Have Your Fill Of Backpacking Lunch Ideas

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Backpacking Lunch
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If you are planning a hiking adventure and looking for backpacking lunch ideas to devour along the way, you have come to the right place. Be it camping, hiking, a trip to a park, or an adventure amidst the mountainous terrains, hunger can strike anytime, and it isn’t possible for a restaurant to magically appear at the right time.

Backpacking Lunch
Image by StockSnap on Pixabay

During hiking a tough trail or climbing a steep rock, you need to have handy food ideas and food recipes that you can whip up immediately and eat. Of course, there’s the question of choice too as to what you want to eat at that time. Hence, there must be a handful of options to choose from.

Factors To Consider For Backpacking Lunch Ideas

Consider the following factors when you are looking for backpacking lunch ideas:

  • Light in weight, easy to pack, and won’t spoil easily 
  • Either ready to eat or swiftly prepared so whenever the need arises, you can do it quickly
  • Think of healthy and nutritious snacks as you will need calories for a balanced diet

Simple Backpacking Meals & Camping Food Ideas

Cereal As Hiking Food

Cereal with Fresh Milk
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Who doesn’t love cereal? Crunchy and fulfilling, add cereal to your food list for the trekking adventure. Cereal, along with powdered milk and dried fruit, makes it one of the easiest and most nutritional food recipes you can find. You can make it instantly, it is lightweight to carry, and while it is mainly a breakfast meal, there is no rule that you can’t have it anytime you want.

Tortilla As Camping Food

Backpacking Lunch - Tortilla Chips
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Tortilla — it goes along with everything! The thin flatbread is extremely lightweight. Also, it’s easy to make and carry and it can be taken with a variety of things. It’s one of the most widely used food staples in the world. Tortilla chips can be accompanied by peanut butter, hummus, peppers, cold cut meat, and a lot of more food items that you can munch along the way. Another great thing about tortillas as camping food is that they aren’t messy; you won’t have to worry about sudden spills and sticky fingers. Don’t forget the other ingredients that can go well with tortilla.

Snack On Some Cheese

Cheese makes an excellent food idea for backpacking meals. It could turn out to be heavy for people who might prefer ultralight food items, but cheese compensates for that in terms of the good fat and calories it has to offer. It ranks high in the list of hiking food since hiking burns a lot of calories and can leave you low on energy. For backpacking, opt for harder cheeses. They won’t get deformed or spoiled in heat while you are out hiking the trails. You can carry a packet of crackers to make the meal yummier.

Bagels As Backpacking Meals

Backpacking Lunch - Bagels, Cookies, and Pretzels
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Bagels can be an alternative to tortillas or be another valuable food item on their own. For those who don’t like tortillas, bagels can provide a much fluffier package. They can be packed easily. Furthermore, it won’t go bad for a few days. They can also be paired with items such as cheese, cream cheese, and salmon. It would certainly make delicious food recipes that would serve up a good number of calories as well as keep your cravings satisfied.

Stick With Oatmeal On Your Camping Adventure

One of the best backpacking meals and lunch ideas, oatmeal serves as a perfect hiking food item in terms of taste and nutrition. It is easy to make, scrumptious, wholesome, and really light to carry on your trekking trip. You can have it with fresh and dried fruits and nuts, which make oatmeal one of the go-to food recipes. Pack some apples, raisins, peanuts, pistachios, and walnuts to top your oatmeal.

Backpacking Lunch - Oatmeal
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You will need hot water to properly heat the oats in order to make the oatmeal, though. Just warm the water up, let it rest for a few minutes and you are good to go. You don’t even need fancy utensils, just open the packet, pour hot water into it, and voila!

Powdered Milk As An Alternative To Fresh Milk

For people who love cereal or otherwise, powdered milk is a necessary item to carry along with you. It can be used with so many other things to make the perfect lightweight meal. Additionally, it won’t go bad like fresh milk and you can just add water to make it. There are options for everybody — from lactose tolerant to lactose intolerant variants — you can buy pretty much any kind you like.

Granola Bars To Munch On

Granola bars are one of the most popular food items for a backpacking adventure. A lot of brands offer granola that can be customized based on your requirements or preferred way. Most of these brands’ granola offerings are high calorie with low sugar, vegan-friendly, and paleo being optional.

