Food for Camping in the Wilderness

Food for Camping in the WildernessOrganizing camping food can be tough. To get the most from your food on the trail, balance your caloric intake with the energy it takes to carry the load. Most hikers find dehydrated and condensed foods make the highest calorie-to-weight ratio and so make the best camping foods; however, the repetitive nature of these foods often means a week of the same meals and even a loss of appetite and digestive problems. But while the basic food structure is fairly rigid, there is no reason why you can't vary your flavors and create excellent meals on the trail.


Pasta is the almost universal base for dinners on the trail. Its light weight and high carbohydrate count make it ideal to replenish and refuel your body after a long day of hiking, and its complex starches will give you energy to spare for the morning. Use different sauces to add variety to your pasta dishes. Pesto, marinara, cheese and even meat sauces can be purchased or made in dehydrated and concentrated forms and only take water or a dash of oil to reconstitute on the trail. Add dehydrated vegetables, peppers, onions, herbs and spices to give added flavor and texture.

Oatmeal and Granola

Oatmeal has long been the counterpart to pasta for hikers, and it still makes an excellent trail breakfast. Flavored instant oatmeal packets make a quick, convenient and energizing way to start your days on the trail. Purchase a variety pack to avoid morning gruel fatigue. Or substitute granola, which, although heavier than oatmeal, provides more carbohydrates and fats. Mix granola with nuts, berries, chocolate candies and coconut to make the classic trail food, gorp.


Many trail menus overlook vitamins in favor of high calorie contents, but this is not necessary. Dried fruits not only provide the vitamins your body needs to stay healthy during activity but also give a large dose of energizing sugars and carbohydrates. Fill a bag with your favorite dried fruit and add a handful of berries, raisins, apples, figs, pears, prunes, mango or bananas to every meal.


Article Written By Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson earned his Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from The Ohio University. He has been a professional writer since 2008, specializing in outdoors content and instruction. Johnson's poetry has appeared in such publications as "Sphere" and "17 1/2 Magazine."

Don't Miss a Thing!

All our latest outdoor content delivered to your inbox once a week.



We promise to keep your email address safe and secure.