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This post outlines the best backpacking meal planning tips for your next adventure!
A solid backpacking meal plan is very necessary for a successful trip out in the wilderness. Whether you’re going on a short day hike or a week-long adventure, having a solid backpacking meal plan should be one of your top concerns. Enjoying some yummy snacks and full meals every once in a while can make your backpacking trip more enjoyable. Experts say it’s best to have three solid meals a day with a snack or two in between. The type and amount of food you carry will significantly impact the overall success rate of your trip. This is especially true if you’re planning to go on a long backpacking trip that will last more than a week.
Today we have put together an extensive guide for backpacking meal planning that will help make your next backcountry adventure easier and more enjoyable than ever before.
Below we provide a general backpacking meal planning guide:
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Let's start our backpacking meal planning guide with the first meal of the day. Most seasoned backpackers usually prefer starting their day with a warm cup of coffee while on the trail. When it comes to coffee powders, there are tons of different options available to choose from. But Starbucks Via is the most popular one. Not only does it taste great but it also is travel-friendly. You can carry it on your backpack for days and use it whenever you feel like you need a quick coffee break. We recommend having a cup of coffee with some breakfast early in the morning before hitting the trail. For breakfast, you can have instant oatmeal with some dried fruits. You can also have one or two calorie-dense bar to get some quick energy in the morning. A packet of almond butter is one of our favorites.
Related: Beyond Oatmeal: 6 Hot Backpacking Breakfasts
Next on our backpacking meal planning guide is "lunch". When you’re backpacking through the wilderness, it is always better to have a cold lunch to save time and effort required for cooking an appetizing hot meal. That’s why we recommend having tortilla and bagel sandwiches for lunch. You can pair them up with some hard meat and cheese if you want. Bagels and tortillas are great choices for most outdoor lunches as they are jam-packed with calories. Consider carrying peanut butter, jelly, and honey as extra food condiments.
Related: 10 Easy Delicious Hiking and Backpacking Lunch Ideas
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Dinner is something that all backpacking meal planning guide should list out. If you’re looking for a lightweight but tasty meal option for dinner then there’s nothing better than “freeze-dried meal pouches”. Freeze-dried meals are currently one of the most popular meal options for hikers and backpackers all over the world. They are rich in calories and can last for a long period of time. You can find all sorts of freeze-dried meals within $7-12. One of the perks of having freeze-dried meals for dinner is that you don’t end up with dirty dishes to wash up once you’re done eating them.
Related: Backpacking and Camping Dinner Recipes
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Last on our backpacking meal planning guide is some healthy snacks. You will burn a lot of calories when you’re out there on the trail. So having one or two snacks along the way can really help you keep up your energy level. Healthy snacks such as peanut butter, trail mix, and nuts & seeds can help you make it that extra mile. It’s best to avoid bringing things that melt if you are backpacking during summer.
Related: 10 Backpacking Food Mistakes To Avoid
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As mentioned above, the meals don’t have to be complex or fancy but you do need to break down what food items you’re going to have for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Schedule day-by-day menus if possible. And if this is your first time preparing a backpacking meal plan, covering the basics is enough. Just make sure to opt for lightweight, calorie dense foods.
Do you have a favorite backpacking meal or recipe? Do let us know in the comments down below.