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Backpacking Meals and Cooking Preferences

Dehydrating Backpacking Food
Many backpackers like to dehydrate meals to eat on backpacking trips

What’s your cooking style on backpacking trips?

Do you prefer to mix up your own freezer bag meals using store ingredients or ingredients you’ve dehydrated at home? Or do you like eating soupy, one-pot meals that easy to heat and clean up?

Many hikers like buying commercial dehydrated dinners from companies like Mountain House since they’re easy to rehydrate in the bag and don’t require any clean up. And others like eating normal food that they can buy in the store, like cheese, bread, salami, peanut butter, tortillas, or pasta.

In order to find out what backpackers really do, we asked 280 backpackers about their food preparation preferences on backpacking trips. As you can imagine, we got a wide variety of responses, which you can browse below. It makes for pretty interesting reading if you’re looking for good ideas about what to eat on a backpacking trip!

See also:


  1. I’ve gone from no cook to Mountain House to dehydrating my own meals. Fed myself with home-made FBC meals on the JMT last summer, and I probably won’t go back to anything else for long hikes like that.

  2. I started eating a lot of Harmony House soups/chilis, but be sure to bring seasoning! Oatmeal in the morning with Via, and dry snacks during the day. I also bring fruit along, despite the weight penalty.

  3. If cool weather weekend, a Subway footlong with extra meat and no veges lasts for two lunches and suppers. My own trail mix , heavy on the almonds for breakfast and snacks. When too warm for the proccessed meat sandwich, freezer bag with ange hair pasta, tuna, and powdered cheese.
    This year looking for a dehydrator to make my own freezer bag meals.

  4. I use a combination. Individual packs of muesli with powdered milk just add water at breakfast time. Nuts & trail mix with chocolate. Cheese crackers. Boil in the bag type dinners.

  5. I cook meals on the trail, Cheesburgers, pizza, lasagna, quiches, you name it.

  6. I like chia pudding in the mornings, with chocolate protein powder. Lunch is often some kind of bar, maybe trail mix, some chips, and an electrolyte drink. I pack out a fancy freeze dried dinner now and then, but usually it’s a packet of soup or noodles from the grocery store. I’m looking forward to getting a dehydrator and making my own backpacking food soon, though.

  7. Meals are probably the part of backpacking I dislike the most. I prefer the situation where we are all responsible for our own meals. Unfortunately, that’s often not the case. For me, I love planning the trip, exploring the route on maps, studying weather patterns, and considering the gear I’ll need (or deciding what I can manage without). Instead, I find myself with a group of people buying bulk foods, and weighing ingredients, agonizing over menus, and agreeing on who is going to be responsible for cooking this or that meal, and so forth. Its the stuff I want to be in the wilderness to avoid. Yes, I have books on how to prepare wonderful camp-stove meals but the truth is, my mind balks. When left to me, I’ll leave the stove and fuel behind. I can get by for days with a big bag of quality gorp, a bag of granola, and lots of Cliff bars. Actually, I can make better energy bars — a great recipe was published in Backpacker magazine some years ago (it was created by Joe Bank and nutritionist and dietitian Anita Hirsch). If I have time in advance, I might make lots of them before the trip.

  8. I choose easy snack type foods for breakfast and throughout the day, things like muesli bars, choc & nut mix, a piece of fruit etc but almost always go for a hot meal in the evening. My favourite is to take a left over portion of homemade gourmet bolognese sauce that has been in the freezer and cook it up with some angel hair pasta. Fast, easy and so tasty!

  9. Breakfast: Instant oatmeal and Starbucks VIA coffee.
    Lunch: Dried fruit, nuts, Clif Bars, Jerky
    Dinner: Dehydrated meals.

  10. I choose fruits (fresh and dried), muesli bars, granola with milk powder. Sometimes pasta depending on the trip.

  11. No cook meals only.

  12. I do one pot meals on tour. I use FBC recipies but cook the meals in the pot. In future i want to try cold rehydrating.

  13. I usually just do cold meals. Saves time and energy. But on winter trips. Lots of hot soups.

  14. I’m a big fan of taking something filling for the first few nights and then dehydrated or fresh caught fish if we’re able to get some!

  15. When my son was younger I loved Packit Gourmet as he was accustomed to having a meal. Now that he is older and more experienced we enjoy making meals from grocery store items. Using noodles or mashed potatoes as a base and trying new things. We just made a passable peanut curry with powdered peanut butter and true lime.

  16. Ramen and instant potatoes for dinner typically. Put some olive oil in a tube for flavor and fat. Breakfast bar and via for breakfast. Lunch might be a packet of tuna on bread or salami and cheese.

  17. Patrick McFarlane

    I use FBC for breakfast and dinner. Breakfast is instant oatmeal augmented with dried fruit, protein powder, milk powder and bran cereal. Dinner is one of several different at home dehydrated meals.

    Lunch is “cold” consisting of snacks on the trail and a short meal of salami and cheese, tuna, or humus each with tortillas or crackers.

  18. Morning: oatmeal, dry sausage, old cedar. Dinner: dehydrated food (Mountain House).

  19. Will cook things like Logan bread/ oatmeal biscuits before the trip and take them for breakfast or lunch. Also carry WW tortillas/ plastic bag of peanut butter and gorp for lunch and dinner. Mostly no cook or one pot dinners if cold weather

  20. I just use freeze dried backpacking meals or good old Annie’s mac and cheese. Sometimes if I’m doing the mac I’ll pack a couple frozen hot dogs to add a some protein and variety for the first night.

  21. This section hiker uses the Knorr sides and Ramen in one pot or one hot meal a day. Other meals each day are cold. Tried FBC, but ended up eating it in the pot anyway.

  22. Everything centers around Ramen and instant oatmeal. The question is what i bring to add to each of those. Can’t handle freeze dried food.

  23. I eat cold meals. I make my own pemmican and I bring cheese, summer sausage, nuts, peanut butter, tortillas, dried fruit, and chocolate. And instant coffee with powdered cream and whey protein for breakfast.

  24. I like the freezer bag cooking, clean up is ALOT easier that way.

  25. When I first started backpacking I was a big fan of prepared dehydrated meals like Mt House but now I mostly bring food prepared at home. Sometimes it’s stuff I’ve dehydrated but often I bring prepared meals ready for reheating. Winter camping especially because I use a sled to haul my gear. I’ll prepare home fries and sausage and bacon etc and just quickly reheat. I just plain old got sick of Mt house style meals.

  26. I buy any dehydrated meal in supermarkets like Idahoan mashed potatoes or Lipton sidedishes, sometimes even Top ramen.

  27. Mostly Mountain House for dinner and snacks (homemade trail mix, energy bars, dried fruit) during the day. I heat water with a cat food stove and carry about 4 ounces of alcohol – last about 3 days, the length of most of my trips.

  28. I do one pot meals in the winter and freezer bag meals in the summer

  29. I always go freezer bag cooking on the trail, no clean up and I always know it is something homemade I will enjoy after a long day on trail.

  30. I dehydrate most of my food (oatmeal variations for breakfast and pasta/soup/veggie for dinners). Lunch is pita wraps or snack bars. I package individual servings of dehydrated meals into zip n’steam bags and label them. I include how much water to add. After adding boiling water, I place the bags into a cozy (made from reflectix) and let sit for 15 minutes. Need to use a long spoon or spork to eat out of the bag; but the clean up is very easy and used bags pack away small in my trash bag. My cooking stoves are Esbit Wing for 3 season and MSR whisperlite for winter. My pot doubles as my coffee mug (use the hot lips for sipping from) and is a Toaks titanium 750 ml (I think) – big enough to boil water for meal and left over water for coffee or tea.

  31. I favor freezer bag meals composed of a mix of home and commercially dehydrated food. There is much to be said for little to no cleanup after a long day! That being said, I also really enjoy making all kinds of stuff in my frybake.



  32. A little bit of everything but most of the time if cooking it is a one pot meal or boiling water to rehydrate. If in a hurry ready to eat can’t be beat.

  33. premeasured gallon bag meals with my jetboil. Mix in some emergency freeze dried ones along with jerky and nuts

  34. I usually do FBC with home made dehydrated meals for supper, although sometimes the first night will be something fresh. Lunch is no cook, unless soup is needed. Breakfast is always instant oatmeal with various things added. This works for me over four seasons when weight is an issue. If travelling by canoe, the menu will have more fresh ingredients.

  35. One pot meals… usually some variation on rice or ramen noodles, cheese, sausage, soup mix. Throw in some spices & I’m happy. More hot soup for colder days, more cold rice noodles for summer.

