Meal and Snack Ideas for Backpackers

A backpacker’s approach to snacking needs to be different than that of a regular traveler, because you’ll be burning loads of calories, and you have to carry a fair amount of food around. Generally, snacks need to be lightweight, calorie-dense, and nutrient-rich. Also, they should be able to remain good without refrigeration for a long period. Worldgoo has compiled a list of some great backpacking meals and snacks, including energy boosters for lunch, breakfast, and dinner, to help you prepare for treks, bus rides and overnight trips in your favorite destination.

Best Backpacking Meals and Snacks to Take Along

Where to Buy
PROBAR - Meal Bar, Superberry & Greens
100% Grass-Fed, Paleo Friendly Beef Sticks
Mountain House Chili Mac with Beef
Ova Easy Egg Crystals (Dehydrated Eggs)
Harmony House Foods The Backpacking Kit

1. PROBAR – Meal Bar, Superfood Slam, 3 Oz

For complete nutrition, high RDA percentage and organic ingredients, consider getting a pack of PROBAR. The standard PROBAR snack weighs 85 grams (3 oz) and packs 45 grams of good carbs to help backpackers sustain blood sugar up until dinner time, 7 grams of fiber, 10-12 grams of protein, and 20 grams of fat (zero trans fat, FYI). The on-the-go snack bar also includes hemp and flax seeds that keep the ratio of healthy oils high. Plus, it is made from organic ingredients, many of which are non-GMO, gluten-free, and raw in nature. Other things that make the PROBAR stand out is the presence of omega 3 oils and antioxidants.

What makes it stand out?
The bar is made with organic seeds, organic nuts, and organic oats, containing almost 80-95 percent natural ingredients. So backpackers can rejoice knowing they’re fueling their body with natural nutrients rather than synthetic ones.

2. 100% Grass-Fed, Paleo Friendly Beef Sticks

Stocked with a high dose of nutrient-friendly protein, beef jerky makes an ideal snack for backpackers. It’s not only non-perishable but versatile and lightweight. You can graze on it during the mid-day for lunch, as well as add it to noodles or soup for a more fulfilling meal at the hostel. Though the beef jerky varieties sold at places like gas stations are filled with nitrates and high-processed, this particular beef jerky stick from Sogo Snacks is manufactured using 100 percent grass-fed beef, meaning no antibiotics or hormones have gone in its making. Also, you won’t find traces of sugar, soy, MSG, or artificial ingredients in these sticks. Plus, their delicious taste ensures you eat more than a single one.

What makes it stand out?
The grass-fed beef comes from high-quality cows in Australia. The beef jerky company uses those suppliers because they don’t use antibiotics or hormones.

3. Mountain House Chili Mac with Beef

Chili is one of the many fan favorites of backpackers. It makes for a satisfying and hearty meal after many miles of walking. Mountain House’s Chili Mac with Beef is freeze-dried – that makes it convenient to prepare and carry, as well as enable you to close out the day with a hot meal. The only thing you need to do is pour water and dinner would be ready in less than 15 minutes, without requiring you to clean up a mess afterward. Spicy chili sauce is present in the whole thing, but you’ll also find onions, beans, beef, and macaroni noodles for an all-inclusive, flavorful meal. This mac and beef can comes in several different one-cup servings, so choose the size and quantity based on your needs.

What makes it stand out?
It is quite easy to prepare. You just have to put hot water inside the pouch, and the meal will be ready in less than ten minutes. There’s also the option to add additional hot sauce if you prefer a bigger kick.

4. Ova Easy Egg Crystals (Dehydrated Eggs)

Eggs are a delicious and healthy way to start a day of backpacking, but it’s not easy or practical to store them in your backpack. But that also doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice on the goodness. The Ova Easy Egg Crystal shells will allow backpackers to make scrambled eggs or even omelet by mixing them with water and preparing a meal using them as they would normally cook an egg. Technology has been used to dehydrate them, but they keep the nutrition and flavor of fresh eggs intact, so you get the same advantage and taste of eggs, without all the hassle. Each of the Ova Easy Egg Crystals’ pouch packs nutrition the equivalent of one dozen eggs.

What makes it stand out?
The whole thing is an all-natural crystal that’s dried hole to replace liquid eggs, frozen eggs, fresh eggs, and even egg powders. You can use them in any recipe where eggs are needed.

5. Harmony House Foods The Backpacking Kit

This kit includes a versatile mix of ready-to-cook snacks, including celery, green beans, corns, green peppers, lentils, beans, black beans, pinto beans, and a lot more. To ensure backpackers are using them as snacks, the manufacturer has dried, chopped and bagged them into zip pouches – you just need to take them out of the pouch and prepare. The cooking method is extremely easy. Just add water to the staple, and boil for ten to fifteen minutes. The foods can be eaten alone or added to pasta, rice, or another ingredient.

What makes it stand out?
All the foods used in this kit are vegetarian, low-sodium, Non-GMO, and gluten-free.

Best Ways to Evaluate Backpacking Snacks

  • Check calorie density: Divide the total calories by weight (Grams). Most nutrient dense snacks will be the one like PROBAR.
  • See energy rating: The energy rating is made up of fat sources, low glycemic index carbs, and protein. Energy rating should be high if you’re going to be doing long hauls between cities, especially for backpackers who prefer hitchhiking and walking.
  • Taste: The taste depends on the backpackers’ individual preference, but shouldn’t be something out of the ordinary.

Ready to Eat?

The healthiest snacks we could eat as backpackers are the ones made of unprocessed ingredients. Not only the snacks mentioned in the above list are lightweight and easy to carry, but they are also ideal meal replacements when you aren’t able to conjure a way to bring healthy meals on your backpacking adventure.