Tag: Backpacking Recipes

Best Trail Food

Best Trail Food

Eating plenty of nutrient-rich, calorie-dense food is crucial to success. On top of that, I have found that it is vitally important to keep my diet varied and interesting on the trail. Even when I’m tired and starving, I can be totally uninterested in eating if I have the same food all the time. Therefore, it is critical to be creative and utilize a variety of different recipes, especially for long trips.

I have been enjoying putting together my own dried meals, because I can be more creative, more selective in what I’m putting in my body (some freeze-dried food is great, but there can be a lot of weird preservatives in pre-packaged meals), and save some money by buying dry ingredients in bulk. The recipes I included can be made WITHOUT a dehydrator!

Here are a few suggestions for easy, healthy meals that you can use to shake things up:

Breakfast

  • Product: Backpacker’s Pantry Huevos Rancheros. Freeze-dried eggs taste way better than you think. Bring a little salsa and pepperjack cheese to enhance the awesomeness. If you’re extra hungry, one 2-serving packet = one satisfying meal. I typically alternate between eggs and oatmeal for breakfast, and didn’t get tired of either over the course of 45 days on the Oregon Coast Trail. Dietary Needs: Vegetarian.

Lunch

  • Hummus, cheese, veggies, pita. Boom. Easy and healthy. It will all keep well for a couple of days, up to 3 or 4 if the weather is cool. Dietary Needs: Vegetarian, can be Gluten Free.

Dinner

  • Recipe: Easy Coconut Curry. Hydrating, delicious, nutritious, and easy to make. Dietary Needs: Gluten Free, can be Vegetarian if you leave out the chicken.
  • Recipe: Trail Thanksgiving. Comfort food in the backcountry. Definitely NOT vegetarian or gluten free.
  • Recipe: Veggie Pasta. Simple but delicious. Dietary Needs: Can be Vegetarian or Gluten Free.
  • Product: Mary Jane’s Farm. All of their food is delicious. I also once accidentally added too much water to the “Bare Burrito” bag, and it turned into, essentially, vegetarian chicken tortilla soup. Now I purposely do that on days when I’m feeling dehydrated. Delicious and useful! Dietary Needs: Vegetarian.

What are your favorite trail meals? I’d love to get some new ideas! Share them in the comment section below!

Best Trail Food: Easy Coconut Curry

Best Trail Food: Easy Coconut Curry

One of my favorite backcountry meals is this Easy Coconut Curry from Backpacker. One of my friends shared this with our hiking group a few years ago. This meal is delicious, nutritious, calorie-dense, easy to prep, easy to cook on the trail, and hard to get tired of. I also personally find curry to be a great choice for refueling after a strenuous day. It helps me feel rehydrated and refreshed.

This recipe is gluten-free, and can also easily be vegetarian (just leave out the chicken). I personally think the chicken is unnecessary, anyway. The curry is quite filling without it.

So without further ado, here is the recipe, as featured in Backpacker:

Easy Coconut Curry

Total weight: 15.6 ounces; 11.6 without chicken

Ingredients

  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons mixed dehydrated vegetables
  • 2/3 cup powdered coconut milk mixed with 11/4 cup water
  • 1 4-ounce chicken packet
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar or honey
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

At-Home Preparation

Dehydrate a mixture of vegetables such as peas, red peppers, carrots, spinach, and corn (or buy freeze-dried). (Jenni’s suggestion: Just buy a bag of dried veggies at a world foods store, or a dried soup mix at any grocery store.) Put curry and garlic in a zip-top bag. Transfer oil and soy sauce to spill-proof containers. (Jenni’s suggestion: Get a reusable, silicone salad dressing bottle).

In-Camp Preparation


Boil 1 1/4 cups water, add couscous and olive oil, remove from heat, and cover. Let sit for five minutes or until water is absorbed. Heat reconstituted milk to a simmer; add rehydrated vegetables and chicken. Mix in curry and garlic powders, sweetener, and soy sauce. Spoon over couscous and enjoy. (Jenni’s suggestion: That’s too complicated. Just dump everything into the boiling water at once and let it simmer, if your stove has that option, or let it sit in a sealed container for a while after mixing in boiling water. Stir and eat.)

More Jenni-suggestions: I generally add some dried basil to this recipe, which provides a bit of magnesium, manganese, and other nutrients that aid in recovery. I personally also tend to need a lot of salt after exercise, so I use the good ol’ fashioned, high-sodium soy sauce.

Have you tried this on the trail? Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Check out more trail recipes here, and learn more about nutrition for endurance here.