  36. Breakfast is Via coffee and then eat on the go, dried fruit and energy bars. Lunch is more of the same. Dinner is a one pot meal.

  37. I have done the freeze-dried meals. Have done the no cook also, just snack bars. I have also tried rice in freezer bags. Boil your water, add it to your rice bag, add chicken and seasoning, not the best but it is very simple.

  38. I usually do one pot meals, lots of ramen and rice. Rice is one of my favorite breakfast foods on or off the trail.

  39. I started out with freeze dried foodbags from Real Turmat but never liked the taste. Now I dry my own food and make my own freezerbag-meals. Just as easy as the freeze dried. add the boiling water and wait 5 min. But it tastes so much better than freezedried. Breakfast usualy consists of tortillias with peanutbutter or nutella.

  40. Mountain House dinners for me, string cheese and Slim Jim sandwiches for lunch, various homemade GORP for snacks, and wheat germ/granola/Nido for breakfast… with Starbucks instant coffee… because breakfast w/o coffee is unacceptable.

  41. I am a picky eater…I hate soggy food…I demand variety…I hate clean ups. Fortunately I limit my walkabouts to 4 days from civilization. I usually have one or two boil in a bag stew or pasta…I make my own Logan bread…take dried fruit….bars and Jerky..short bread cookies..oatmeal porridge…and a water purifier and a dragon fly stove (i limit my treks to areas with known good water supplies)

  42. I bring pasta/ramen with home made seasoning for cooking in the evenings.
    I bring summer sausage/pepperoni, cheese, and tortillas for lunches.
    I bring protein bars and candy bars and pop tarts for breakfast on the go.
    On the first or second night on the trail I eat a Mountain House meal and use the bag as my trash bag for the rest of the trip.

  43. FBC, because a hot meal is wonderful for morale, and this is the easiest hot meal. With a cat stove and Imusa cup, it’s almost as light as stoveless.

  44. I like to do a mixture of dehydrated meals – usually Mountain House typically for dinner & maybe lunch, and no cook meals for breakfast and snacks – nuts, bars, almond butter, jerky.

  45. Oatmeal and VIA for breakfast. Mixed nuts, berries, energy bars and PB for lunch. Mt. House for dinners.

  46. I think I’ve done pretty much every style of cooking on the trail. Except for no-cooking. I just like a warm meal too much and also think that a stove and the ability to heat liquids is a safety issue. I dehydrate meals at home which is now my go-to for food on backpacking trips.. On my AT thru I ate foods from town, foods I’d dehydrated ( more nutrients ), and pre-made dehydrated foods. ( expensive but a nice treat once in awhile). I’m heading to the Pyrenees mountains this summer and am just winging it as far as food goes but I expect to be eating a lot of cheese, bread, and drinking wine! :)

  47. Breakfasts are typically Clif bars or an equivalent slightly sweet granola bar, and coffee, always coffee.
    Lunches are typically an assortment of dried fruit and nuts snacked on throughout the day.
    Dinners are sometimes dehydrated foods, sometimes civilian MRE’s (lots of packaging but the flameless heater does a great job and prevents carrying a stove)

  48. I love good food and lots of it! I prepare a container with whole milk powder, whey protein, cocoa powder and via the night before then add water first thing in morning for a quick shake. Then I fill container with granola, walnuts, and milk powder and hike on, adding water when I get hungry. After second breakfast its a continuous stream of jerky, nuts, dark chocolate, bars, crackers and cheese, etc. For dinner I am really loving the Good to Go meals. Or I will make instant polenta and load it with Romano cheese and olive oil. I use tuna packs for extra protein.

  49. We typically do one pot meals for dinner. lunch is dried fruits and nuts.

  50. No cook meals are best. Or even dehydrated foods. I like to keep it easy.

  51. I usually do cup o noodles and spam. Easy tasty and full of calories

  52. Over the years I have tried them all, but lately I have settled into the one pot meals while I am out in the woods. Of course, I still mix up my style of cooking on the trail just for a little variation and to attempt to keep my skills sharp.

  53. I use mountain house mostly, or pack peanut butter and jelly sandwiches if it’s just a day hike.

  54. All meals are pre prep depending on season. Usually day one breakfast burritos pre cooked wrapped and vacuum sealed. Lunch we do a classic shore lunch, fresh caught fish , fries and beans. Dinner is usually a carb packed feast. Pasta, and some fresh veggies. I have used the odd dehydrated meal to save space.
    Being married to a chef. He makes sure I hit the trail well stocked.

  55. I try use freezer bag and mountain house meals to avoid cleaning the cooking pot. I have had great success with cous cous to break up the monotony of noodle meals.

  56. Splitting freeze dried meals prepared in the bag for several meals or some form of pasta sides/soups and augmenting with snacks.

  57. Freezer bag meals all the way. Heavy on the prep work up front, especially since I usually backpack with my two boys. But really convenient on the trail. And cheap!

  58. Variations of all depending on length of outing, number of people and how gourmet I want to be.

  59. I typically like one pot meals but after my last camping trip we grew a little tired of that. I think the trip was so long and we didn’t plan enough variety that next time I I’ll be trying more dehudrated items which will have the ability offer much more variety

  60. I’m not someone who sees food as fuel and I can’t do the same thing over and over so my trips generally consist of some one-pot, some no-cook and some freeze-dried. The one-pot generally occur early in the trip and as a treat, they generally include something flavorful but light – fresh parsley, parm, capers, a few cherry tomatoes.

  61. freezer bag, love me some spicy couscous with a envelope of chicken and some ghee.

  62. We do freezer bag meals when we are camping with the kids, and One-pot meals when I’m out with the Scouts, but when it’s just me I’ve found that cooking is a waste of time and resources.

  63. Now that it’s warming up a bit I’ll be turning to ” no cook ” foods such as nuts / gorp , protein bars , maybe some cheeses , jerky and such and back away from coffee & tea for awhile . I probably need too anyway . And it seems to streamline the load a bit .

  64. I usually make my own freezer bag meals from dried meats, veggies, and carbs (potato flakes or Lipton rice packets).

    This year, I’ve been on a great shake system at home (just add water), and am wondering if it may suffice for short trips – just bring the powder and a shaker bottle. Same idea goes for protein meal replacement bars.

    If all else fails, Mtn House for overnights, or pack a sandwich and meat/cheese for day trips.

  65. Just like at home, I eschew nasty manufactured ingredients often found in freeze dried meals; things like MSG, hydrolyzed soy protein, and hydrogenated oils. (Although Backpackers pantry has Louisiana Red Beans and Rice and Channa Masala which contain none of the above and are quite tasty!) Meals range from one pot type stews on a Pocket Rocket, to foil dinners baked in pinon coals, to occasional “non-disturbing” freeze-dried stuff on more mileage intensive jaunts.

  66. I actually use a combination of it all. I sometimes dry home leftovers for freezer bag meals. I frequently make one pot meals with romin or potato or couscous mixed with some meat and dried or freezedried veggies. I often take a package or two of mountain house or other freezdried meals for a dinner. And, I like having a no cook breakfast or dinner once in a while also. Sometimes I’ll take a short trip and do all no cook. It all depends on my mood and what I have on hand in my cupboard before I leave.

  67. Outdoor Product Designer

    Hot meals are a must for us. Coffee in the morning with oatmeal or instant grits – precooked bacon is nice to have. Trail snacks through lunch. Dinner usually consist of filling carbs like noodles, instant potatoes and gravy, freeze dried stews and chili. We bring small quantities of flour, spices, hot sauce, oil in case we score a fish…or a rabbit….or a dove.

  68. I normally have 2 hot/cooked (breakfast and dinner) meals and one cold meal (lunch).

    Breakfast is normally instant oatmeal and nuts. Dinner is normally one Good To-Go freeze dried meal. Good To-Go meals are delicious, wonderful after a long day, and worth the additional cost in my opinion.

  69. I don’t cook on the trail. Carry protein bars and Frito chips (very calorie dense). Have been known to carry early on a few well wrapped tamales –they travel very well. Coffee is just the sticks from Trader Joe’s.

  70. With a group, it’s great to split the weight and cook something with a bit more kick; but solo, my go-to is Knorr sides, with tuna/olive oil/spices. Otherwise, can never manage to leave town without something ridiculous to last the first few days out, everything gets old and boring after a while!

  71. Hot meals for me. I use Expedition Foods dehydrated & freeze dried. Sometimes have similar soups & or a sweet course. Porridge oat bars & hunters mix thru the day. Muesli with powered milk for breakfast & TEA, always Tea.

