I have gone on a backpacking trip almost every summer with my family since I was old enough to walk, (or ride in on a mule) and throughout the years, our camp meals have varied. Recently my parents have gotten into the Backpacker's Pantry line because they are so easy, (just add hot water) and taste pretty decent as well. My brother, his wife and I still like to get creative and don't mind packing in a little extra fresh vegetables or avocado to take a meal to the next level, (not hard to do when you are backpacking). Below you will find some of my favorite snack ideas, and three go-to backpacking recipes to make from scratch.
Artisana nut butter packets
Olive packs from OLOVE or Trader Joe’s brand
Nut Thin crackers
Avocados (heavy but worth it)
OlaLoa electrolyte packets
A note about hydration:
Recommended daily fluid intake is about 2.5 quarts of water, (from liquid and/or food). For reference, one liter is about equal to one quart. Alternately, divide your body weight by 2 and that is the number of ounces of liquid you need per day, (example: If you weigh 140 lbs/2 you need around 70 ounces per day). If you are exercising, you need even more. This is because during exercise, our bodies sweat to help maintain appropriate body temperature. As sweat evaporates from the surface of our skin, it cools us off. Sweating alone can increase water loss to 3 or 4 quarts/liters.
When we are hiking or exercising, we lose electrolytes through our sweat, so it is important to hydrate with more than just plain water. Look for dehydrated coconut water packets or electrolyte packets to add to your water bottle during a hike.
Protein Packed Instant Oatmeal
(makes one serving)
½ C instant oats- (145 cals/ 4g protein)
1 TBS coconut sugar (45 cals)
1 TBS chia seeds (50 cals/ 1.5g protein)
1 TBS hempseeds (60 cals/ 3.5g protein)
2 scoops Vital Proteins collagen powder (70 cals/ 18g protein)
1 TBS coconut milk powder (60cals)
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp sea salt
¼ C freeze dried berries (I like strawberries, blueberries, or mango) (20 cals)
1 packet Artisana nut butter (almond, walnut, pecan, cashew) (180 cals/ 6g protein)
Combine all ingredients in a small Ziploc baggie. This combo of ingredients provides you with 33g protein and 630 calories. I usually do not condone counting calories, but on a big backpacking trip it is in your best interest that you are getting enough calories, so in this case it is good to check. You can adjust to your body weight/ goals using the calorie/ protein measurements above.
Mango Chia Pudding
(serves 4/ 250 calories per serving)
3 C water
1/4 C coconut milk powder
1/4 C coconut sugar
1/4 C raisins
1/2 C dried mango, chopped into pieces
¼ tsp sea salt
½ tsp cinnamon
3/4 C chia seeds
Before your trip, measure out the coconut milk powder in one bag, and all other ingredients in another. Using your camp stove, heat 1 cup of the water and combine with coconut milk powder to make sure it dissolves.
Add remaining ingredients, whisking to ensure the chia does not clump together. Let sit for 20-30 minutes, (it helps if you can find some snow to pack around it!) and serve!
Mexican Stew with Canned Chicken
2 C water
1 package Frontier Tortilla Soup Mix (or something similar containing dehydrated beans, corn and spices)
½ tsp sea salt
2 green onions, diced
1 small zucchini, diced
1 can Wild Planet organic chicken breast (with pull tab)
Hot sauce packets
Before your trip, pour contents of the soup mix into a Ziploc bag and add sea salt, (this mix is salt free and you will want salt while backpacking). Chop your veggies and place them in a separate bag. Using your camp stove, heat a small amount of water to saute veggies. Cook for 3-4 minutes before adding remaining water and soup contents.
Simmer the stew for about 6-8 minutes, making sure everything is well hydrated before adding the canned chicken. Cook a few minutes longer- Stew should be thick at this point.
Turn off heat and serve with avocado, corn chips and hot sauce!