by Diane Spicer
Easy backpacking recipes - one of the holy grails of hiking!
If you're a seasoned backpacker, you know the reality of trail time: by the time you're ready for that hot satisfying load of nutrients, you're tired!
Here's how it usually goes at your campsite:
Extra points for ignoring the following:
Which is why easy backpacking recipes, and the hikers who consume them, have two important attributes:
Let's roll those into "fast and easy" to save time.
Heads up: Some backpackers are trail foodies.
They don't want to choke down something just because it fills the gnawing emptiness in the belly.
Or because it's nutritious.
They deserve their own category: gourmet trail meals.
It's in your best interests to disclose this information if you're a trail foody, or to ask your backpacking buddies if any of them fall into this category.
Because meal prep will take time, and can lead to frustration as on both sides of the stove.
And that's no fun for anyone.
Here's my two cents about the tussle between lightweight, nutritious, and tasty.
And if you're curious about how to make smart food choices without sacrificing taste on a backpacking trip, read more about this important topic here.
Now that you know which category of backpacking food consumption you're in, let's get back to those easy recipe ideas.
I'm guessing most backpackers will fall into the "fill my belly fast" category, so here are my recommendations for websites that get right to it.
For simple recipes and lots of tips on how to prepare backpacking meals, visit this site.
Tip: Fast, easy backpacking recipes depend upon preparation and efficient bagging at home. Plan lots of time to figure out, and prepare, your backpacking meals before you leave for the trail.
In every hiking crowd, there's an overachiever.
Hint: That overachiever's trail name has something to do with food.
Here's an example: fast backpacking recipes are morphed into delicious backpacking recipes by this guy: "Chef Glenn".
I am fascinated by his descriptions of "backpacking food for the soul." Check out his list of best backpacking recipes.
Lots of ingredients!! Lots of prior planning, too.
Another source of easy backpacking recipes which do not skimp on flavor: Wild Backpacker. I like this site because it has a "do before you leave" list, and a "do at your campsite" list of chores.
OK, one more that's high on my "go to" list for ideas for tasty recipes.
The name pretty much gives it away: "Dirty Gourmet." But what's a little bit of trail dirt between friends, right?
This site uses an interesting approach for outdoor foodies: they use a short list of "base" ingredients (think starches), then a list of protein sources, with a punch line involving a variety of seasonings and spices.
That leaves you more time to figure out how to cross a fast flowing creek like this one!
If you have great recipes you'd like to share, or great sources of easy backpacking recipes, send them to me!
Disaster stories and "avoid this at all costs" tips are also welcome.
I'll be sure to pass them along to our virtual trail buddies, right here on this page, or in my free monthly newsletter.
Easy Backpacking Recipes
About the author
Diane is the founder of Hiking For Her.
She’s been on a hiking trail somewhere in the world for nearly five decades & loves to share her best hiking tips right here.
All rights reserved.
Photo credits: All photos on this website were taken by David Midkiff or Diane Spicer except where noted.
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