  72. I use prepackaged dehydrated meals. Not always Mountain House. I like Pasta Sides or potatoes and macaroni.

  73. I typically cook FBC-style meals in a ziploc twist-n-seal container with a MYOG reflectix cozy. I find that carrying the extra container is usually lighter (and less gross) than packing out used freezer bags with food leftovers in them. Another advantage of this system is that I can cold-re hydrate some meals as I hike if desired.

  74. Mountain House type meals are just too easy. I have done home dehydrated FBC meals, but after the time/expense of ingredients/meal planning, etc I’m comfortable paying for convenience. I only cook for dinner. Alpine Aire chicken gumbo is legit. Highly recommend.

    No cook for breakfast (boil water for instant coffee) or lunch, bagel/nutella/pb, etc. Lunch is typically a tuna wrap of some sort.

  75. I would say I mostly prefer no cook meals, especially for shorter jaunts. Carry mostly things like trailmix, cheese, salami etc. If more than a couple of days having a warmer meal helps. But I still like to keep it simple so usually dehydrated soup, lentils etc that just require adding boiling water. And then maybe oatmeal in the morning.

  76. For dinners I like the convenience of prepacked meals but hate the cost. So I have experimented with using discount dried meals (rice, noodles) and adding “Just Veggies” and some protein, Tuna, Salmon, or beef jerky. Lunch is always “snacks”, and breakfast is oatmeal with peanut butter if I’m having a lazy day or a cliff bar and trail mix (self made) if I have a lot of miles to cover.

  77. Freeze-dried meals for dinner (Mountain House currently). if the weather is cool I’ll make a wrap out of various things like cheese and salami that can be eaten cold or thrown on hot coals for extra cheesiness. Coffee and cereal with powdered milk for breakfast. Cold foods for lunch, snacking on trail mix or energy bars throughout the day.

  78. For me, no cook meals simplify everything – from packing to what I have to carry.

  79. Freezer bag cooking is my go to, either self dehydrated or commercial meals and occasionally will spoil myself with lemon pepper Salmon pouches. I use a Toaks 750ml pot and Esbit Titanium stove, lightweight and cost effective.

  80. I generally don’t like cooking, and cooking while camping is just a hassle to me. I buy dehydrated meals, they taste just fine to me and one bag is usually enough food. It’s hard to go wrong with chili or southwest spicy style stuff. I also do non-cook meals, mainly salami/summer sausage sticks combined with cheese and crackers or pitas. I’ll sometimes bring along peanut butter, or simply eat trail mix and dark chocolate.

  81. I have a few dehydrated meals for longer trips, and they the typical store bought protein bars, etc, and no cook meals like pbj, cheese.

  82. Most of our meals are either Packit Gourmet or homemade dehydrated. Lots of ramen too.

  83. My cooking style is to cook with boiling water. So, whatever can be rehydrated or cooked with hot water. This could be prepared meals, or things I put together myself such as instant rice with seasonings and packaged chicken/tuna.

  84. For breakfast I normally eat oatmeal or some sort of power bar. During the day self made trail mix, power bars, jerky, small salami etc. Dinner is typically something bought in supermarket where you just add water, sometimes couscous or mashed potatoes. When on trail I’m not really into food most of the time I eat cause I know my body needs fuel and not because of the hunger.

  85. I typically have instant oatmeal and dried fruit in the am, jerky, dried fruit, nuts, cheese wraps, and power bars for lunchs, and freeze-dried meals, tuna and instant rice, and rehydrated veggies for dinners.

  86. On multi-day trips, I like a hot meal for dinner at the end of the day. It’s usually a prepackaged freeze-dried meal that requires only boiling water so I don’t have dirty dishes. For breakfast, lunch and snacks, I use a variety of calorie-dense foods; eg peanut butter, tortillas, Ritz crackers, cheese, jerky, candy (eg Payday, peanut M&M’s), foil packs of tuna or chicken and mayo, granola bars, and fruit (for 1st day or two).

    Thanks for offering the free pack but since I have an 18″ torso, the large size would likely be too big for me so please don’t include me in the drawing.

  87. Pretty much stick with whatever Skurka does. 3 oz no cook meals throughout the day like trail mix and such, and one evening meal on the alcohol stove such as Thai peanut noodles or beans and rice with fritos and such

  88. I’ve tried single pot meals but cleanup is always a pain. The convenience of a prepared dehydrated meal means I can bring a smaller lighter pot and just boil water in it.

  89. I prefer Freezer Bag/Dehydrated or freeze-dried backpacking meals for breakfast and supper, no-cook during the day… depending on how much prep time I have and how complicated I want to get. It’s super easy to keep some of the freeze-dried backpacking meals on the shelf, and my kids get a kick out of them when we’re on long hikes. We seem to mostly hike in cool/wet conditions out here on the west side of the Cascades in PNW, so hot food and drink always is rejuvenating!

  90. For breakfast and dinner I usually do a one pot or dehydrated meal. Mountain House, Pack-it Gourmet, Knorr sides, etc. For lunches it is something no-cook like peanut butter and tortillas or cheese and summer sausage.

  91. I prefer a combination of one pot meals, mostly sauteed mushrroms and greens along with dehydrated noodles, cous cous, or vegetables that you just add water to and let sit.

  92. I cook with alcohol and can’t even understand how some hikers hike “cold”. I dehydrate 30+ pounds of 93/7% ground beef a year, cook it with various dry cooking mixes on the trail for dinner meals. I have found that dehydrated “home cooked meals” prepared by using freezer bag cooking often develop small holes in the Ziploc® bag – from hard dried ingredients – and absorb enough atmospheric moisture to spoil the food; why bother?

  93. I bring mustard and hotsauce packets from gas stations or fast food places, tuna foil packets, tortillas, raisins or some dried fruit, and some drink mix. I don’t do long hikes so this is all I need.

  94. I use dehydrated meals when I’m backpacking and cook then over my Mrs whisperlite stove.

  95. I prefer freeze-dried backpacking meals, usually, Mountain House, however, I will bring additions to make them tastier and more filling. For example, for breakfast, instead of just having freeze dried eggs and sausage, I will bring pre-cooked hashbrowns, tortillas and hot sauce. Amen to individual packets of instant coffee. Since these meals are usually so filling (and we are not early starters) we typically eat calorie dense snacks throughout the day (trail mix, summer sausage, jerky, etc) and have a similar freeze dried meal for dinner with additions. A dinner example would be the Mountain House mac and cheese, to which I’ll add diced summer sausage, with a piece of bread and wild onions or dill if I’m lucky enough to find it.

  96. I used to make all my own meals in the food dehydrator but now lean tward mountain house and other freeze dried meals for convenience sake.

  97. Freezer bag meals made with rice sides, pasta sides, ramen, dehydrated veggies/shrooms, and of course spam singles

  98. I use a combination of freeze dried (Mountain House, Backpackers Pantry, sometimes Pakit Gourmet if I order it in time) and regular store bought. ex. peanut butter, bagels , sausages , nuts etc.

  99. Dehydrated plus store bought (add water like Ramen, couscous, etc), trail mix, sandwiches, etc.

  100. I follow a paleo/primal lifestyle so I make all my meals myself (dehydrated) and because I find cooking is just one more step I don’t want I go stoveless and just soak them ahead of time. I also bring a lot of snack items like homemade bars and jerky.

  101. I only use Mountian House Style meals for dinners, but i do use my jet boil to make ramen for a quick lunch

  102. A mix of freezer bag and dehydrated meals.

  103. It varies for me. Most of the time I just take a couple Mountain House meals. Mainly because of the convenience. Every once in a while though I bring my dry baking system, which consists of a 1400ml pot with lid and inside that fits a small aluminum baking pan (its really more like a cup). With that I can make a nice big muffin or a biscuit, then mix up some gravy from powder and have biscuits and gravy. It’s really good, but a lot more work and more to clean up. So I only do it occasionally.

  104. Weekend trip
    Marinated Steaks and instant potatoes on the first night out.
    Oatmeal for breakfast
    Summer sausage and cheese for lunch
    Trail mix for snacks
    Freeze dried or pasta and tuna other dinners

    Longer trips are the same minus the steak.

  105. Lots of protein – salami, sausages, jerky (all kinds) and then some sort of carb for calories. Usually ramen, but we’ve mixed steel cut oats with sausages and olive oil before. We usually cook over a tiny MSR in the morning and evening, with lunch being mostly no-cook. Tons of bars in between meals too.

  106. For dinner I usually go with packaged dehydrated or freeze dried meals. I like having a hot meal at the end of the day and packaged meals are a convenient solution. For breakfast, snacks and lunch I prefer meals that don’t require cooking, such as salami and cheese, peanut butter/nutella and crackers, power/snickers bars, granola and almonds.

