Wilderness Backpacking: What Food to Bring

Wilderness Backpacking: What Food to Bring
Backpacking is a strenuous activity that requires stamina and energy. Making healthy, practical food choices is essential to your physical health and well-being while out on the trails. The best backpacking nourishment consists of calorie-packed, healthy, tasteful and lightweight food items that are easy to prepare.


Breakfast backpacking foods should be rich in carbohydrates. You need plenty of energy source to start the day and also to prepare your body for the strains of hiking. Breakfast items that are quick and lightweight include rice, granola, dried powdered milk, instant oatmeal, pop tarts, dried fruits and water. You can also pack hot cocoa powder mix and peanut butter. Take the food items out of the packaging boxes to decrease weight and store in zip lock bags. Organize your meals per day or put all the same types of meal in one bag, i.e., a breakfast bag, a lunch bag and a dinner bag.



Take lunch items that provide sufficient calories and nutrient value. To save time, choose foods that are easy and quick to prepare. Breads, pasta, crackers and cereals provide carbohydrates, sugars and starches while canned meats, dried eggs, cheese, nuts and chocolate provide proteins and fats. Choose from a variety of tasty food items like bagels, cream cheese, bread, granola bars, chocolate, dried fruit, crackers, cheeses and lunch meat such as dried salami or jerk beef. You can also make your own trail mix consisting of dried mixed fruits, mixed nuts and chocolates.


Choose dinner backpacking foods with the goal of replenishing your body. Foods with fat aid in providing warmth during the night while protein helps to rebuild exhausted muscles and tissues. Food items include: cup noodles, vegetable soup, potatoes, gravy, couscous, dried vegetables, macaroni and cheese, canned soups, pasta and spaghetti sauce. You can also purchase freeze dried dinners from outdoor outfitters and other camping supply stores.


Article Written By Rona Aquino

Rona Aquino began writing professionally in 2008. As an avid marathon runner and outdoor enthusiast, she writes on topics of running, fitness and outdoor recreation for various publications. Aquino holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications and English from the University of Maryland College Park.

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