Backpacking Food Ideas – An Amazing List Of Foods For Backpacking




backpacking food ideas


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Great Backpacking Food Ideas

backpacking food ideasBackpacking is a great way to get away from all of the stresses of daily life, but at the same time it is a fantastic way to reconnect with nature. The downside is when you are backpacking you often need to bring food with you and since you do not have the modern cooling, you need the best ideas possible for the different types of backpacking food ideas. Now, I know that for some people they would think that getting the cereal and trail mix would be a great solution to their problems and I do have to agree that could work at times, but the chances are good that you want to have more than just trail mix for a backpacking trip, which is why I decided it was time to write up our list that you see here.

How Did I Narrow Down The List

I have to say that the list was a challenge to complete the list. However, I know food coupled with water is very important when you are backpacking. To compile the list I decided to look at the foods that I would want to have with me to go backpacking with, but at the same time are fairly energy packed to make it easier for you and I alike to enjoy backpacking all day long.

Tortilla Shells

I really wanted to put down bread as the carbohydrate type of bread. Then I got to thinking and looked at the way I pack my backpack and found out that the bread would be as flat as a tortilla shell by the time I got around to eating it. So I figured might as well skip smashing the bread and tearing it up and get the shells straight out of the gate. At the same time, though, when you are finding the backpacking food ideas space conservation is a major issue. If you look at these shells they tend to have ten to twenty of these shells in the small package that is a third the size of a loaf of bread.

So that is definitely a major positive for the tortilla shells versus the bread. What else helps and makes this a major positive is the fact that this type of item that you can use as a slice of bread does not require you to use multiple slices for a single sandwich. Instead, you are able to get the shells and roll them up to make you a sandwich that you can easily eat on the go, but also provides you with the space-saving feature you need to have.

Jif Peanut Butter & Jelly Packages

The peanut butter and jelly packages that are already made or the type that is in the squeeze type of packages are a great option when you are looking for a quick item to put on your tortilla shell. When these are combined it is easy for you to package into the backpack and bring along enough that can last you longer on your trip. It is important that you find the ones that will only last you long enough for your trip or can be resealed. If they cannot then you could have some problems with the product lasting you long enough. That is why I mention using the single-use packages because they are going to make it easier for you to time out how many you can use, but also know if you are going to run low on food. Not to mention, the single-use packages tend to take up less space in your backpack.

Ramen Noodles

Water is one item that you need to bring with you and when you heat up some of the water it is very easy for you to make some Ramen Noodles to get them moist. At the same time, some people, including some of my friends, like to eat the noodles without them being warmed up. However, what else is great about these noodles is they are packed with plenty of food that tends to fill you up right away and at the same time allows you to have a meal to enjoy that can come in different flavors.

When you are packing you need to be mindful of the Styrofoam cup types of noodles you get. When you have the cups you need to make sure the cup is fully intact from your backpack or you could end up pouring boiling hot water all over your hand. What else you need to be careful of is any type of wildlife that could smell the food you have prepared and want to come and take it from you, so make sure the proper protections for the food containers are in place when you make any type of food that is hot.

Fig Bars

These bars are often seen as an acquired taste, but they are definitely worth the time it takes to get the taste for them. They tend to be packed full of energy and can be eaten while on the go. What else is great is these bars have a lot of the same great flavors you are looking at getting that are completely different. This makes it easier for you to find the flavor you are sure to enjoy. Another great feature about the fig bars is the fact you can often find smaller boxes of these that are going to have 2-4 cookies or fig bars per package and that is the perfect snack size to give you a boost of energy.

Protein Bars

Just like the fig bars, these are a great food to eat on the go. However, these bars tend to have everything you need to have food wise and nutrition wise to provide you with the protein-based energy that you could be missing without any true meat items to eat. Now, another great feature is these bars do not take up a lot of room either in your backpack and that often means you can slip in quite a few into your backpack and what I found as a great idea is to put some of these in those smaller pockets that do not look like they could fit anything, well these tend to slip right into the spot rather easily.

