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Organic Backpacking Food

Lunch break on the trail - should you go organic or not?

Organic backpacking food is for hikers who want to avoid chemicals such as pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, fertilizers, and hormones in their trail menus.

But organic backpacking food has still gotta be lightweight, easy to rehydrate, tasty and fast cooking, preferably in one pot without a lot of extra fuss and bother.

Things get even more interesting if you're vegetarian, vegan, gluten free or suffering from food insensitivities or allergies to peanuts, corn, dairy or soy.

You must be interested in the healthiest backpacking food to fuel your hard working body on a long hiking trip, or you wouldn't be reading this.

The question is, where can you find high quality organic backpacking food?


Buy pre-packaged
organic backpacking food

While there are some tried and true companies that crank out reliable and tasty freeze dried and/or dehydrated backpacking food, you're going to have to look a bit harder to find a company that also includes "organic" in their repertoire.

To get up to speed on backpacking food, read this.

If organic is on your wish list, rather than a must have item, take a look at Backpackers Pantry.

This company is serious about letting you know what's in each entrée, by providing this list of ingredients in their entrées, organic or otherwise.


I use their lightweight food year after year and find they have the least amount of additives while delivering a good flavor/nutrition balance.

  • Some of their selections are also organic.

High sodium content and clunky foil pouches (to withstand boiling water) are two drawbacks to traditional backpacking food such as this. I am able to work around these objections.

But if you want to go organic with lower salt and minimal packaging at every meal on your backpacking trips, there are 2 companies I can recommend.


Both of them eliminate the hassle of pulling together your own organic ingredients. And expect the usual assortment of pasta, grains and beans with various flavor twists with either of them.


Outdoor Herbivore

This on line company has lots of credible, detailed information for you to read about why going organic is a good choice for optimal body function.

They also accommodate gluten free and vegan hikers.

Their food is a combination of freeze dried and dehydrated ingredients, and they are very good about explaining exactly what has happened to the food before it arrives at your backpack.


Mary Jane's Farm is another viable choice.

This company differentiates between instant and quick prep food, and if time or effort is an option for you, pay attention to these choices as you look at their offerings.

For a discount when you buy in bulk, shop at REI.


For organic, vegan, soy-free and non-GMO trail bars I rely upon these:

GoMacro Macrobars.

The variety of flavors will keep your taste buds quite happy while supplying your hard working body with lots of protein and carbohydrates.



Warning: Organic backpacking food is not cheap. However, if you regard it as an investment in your body, it's easier to accept the premium price.

There is another way to negotiate the steep price tag, however.

Read on.


Put together your own
organic backpacking options

If you have an abundance of time plus a fervent desire to go organic on your next backpacking trip, you're going to have to locate or prepare your own organic backpacking food.

Then you'll need to package it into individual portions and include a recipe or estimated cook times, along with flavor packets, extra spices and seasonings.

This approach gives you a lot of control over the quality and variety of your backpacking menu.


North Bay Trading Company has a wide selection of hard to find organic foods that are high in carbohydrates, the most preferred energy source for hikers.

You may find your creative culinary juices (and your saliva) flowing as you consider how to combine organic sweet potato powder, dried portabello mushrooms and organic rice.


If you are fortunate enough to live within striking distance of stores which offer bulk bin organic dehydrated foods, the only other things you'll need are durable plastic self sealing bags and a marking pen for labelling.


Either way, good luck on the trail!

Hikers who pay close attention to their food choices usually embrace all of the hiking best practices discussed on this website.

Thoughtfulness and advanced planning are two attributes any hiker should cultivate, right?

Best of luck working out your hiking nutritional needs.

If you'd like to get into the nitty gritty of calculating how much fuel (i.e. food) you need for an upcoming backpacking trip, take a look at these Fast Facts instant download booklets.



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