    My problem is that my usual group of backpacking companions like to cook almost every meal, which in my opinion is time that could be better spent on the trail. Oh well, they wouldn’t be my usual companions if we didn’t find ways to compromise.

  107. I use a mix of home-made dried and Mountain House plus GORP, pkg tuna and hard-crust bread,

  108. So for me it usually depends on what I’m after for my trip, but I usually stay aways from the prepackaged freeze dried meals. That said I tend to make one pot meals with ingredients I dehydrate myself or I purchase dehydrated such as Harmony House Foods, Idahoan Potatoes, Pasta and Rice Sides, etc. For my up coming thru hike of the AT SOBO myself and my partner are going to stick with one pot meals but focus on using a pot cozy that we actually made last night out of reflectix. We will be using a GSI Pinnacle Dualist coolest and Pocket Rocket.

    For most backpacking outings my partner and I at a minimum have a cup of coffee in the morning the get the ball rolling and will either have a hot or cold breakfast with it. We tend to snack throughout the day and have a major break for lunch (humus wraps) and then continue on. Once at camp we always go with a nice hot meal (helps keep moral UP) with a hot drink of tea or coco.

  109. I stick with the dehydrated meals, Mountain House and lots of snacks. I do alot of cold weather overnights and prefer to have a hot meal. For me it’s easier to boil some water and make a quick and easy meal. And lots of snacks! Candy, nuts, high calorie stuff.
    Thanks for the raffle.

  110. My cooking style is a combo. First day or two out can be store bought prepared or easy to make foods. There’s a lot of trail mix and bars, some homemade but mostly store bought. The bulk of my meals are homemade dehydrated.

  111. Granola bars or instant oatmeal for breakfast. Tortillas with peanut butter or canned tuna/chicken for lunch. And Mountain House meals for dinner. This way I only need to bring my titanium mug to heat water and can leave pots at home. Also, I bring a long spoon to eat the meals directly out of the pouch to cut down on washing.

  112. I usually make and bring my own from home. I usually only cook dinner though. I typically eat a cold breakfast and bars for lunch.
    I have brought Mountain House meals for simplicity sake.

    Thanks for the opportunity!

  113. I would describe my approach as a little bit of everything.

    I like certain freeze dried/dehydrated packaged meals for convenience on longer, physically demanding trips. If we are banging out some high mileage days I appreciate a quick hot meal. It offers a good balance between taste, calorie load and pack weight. On shorter, leisurely excursions I’ve been known to bring more elaborate dinner options with fresh ingredients. We allow for more cooking time. What’s better than a great meal in the mountains with friends…and some wine?

    Lunch is usually a no-cook, all day snack fest. I’m the guy that always packs extra snacks for the group so I like variety – fruit, jerky, cheese, trail mix, protein bars, bagel sandwich, etc. Usually have some chocolate. Snickers and M &Ms are considered essential gear on my trips! We could survive on the lunch bag if we needed to and be perfectly happy.

    I’ve also noticed the older I get, the better we eat.

  114. Combination of Dehydrated or freeze-dried backpacking meals and Store bought food like instant mashed potatoes or noodles. Also some no cook meals.

  115. Usually it’s a mix of items.

    We’ll include some fresh vegetables or sausage near the beginning and have a some produce saved for another meal.

    Dry goods: protein bars, dried meat, dried fruit, oatmeal with chia (water cooked), trail mixes and my husband loves having dark chocolate with him.

    Love foraging and harvesting items available on trip.

    My favorite was during a backpacking trip on the Lost Coast Trail a few years ago and harvesting fresh ocean mussels. Cooked them for dinner and they were the best mussels I’ve ever had.

  116. I dehydrate my own farm raised eggs, Meats and veggies to take on the trail and supplement with a couple of commercial freeze dried plus oatmeal and sunbutter.

  117. For dinners, I go with one pot meals – mainly Knorr Rice Sides if I’m by myself. If I’m out with other people, I’ll do tortellini or some other kind of cheesy pasta. If I’m expecting to camp somewhere without a water source nearby, I’ll pack a cold meal, like a packit gourmet chicken salad. For me, simpler is better

  118. The first meal I eat is a foot long, meatball sandwich and then for the rest of of trip, it’s nothing but freeze dried backpacking meals. I’m a picky eater and have been experimenting with dehydrating my own meals.

  119. I eat a combination of MH dinners and freezer bag meals in the evening. Both are convenient and fast and require no post-meal cleaning on my part. All other meals based off of dry goods from Costco (pasteries, dried fruit and nuts, high-energy bars, wax-sealed cheeses, etc).

  120. No cooking for me anymore if I’m solo – I barely even bother with anything that I have to rehydrate or prepare – I just want “hand to mouth.” All vegan – some fresh fruit for day 1, tortilla/PB/honey rolls, lots of nuts and dried fruit, coconut, fritos, sesame sticks, homemade pro-bars… For the extent of my rehydrating, I might take chia, flattened bananas, dried pineapple rings that I soak and drink. I’m planning to experiment with sprouting on the trail this year. But I rarely go more than 2 days between possible resupply points are on-trail food sources (huts) to supplement my packed food.

    If I’m bringing my family, then I’ll bring the pocket rocket and GSI dualist to cook dehydrated mashed potatoes (rebagged), ramen (rebagged with homemade seasoning with lots of nori/dulse), and hot cocoa (rebagged). I stopped bringing Mountain House, etc. or doing freezer bag cooking – I find it hard to mix to ensure complete rehydration and too many messy plastic bags to wash and pack out.

  121. I always bring a few mountain house meals as emergency backups. In general i stick to tortillas, pb and cheese. Instant Rice is always a staple dinner dish with vegetables and a light protein of tuna or jerky. I like to bring snacks so nuts and ugh i hate em but granola bars too, Desert is always dark chocolate and whiskey.

  122. Most of our meals are either stuff we dehydrate at home or sometimes Pack-It Gourmet if we’re feeling fancy. Lots of snacks too!

  123. I’m a fan of no-cook meals. More time to wander around and explore!

  124. On shorter trips, I generally don’t cook, so that I do not need my stove.

    On longer trips, I generally don’t cook breakfast or lunch. This usually means breakfast bars for breakfast with a honey bun or dried fruit. As for lunch, I am known to bring crackers, cheese, and summer sausage or tortillas with peanut butter. Sometimes jerkey makes it as the main course for lunch. For dinner I will either have a mountain house meal or something of my own design in a freezer bag so that I can just add hot water and chow down.

  125. I mostly do freezer-bag style, with some home-dehydrated ingredients.

    For lunch, it is crackers, salami, cave-aged gruyere and California blenheim dried apricots.

  126. I buy regular food and break it down into meal sized servings, repackaged in ziplock bags. I supplement that with Nutrilite meal relacement bars and protein bars.

  127. I buy food items from local store/markets and keep chips, cookies and some chocolates.

  128. I don’t cook 99% of time. If I do it is add hot water dehydrated meals.

  129. I try to always do One Pot Meals & Store Bought Food for dinner and breakfast. Soups, brown rice + foil tuna, packed oatmeals for breakfast. I try to do no-cook meals for lunch, but I always like the warm meal at the end of the day, and hot coffee/chocolate for a pick-me-up!

    I’ve actually never had a dehydrated meal, because I can’t seem to purchase them after reading all the nutrition facts and wondering how terrible they’re gonna taste when I’m stuck in the middle of the woods with only dehydrated beef stroganoff at my disposal. I totally should someday though!

  130. Tracey d IMperio lasslett


  131. No cook meals are best for lunch and snacks but I can’t live without my hot cup of instant coffee, Fairtrade and organic of course :), and a big bowl of oatmeals topped with walnuts, brown sugar and dried fruit for breakfast! One pot meals are nice for dinner, when everyone can gather around the stove or fire and share in a bowl of pasta or soup. Bonus points when you can forage something and cook over an open flame! The added flavor is unbeatable!

  132. I’ve shifted to making my own meals, mainly experimenting with dehydration. This gives me a greater appreciation for what I eat and the preparation involved. Most meals consist of needing water to prepare meals, rehydrate food, or for hot drinks.

  133. I currently stick to Packit Gourmet meals because they’re so delicious, but I got my girlfriend a dehydrator for Christmas, so she is really into making trail meals and has become my trail chef. Mission accomplished! Thankfully she backpacks too and will be enjoying the trail meals with me :)

  134. I just had a bag of Knorr Pasta/Rice Sides every evening, while on trail. I’d pour boiling water into the bag, and let it sit for ~10 minutes (without a cozy), and then thicken it all up with some Idahoan Mashed Potatoes, and have it rolled inside a tortilla.
    The small pot I used (750ml) never needed any cleaning. It only ever contained water. Nice and easy.
    Mm… I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.

