These recipes are things I tried and loved while backpacking. The important qualities I’m looking for when deciding on trail food are:
- Good macro breakdown. Though the body is pretty adaptable, it needs to have some basic needs met on the trail. I try to make sure I get at least a little protein, carbs, and fats with every meal.
- Low in hydration! While water is an important pseudo-nutrient, I’d rather not carry it for a couple days in the form of food when there are options that are drier, lighter, and just require the addition of water.
- Low in cost. One of my favorite things about hiking is the ability to get out of town and have a great time for cheaper than hotels and restaurant meals. While preassembled dehydrated meals save on time and are impressive in scope, cost is an obvious detractor.
- Tasty and easy. Starting and ending a day of backpacking with food that tastes good makes for a vastly different experience on the trail. I find it far more enjoyable.
If an option doesn’t tick these boxes, then it won’t be on this page.
- Breakfast cereal
- Yes, that’s right. It’s nice having a familiar, somewhat nostalgic meal to start the day. Especially because with this one, you’re able to add water to a ziplock, pack up camp, and then stick a spoon in and eat as you walk. I make this with powdered milk, muesli as my cereal, and an assortment of dried fruit (although just raisins work fine). This 1000 calorie meal comes in at under $3.00, with 12g fat/200g carbs/30g protein.
- Peanut butter, banana, and honey sandwiches
- Everybody knows that sandwiches are a cheap, easy, yummy option. But out on the trail, some concerns come up such as the amount of room that bread takes up and how quickly some ingredients can go bad (deli meats) or sog the bread. The solution? Bread alternatives like pitas or tortillas! Pair these with toppings/fillings/spreads that can last at room temperature and you’ve got yourself an awesome trail snack. In this case I layered peanut butter, honey, and crunchy dried banana chips in large tortillas. Check out this link for the recipe, some cost analysis, and a quick nutritional breakdown.