Simple backpacking food can be turned into delicious backpacking meals with a small propane or alcohol stoves and a few pieces of simple outdoor cookware.
Backpacking food made simple! And they go beyond dehydrated food too. Adding some simple, lightweight food items to your backpacking supplies will have you eating like a queen or king of the mountain!
Although taking along freeze dried food is easy to do like Mountain House Foods, it's easy to create your own meals with great hiking foods from your own backpackers pantry.
I feel compelled to share a personal story with you here. A few years back my husband and I planned a quick two night backpacking trip up a local mountain area.We decided to travel as light as possible and we would only bring up dehydrated backpacking food with us. (Mistake #1).
At the last minute I headed to our local camping store only to find that all they had left was curried Indian food. We love Indian food so we didn't think it should be too bad, except it was what we had for all three meals a day.Eating dehydrated, very curried Indian food for breakfast was pretty tough, lunch was alright and by dinner it was getting pretty hard to eat again.
The morning we packed up we knew there was no way we could stomach another curried dehydrated breakfast and so we decided to skip our curried breakfast and head down the mountain hungry and head to the nearest hamburger spot as fast as possible.Since then, we've gotten smarter about our backpacking food and backpacking meals. With a little planning you really can eat well on hiking trips.
Breaking down food into meals is the easiest way to plan:
Backpacking food doesn't need to be too rough! We need to start with coffee and since Starbucks introduced their singles we fell in love! It's so simple, weighs nothing and tastes delicious. Plus, we've made other hikers quite envious in the mornings which is great if you've brought extras to either give/bargain or trade!
We like our milk and sugar with our coffee and the same would go with tea if that's your preference. We bring up small packets of sugar (cannot reveal my source but I'm sure you can guess) and we pour milk into small plastic containers and freeze them. They thaw slowly and we get our fresh milk.
I usually pack a couple of oranges (yes, they can be heavy) for our first breakfast or two. And we bring along instant flavoured oatmeal packages that only require hot water and sometimes a couple of eggs in those handy two or six egg holders. We'll also bring along a few slices of whole wheat bread that can be really squished down in a resealable bag and weighs very little.
We're quite particular here as the snacks we bring really need to serve the purpose of providing us with both slow and quick energy. We bring along small bags of nuts, small chocolates and candies and dried fruit.
That's pretty much what we snack on between meals. We do bring along some energy bars and a couple of fruit bars too, but primarily we snack on the dried fruit and nuts. And hiking is our excuse to eat little candies!
We sometimes pre-make super healthy but protein and carb packed sandwiches before we leave and either freeze them or chill them well.
They are always good to go on our first or second day away. I don't eat meat so I always make egg salad sandwiches with cheese and lettuce on whole wheat bread. My husband likes his meat sandwiches with cheese and lettuce. And we pack organic peanut butter sandwiches for our children when they come with us.
This is where the dehydrated food comes in for us. We do bring up some real food for our first dinner. Because we need to keep it simple, we usually bring some veggies like peppers, celery, garlic and onion, carrot and something green. We'll bring up dried rice and cook that up and then fry up our veggies with a bit of olive oil we've stored in a container, salt and pepper.
We then cook up some tofu (for me) that has been pre-marinated and we'll bring up some sausage for the meat-eaters. Put it all together and we've got a delicious stir fry over rice for dinner. However, if we don't have the room or we're on our second or subsequent night away, we do rip open our bags of backpacking freeze dried food and add hot water.
The important thing about backpacking food is to be prepared. I can't stress that enough. Thoughtfully plan out your meals and make sure you have everything you need. Deyhdrated food doesn't have to taste terrible and it is possible to eat backpacking meals made of real food too.
Calling all Backpacking Chefs! Share your favourite meals you create with other backpackers.
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