  135. I have a 20 year old primus stove that i bought in college and it still works like a charm for cooking and coffee. For breakfast and lunch i usually don’t cook and just eat pop tarts or granola, gorp and beef jerky or pbj sandwiches. My favorite dinner is dehydrated mashed potatoes with dehydrated milk and cheese and either a packet of salmon or bacon bits for protein.

  136. Breakfast and dinner are freezer bag meals usually made from dehydrated produce or items I’ve done myself. I always want a hot breakfast and dinner. Lunches are no cook cheese,peanut butter and flat breads. Alway have the go to Gorp back for snacks.

  137. Mountain House or other freeze dried for dinner. Homemade items for breakfast and lunch.

  138. Generally I use freeze dried meals for breakfast and dinner. For breakfast I’ll alternate days with oatmeal for breakfast. Lunches depend on length of trip but I usually just snack throughout the day on nuts, dehydrated fruits, chocolate, cheese and protein bars.

    Freeze dried meals just seem to be the most convenient except they’re a high volume garbage creator. Another plus is the quick and easy cooking method so I can spend more time hiking or enjoying the views!

  139. I try to dehydrate my own meals as often as possible. Otherwise I buy Good to Go meals. Much healthier than lots of the dehydrated stuff on the market.

  140. Mostly oatmeal for breakfast. Lunch is protein bars and ensure. I go all out on supper. M.R.E.s and 1 good Mountain House.

  141. For dinners I will either make my own or use a freeze dried either way an only add boiling water type deal. I don’t like to get into all the clean up. For breakfast either an otmeal of cheesy potatoes w/bacon or for a fast start a protein/carb drink. During the day bars, fritos, choc covered pretzles, p nut m&ms, energy gels & the like, no big heavy meals.

  142. For overnight trips I do no cook meals. Multi day trips I like freeze dried meals with some tortillas.

  143. hi, I use one pot meals from dehydrated items that I normally make at home for the trail. I use a lightweight pot only. thank you!

  144. Oatmeal for breakfast, just like at home. Freezer bag cooking for dinner. Cheese gorp and Triscuits in between.

  145. The shorter the hike, the happier I’m with no cooking: trail mix, sandwiches, chocolate… If it’s a longer one, freeze dried is my favorite.

  146. Since fatherhood arrived I have only done overnights that has influenced my cooking style. I have stuck to dehydrated and freezer bag meals due to a desire to simplify and get more hiking in. Previously I have mainly cooked one pot meals and will likely do so again when the opportunity to spend more time on trail presents itself.

  147. I backpack with freeze dried meals, hard cheese and jerky.

  148. My meals are pretty simple. Mostly boil water and pour into an envelope. At least for dinner. I’ve really enjoyed the Packit Gourmet meals lately…just bout $150 worth for the upcoming season. Mostly for dinner, but I do enjoy their polenta for a quick breakfast. Really solid and quick to prepare. I will often do rice, dehydrated chicken and spices…mashed potatoes and whatever I feel like tossing in. Lunch is usually some pepperoni, cheese wrapped in a tortilla. I include mustard and spices. Good question! I’ve gotten a lot of ideas from these responses.

  149. Depends on the meal and how hungry I am, but I go for one pot meals for the most part. They are cheap and tasty, all as long as you season on the trail. I normally get too excited when packing I add too much of some ingredient and well i’ve had some pretty sad meals. This season I am going to try and get more gourmet/extravagant, maybe steaks, pizza, idk. Cheers!

  150. Matthew Wallinger

    I usually have dehydrated meals for breakfast and dinner and then no cook meals for lunch.

    • Store-bought food — grains, vegetables, peanut butter, dark chocolate, cheese. And some Clif Bars.

    • One pot meals. Keep it simple. Mix it all together .
      Ray Harrell

    • For dinners, I make-up meals with freeze dried veges, rice, spice mixes, and meats and cook them in freezer bags in boiling water. Breakfast is cereal, freeze dried fruit, and powdered milk, and instant coffee, and lunch is usually peanut butter, jelly and bread rounds.

  151. Steve McAllister

    Re: “What’s your cooking style on backpacking trips:”,

    It depends on the trip.

    I tend to use no cook food for one or maybe two night trips.

    I dehydrate my own food and will use mostly that for three or four day trips, one pot style.
    I usually resupply when I can in town for longer trips, usually dried foods like pasta, rice, jerky, lentils, dried fruit and vegetables, nuts, nut butter, crackers, snacks, candy bars. Whatever packs the most calories per ounce.

    No more freezer bags for me. Too much mess and garbage. One UL pot, spoon, mug and stove.

    No cook food can be too limiting on long trips and you sometimes really need a hot meal or drink to overcome wet and/or cold conditions.

  152. For both solo and groups I am a big fan of the simple 3 step method of cooking:
    Step 1: Boil water
    Step 2: Add food to re-hydrate
    Step 3: Eat

    I am not a fan of the Mountain House Meals, but have not tried many of the other pre-packaged meals. Assembling your own meals at home is easy and allows you the luxury of personalizing it for your, and your group’s, tastes/caloric need/etc.

  153. I don’t have one specific method of cooking. I have a mix of all styles, I like the Kraft Mac & Cheese or Knoor sides one night, packit gourmet the next night, enjoy my homemade dehydrated beef bean burritos the next night. I’ve rehydrated in my mug, in a freezer bag, in a ziplock container and the ziplock packit gourmet bag.

  154. If I have time, I will prepare my own freezer bag meals. I think they taste better than purchased backpacking food, cost less, and are fun to prepare. When not using freezer bag meals, I will purchase Mary Jane’s Farm food meals.

  155. I dehydrate my own food at home with an excalibur dehydrator. I cold rehydrate during the day (i.e. – hydrate lunch at breakfast, hydrate dinner at lunch, hydrate breakfast overnight at dinner). I can heat up the food if I’m in the mood for hot food or I can eat it cold if I chose.

  156. One pot meals for me. I try to mix off the shelf dried foods with the more expensive freeze dried stuff, which can make for some “interesting” results.

  157. I start breakfast of with instant oatmeal. Lunch is typically tortillas and tuna. Supper is a dehydrated meal.

  158. Gosh, it really depends on the trip and what sounds good, really. I usually bring an assortment of stuff: One or two Mountain House/Backpacker’s Pantry/Good To-Go -type freeze dried/dehydrated meals, some home-dehydrated snacks, some store-bought “regular” food like cheese, pepperoni, peanut butter, tuna pouches and tortillas that don’t require cooking, etc. I guess I like variety and the ability to tailor the meal based on the current situation.

  159. I try to stay with dry, dehydrated, freezedried, uncomplicated meals that require little time to prep other than boiling water or minor slicing/spooning. BP, Nutella, Mountain house or Pack-it, oatmeal, poptarts, Jerky and home made Gorp varieties are all staples. I stay away from too much sugar and candy when I’m backpacking, but I am not above a morale boosting snickers or 2… or 3.

  160. It depends of course.
    Typically for dinner a fast cook rice, couscous or noodles dominate my carbs, and an appropriate sauce to go with it. But adding salami, cheese and other items of low water content high fat, protein and taste are essential.
    If I am hiking in an area that I know I’ll have a fire to cook on, and more than one person to cook for (i.e. more than one pot), then I’ll go all out to have a great meal on the first night. One of the best meals I’ve ever had hiking, was chicken drumsticks (frozen until the morning of the hike), with Thai red curry paste, powdered coconut milk, a few choice veges and “slow” cook rice. Not really that heavy, but did take a hour of cooking, but worth every gram and minute!

  161. If I’m solo, I tend to stick to freezer bag meals or no-cook tortilla stuffings. When out with a partner, I’ll do things a little fancier. I like Outdoor Herbivore meals and Pasta Sides. I just don’t like cleaning the pot for every meal.

  162. Depending on the conditions and trip length, I usually stick to one pot meals. I like to use common, easily available foods and try to mix up how they’re prepared, combined or flavored. If I’m tired a pasta-side is fine. If I’m more energetic and the weather’s cooperating I’ll make up my own meals by rehydrating ahead of time (while I hike), mixing meats and dry/fresh veggies and easy mixes (ramen, pasta, etc). I’m not a big fan of Mountain House and similar meals but when the hiker hunger sets in anything is welcome.

  163. Most of the time, I use an alcohol stove to boil water and melt snow, and then have a 1 pot meal, either with my own ingredients or Pack it Gourmet. I love their meals. And of course, like most people, I bring snacks like power bars, nuts, chips, and other dry goods that don’t need cooking at all.

