The Easiest Backpacking Meals You'll Love to Carry

Backpacking Dinner

Are you thinking about making backpacking meals at home to enjoy during your next outdoor adventure? Since pre-packaged meals can be quite expensive, preparing your own food can be a great way to keep costs down when budgeting for a backcountry camping trip. Here are a few recipes you will want to try!

Making Backpacking Meals: Just Add Water

The last thing you want to do when you are enjoying the great outdoors is to have to spend a lot of time on food preparation. By spending a little time in your kitchen before you head to the backcountry, you can put together a selection of homemade convenience meals that require nothing more than boiling water to be ready to eat.

Instant Lo Mein Recipe for Backpackers


  • 1 package of beef or chicken flavored Ramen Noodles
  • 1 envelope of Vegetable soup mix (such as Lipton or Knorr)


Place the noodles and soup mix in a plastic food storage container or a quart size bag with a zipper seal to make it easy to carry. Bring 1 ½ cups of water to a boil and add it to the container. Stir well and allow the mixture to sit for about 5 minutes before eating.

Instant Potatoes with Cheese and Beef


powdered cheese
  • 2 1/ 4 cups of instant mashed potato flakes
  • 1/2 cup of nonfat dry milk
  • ¼ cup of powdered cheese
  • 3/4 of a cup of chopped beef jerky
  • 1 half-ounce package of Butter Buds
  • 1 tablespoon of dried minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon of dried parsley flakes
  • ½ teaspoon of salt

Cooking Instructions:Place all of the ingredients in a quart size sealable plastic food storage bag or a small plastic container with a tightly fitting lid for easy transport. When you are on the trail and ready for dinner, simply bring 4 ½ cups of water to a boil and add it to the bag or container. Stir until all items are thoroughly blended. Allow to stand for about 5 minutes before eating.

Homemade Snacks for the Backcountry

When you are backpacking, it's important to have quick access to nutritious, protein-rich snacks that provide you with the calories and energy you need to keep going. While there are store-bought options that work well for this purpose, there are many easy recipes for camping snacks that you can make yourself.

Homemade Gorp


  • 2 cups of roasted, salted peanuts
  • 2 cups of raisins
  • 2 cups of plain M & Ms


Place all ingredients in a large bowl; toss to combine. Dole out the mixture into pint-size sealable food storage bags or small containers with tightly fitting lids. Keep it within an arm's reach in your backpack so that you'll have easy access to a snack during the trip whenever you need one. This mixture is also a good choice for breakfast.

Homemade Protein Bars


  • 1 cup of all natural crunchy peanut butter (such as Smucker's)
  • 2 ¾ cups of oatmeal (not cooked; not instant)
  • 2/3 of a cup of honey
  • ¼ of a cup of whey protein powder

Preparation Instructions:

Place a large saucepan over low heat on the stovetop. Place the honey and peanut butter in the saucepan, stirring until well combined. Allow it to heat until it reaches a runny consistency and you can stir sufficiently to thoroughly combine the two ingredients. Turn the burner off. Add the oatmeal and protein powder. Mix until completely combined.

Transfer to an 8 X 8 baking dish that has been coated with nonstick cooking spray. Cover and allow them to cool completely. Cut into bars and wrap each one in wax paper. Place wrapped bars in sealable plastic food storage bags or plastic containers for packing ease.

Resources for More Backpacking Meal Recipes

You can find more great ideas for making backpacking meals online. Visit the following websites for additional recipes and backcountry food preparation tips:

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The Easiest Backpacking Meals You'll Love to Carry