Camping, hiking and backpacking require enormous amounts of energy. Eating appropriately healthy food helps to maintain those energy levels and prevent fatigue or injury in the backcountry.
Nutrient-rich perishables such as fruits and vegetables are treats the first day or two of a camping trek--they should be consumed before they spoil due to heat or bruising.
Wild foods, if you can find them, are often the freshest and most nutrient-rich camp foods available. Fireweed, dandelion, plantain and chickweed are examples of widespread, easily identified edible wild plants. It is vital that you know which foods found naturally are edible. Take a plant identification course and bring along a book to help you make sure you are making safe choices.
The most common ways of preserving healthy food for travel are freeze-drying or dehydrating. Both are considered to be roughly equal in terms of nutrition and shelf life, but because freeze-dried foods are fully cooked, they're usually faster to prepare.
Food variety is important for keeping healthy over a long camping trip. Use dried meats, fruits and vegetables as a way of maintaining vitamin and mineral levels over time. Canned fruits and vegetables also offer an interesting, healthy treat near the journey's end, but they can be heavy to carry, so be selective when you pack them.