or bigger) cans or bottles. The load and bulk simply aren’t value it.

Spices can enhance the attraction of backpacking meals. Take into account bringing pepper, garlic powder or salt, basil, cayenne pepper, lemon pepper, cumin, crushed purple pepper, cinnamon or no matter else is crucial to your house kitchen.

Flavored drinks can style mighty refreshing after just a few days of nothing however water. Powdered drink mixes supply a pleasant mid-trip deal with.

For winter tenting, deliver further meals to assist preserve your inner fires stoked. Carry your ready-to-eat objects near your physique through the day so they aren’t frozen stable if you need to eat them.

Backpacking Meal Concepts


Backpacking breakfasts can vary from quick and primary (an power bar) to a lavish unfold involving pancakes, eggs, meats and occasional. A scorching meal can provide you an additional enhance, true, however a lightweight snack means no cleanup and a faster begin to the day.

Standard selections: Prompt scorching cereals, dehydrated eggs, pancake combine, breakfast bars, granola, dry cereal, prompt tea, espresso, powdered milk, juice, recent fruit, dried fruits.


Reasonably than take a chronic break for a noon meal (involving unpacking, preparation, cleanup and repacking), a faster technique is to graze on a collection of modest energy-boosting snacks all through the day.

Standard selections: Jerky, dried fruit, fig bars, bagels (finest for shorter journeys), power bars and nuts.


That is your reward for a day of exertion. Backcountry gourmets do not thoughts the additional problem of making hearty meals out within the nice surroundings. Most weary backpackers, although, go for the just-add-boiling-water comfort of prepackaged freeze-dried or dehydrated meals, or easy dishes corresponding to pasta.

Standard selections: Packaged meals, pasta, prompt rice, ramen noodles, prompt soups and sauces, prompt stuffing, prompt potatoes and tuna. Take into account bringing alongside some favourite spices (onion and garlic powder, basil, oregano).


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