Rice Packets

I am sure if you walk down any of the aisles in the stores that have your boxes of Rice a Roni you are sure to see the Knorr brand as well. You know what I mean the green little rice bags that are always looking great and I think they go under the name of rice sides or even pasta sides. Yes, that is what I am talking about when I mean rice dishes or even the pasta dishes. All that these require is a little bit of water to prepare and you can have some rice or pasta that is not only going to provide you with a decent amount of food, but also gives you a change of pace from the peanut butter and jelly meals and the other meals that you may have gotten used to when you are eating out of the food that you brought with you while backpacking.

Squeezable Fruits

I am sure that you have seen these in the stores. If not you can ask any kid under the age of 10 and I am sure they can direct you to where these are located if they are like my kiddos. These are generally going to have the fruit in a squeezable package with a twist top on the top. Once you twist the top off all you have to do is squeeze the base to start getting the fruit you want to eat into your mouth. Now, this type of fruit does tend to be limited in what is available for you to eat as not all the fruits can be put into the squeeze packs, but once you do have these they are definitely the treat you want to have on the trails.

Instant Mash Potatoes

A great feature about the instant mashed potatoes is they are very easy to make and generally you just have to boil some water. Yes, some of these require butter, but not all of these require butter. Since you do not have the chance to bring butter with you, then you need to make sure you check to see if it is possible to make these without the butter. What else is helpful is to check the recipes and try them out at home before you get on the trail and realize that it is not going to work. A great thing with the instant mash potatoes is the fact they are small packages and do not take up a lot of space.


Honestly, I was torn about putting this idea in the list, but I included it because I tend to get quite an energy boost from these little items. What else I like is I am able to buy multiple boxes of different flavors and bring different flavors with me. It is very important to make sure you use a marker to label the Pop-Tarts packages or you could end up dealing with the surprise of which one are you getting at any given time. Something else to remember is these can be broken up into smaller pieces if you are not careful, which means you need to try to put these into some type of container to protect them from being broken into little pieces while you are backpacking.

Canned Soups

When you look at the canned soups you need to find the soups that are precooked and just needs to be warmed up. Typically a great option for this is the Campbells Chunky soups. You can heat these up for a few minutes in a dish that is safe for your campfire. Once you have the soup heated up it is very easy to eat and enjoy the meal that you have just made and know that you are getting a protein and nutrient rich meal that is going to provide you with quite a bit of food and energy.

Gatorade Powdered Drink Mixes

Now, I am not sure how many people will like this idea or will even try it out, but when you are backpacking you most likely, if you are like me, will sweat. This means you lose quite a bit of salt and other minerals your body needs. To avoid that problem you may need to look at the powdered drinks that you can make. All you have to do is add the powder to your water and then you have a drink mix that has plenty of electrolytes that can actually help rejuvenate your system and get you ready for the trails again.

Instant Coffee Mixes

I have an addiction to coffee, in fact, I tend to drink coffee most of the day until bedtime. Since I drink so much coffee I have come to rely on it to give me the boost I want to get in the morning and keep me going. Well, with that being the case, I have to say that you need to check out the instant coffees that are in individual packs, not the glass jar. I may sound a little partial here and have to say that I really like the Starbucks Via Instant Coffee. This type of coffee I have found mixes in really well and does not have a lot of the horrible taste that I get with some of the other coffees.  What else you may want to bring with you, if you have room in your pack is some of the instant creamer cups that can easily mix into your coffee. This helps to break up some of the coffee taste of the instant coffees, but also helps to give you a unique taste to your coffee.


Having a drink is extremely important when you have to exert yourself while backpacking. When you do backpack like I mentioned before you sweat quite a bit. To avoid this from becoming a serious health issue you need to have water that is safe to drink. This way you can drink your water and know you are not going to get dehydrated or have other health issues. Not only that water is the basis for a lot of the other items that we mentioned above for the food and even the drinks.

Food is an important item to bring with you when you are backpacking. However, what you can find is some of the foods that you want to have in your backpack are simply not a great idea. Yes, I know it is very disappointing, that you are limited in the food you bring, but finding the new unique foods is definitely worth it. That is why I compiled the lists of what I feel are the best backpacking food ideas and even kicked in some great backpacking drink ideas to make it easier for you to find the best items to bring with you.

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