The Best Backpacking Food Ideas for 2024

This is a great round up of backpacking food ideas to take on your next trip.  Taking foods that are lightweight and easy to make is key when backpacking!

Backpacking foods packaged on a table with text overlay.

When packing for multi-day trips I have all of my meals planned out and weighed in advance. 

Coming up with ideas for new and delicious food to take hiking can sometimes be a challenge so today I’m sharing all of our Backpacking Food Ideas.  Be sure to also check out our Keto Backpacking Food Ideas for even more low carb backpacking foods!

Tons of backpacking food ideas!

Pack weight is super important whenever backpacking, especially when hiking for several days or weeks.  Plan to take backpacking foods that are dehydrated, lightweight and easy to prepare. 

This will help with food volume and storage in your backpack.  I find meals that can be cooked simply by adding boiling water the easiest to make on the trail.  I love, love, love to use this Jetboil camping stove (aff link) on all of my backpacking trips.

Nutrient rich foods are also very important to consider taking on your hike.  When backpacking I tend to burn a lot of calories and will eat between 2000-3000 calories a day.  High quality backpacking food helps to keep my body fuelled and satiated on my trek.

Backpacking snack ideas

  • Protein bars
  • Trail mix
  • Nuts & seeds
  • Fruit leather
  • Granola
  • Coffee & tea
  • Electrolyte drink mix
  • Beef jerky, pepperoni or dried salami
  • Dehydrated fruit
  • Hard cheese
  • Nut butter packets
Keto backpacking dehydrated food in pouches on a table.

We typically spend lunch time with a quick stop on the trail.  This doesn’t leave time for cooking a hot meal so we often plan to eat a cold lunch to avoid unpacking all of our supplies.  For dinner we always plan something hearty and warm that can be cooked once we set up camp.

Backpacking meal ideas

  • Sandwiches made with bagels or tortillas.
  • Tuna or chicken packets.
  • Ramen noodles.
  • Dehydrated meals like these from Next Mile Meals, Backpackers Pantry or Good To Go (aff links).
  • Instant mashed potatoes or soups.
  • Macaroni & cheese.
  • Oatmeal.

Homemade dehydrated meal ideas

Backcountry carbonara one pot backpacking recipe in a pot.

This Backcountry Carbonara looks absolutely delicious and easy to make!

Open pouch of dehydrated backpacking soup.

Berbere Chicken Soup would be a yummy addition to our trail meals.

Backpacking pad thai recipe in jet boil cup on rocks.

Backpacking Pad Tai is so freaking yummy, you NEED to try it!

Blueberry crisp backpacking dessert in pot with hands hold sporks.

This Backpackers Blueberry Crisp is the kids favorite backpacking meal.

Heather with blue sunglasses on sipping on a blue life straw in a blue nalgene water bottle.

A water purification system should be thoughtfully considered and packed as well.  We like to pack two types of water purification, a Life Straw (aff link) and aqua purification tabs.  

Keto backpacking food organized into large freezer bags on a kitchen counter.

I like to pack my backpacking food for each day into separate large freezer bags for easy organizing and storage in my backpack.  These all go into a large dry bag that I use for food.  This makes it easy to pull all of my food out of my backpack to store in a bear safe cache each night.

Jet boil burner on a picnic table with small skillet full of eggs on top.

I make my own dehydrated egg scramble to take on all of my backpacking trips.  It’s easy to create, cost effective to make, lightweight and simple to prepare. 

I pack a small, individual serving size frying pan to cook it in.  Be sure to check out the details in this Keto Backpacking Foods post.

Heather laughing and sitting on a log with bacon on a stick over a campfire.

Backpacking treats are essential too!  Once I have my meals planned out for each day I like to add “treat” foods if I have the room in my pack and the weight to spare.  Things like candy, chocolate and pre cooked bacon help to keep my spirits high and taste buds excited on long trips.

Do you have more backpacking food ideas?  Please share…

about heather

Hello, I’m Heather!

I'm an active mom of twin boys who is always looking for opportunities to inspire creativity through fun crafts, do-it-yourself projects and delicious recipes. This blog has been an integral part of supporting my little family and I am so grateful to have you become a part of our journey! Let's create together... Read more...

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