When prepping for a trip there is nothing more important than planning what to eat! Sure, you can survive a week without food, but why would you try when there are delicious backcountry options?
In the spirit of the fast-approaching camping and backpacking season, we will be sharing a few of our favorites with you today!
We must admit, there’s no meal that we look forward to more when backpacking than Mountain House Biscuits and Gravy. Our trick is to not seal the bag as long as the directions suggest, and that gives the inside of the biscuit chunks a little crunch. However, if you have this for every breakfast you will come home to find that despite walking all day every day with a heavy pack, you’ll return home a little plumper.
So what else is there? Roam Oatmeal! Roam is a company based out of Portland, Oregon that has crafted an incredible gluten-free oatmeal that is amazing tasting and great for you. They come in small one meal pouches that can be used as a bowl, all you need to do is add hot water! Our favorite is the Mount Hood Hazelnut Mocha- it even has coffee in it for the perfect delicious two in one experience, it’s like happiness in a pouch.
Many of us love our coffee with breakfast as well, and a little coffee in your oatmeal might not do it for you. Personally, we can’t quite stomach instant coffee- we’d rather take caffeine tablets! To us, the best backcountry coffee is usually a simple lightweight pour over or using our own pre-made coffee bag and steeping it like tea. The latter is lighter and takes up less space. Plus, with a little bit of DIY engineering, you can make a reusable bag at home for little to no cost.
These normally aren’t too glamorous for us as we are usually trekking during the day, but we do have a few go-to trail snacks.
It is always nice to have something sweet- our body craves the sugars when we are exerting ourselves. Our favorite fix is to have homemade dried mangos or bananas (You can also get them at Trader Joe’s as well). This allows for a lightweight, long-lasting, and healthy option. It is so easy to just grab a candy bar disguised as a protein or athletic bar but why ingest all the chemicals? Dried fruit is great for snacks while you are still hiking because they give you that little boost of sugar when you get tired and there isn’t the heavy protein and fats that need to be broken down to slow you down.
And with the sweet, you have to have the savory. For this, our favorite snack is jerky. It’s both lightweight and protein filled. To avoid red meat, we usually opt for a chicken or turkey option. We haven’t found a brand of jerky that truly sticks out to us, so we normally go with whatever is on sale.
A great way to start out a trip is with a normal filling meal as you don’t have to worry about your food spoiling. This can save you money as you don’t have to go and buy expensive backpacking food or make your own freeze-dried concoction.
One of our go-to meals for the first day of backpacking is BBQ pulled chicken over powdered potatoes. We normally pick up the chicken at Trader Joe’s, but they do have a Jack Daniels version at other local grocery stores. You add the bag of chicken to a pot of boiling water to heat it up and then use the remaining boiling water to rehydrate the potatoes.
Our second favorite meal, bratwursts and mac N cheese can really only be made when our trek in the first day was fairly short or we are car camping. We will add boiling water to Mountain House Mac N Cheese and let that sit while we cook the bratwursts in the remaining boiling water. Once you mix the two together the result is a delicious flavor-filled meal that gives you lots of energy to trek the next day!
As always, no meal is complete without a comfortable place to sit. For this, we obviously recommend the Pac Back Trio, and can’t wait to hopefully have some available on our site this summer!
We’d love to hear about your favorite backcountry eats as well! Feel free to add your favorite recipes and snacks in the comments.
Until next time,
Lily and John