5 Easy Meals for Backpacking
Deciding what to bring with you while you are backpacking can be difficult. You have a limited space and do not want to add any unnecessary weight. Packing meals can be especially hard. You want to make sure you have enough calories to fuel you. Having the right food is essential when you are exerting more effort because your body requires more energy. You also need options that are easy to make and eat. With a little planning, you can make sure you have the nutritious and delicious food you need to keep you going. We’ve put together five easy meals you can take with you while backpacking.
Things to Keep in Mind
Planning is an essential step when getting meals together for your backpacking excursion. You need to consider several factors when planning your meals. Some things to consider about your food choices:
- Ease of preparation
- Refrigeration requirements
- Ease of consumption
That last one is especially important! You want your meals to be lightweight and nutritious of course, but you want them to taste good to. There are numerous options that you can use. Look for foods that are ready to go as is, or try dehydrated food that just requires you to add water. Check out our meal suggestions for some truly tasty options.
Meal 1 – Breakfast: Doctored Instant Oatmeal & Coffee
It doesn’t get much easier than instant oatmeal and instant coffee. Just add hot water, give it a minute, and enjoy. This meal is already full of fiber, carbs, and caffeine (if desired), which will make you feel full and keep you going. To add a nutritional and flavor boost, take prepared instant oatmeal packets and transfer them into plastic zipper bags. Add a scoop of protein powder, dried fruits, and nuts. Fitness experts have long recommended mixing protein powder into oatmeal. This turns your average oatmeal into a yummy, balanced meal. You can have this one as a snack or to replace another meal as well.
Meal 2 – Lunch or Dinner: Alfredo Pasta or Rice
You can make pasta or rice meals ahead of time, bag them up, and prepare them while you’re on the go by adding boiling water. You can make an amazing Alfredo meal with quick cook rice or pasta, dried buttermilk, chicken bouillon, freeze dried chicken, grated parmesan cheese, and seasonings. Put all the ingredients in a baggie, zip it closed, and toss it in your pack. When you’re ready to eat, add hot water, reseal the bag and let it soak. This takes longer than instant oatmeal, but you should have your dinner in about ten minutes.
Meal 3 – Breakfast: Egg Burritos
This is another breakfast idea that you can use for any meal if you want. Bring along dehydrated eggs, whole-grain tortillas, cheese, salsa, and salami or summer sausage to make these delicious roll-ups that are as easy to eat as they are to make. Powdered or crystallized eggs just require you to add some water and scramble them. Add them to the tortillas and customize with your favorite ingredients. By using salami or summer sausage, you’re adding protein that doesn’t require refrigeration. You can omit the cheese or use a version that doesn’t require refrigeration.
Meal 4 – Lunch or Dinner: Fiesta Rice
Similar to the Alfredo meal, this one just requires you to throw some ingredients into a bag and go. When you’re ready to eat, add boiling water and wait about ten minutes for your tasty meal to make itself. For this one, you’ll need instant rice, freeze dried chicken, chicken bouillon, taco seasoning, dried corn, and dried black beans. In no time you’ll have a nutritious meal with a Southwestern flare. You can also make this a completely meatless meal by removing the chicken and increasing the amount of beans you add. Beans are high in protein and provide other important nutrients, making them a safe meat replacement.
Meal 5 – Snack Time
You don’t want to forget the snacks. There are so many ready-made options you can easily bring with you. Look for a meal replacement bar with plenty of protein, jerky or dried meats, or cheeses that don’t require refrigeration. Snacks are also a great opportunity to add some freshness. You can easily pack fruits for vegetables like apples, carrots, oranges, peppers, or your favorite fresh treat.
There you have it, five easy, delicious meal options you can take with you on your next trip. By carrying foods in plastic baggies you won’t take up a lot of space, and you can eat directly from them saving you the need to carry plates or bowls. These meals include a balance of proteins and carbs for optimal nutrition, and everything is ready to go as is or by adding hot water. It doesn’t get much easier than that.