How Do You Prepare Food for Backpacking?

By Michael Ferguson

Backpacking is a great way to explore the outdoors, but it’s important to think about your food supply. As you are out in the wilderness, you won’t have access to a kitchen or a grocery store.

So, it’s important to plan ahead and pack food that is lightweight and nutritious. Here are some tips on how to prepare food for backpacking.

Choose Nutrient-Dense Foods

Nutrition is key when it comes to backpacking, as you need energy and nutrients to fuel your adventure. Choose nutrient-dense foods that are high in protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates so that you can stay energized throughout the day. Some great options include nuts and nut butter, dried fruits and veggies, oats, quinoa, jerky, granola bars, and trail mix.

Pack Lightweight Foods

Weight can be an issue when it comes to backpacking so you want to choose foods that are lightweight yet still provide essential nutrients. Opt for dehydrated or freeze-dried foods as they are lightweight yet still provide essential nutrients. Some great options include instant oatmeal packets, ramen noodles (just ditch the flavor packet), couscous, instant mashed potatoes, and canned tuna.

Be Prepared for Spoilage

It’s important to be prepared for food spoilage when backpacking. Make sure you bring along extra food just in case your food spoils or gets lost or damaged. Also make sure to store your food in a cool dry place like a bear canister or bear bag away from camp animals such as bears or raccoons.


Preparing food for backpacking requires careful planning and consideration of weight and nutrition. Choose nutrient-dense foods like nuts and nut butter, dried fruits and veggies, oats, quinoa, jerky, granola bars and trail mix that will provide energy throughout the day.

Pack lightweight foods such as instant oatmeal packets and ramen noodles (without the flavor packet). Be prepared for spoilage by bringing extra food items along with you on your trip and storing them in a cool dry place away from camp animals like bears or raccoons.