  164. For my first real backpacking trip in over 40 years, I’m going with Mountain House freeze-dried for the majority of meals.

  165. Usually store bought food canned meats ,instant flavor rice

  166. I try to mix it up, but usually its oatmeal with PB for breakfast.

    For lunch i try to get in some dried fruits and a cold meal, I love tuna or salmon on tortillas!
    And a good high calorie snack like a bar or chocolate etc.

    For dinner i make a hot meal if i have the energy, either freezedried (usually from a swedish brand called “blå band”) or something simple i dry at home like beanpaste that i eat with pasta in my pot.

  167. One pot cooking for dinner and breakfast.

  168. Typically freezer bag meals for breakfast (oatmeal, Grits, etc) and lunch, and one pot meals for dinner.

  169. 1 pot of boiled water: tea, dried soups w summer sausage, real food and some dehydrated meals…

  170. I usually have cereal something like Grape Nuts with dehydrated berries for breakfast. A no cook meal for lunch and a store bought dehydrated meal for dinner.

  171. I would say l am a one pot kind of person. For an easy overnight meal l just take a canister stove, a couple of can of soup for diner and breakfast, some sliced cheese and godd bread. Plus a bottle of dark ale and dark chocolate to add to the festivities. That’s it!

  172. I really like Tasty Bites Indian food. Comes in a pouch, not dehydrated. I heat the pouch in water, than use the water for instant rice or ramen.

  173. I prefer to use dehydrated or freeze dried meals.

  174. When temperatures are cooler I always include something to cook in a pan. Depending on how many nights, I will add ready made dehydrated meals

  175. Freezer Bag Cooking in camp (morn and night) and on the trail lots of small snacks throughout the day. All food bought at Sam’s Club and the local grocer.

  176. Just take some bags some pasta, rice, bags of tuna and salmon, and cook it in water. Last time, we took some pasta sauce in a tiny water bottle which we got on the air plane. For breakfast, oatmeal and we add some Trader Joe’s dehydrated berries.

  177. I have use freezer bag cooking for years. I am trying to become stove free

  178. I prefer regular food on the trail. For breakfast I always have eggs, brought from home and produced by my own free-range chickens. Depending on the trip, I will either fry them up in camp or soft-boil them ahead of time. Lunch is usually something like hard salami or summer sausage, a chunk of cheese, and an apple. Dinner is often a pre-made pasta meal carried in a nalgene bottle that just has to be warmed up. Nuts for snacking and some sort of bread or cake round out the menu. These are not the lightest choices for backpacking, but ultralight gear more than makes up the weight difference. Plus I don’t need to carry as much water into camp for re-hydrating freeze-dried meals. This is an important factor for me since I tend to camp on ridges away from water sources.

  179. I eat a cold breakfast and lunch, but always cook my dinner. My favorite dinner is one Lipton chicken noodle soup packet, one half cup of freeze dried chicken, one fourth cup of extra noodles, and two cups of water. After bring it all to a boil I put it in a pot cozy for a few minutes to finish cooking the chicken and noodles.

  180. Depending on the length of my backpacking trip does my meals vary. But for most of my trips, I have mountains freeze dried meals for dinner. For lunch, it varies from freeze dried banana/assorted berries with peanut butter (in a doubled bag), to portable tuna fish with a dressing. (The little lunch able tunas, where can live forever). Breakfast also varies from the banana chips & penut butter, to instant oatmeal or a fish I catch that morning if able. dinner and lunch also will vary if fishing is rich and available. (Unitas)

  181. I bring a mix of foods as I want to make sure I can still eat even if my stove for whatever reason doesn’t work (nuts, dried fruits, chocolates, salami and hard cheeses and peanut butter). I always have a couple of power bars just in case. I also bring a mix of freeze dried meals (packit gourmet!) and also some of my own quick-to-cook mixes. I try to plan meals where I can make 2 meals from one pot of hot water (sometimes enough food here food here for 2 people). I usually make some type of noodles/cous cous and use the hot water to hydrate a second meal. One of my favorites is cous cous with tuna from a pouch – just add lemon pepper. For breakfast – same concept – boil water, make coffee on my ti french press/Peets ground coffee and use remaining water for a bowl of oatmeal garnished with the fruits and nuts). If I am with the family/friends we tend to get more elaborate. I do make my own beef jerky and always have some of that.

  182. Freezer bag cooking, plus trail mix, peanut butter and tortillas, and granola.

  183. My family tries to go one-pot as much as possible. We’re vegetarians, so instant mashed potatoes with Trader Joe’s ground soy, rice and beans and Knoor veggie bullion cubes are stalwarts. The kids love Nutella for the calorie jolt!

  184. Any hot meal is boiling water into a bag (oatmeal, mountainhouse, etc). Add packets of peanut butter, jelly, nutella and tortillas.

  185. I like to make my own mixes and just put them in baggies. I also use dried buttermilk powder which is great for both sweet and savory foods. Pouches of tuna are light and also Justins peanut butter pouches are good.

  186. So far we have taken store bought food (beef jerky, protein bars, nuts) and Mountain House dehydrated meals. I don’t have a dehydrator yet but that will be our next step up in backpacking meals.

  187. Cold breakfast and lunch. Dinner is usually one-pot, but this time I want to live it up with a fry pan.

  188. I keep it to Snicker bars or raw fruits during the day, maybe a sandwich. I prefer something hot at evenings, as I think that is somewhat related to our evolution, since it is instinctive and very motivational. Hearty soups are my number 1 choices.

  189. I make hot meals for breakfast and dinner that involve just boiling water and no or minimal cleanup. So, oatmeal and freeze dried dinners, basically. Lunches are pb&j, sometimes sandwiches made with tuna or salmon packets, plus Snickers or other bars, like Kind or Clif. On long trips, my buddy and I try to carry just three days of food before restocking.

  190. Dehydrated meal for breakfast, no cook for lunch (something like Bridgford sandwiches), and one pot meal for dinner, although my son prefers those dastardly MRE’s, go figure.

  191. I bring a lot of beef jerky and energy bars because all my backpacking adventures have been day hikes. This year I’m planning to do overnights and I plan on trying mountain house.

  192. I eat Mountain House for breakfast. I like the apple crisp, the biscuits and gravy and the breakfast skillet. Easy to make, boil water and let them cook while you’re packing up camp.
    When I break for lunch I usually eat an MRE. I know people don’t love the way they taste but when you get the right flavors they’re good and they’re also great for limiting bowl movements. No stove necessary which is nice when you don’t want to waste a ton of time during the middle of the day.
    For dinner I like do something hearty, almost always containing instant mashed potatoes. I’ll add a packet of gravy mix from the store, stuffing and foil packets of chicken. Its like a thanksgiving dinner on the trail =)

  193. Oatmeal or a bar or cookies for BF. Snacks through the day including cheese and hard sausage for short trips. Store bought pasta or rice based meal for supper.

  194. I like to use a combination of mountain house for hot dinners,snack bars,and oatmeal with nuts for more calories at breakfast. Wraps with peanut butter or foil packet tuna is always an easy meal too.

  195. One pot meals for breakfast and dinner. Lunch is usually pre-packed sandwich/tortilla. Plus trail snacks -gorp, etc.

  196. For breakfast cold food and hot tea. Lunch is tuna or spam lite pouches. Dinner is Mountain House or chicken with freezer bag rice or potatoes.

  197. I’m a One Pot Cook I use Freeze dried food and some prepacked I very my food and never follow the same plan two days at a time I use a Primus stove I have grits or cream of wheat for breakfast and Everything from hamburger helper single to easy mac or Ramon for dinner

  198. I like to bring a #10 can of something that can be heated, and use the can again for dried beans

  199. Granola or Cliff bars for breakfast. Tuna packets or pepperoni, crackers or bread, cheese, apple, peanut butter for lunch. Cooked velveeta mac n cheese, chicken pouch or pepperoni, stove top stuffing, instant taters, or couscous for dinner. And whiskey.

  200. Mostly regular food, some cook (in one pot or no pot) and some no-cook: cheese, olives, hard salami, individual spam slices, tortillas, peanut butter (those 1 serving peanut butter cups are great), ramen noodles, instant potatoes, rice side dishes (but I don’t like the pasta sides), biscuit mix for campfire bread.

  201. It all depends on who I am taking out. With my kids, I boil macaroni or some Lipton flavored noodles. If I am just packing for myself it is a one put meal. Breakfast is usually instant flavored oatmeal either way. I will occasionally throw in a Mountain House meal if I am feeling lazy or overly busy while packing. Lunch is a bit up in the air, but usually something that can be eaten cold.