What’s more, you can readily make it at home. Make a base of oats, honey, and brown sugar. Add chopped nuts like almonds and walnuts, dried cranberries, dried cherries, dried apricots, coconut flakes, and some chocolate chips. Press the mixture hard and long into the pan so that they can retain their shape. Honey, chocolate, and sugar glue the mixture and prevent the bars from crumbling. Refrigerate for a couple of hours and scrumptious granola bars are all ready to be eaten! Their shelf life is about one week.

Oats and Fruits with Fresh Milk
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Carnation Instant Breakfast

If you don’t fancy a proper meal, but just want to keep the hunger pangs away, take a few packets of Carnation Instant Breakfast. It is a powder mix which is instantly prepared by adding water in it. Even though the name has breakfast in it, it is not a primary breakfast meal. The powder mixed with water makes a nutritious mixture that is surprisingly delicious and packed with calories.

It can also be optionally mixed with milk instead of water, and even both! All essential vitamins and minerals are present to ensure you are full of energy as you make your way along the rocky trails. It is also additionally used as supplements, so you are good to go for that. You can keep water and/or powdered milk alongside it to make the mixture whenever you desire.

Jerky, For The Average Meat Lover Backpacker

If you regularly eat meat, it can be quite hard to live just on fruits and oats. Unless you are a hunter with amazing cooking skills, it can be rather tricky to have meat on a backpacking trip. Don’t despair for there is jerky to the rescue! There is a huge variety of jerky available in the market including beef, chicken, tuna, and salmon. 

Backpacking Lunch - Jerky
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It is better to buy pre-packaged jerky as it is easier to carry as compared to tinned ones. Loaded with protein, you can have a meaty meal anytime you want without worrying that it will run bad. Jerky can be used to make delicious sandwiches or wraps. It can also just be eaten on its own.

You Can’t Go Wrong With Dried Fruits, Seeds, & Nuts

First of all, nuts and seeds make excellent snacks. They are highly nutritious backpacking meals. Also, they are convenient, portable, as well as full of nutrition and energy. They won’t get spoiled. Nuts are high in healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, making them one of the healthiest snacks to exist. Really compact in size, they make a great weight to calorie ratio. Choosing such lunch ideas is really important for backpacking, hiking, and camping since you are likely to burn a lot of calories along the way and you’d need something to keep you going. You can eat them as you trek the bumpy pathways or just sit down to unwind and peacefully devour them. 

Backpacking Lunch - Fruits, Seeds, Crackers
Image by bookgrrl on Flickr

Coming onto the dried fruits, these are fruits that have been dehydrated by removing water from the fruits and in result, stopping the growth of the bacteria that could have taken birth. While not fresh, the dried fruits maintain several healthy properties of fresh fruits such as vitamins, minerals, carbs, and fiber. They can be easily stored in zip locks without perishing or going stale.

Energy Bars To Keep You Going

What backpacking, camping, or hiking trip would be complete without energy bars and drinks? Energy bars and protein bars can be the source of your calories, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats which are keeping you fresh and afloat. As far as backpacking lunch ideas are concerned, they just cannot be completed without fitting energy and protein bars. They keep you from getting dizzy and low on energy.

Protein bars can be easily kept in bags without the need to be refrigerated. They also go along with pretty much every diet including vegan diets and vegetarian diets, as well as non-vegetarian diets. If you want energy bars for your hikes and trails, you should always mix them up and get multiple options so when you get tired of one or two, you can always have different options to choose from. They are available in tons of flavors such as maple and peanut and coconut. They vary in ingredients and calorie intakes as well. Choose the ones that suit you the most.

Snacks: Nuts
Image by Marcelo Kato on Pixabay

Other ‘Guilty’ Camping Food You Can Take Along With You

Chocolate Bars and Chips – Not the healthiest but certainly the sweetest, chocolate bars can instantly boost you up when you are all sweaty and tired. Also, a bag or two of chips has never hurt anyone. Grab your favorite munchies to snack on as you gaze at the stars.

This guide will help you in narrowing down the choices for backpacking lunch ideas you need according to your preferences and requirements. Have a great backpacking adventure!

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