Are you looking to swap your freeze-dried meals with something new? If so, our team's favourite hiking & backpacking food ideas may inspire you.
Classic Mac & Cheese
Carb load with macaroni and cheese - this works just as well for a long day-hike as for multi-day backpacking trips. If you're packing for a day hike and are ok with adding extra weight, you may even consider making it from scratch. To do so, pre-pack pasta, cheddar cheese (powder to cut down on weight), veggies (dried to cut down on weight), salt & pepper, water and your protein of choice (ham is a favourite, though salami is easier to take on longer trips).
Heart Warming Ramen
A warm ramen meal sits well during the crisp fall and winter seasons. You can always add your personal flavour, but the basic ingredients are; ramen noodles, a stock cube of your choice, dried shiitake mushrooms, water, and a homemade mix of fresh garlic, peas, onion, ginger, chilli, salt, pepper, and soy sauce (Yeti has some great liquid-safe food containers, though a thermos works too). To include a source of protein, you can also add one or several pre-boiled eggs after the ramen has finished cooking. One easy storage method is to wrap the pre-boiled eggs in foil. If you're cooking for others too, you might want to check out the egg-shaped containers (these protect uncooked eggs too).
Kimchi Fried Rice
Not only is kimchi a way to boost your tummy with some healthy probiotics, but it also goes well with fried rice on the trails! Before leaving for your trip, pre-mix kimchi, canned tuna, a bit of chilli paste and cooked rice. When you're on the trail and ready for a food break, all you have to do is fry up your prepped ingredients - so good! You can adjust the type and amount of chilli paste to make it more or less fiery.
Foil-Packed Chilli & Beans
This is a solid meal and recommended as a dinner option rather than lunch. At home, you would typically make this dish with mince. On the trail, however, it's recommended to use smoked farmer sausages or similar as it is less messy and not as sensitive to handling (we've never tried bringing plant-based meat substitutes such as Beyond Meat on the trail, but we're interested in exploring this). You can also skip the meat altogether. Pre-mix fresh onion, garlic, celery, tomatoes, and salt and pepper in a foil pack at home. Wash one can of kidney beans at home and mix with diced tomatoes, chilli spice mix (usually found on the same shelf as taco spices), cheese, and sausage pieces and pack into a (liquid proof) food container. When you're on the trail or at your campsite, take out the foil pack and add the meat mixed with kidney beans, diced tomatoes, and cheese. Put the foil pack in your frying pan or on the hot coals of your campfire and let it heat up.
When it's cooler outside, a nice breakfast/brunch treat can be to get a homemade omelette going. Depending on how long you are out for there are a few options;
- For a day trip, you can pre-mix the omelette at home and pack it in a zip lock bag. When it's time to prepare your omelette, dip the bag into simmering (not boiling) water until it's cooked. An alternative (to avoid putting a plastic bag in warm water) is to pour the omelette mix into a frying pan and cook accordingly.
- For longer trips, or when you're cooking for multiple people, pack your uncooked eggs in a hardshell egg container. Alternatively, you can bring powdered eggs to save on space and weight. One favourite omelette combination is to mix cheese cubes with salami, pepper, salt, chopped tomatoes, and spring onion.
Our Favourite Treats
- TimTams (original) paired with a hot cup of double bergamot tea. Bite off a piece of TimTam (keep it in your mouth), dip it into the tea, and use it as a straw. Trust us - it's delicious and a great way to enjoy one cookie for a bit longer!
- Classic S'mores (if you want to go wild, maybe combine with TimTams) by the fire
- "Platter" of assorted salami & cheese cubes
No matter what food you decide to bring on the trails and to your campsite, please remember not to be a tosser. Always practice the pack-in, pack-out principle for all food scraps and leftovers.
We would love to hear what your favourite hiking meals and snacks are - share them with us by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or sending us a message via our social media channels or tagging us in your foodie posts.