  202. I usually dehydrate my own meals. Cook them in my old aluminum 1.4L Sigg pot. I clean the pot with a little water and grass/brush/anything rough. Usually on a canister stove.

    I started just dehydrating and already prepared meal all together at once. Right now I’m experimenting dehydrating ingredients separately to see if that works better for me.

  203. Breakfast is instant oatmeal; malt-0-meal; cream of wheat; grits; mash potatoes; hot chocolate and tea bag coffee.
    No lunch – instead about 10 2 oz snacks per day: corn chips (smushed); M&M peanuts/candy; Snicker bars; walnut, pecans, almonds; dried fruits; freeze dried vegetables
    Dinner is recipes by Monica, There are 6 very different recipes using off the shelf dried ingredients and some freeze dried chicken and vegetables.Each 2 serving meal is about 6 oz. Plenty of variety to not get boring over several weeks.
    Daily food per day is less than 2 lbs and very economical.

  204. I’m pretty apathetic about food. Happy to live on ProBars, peanut butter and tortillas. At least on a short trip. I suppose it would get old, but I really only do overnights most of the time anyway. I always bring a pocket rocket so I can make my coffee though!

  205. I’m a fan of one pot cooking. I also try to bring fresh fruit and veggies to add to my meals.

  206. I prefer protein bars for breakfast and lunch. With dehydrated dinner pack for hot meal. I bring 1L jetboil. And can’t forget the coffee.

  207. We just bought a home freeze-dryer (a very expensive little investment), so we are able to take home-cooked, freeze-dried meals, using the method of pouring in hot water and letting them reconstitute. Prior to purchasing this, I generally took FD meals such as Mountain House.

  208. I use dehydrated and freeze dried meals.

  209. I use a mixture of dehydrated and freeze dried meals with some store bought. Generally single pot.

  210. Depending on the length of trip, it is usually a combination of “fresh” food (bread, meat, etc.) and dry staples (Ramen, couscous, oats).

    Typical dinner is a mash up of couscous with feta, sundried tomatoes and some meat. This works very well for groups.

    We have a very good selection of dried meats here, so a lot of that comes along on longer trips.

  211. Cold breakfast and lunch. One pot meal for dinner.

  212. one pot meals are great for me. Most trips i’m trying to include also fresh fruits &veggies.

  213. I haven’t been on any backpacking trips yet, but my plan is to dehydrate my preferred nutrient-dense foods to take along.

  214. It all depends on how long of a hike I’m on. But for a weekend I’ll eat dehydrated meals. But for a snack while hiking I make my own bars.Are homemade beef jerky. Sometimes nuts on the trail.

  215. When flying solo or in a pair prefer the FBC method with home crafted recopies when re-hydration / re-constituting / cooking is needed. Frequently cold breakfast of dried fruit and cereal or well balanced bars. Hot or cold caffeine of choice is an absolute must in the AM. Prefer an old school backpackers’ lunch of cured meats, firmer cheeses and crackers,flatbreads, fresh or dried fruit, etc. Almost always look forward to a hot meal FBC method early evening followed by a few more miles before settling down for the night.
    When the group is more social I find the one pot meal to be a positive communal focus EOD. Again recipes that are made from home crafted combinations vs. pre-packaged in their entirety a la Mtn House,etc. are my personal preference.

  216. I eat dehydrated food while on the trail.I try to keep it light as I can.

  217. I eat dehydrated food while on the trail.I try to keep it light as I can. No time to cook meals when backpacking.

  218. I like to use mountain house for breakfast and dinner using one pot.

  219. I really try to prep as much as I can at home so that I’ll only have to fire it up on the campfire later. Cooler weather steaks wrapped in foil to cook up are my speed when it’s affordable.

  220. My breakfast consist of oatmeal or pop tarts. For lunch, tortillas with summer sausage, Nutella or pb2. I usually dehydrate for dinners but will do a variety with store bought package meals and mountain house. I prefer an easy boil water to hydrate while I’m settin up camp. Dried fruit and nuts…granola too!

  221. I generally take Mountain House, Hungry Hikers, or Mary Janes Farm meals. On shorter hikes where weight isn’t as big a problem, I will occaisionally take MRE entrees.

  222. I usually do a combo, some noncook foods as well as freezer store bought human foods. Frozen protein 1st night and possible 2nd day depending on the temps. Usually noncook foods for breakfast and lunch. I try to stay away from the store bought dehydrated meals, as they aren’t nice to the GI system, lol! I have friends with dehydrators and have been playing with that a little.

  223. i section hike for no more than a week, so YMMV.

    Breakfast – oatmeal or cream of wheat
    Lunch – soft tortillas and either tuna or PB&J
    Snacks – GORP, trail bars, protein bars, jerky
    Dinner – Mountain House or other freeze dried meals (single servings).

    Got a dehydrator for Christmas, so thinking of making my own jerky and evening meals.

  224. I use a combination of food preps depending upon length of trip, predicted weather, and companions. However I usually rehydrate dried foods I prepare at home, but nearly always cook rice and beans at some point in the hike.

  225. I like to use a combo of easily obtained supermarket food like peanut butter, nuts, tortillas and home made dehydrated meals of couscous, beans and vegetables. I like to bring a small jar of olive oil or coconut oil to add fats. I MUST have my tea or coffee in the morning!

  226. I used to use Mountain House for most of my meals, along with beans, rice, grits, and all sorts of dry goods, like nuts, fruit, etc. For purchased things I like clif and powerbars and gu. I can’t afford freeze-dried meals anymore so from now on I’m going to make my own meals.

  227. I do a mix of things:
    Breakfast: I make up porridge packs – 1 cup oats, ½ cup milk power, 1 tsp brown sugar, cinnamon. Add boiling water, stir and it’s made in about a minute.
    Lunch: Flat breads and peanut butter.
    Dinners: MTR meals Heavy at 300g each but the weight is worth it for the taste. I usually take rice as well. Boil in the bag and takes 5mins to make.

  228. make my own one pot meals, dehydrate and vacuum seal. Also bring killer vegetarian pemmican…loads of fat!!

  229. Very generally, 1 pot meals for dinner. We pick up a lot of dried stuff at Trader Joes. Instant rice or potatoes, salami, cheese, in a tortilla. (Not potato) rice crispie things w/dried fruit/nuts. PBJ, grits, nuts, dark chocolate and wine for dessert. Tea, coffee.

  230. I prefer no cooking but one pot cooking is my usual go to. Like a warm meal.

  231. I eat Mountain House meals because they are quick and easy.

  232. I use a combination of freeze dried meals and one pot meals

  233. I’m a bit new to all of this so will use pre-bought dehydrated food but will experiment on dehydrating my own food using an Excalibur. I will get a packet of trail mix as well. A cup of coffee is a must for me in the morning.

  234. I dehydrate, then use freezer bag/ coozie to cook/rehydrate.

  235. I go with a combo of Mountain House meals plus peanut butter and crackers/ for the trail. Trying to move from GoMacro bars to making my own….

  236. I am brand new to backpacking and I cannot wait to get started!

  237. Anaistaisscia Warner

    Prefer no cooking. My favorite bar is the Clif Coconut Chocolate Chip 2.40z

    When I do need hot food, Simply Asia/Thia Kitchen – Thia Rice Noodles, best flavor is lemon grass and chili. Add extra H20 if room in your pot, let the noodles sit and get really big. They hold heat for a long time. 1.6oz. Cheap – about .90 at Ingles or Walmart. Gluten free.

  238. I’m new to this long distance trekking so am trying a combination suggested by others until I can refine my own preferences. Right now its going to be Dehydrated meals made by Sporkables, packs of tuna, pepperoni, cheese, nuts, clif bars, coffee, tea, and the inevitable Snickers bar to junk food it up some. Gotta have coconut oil along. When in town I’ll get a meal or two of fresh vegs and maybe a fruit or two for the first day back on the trail. I’m sure I’ll try the plastic bag technique at some point.

  239. When I was a beginner I remember carrying a lot of weight in canned food and heating it on fires! I switched to MRE’s only from a local military surplus store during the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Now I use a mixture of freezer bag cooking and no cook meals with an MSR Pocket Rocket. I only eat one hot meal a day, usually supper, and drink hot tea for breakfast. Otherwise no cook meals for lunch and breakfast with snacks throughout the day.

  240. I like to buy freeze dried / dehydrated ingredients and make my own freezer bag meals. On long treks I am also happy to add a dehydrated meal or two. A container of Nutella and or peanut butter makes for a quick dessert or can add something to the morning oatmeal.

  241. I usually eat one pot meals on multiday trips, supplemented with other easy to carry items–peanut butter, apples, hard cheese, etc.

