Easy Backpacking Recipes

We all know that food provides necessary fuel for our bodies. Any hiker/backpacker will tell you that food is especially important when you’re hiking multiple miles a day and burning many calories. When backpacking, it’s important to strike a balance between having enough food but not too much food.

Additionally, you want to make sure that you bring nutritious food that doesn’t need to be refrigerated (for obvious reasons), and ingredients that don’t require cooking (adding hot water is best). Dehydrated food can be found online or at specialty stores. Many meals you eat often at home can be adapted for the trail and I can almost guarantee that they’ll taste better after a night in a tent or a long day of exploring!

Just because you’re backpacking and have limited resources doesn’t mean that your food has to be tasteless. Throw your favorite spices into little Ziplock baggies and pack them with your cooking gear. My favorite spices include cinnamon, cumin, pepper, and garlic salt!

Here are some easy backpacking recipes that are simple but tasty! All of them require prepping at home where you have access to measuring cups. Tupperware may be handy when taking your lunch to work but the best storage container for backpacking is a Ziplock bag.


Trail Mix – Whether you make your own or pick up a bag from the store, this quintessential backpacking snack is a must-have. If you’re not sure about your rationing skills, split the mix into individual snack-size baggies and set one aside for each day.

Granola Bars – There are tons of brands out there but whatever you choose, make sure it has protein. You want something to keep you going between meals as you’re hiking.

Peanut, Almond, or Sunflower Butter Packets – It’s a great calorie boost and can easily be spread on bread or tortillas.

Chocolate or Something Sweet – If you know you won’t be hiking in the heat, throw in some chocolate for a quick energy boost.


Blueberry Cinnamon Oatmeal – Makes 1 Serving

½ cup instant oats
⅛ cup dried blueberries (or other dried berries)
⅛ tsp cinnamon
⅛ cup slivered almonds
1 tsp powdered milk (optional)
1 tbsp brown sugar (optional)
hot water

Combine all of the ingredients and put them into a Ziplock bag at home. All you need to do is add hot water when you’re ready to eat!

Veggie Scramble by Fresh Off the Grid


Tuna Salad/Sandwich – Makes 1 Serving

1 individual tuna pouch
1 individual packet of mayonnaise, mustard, and relish
1 pinch of your favorite spices
Bread, pita, or tortillas (optional)

No prep needed in advance. When you’re ready to eat, open the pouch, add the condiments and spices and mix well. Eat straight out of the bag or combine with bread/pita/tortillas.

Ramen With A Protein Twist by Fresh Off the Grid


Chicken and Veggie Couscous by Love the Backcountry

Black Bean Burritos by The Hiking Tree Blog


Check out the Shoestring Adventures dessert recipes featured in our Journal: S’Machos and Banana Boats.

If you’re not a huge fan of cooking or want to mix things up a bit, you can purchase dehydrated backpacking meals. They come in conveniently packaged pouches and all you need to do is add water. Mountain House, Backpacker’s Pantry and Good To-Go are all pretty tasty meals.

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