Backpacking Meal Ideas

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We know overnight trips call for lots of planning, so we’ve gone ahead and made a meal-prep planner for you. Gone are the days of thinking backpacking meals are sloppy mush, with no flavour. With a variety of food options, from vegetarian, plant-based, keto, and gluten-free options, as well as many hearty variations to satisfy a meat-lovers pallet.

With a little extra planning backpacking meals can keep you fuelled for your next adventure without having to be too pricey. With a mixture of items purchased from your grocery store as well as prepackaged freeze dried and dehydrated options, this food selection is sure to get your mouth watering while you work up your appetite playing wilder. We always encourage you to try meals on local trips before taking off on longer adventures to make sure the serving side is large enough. As well, we recommend taking at least 1 full day's worth of extra food regardless of your trip length, as to help prepare for the unexpected. Some days you may be working harder than others or weather may prevent you from moving on and having that extra reserve, is sure to keep your mind at peace while letting you play wilder. 


Breakfast

  • Wraps with peanut butter and thinly sliced apple
    • To make lighter, carry powdered peanut butter (available at supermarkets!) and dried apples and dates
  • Pumpernickle bread with almond butter and thinly sliced banana
    • To make lighter, carry dried bananas and figs… yum!
  • Quick oats with powdered soy milk, honey and some dried apples. Top with crushed walnuts
    • Option to add protein powder 
  • Leftover white rice with powdered soy milk, honey, sultanas and dried banana
  • Pancake mix & peanut butter (depending on the length of your trip & if you have access to a skillet)
    • Add protein powder to mix 

Our favourite prepared meals

  • Radix Mixed Berry
  • Campers Pantry Oats w Cinnamon
  • Radix Cinnamon & Turmeric 

Shop Meals

Lunch

  • Wraps with peanut butter and thinly sliced apple 
    • To make lighter carry powdered peanut butter (available at supermarkets) with dried apple and dates
  • Wraps with Nutella and banana chips 
  • Pumpernickle bread with almond butter and thinly sliced banana 
    • To make lighter, carry dried bananas and figs… yum!
  • Vita Wheat biscuits with peanut butter and scroggin on the top 
  • Wraps with avocado and hummus
    • To make lighter, use the freeze dried hummus from campers pantry
  • Wraps with avocado and oil free semi dried tomatoes (available in supermarkets in the aisle with other pickled items)

Our favourite prepared meals: 

Vegan

  • Radix Plant-Based Mexican Chilli with Avocado & a wrap
  • Radix Plant-Based Indian Style Chickpea Curry
  •  Strive Hearty Minestrone (this does require a rather long time to cook, but delicious!)

Gluten Free

  •  The Outdoor Gourmet Wild Mushroom & Lamb Risotto
  • The Outdoor Gourmet Butter Chicken
  • Radix Plant-Based Indian Style Chickpea Curry 

Omnivore 

  • Radix Grass-Fed Lamb, Mint & Rosemary
  • Strive Mexican Chilli Beef & wrap
  • Campers Pantry Mango Curry Chicken

Vegetarian

  • Campers Pantry Vegetarian Pasta
  • The Outdoor Gourmet Company Venison Stir Fry
  • Strive Mushroom, Thyme & Garlic Pasta

Shop Meals

 

Dinner 

  • Freeze dried rice with lightly dried organic parsley flakes (available in supermarkets in the veggie section), currants, crushed walnuts or almonds, freeze fried mixed veggies, and some soy sauce (carry in a GoToob so it doesn’t leak)
  • Wrap with freeze dried rice with taco seasoning (add in fresh capsicums depending on weight restrictions) 
  • Freeze dried pasta with pesto, powdered parmesan, or nutritional yeast flakes
  • Freeze dried potatoes with (shredded cheese, precooked bacon bits, freeze dried chives, powdered gravy) 
  • Stuffing mix with powdered gravy or freeze dried cranberries 

Vegan 

  • Radix Plant-Based Turkish Style Falafel 
  • Strive Lentil Curry Dahl
  • Back Country Cuisine Mushroom Bolognese

Gluten Free

  • Radix Mexican Chilli with Organic Beef
  • Radix Grass-Fed Lamb, Mint & Rosemary
  • Back Country Cuisine Mexican Chicken

Omnivore

  • Strive Pasta Bolognese
  • Back Country Cuisine Chicken Tikka Masala
  • Back Country Cuisine Roast Beef and Vegetables

Vegetarian

  • Strive Vegetable Laksa
  • Campers Pantry Balti Vegetable Curry
  • Back Country Cuisine Vegetarian Stir Fry
Shop Meals

Snacks 

  • Roasted chickpeas 
  • Jerky 
  • Cup of Soup with crackers (if they get crushed it your pack, sprinkle them directly into the soup) 
  • Instant Miso soup
  • Choc pretzels 
  • Trail mix 
  • Dried fruits (pick these up from your local bulk food store to reduce packaging 
  • Wraps with almond, peanut or cashew butter topped with trail mix or fresh fruit
  • Apples travel well if kept in the top pocket of your pack and there is little waste to carry out
  • bliss balls
  • homemade or store-purchased muesli bars
  • dark chocolate! (it doesn’t melt as fast as milk chocolate) 
  • Camper’s pantry hummus & carrots or crackers 

Dessert

  • Freeze dried rice with soy milk powder, currants, sugar/honey
  • Row of a chocolate bar 

 

TIPS FOR CHOOSING BACKPACKING MEALS 


Bring what you already like to eat: Trying to convert your taste buds while on the trail or thinking “I’ll be so hungry, any food will do” is a bit of a lie we tell ourselves. Take foods that you will look forward to eating, not leaving until the very last day as your only option left. 


Bring a variety: Try to switch up your breakfast, lunch, and dinners in order to keep your taste buds from getting bored. Keep in mind having a mixture of flavours (sweet, sour, salty, and spicy) as well as textures (crispy, crunchy, crumbly, and soft). A balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats will also help to sustain you. 

Pack fresh foods: We know how important getting pack weight down is, but sometimes to keep playing wilder you just need something that isn’t packaged and processed. Most fresh food, if consumed in the first 1-2 days will last without getting too smushed in your pack. For quick trips baguettes and hard cheeses are a great combo. Keep in mind produce that won’t perish easily as well as has little unused parts as you will need to pack out what you pack in to follow Leave No Trace Principles (think carrots, broccoli, kale or precut apples. 

Get creative with lightweight versions of foods: milk powder, peanut butter powder, tuna packets, packaged soups, or even chicken broth. 

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