  242. I use dried rice/pasta sides along with various jerkies…add water to them in the morning and they rehydrate as I hike. Usually heat them up at the end of the day for a quick, warm meal…sometimes just too tired and eat them unseated – still pretty darn good and no fuss, minimal mess!

  243. Scott & Karen Kern

    We dry our own meals and reconstitute them using freezer bag cooking. Our cooking gear consists of an older aluminum 3C Kelly Kettle (, a 3C aluminum Coleman teapot, my dad gave me years ago, and an AntiGravityGear Pouch Cozy. We do use a fry pan for bannock and johnnycakes. This year we’ll be trying out Kelly Kettle’s hobo stove. Our recipes are either what we have at home or from various books. Books like Hungry Hikers Book of Good cooking (Gretchen McHugh), The Well-Fed Backpacker (June Fleming, especially the one-liners), Recipes for Adventure (Chef Glenn McAllister), Trail Food & Camp Cook’s Companion (Alan S. Kesselheim) and The Epicurean Backpacker’s Cookbook (Jon Fong).

  244. We just bought a MSR backpacking stove and we’re looking forward to trying it out on our first backpacking trips. On our day hikes, we stick to bars and trail mixes…we may try the prepackaged meals or I may try making my own!

  245. one pot meals and homemade granola and energy bars.

  246. Mix of freezer bag meals and rice sides. Really anything where all I have to do is boil water. I hate doing dishes!

  247. Anything overnight or longer I generally go with a simple one pot meal like dried stuff from Wegman’s or Trader Joe’s (Thai is preferred) supplemented with canned chicken or peanuts. I also carry snack type items like Clif Bars.

  248. My cooking style is mostly a one pot meal for dinner. But breakfast is usually pop tarts and a protein drink. Lunch is anything from pop tarts to sardines to a one pot meal. Some times I’ll even do mres if I have the money and am only walking for a few days… They get pretty heavy for 3 meals/day. I’ll supplement some gorp or candy in between meals on long hikes.

  249. I use dehydrated or freeze dried meals.

  250. Lots of dehydrated dinners. Oatmeal with water in the packet for breakfast. Wrapped tortillas with peanut butter and jelly for lunch.

  251. I am new to bacbacking so I am getting lots of info out of all these suggestions!

  252. i dehydrate all my own food. except for protein bars.

  253. I cook only one pot meals, usually just items that can sit in boiled water rather than actual cooking. On short trips I bring cheese and fruit, but not longer ones. I eat a cold lunch and oatmeal for breakfast.

  254. Food glorious food! Since finding Asian dehydrated foods in Asian warehouses I have enjoyed some fabulous meals with such things as “Mouse ear fungi” “Chicken Nibbles” etc all dehydrated and all super light. Couple these with pasta or potato Mash and a superb one pot meal is possible with just a cup or two of boiled water which as we all know saves on fuel too.

  255. Mountain House Dehydrated backpacking meals. Quick and easy

  256. I got a heck of a deal on a lot of backpackers pantry meals.
    Using those a lot. Some i just add water and let set and eat cold.
    Mostly i use MSR pocket Rocket to heat up water.
    Looking into esbit stove tho.

  257. I’m using Mountain House for now as it’s quick and easy and I’m living overseas for a couple years (less storage or grocery options). I plan to try my own dehydrated meals for more vegan, less salty options.

  258. I typically bring a variety of food, of different “cooking sstyles.” Some one pot meals (jambalaya, rice & beans, quinoa, cous cous, etc), dehydrated/freeze-dried backpacking meals, no cook meals (granola, dried fruit, jerky), and often a little store bought food as a nice treat (cookies, fresh fruit, etc).

  259. I use the one pot method and supplement dried food with real food for a couple of days after resupply.

  260. Kristin Faircloth

    Usually one pot meals, with snacks of cliff bars and dried fruits

  261. i bring some mountain house and jerky. The meals in a bag are convenient without having to package groups of items to make a meal with. The Jerky is great for in between meals. It seems to pack light also.

  262. One pot meal with home dehydrated food.

  263. I like to do a mix of: a few fresh fruits/vegetables at least for the first day or two; no cook breakfast and lunches (think pop tarts and tortillas with peanut butter); cooked dinners (like pasta sides or rice sides combined with instant mashed potatoes, and either packaged tuna or pepperoni, all wrapped into a tortilla). Also, a trail favorite of mine is Poor Man’s Pad Thai: cooked ramen noodles (leave a little water in the pot with the noodles), heaping spoonful of peanut butter (crunchy preferred), and a touch of chili garlic or Sriracha sauce for a kick.

  264. Like many others I’m a mixed bag. I tend to start w/ mixed fresh and freeze-dried. On the first day/two out consume the fresh stuff and then move to freeze dried. Some things like jerky etc. depending on time I will make ahead of time and stay away from the store bought – just depends.

  265. Same here, a mixed bag. I often do one pot meals at beginning and end of the day and use no cook meals for lunch and snacks. Ramen noodles with alfredo and chicken is my favorite. Lots of trail mix and dried fruit for snacks.

  266. No cook usually, but will sometimes do a one-pot. Trying some of the dehydrated meals on my next trip.

  267. Store bought, no cook foods.

  268. I usually go with the freeze dried (Mountain House). They taste great and are super easy. I always buy the 2 serving packages and eat the double serving as one meal.

  269. Most of my meals are freezer bag style. They may have a ramen noodle base to which I add dehydrated veggies and chicken. Sometimes, I start with Lipton/Knorr Pasta Sides and add a bunch of extra ingredients I have dehydrated.

  270. I also have a bowl with snap lid that slips into an insulated koozie I made from Reflectix. Sometimes, I make my meals in that bowl.

  271. I eat all dehydrated stuff. Mostly Mountain House, but I’ve been doing more and more of my own dehydrating lately. I’m finding more and more cool recipes on the Web, and I plan to upgrade my dehydrator soon.

  272. RAMEN
    plus sliced sausage and provalone
    and at least a box of nature valley bars
    green tea

  273. Freezer bags and rice sides or mac n cheese with pouches of chicken or tuna. Just boil water and rehydrate. I bake Logan bread and parched corn along with gorp, instant oatmeal or grits for breakfast, again, just rehydrate.

  274. I use dehydrated meals. Just too easy not go in my opinion. I turn on my jetboil stove on and I’m eating 10 min later.

  275. I mostly do freezer bag cooking because it’s both easy to prepare and clean up on the trail. If I really want things to be super easy I’ll prepare a Mountain House meal; beef stew and beef stroganoff are my favorites.

  276. I mix up my cooking style:
    Breakfast is either hot oatmeal or cold granola depending weather I want to boil water or not.
    Lunch is just some snacks on the trail; trail mix, cliff bars, cheese slices & peperoni, etc.
    Dinner is always hot; usually instant or fast pre-seasoned rice or noodles with some form of protein added such as tuna fish.

  277. Breakfast: oatmeal and freeze dried fruit, protein bars

    Lunch: no-cook dehydrated pack it gourmet wrap fillings – Kickin Chicken and Cajun Ranch Chicken salad are a couple of favorites. Or sometimes simple PB&J in a wrap.

    Dinner: same a lunch sometimes for no cook trips. If i want hot meals I’ll have DIY rice/cous cous meals or boil in bag pasta. Mary Jane Farms has some great options for the latter.

  278. One pot meals, I like easy. If you wait until you’re starving (Which is all the time for me), then everything tastes great!

  279. I do a little of both. I dehydrate some of my meals and I also buy Mountain House. I like a warm meal and really like my coffee.

  280. I like a hot meal for dinner – I do a mixture of Backpackers Pantry (which I find better quality than Mountain House, plus more vegetarian options), Good-to-Go, and Outdoor Herbivore with my own concoctions (couscous curries etc). Breakfast is usually Bob’s Red Mill mueseli with dried milk & instant coffee. For lunch I like Justin’s peanut or almond butter packets on pita or Wasa toast, Babybel cheeses, dried fruit/nuts, and one of my favorite trail snacks, crystalized ginger.

  281. Very interesting post and comments! But I’d really like to ask a question – to rehydrate a solo dried meal in the pot, rather than in a freezer bag, what is the minimum size pot I could get away with? I prefer to cosy cook as it minimises fuel (alcohol stove) consumption, so I’m looking at small solo pots/mugs for a do-it-all system that will allow me to rehydrate/cosy cook all in the pot, without the need for freezer bags. I like the 700-750ml sized pots such as the Snow Peak Trek, Toaks 750 and Evernew 750 pasta pot. Any idea if these are big enough for in-the-pot rehydrating? Thanks for such a helpful article!

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