I love camping, backpacking, hiking- and being outside in general. Getting out into the woods, exploring, connecting with nature is an unbeatable experience. I grew up in a rural area surrounded by woods and my family was known for two things (besides being a little crazy): travel and food. Food when you’re camping doesn’t have to be bland or boring, it can be just as delicious as the stuff you make at home! Sometimes it even is better, as the more work you do out in the woods the hungrier you get and the better the food tastes. Here’s a couple tips and easy meals I love from my years on the trails.

camp
camp

Things to consider:

How long is the hike/trip going to be? A day trip requires much less food than a weekend or a full week does. Will you have access to water? Sometimes when you’re backpacking in, you have to bring in all your water if there are no streams or fountains available. If the water is dirty, you may need to purify it using iodine tablets or portable water filters. Are fires allowed? If not, only bring food that can be eaten raw or cooked beforehand and make sure it can keep for the duration of your trip. How much cooking ware can you bring, is weight an issue? Longer backpacking trips often mean you want as little extra weight as possible, so trim down the supplies while making sure to bring enough food to fuel you for the longer expedition. Once you’ve figured out the logistics of the trip, onto the next question, what food should you bring?

Breakfast

camp rice oatmeal
camp rice oatmeal

If you have access to….

Hot Water: You can’t go wrong with classic oatmeal with fruit, raisins, nuts, and nut butter. Oatmeal is the camper’s best friend for easy morning fuel to get you through the day. Not only is it delicious, but it’s also super portable! Pair these awesome carbs with some fruit (bananas and apples are more easily portable) and some protein like nuts and nut butters.

Heat & Pan: Cheese tortilla with beans and salsa is my go-to. Eggs can be tricky to pack, so skip them for some beans to make a yummy breakfast burrito. Tortillas are super versatile for trail food and salsa is pretty easy to pack if you want some extra zing. Cheese is tricky, so only bring if you’re eating it the first day or if you have a way to keep it cold so it won’t spoil.

Cold: Bagel with cream cheese and an apple. So quick, easy, and delicious. Plus if the bagel accidentally gets squashed during the trip, no worries- it tastes good either way.

Lunch

camp pepper Eggs
camp pepper Eggs

Hot Water: Dehydrated Meals, like Mountain House, Backpacker’s Pantry only need hot water and 5-20 minutes on average to cook. Options range from vegan channa masala to teriyaki beef and rice to chicken alfredo and more.

Heat & Pan: An easy (and classic American) lunch is hot dogs (vegan or otherwise) with toasted buns, chips and salsa, and fruit. Again, make this the first day if you don’t have a way to keep food cold, as the meat (or veggie dogs) can spoil if left out for too long.

Cold: Sandwich with hummus, lettuce, tomato, feta, and beans with an apple. Other sandwich combos could be the traditional PB&J, ham and cheese, or spicy tofu with sprouts and chipotle sauce.

Dinner

camp rice lemon
camp rice lemon

Hot Water: Try a new dehydrated meal, cook some bagged rice, or even boil pasta! Pasta is surprisingly very light and only slightly difficult to pack due to odd shapes. Once cooked, top with some sort of portion like chickpeas and healthy fats like pesto. If you have extra pasta leftover, through in some veggies like peppers and kale.

Heat & Pan: Tacos with black beans, roasted veggies, and rice. Quesadillas are another great option! A lot of really good camp food is simple food. You don’t need a ton of ingredients to make a tasty meal. If you’re up for a full day of Mexican, you can keep it simple by packing ingredients that you can use for multiple meals, from breakfast burritos to lunchtime quesadillas and finally taco bowls for dinner!

Cold: Risotto salad with cucumber, tomato, peas, and roasted chickpeas. Season with lemon juice, a dash of olive oil, salt, pepper, and cilantro. Prep beforehand for an easy packable meal. Instead of the traditional tabouleh made with couscous, risotto has a bit of an extra bite that makes it a heartier and better option for camping.

Dessert

A post shared by ONE Brands (@one1brands)
A post shared by ONE Brands (@one1brands)

Hot Water: Did you know they make dehydrated desserts?! Backpacker’s Country makes a dehydrated Dark Chocolate Cheesecake mix you can try!

Heat & Pan: Popcorn! Pop and add in trail mix for an extra crunch and some sweetness. If you’re willing to pack all the supplies, s’mores are a classic campout food. If you’re looking for some fun inspo to heighten your next s’mores, check out this article about Grown-Up S’mores.

Cold: Candy bars, chocolate bars, and granola bars are super easy to pack and, of course, super tasty. For candy bars, Snickers is my family’s favorite. For chocolate bars, I’d have to go with Endangered Species Chocolates; their sea-salt almond is my all-time favorite. I

If you’re craving s’mores but can’t have a campfire, ONE protein bars just came out with a s’mores flavor that will satisfy your cravings without the flame. They sent me a sample and it does taste like the good old combo of marshmallow, graham cracker, and chocolate but with 20 grams of protein and only 1 gram of sugar!

Snacks

camp nut sweet
camp nut sweet

Remember to pack lots of snacks and water! When hiking for long distances, with elevation, or while carrying a backpack you’re using a lot of energy and it’s important to stay fueled and hydrated! Some of my favorites snacks are nuts, dried mangos, banana peanut butter wraps, apples, and carrots with hummus. One of my friends is very passionate about the cheddar snack crackers and Cheetos. So find what works for you! The options are many, just look for foods higher in sugar (natural is better, so think dry and fresh fruits), protein (hummus, nuts, cheese, salami or jerky), and healthy fats (nuts, seeds, etc). Have fun on your next adventure!

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