Blaze the Trail with This Delicious Backpacking Menu

“Just one more thousand-foot climb between me and dinner!”

Does that sound familiar to you? One of the things that most backpackers can attest to is the importance of food. Not only is it what literally fuels your body as you haul yourself up the mountain and over the last pass that stands between you and a good night’s rest, but we’ve found that food is also one of the biggest motivators on long, hard stretches of trail.

Given how crucial food is in both a physical and motivational sense, we place a lot of importance on making sure that our meal plans are both nutritious and delicious. While some freeze dried food makes the cut (stroganoff is always a well-loved classic), we find that our favorite meals are ones that we can build ourselves before our trip. None of these meals require a dehydrator, so that’s one less piece of gear for you to worry about. While we admit that these meals may be heavier than their boil-in-bag counterparts, we definitely feel they are worth the weight!

Here’s a sample menu with recipes to help you get started on making your own tasty, healthy backpacking meals.

BREAKFAST

Spinach Sun Dried Pepper Scramble – We have always been breakfast people. But when we’re out on the trail, we are REALLY breakfast people. Laying down a solid foundation early in the morning is crucial, which is why we love making creative egg scrambles using powdered egg crystals. Just add water, lightweight veggies (like dehydrated spinach and sun dried peppers), and slowly heat in a pan or pot. This protein packed breakfast is a great way to start the day and will guarantee you’ll make it to all the way to lunch.


Get the full recipe here: Spinach Sun Dried Pepper Scramble

LUNCH

Revamped Ramen – Ramen might be a way of life in college, but out on the trail we’ve found it lacks the nutritional substance to keep us going. (Our bodies can’t run off carbs and sodium flavor packets exclusively!) So we’ve developed a more substantial recipe for ramen that uses high protein buckwheat soba noodles, dehydrated veggies and shredded jerky.


Get the full recipe here: Revamped Ramen

DINNER

Chicken Marbella – While we’ve probably eaten lighter, more calorie-dense meals before, we have never had a meal as flavor-dense as this one. Inspired by the classic baked chicken recipe from the Silver Palate Cookbook, this stripped-down and simplified version can be made using just a single pot—and requires nothing more than boiling some water. If you’re looking to impress your fellow trail-mates with your backcountry chef skills, this is the meal to make.


Get the full recipe here: Backpacker’s Chicken Marbella

DESSERT

S’more Granola Bar – Even without a campfire, at the end of the night you can still enjoy a s’more with one of these chocolatey, crunchy, and gooey granola bars. Combining all the elements of a classic s’more into a portable dessert bar, these granola bars are the perfect way to end a long day on the trail. So bake a batch of these ahead of time and save the rest for when you get home.


Get the full recipe here: Vegan S’more Granola Bar

Originally Published August 29th, 2016.

Authors: Fresh Off the Grid is a camp cooking blog featuring recipes specifically designed for cooking in the outdoors, written from the road by Megan McDuffie and Michael van Vliet. Find them online at freshoffthegrid.com and follow them on social @freshoffthegrid.

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