How Do You Keep Fish When Backpacking?

By Michael Ferguson

Backpacking is an amazing way to explore the outdoors and visit places that you might not be able to if you were on a more traditional camping trip. One of the greatest joys of backpacking is the ability to catch and eat fresh fish, but how do you keep fish when backpacking?

The first thing to consider when trying to keep fish while backpacking is the size and weight of the fish. If you are carrying a heavy backpack, it’s not feasible to carry large or multiple large fish. Instead, try to catch smaller fish that won’t weigh too much but still provide a satisfying meal.

Once you’ve caught your fish, it’s important to gut them as soon as possible in order to prevent spoilage. This can be done easily with a pocketknife or a pair of scissors. Removing the organs will also help reduce the weight of your pack.

It’s also important that you take steps to keep your catch fresh during transport. If possible, bring along a cooler with ice packs or other insulation material in it.

This will help keep your catch fresh for several days, depending on how long your trip lasts.

If bringing along a cooler isn’t an option, then you can use some native materials like moss or leaves. Wrap up your catch in these materials and then store them in a shady spot during transport. This should help keep them fresher for longer periods of time.


Keeping fish while backpacking can be done if proper steps are taken. It is important to choose small fish that won’t weigh down your pack and gut them immediately after catching them. Additionally, utilizing a cooler with ice packs or native materials like moss or leaves can help keep your catch fresher for longer periods of time while backpacking.