One of the highlights of any backpacker’s day is mealtime! You’ve hiked long miles all day and now you get to sit back, kick up your feet, and tuck into a hearty meal.

Packing the right food for backpacking is also critical for ensuring that your body stays properly fueled and your pack isn’t overloaded with heavy ingredients.

Here are all of our backpacking food posts which will give you an idea of the best backpacking meals on the market, as well as a ton of tasty backpacking recipes if you want to make your own!

Michael sitting with his backpacking cooking kit and the Cascade mountains in the background

63 Easy Backpacking Food Ideas

Meal planning for your next backpacking trip? We’ve compiled our favorite backpacking food, ingredients, and meal ideas to help you get started. Find out what food is best for hiking, discover new ingredients, and get inspired with some delicious new backpacking meals.
Man cooking a backpacking meal with mountains in the background.

The Ultimate Guide to Gluten Free Backpacking Food

There are tons of gluten-free backpacking food options out there, but the trick is knowing where to look! In this guide, we’ve collected options as we could find to build a comprehensive resource for gluten-free backpacking meals! Whether you have Celiac, are gluten intolerant, or just trying to cut down your gluten consumption, trying to…
A backpacking tent with a mountain in the background

The Ultimate Guide to Vegan Backpacking Food

In this article, we share all the plant-based backpacking foods that are now available to vegan backpackers. Discover new products, compare calories, and develop your next vegan backpacking meal plan! “Wow, what a view! I can’t believe I get to hike through this spectacular landscape. Now, what’s for dinner?!“ Does that sound like a familiar…
To backpacking tents set up at Cathedral Lake

Vegetarian Weekend Backpacking Menu

This vegetarian backpacking meal plan is perfect for a weekend out on the trail! There are a lot of things to look forward to before setting off on a backpacking trip, but eating dehydrated trail food is not usually one of them. It’s true that hunger is the best sauce and at the end of…
20+ Simple Backpacking Meal Ideas using items from Trader Joe's

22 Simple Backpacking Meal Ideas from Trader Joe’s

Looking for some new backpacking meals to try this summer? We’ve put together a few creative ideas from items that you can pick up from Trader Joe’s. When meal planning for an extended backpacking trip, variety can really be the spice of life. While it’s tempting to only go with the tried and true, pack…
An assortment of backpacking food from Trader Joe's displayed next to a bear barrel

The Best Backpacking Food from Trader Joe’s

A guide to finding lightweight, calorie-dense snacks and meals for your next backpacking trip at your local Trader Joe’s. Meal planning for an extended backpacking trip can sometimes feel more daunting than the actual hike itself. Sourcing enough lightweight, calorie-filled foods can be a challenge, never mind comparing labels to determine which option gives you…
Assorted instant coffee packets on a camp table next to a red mug

10 Instant Coffees for Backpacking

If you are like us and can’t start your morning without a cup of coffee, backpacking can present a real dilemma. Do you pack a bunch of extra gear just so you can enjoy a well-brewed cup of coffee in the backcountry? Or do you go with instant coffee packets and save yourself a bunch…

Backpacking Recipes


How much food should I bring for a backpacking trip?

One way to estimate how much food to pack for a backpacking trip is to multiply your body by 25-30. This is a rough estimate of how many calories you will need per full day of hiking with a loaded backpack on strenuous terrain. If you’re only hiking short days or over less strenuous terrain, you can scale that down to 21-25 calories per pound of body weight, per day.

How should you store food while backpacking?

Your food should be stored in a way that will protect it from animals (not just big ones like bears, but critters like squirrels and marmots too!). Many areas have regulations that will tell you the specific way to store your food. In many places, you’ll be required to store your food in a hard-sided bear canister. Be sure to check the local regulations in advance of your trip by calling the ranger station or Google “[area] food storage requirements”

What do you need to cook while backpacking?

The basic cooking equipment you’ll need to bring backpacking is a lightweight backpacking stove, a pot to boil water and cook in, a utensil, and fuel. You can check out this post detailing the best backpacking cooking gear for a full rundown, which will give you a few different options to customize your kit.