4 Meal Planning Tips to Keep in Mind for Backpacking and Camping Excursions

Trekking into the wilderness means you get to explore the amazing outdoors and see breathtaking sights. The last thing you need is to dull the excursion with a string of less-than-stellar dining experiences or to get in the middle of nowhere and realize your meal plan was all wrong. Here are four tips to keep in mind when planning your meals for backpacking and camping adventures.


  1. Outline Your Meals 

List every time on your trip that you will be eating breakfast, lunch and dinner, along with each of your snacks. Do not skip meals or underestimate the amount of snacking you will do. Make sure your daily caloric intake reaches proper levels to keep you from delving into tomorrow’s stash. Pack each of the meals separately in individual baggies and mark the mealtime and date on the front. Pack with the final day’s meals beginning at the bottom of the bag for easy access.

  1. High Energy Foods

Make every bite count while you are on the trail or out in the wilderness. Pack a plethora of fruits, nuts and whole grains to keep healthy carbs and necessary amounts of protein in your diet. This helps maintain stable blood sugar while sustaining strong levels of energy. Packets filled with nuts and fruits are a perfect way to keep trekking while staving off bouts of fatigue and hunger pains. Keep individual servings of freeze dried produce in your backpack for a quick pick-me-up in-between meal times.

  1. Preparation

You might have high hopes for your favorite meal at the end of a full day, but keep in mind just how you will go about preparing you dinner. Assume that the only devices or additions you will have accessible are the ones you bring along. If you need extra water for prep, bring some that is designated solely for this reason. If you are planning to cook but end up without a fire or other source of heat, you risk going hungry, so have a few options that can be eaten as-is on hand.

  1. Weight

Having fresh produce and canned goods can be a great way to keep your meals interesting and tasty, but they can also weigh you down if done in large quantities. If reducing the pounds you carry is a concern, integrate more freeze dried items to the mix along with dried options such as pastas or mixes that remain lightweight during travel and can be prepped with water at the site. Add a few drink mixes to your stash along with your favorite spices to keep the meals from falling on the bland side.

Eating in the great outdoors can be as wonderful of an adventure as hiking and camping. Take a little time to plan out your meals beforehand and you can stay sustained with power-packed foods and a punch of flavor.

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