Meal Planning for Backpacking

Backpacking can be an exciting time. However, if you are looking to go longer periods of time, you certainly will need to bring meals.  During a backpacking adventure, you use up a lot of calories. The colder the weather, the more calories you use, so pack with this in mind.

Also, don’t forget something to purify the water for you as you are out there. Carrying water while backpacking can get quite heavy. However, you can use water sources you have around you as well but you need something that will purify it and make it a healthy option.

Keeping your pack light

Keeping your pack lighter weight is important. This means that you need to look at the food that won’t weigh down your pack. But, you also want nutritional value too!

For breakfast, we look at Carnation Instant Breakfast as a great option. This requires no cooking, yay, but it will give you everything you need for the day. We do mix this with some oatmeal, brownie mix, and instant coffee powder. This will give you a good energy drink and boost for your hike. Be sure to mix it up in baggie before you leave, so you can just carry portions that you will need and not all those containers. This keeps your pack light but is a good filler.

For snacks, we do recommend trail mixes. These are mixes made from nuts and dried fruits that provide the body with needed protein, carbs, and other ingredients that the body will enjoy. However, you can also bring along some crackers that have peanut butter between them like a sandwich as well. This too is lightweight but will provide you with much-needed nutrition.

Ready-Made hiking food solutions

Of course, there are all kinds of backpacking dehydrate food options out there as well. Don’t think that you have to come up with your own solution. Many of these are simple to make and you simply need to add water and that’s it. It is ready in minutes and is really good. However, you will pay for this convenience as well. So, if you are on a budget or have a lot of hikers going, this might not be the best solution for you.

Granola and Cereal bars are a great snack or addition to breakfast or any meal really. Tortilla shells are simple to pack and can hold your favorite meats and cheeses. Many hard types of meat will last for days without refrigeration. You can also use peanut or almond butter.

And, don’t forget to bring some condiment packets. These can help change up the flavor from day to day so that the food doesn’t get old.  After eating out of your pack for a few days, things can get a bit boring. But, try to bring along a nice variety that can change up the flavors a bit. Tuna is also a great one to bring along. You can mix it up with some condiments and have a great protein-rich meal. The only downfall is Tuna can get a bit heavy. Foil pouch packages are better than the cans and then you don’t need a can opener as well!


I have been camping and going outdoors for over 15 years! My first experience was when I joined the scouts. There I learned a lot. From building a campfire to set up a really big tent. Then I know this is awesome. Around 2005 I also started Geocaching. This is a lot of fun. And every time we go camping we look at the map to see if there are some nice caches around.

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