meal ideas

Sample 4-day Backcountry Menu

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Meals Meals Meals!
Why is it so hard to figure out what to take to eat in the backcountry? I think it's because we want to eat something that's made in our kitchens, but all we have is a flame and a pot a quarter of the size of your smallest pot at home. Well, at least that's all I'm willing to carry. 

I'm a pretty simple backcountry eater, but I need variety. The ease of planning and ease of how my meal is prepared (boiling water) typically beats out my willingness for variety. Make sense?


1. One-step meals = only boiling water = easy
2. Willing to eat the same lunch for up to 5 days (b/c it's easier to plan)
3. My food options need to be significantly different than my previous backpacking trip (but still easy!)
4. Very easy clean-up = swish around water in dirty pot and voila!
5. What looks appetizing when I pick it up and look at it (when I haven't even hike 5 miles yet)? 
6. If something looks "meh," I don't take it. I know I won't want to eat it when I'm in the wilderness, and that's bad. Getting calories in is important, but if I don't feel like eating, it'll really take a toll physically and mentally. So I only take stuff that I WANT to eat. 

here's a sample 4-day backcountry trip menu.



  • Wraps
    • Tortilla (1/day)
    • Cheddar cheese (1-2oz/day)
    • Salami (1.5oz/day)
    • Mayo and Dijonnaise packets (1/day) - really helps elevate the meal!


  • Good To-Go Smoked Three Bean Chili split into two meals (Or try their Thai Curry - it's THE BEST!)
  • Tapatio Hot Sauce (For added oomph!)
  • Korean Ramen noodles + extra a handful of dehydrated veggies (found a veggie soup in the bulk section of my local natural food store)


What do you see in this sample menu that piques your curiosity? Or what do you pack that you think I should know about? I need more variety!  ;-)


Breakfast Idea / Easy, simple, and tasty oatmeal packets

I'm a simple gal. A hassle-free one, really. Backcountry meals really brings that out in me. So when I found this recipe for homemade instant oatmeal packets, I was sold! It's perfect for simple, nourishing backpacking breakfasts with (this is key) VARIETY!

I tried the exact recipe from the website and found that I wanted more milkiness, sweetener and flavor, so altered it to suit my palette. The best part of these recipes is that you can get really creative and mix & match flavors and make it what you want it to be. Here's my version of The Yummy Life's recipe:

Ingredients for oatmeal base

  • Small snack-size ziploc bag
  • 1/3 c instant or quick rolled oats
  • 2 tsp oat bran
  • 3 Tbsp powdered milk
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt


Ideas for Flavor Combos

  • Apricot-Ginger: 1 Tbsp chopped apricot + 1 Tbsp chopped crystallized ginger
  • Apricot-Almond-Coconut: 1 Tbsp chopped apricot + 1 Tbsp of almonds + 1 Tbsp of coconut
  • Ginger-Almond-Coconut: 1 Tbsp chopped crystallized ginger + 1 Tbsp of almonds + 1 Tbsp of coconut
  • Almond-Coconut:  1 Tbsp of almonds + 1 Tbsp of coconut
  • Banana-Apricot: 3 Tbsp freeze-dried bananas + 1 Tbsp chopped apricot
  • Strawberry/Banana-Coconut: 3 Tbsp of freeze-dried strawberry/banana mix + 1 Tbsp of coconut
  • Flax-Coconut-Almond: 1 tsp ground flax seeds + 1 Tbsp of coconut + 1 Tbsp sliced almonds
  • Chia-Coconut-Almond: 1/2 tsp chia + 1 Tbsp of coconut + 1 Tbsp sliced almonds
  • Blueberry-Banana-Almond: 2 Tbsp freeze-dried blueberries + 3 Tbsp freeze-dried bananas + 1 Tbsp sliced almonds
  • Apricot-Walnut: 1 Tbsp chopped apricot + 1 Tbsp chopped walnuts


  1. Open up all the small snack bags
  2. Go through and systematically go through one ingredient at a time: oatmeal, milk, brown sugar, cinnamon, and then salt
  3. Chop up your preferred toppings (i.e. I chop the ginger, apricots, walnuts, macadamia into small pieces and don't worry about the freeze dried fruits because they'll get kinda crushed in your pack anyway.) 
  4. Add your toppings to each ziploc snack bag
  5. Seal up and label with the flavor + "Add 3/4c H2O" so you don't forget how much water to add. 


  1. HOT: Put in your cup, add 3/4c-1c of water, stir and eat.
  2. NO COOK: Put in a ziploc bag (slightly larger) OR a ziploc twist n' lock, add water and let it sit overnight. When you wake up in the morning, breakfast is served. 

Chef's notes

  • I buy almost all the products from the bulk section at our local grocery store, so I just use what's available there. But if you don't have a natural food store in your hood, you can get any of the toppings online. Check out the variety!
  • You can make this however you want. You really can't go wrong.


PROTIP: Just take one cup to eat and drink out of. Less mess, less cleaning. Simple! 

Have a suggestion for an awesome oatmeal combo? Tell me in the comments below. 



Lunch Idea / Flat Bread, Salami, and Cheese Wrap

Ever have NO IDEA what to eat for lunch in the backcountry? 

Dehydrated beef stroganoff? A dry bar? [Insert: Tongue sticking out, eyes all buggy with a "BlaahHh" sound]

Here's my latest lunch find that I sometimes even crave when I'm at home.


ONE  |  Papa Pita Flatbread  |  200 calories  |  8g of protein
1 OZ  |  Tillamook Cheddar Cheese  |  110 calories  |  7g of protein
1 OZ  |  Columbus Peppered Dry Salami  |  90 calories  |  6g of protein
ONE  | Mustard packet**  |  5 calories  |  0g of protein
ONE  | Mayo packet**  |  80 calories  |  0g of protein

TOTAL  |  485 calories  |  21g of protein (at a minimum)

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**The mustard and mayo packets require you carrying a little bit of extra trash, but I truly think they elevate the wrap. It's so nice to have a little bit of fatty moisture!