How Can I Eat Well While Backpacking?

I'm burned out on pasta and trail mix. What easy-to-make food should I take backpacking this summer?

May 9, 2012
Outside Magazine

   Photo:Warren Goldswain via Shutterstoc


I totally understand. It’s tough to pack food that tastes good and keeps you on the go. For a lot of people, the simplest, most economical options get boring.

One solution is to pack freeze-dried meals. I'd recommend Mountain House’s Lasagna with Meat Sauce ($6.50 for two servings) or AlpineAire's Western Tamale Pie with Beef ($8 for two servings). Freeze-dried meals are simple—just boil some water, pour it in, stir, and wait five minutes—and  I don’t buy the argument that they're expensive. Throw in some dried soup and crackers and you can feed two people for under $10 each, easily.

And make sure to pack a spice kit, either from the bulk area at your local food co-op or the spice aisle at the grocery store. Look for the following: onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, chili powder, oregano, rosemary, and thyme. Try a couple different combinations— it'll go a long way in taking the “blah” out of an otherwise basic meal.

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