What are your favorite foods to take camping and/or hiking?

I did 12 backpacking trips (4 and 5 days) last summer and got my meal game down to a science! With so many days on the trail and a rather limited budget I had to be pretty considerate of my spending. We do all have our own preferences though so some of my meal choices may not be right for you.


I always had cocoa available to me for cold mornings. I made my own mix and put it all in a big ziplock instead of buying the individual packets which are more expensive and produce more trash to carry out.

My three main breakfasts were as follows.

Instant Oatmeal: For this I would go crazy in the bulk food area and create my own concoctions of instant oats, dried fruit, and brown sugar. Whenever I found blueberries or huckleberries on trail I would save them for my breakfast the next morning. My only problem with oatmeal is that I got kind of tired of it and it was quite the mess to clean up when I was rushing in the mornings.

Ramen: As it got colder and I got lazier I ended up eating a lot a top ramen for breakfast. I would add cayenne pepper, a bit of oil, and an egg and the result was a hot soup that would warm me up and was very easy to clean.

Breakfast Burritos: I rarely made breakfast burritos - they were more to carry and much more time consuming. That being said, if you've got friends to impress or a leisurely day ahead of you breakfast burritos can be a great way to go. Bring some of the instant hash browns (take them out of the cartons) some bacon, and a couple eggs. If i had time I would cook the bacon before hand. I didn't bring cheese very often but if it isn't too warm of a climate you could definitely bring cheese as well.


My lunches were usually a mixture of snacks that I could munch on throughout the day to keep my energy up. That being said, there is something satisfying about having a lunch that actually feels like your lunchtime meal instead of a bunch of snacks.

PSA: Creme cheese somehow doesn't go bad in the woods. I had some days that got up to 95' and despite my concerns, it was always perfectly fine. Experiment with flavors if you want, I always went generic.

Bagel, creme cheese, and salmon: I always liked to take a bagel or two with me if my pack wasn't too full. They are definitely bulky but they have tons of calories and are much more satisfying to eat than some alternatives. You can get packs of salmon at most grocery stores in the same place as the canned tuna. These were a bit expensive but it was something I was willing to spend a few extra dollars on.

Tortilla, Cream cheese, salmon: Basically putting the same stuff on a different item. Roll it up like a burrito and you've got a great little roll of nutrition that actually tastes pretty good. I found that I really liked adding chili cheese fritos to my burittos as well - it added some great flavor and more importantly, some crunch.

You can put all kinds of different things on your bagels and tortillas, I just found something I liked and stuck with it. Consider peanut butter, jelly, hummus, nutella, whatever sounds good to you.

For lunchtime snacks I had a long list of things I would cycle through from trip to trip.

Trail mix is great - Make your own in bulk foods or pick some up at costco for a reasonable price.

Various bars- Protien bars, chewy bars, snickers bars. I looked for cheap options or good costco deals but just decide whats right for you.

Dried fruit - Bulk food area is a great place to look.

Fruit snacks - A fellow backpacker put me on to these and they've been an essential ever since. They basically seem like candy, which is awesome, but they have tons of great vitamins in them than can be hard to maintain when you're carrying all of your food on your back.

Jerkey - If I wanted to treat myself or if I found a great deal somewhere.

Babybel cheeses - These are better for colder climates, they never went bad on me but kind of grossed me out when they got super warm.

Candy - I have an unstoppable sweet tooth. I would try to find stuff that offered some nutrition though. Peanut m&ms were at the top of my list because they have some protein and don't melt.

I'm sure I tried some other things out but I can't think of them right now. These were my regulars for sure.


/r/CampingandHiking Thread