What Kind of Food Should I Take Backpacking?

By Robert Palmer

Backpacking is one of the best ways to explore the great outdoors and get away from it all. But, food is an essential part of any backpacking trip. What kind of food should you take?

The answer depends on various factors, such as your budget, the number of days you are backpacking, and your dietary preferences. Generally speaking, it is best to pack lightweight and nutrient-dense foods that provide you with enough energy for the day’s activities.

Lightweight Foods

When backpacking, weight is a major concern. It is important to pack foods that are lightweight and easy to store.

Some good lightweight options include oatmeal, granola bars, nuts and dried fruit. These items are easy to transport and provide plenty of energy for those long hikes.


Another important consideration when packing food for a backpacking trip is shelf life. You want to bring foods that won’t spoil quickly so you don’t have to worry about them going bad during your trek. Good nonperishable items include canned meats such as tuna or salmon, peanut butter, trail mix, crackers and jerky.


It can be difficult to think about cooking when you are out in the wilderness but there are plenty of meal options available for backpackers. Instant meals such as macaroni and cheese or ramen noodles can be easily prepared in a pot over a campfire. Rice dishes like Spanish rice or wild mushroom risotto can also be cooked on a campfire or stovetop with minimal effort.

No matter what type of diet you prefer while backpacking, it is important to choose lightweight and nonperishable items that will provide enough energy for your outdoor adventures. By taking the time to plan out your meals beforehand, you can ensure that you have all the necessary ingredients for an enjoyable backpacking experience.