If you are like me, you could theoretically last for months (I have some well built-up stores on my person) on the trail without food, heck, hiking and backpacking is rigorous exercise, and a great way to burn thousands of calories in a day. But guess what – you still need to eat. Without fresh energy for your body, you will start to get lethargic, and be unable to think clearly, even after a day without food.
My backpacking trips are generally one-nighters, and I have some trail favorites. I like to keep things simple, so you, at least not anytime soon, will not see me with a multitude of cooking accoutrement – but I’ll cover my trail “kitchen” soon enough in another post.
Below is what I generally carry with me for an overnight backpacking trip. You can add or remove based upon this list for longer trips, or for a single day-hike.
My favorite meal of the day. Nothing like a hot breakfast to get you moving in the morning. Depending on when I get on the trail, this might be cooked at home, or eaten at a place along the way to the trailhead. That is not what I am covering here – I am covering only what I eat on the trail in this article.
Hash Browns, eggs, pork sausage, red and green bell peppers, onions. Freeze-dried yummy in my tummy. It is not as good as something similar at your local diner, but on the trail, it gets the job done. Add a bit of salt/pepper/hot sauce to your liking, eat in a (bring your own) tortilla/wrap, or, just eat from the bag once prepared per instructions.
Bacon. Oh yeah, and eggs. Really, what else do you need? Other than more bacon, add salt/pepper/hot sauce to taste – cook and eat from bag. Simple, easy. Bacon. I like to bring some additional Bacon Bits (Hormel is my favorite), and add to the bag and then the hot water, so they warm up along with the rest. Yummers!
I am combining these two meals, as I generally can eat the same type of food during both meals, on the trail and at camp. I have had other freeze-dried meals over the years, however, the below are my staples, I always have at least one or two of these on a trip.
I am a terrible cook, so, I have always loved some ramen. I discovered the Oriental flavor by accident one day, and it is now my favorite in the Ramen Noodle food pyramid. Also known as the “college kid diet” I like to add dried chopped chives and pepper.
Grilled chicken and mashed potatoes. As we all know, potatoes are a great source of carbohydrates, and help give you the energy to keep you moving, or to keep you warm. I generally improve the taste by adding salt and pepper, and then have at it.
Especially on a cold day, nothing beats beef stew. Contains potatoes, beef, carrots, peas, onions. After preparation, per most of my meals, I add in salt and pepper, and enjoy.
I generally have some snacks after breakfast on the trail, after lunch, and while lounging around the campsite.
Now, there are MANY options out there for beef jerky. Lots. I always like to try new types of beef jerky, but, after many years, Wild Bill’s Hickory Smoked Beef Jerky is my favorite, hands down. There is no better commercially available beef jerky on the market, according to my taste buds.
Their recent addition of the “from the jar” product is fantastic, but I do love the big black bag as well. Thankfully, I know all of the places that carry it locally
I generally get a bag of this before a trip from my local Target. Includes peanuts, M&M’s Chocolate Candies, raisins, chocolate chips & peanut butter chips.
A lot of people make their own, but, I am lazy, so this is one of my favorites. Another favorite is a cashew, almond, and dark chocolate chunk trail mix I came across at Trader Joe’s.
No place that I can see to buy these online, but you can get them at Target. I love these things, and I have no idea what Ancient Grains are, and, although I am connected to the internet currently, or, could even go look at the box in my pantry right now, I am going to leave it as a mystery.
And that’s it. As I mentioned above, I might have many variables on this… I might bring some cheese, some pepperoni, crackers, and many other things. All depends on the amount of preparation time I have before the trip, what I am feeling like I want to eat then and there… but these are my favorites. Now, if car camping… that is a whole ‘nother post. Maybe for another day.
What do you love on the trail? Leave a note in the comments!