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DIY Backpacking Food: Your Homemade Outdoor Meal



close-up photo of a rice bowl on the table

The kind of food you carry for your backpacking trip matters a lot. Most hikers and campers find it difficult to decide what type of food to bring with them to their outdoor tours. As humans, they are prone to choosing the tastiest and most nourishing, but when it’s time to hit the track, things become messy.

To avoid these kinds of problems, it’s important to have an idea of how to create a DIY backpacking food, so it becomes easier to have meals within the shortest time possible. Most people make poor decisions as far as this issue of meals is concerned, and this significantly affects their adventurous events.

picture of a man watching the landscape

When you are planning your backpacking tour, you need to know that what you carry for a one-day trip could greatly differ with the food you would take to your backpacking tour. Various factors would play a part in the choice of food you select such as taste, weight, durability, and nutritional value. It may seem overwhelming to plan and prepare a homemade backpacking food, but once you have an idea of how to go about it, you won’t have to spend a lot of time looking for what is best for you.


  • If you want to minimize the weight of your food, use a dehydrator to get rid of moisture. Using an inexpensive equipment with stacking plastic will go a long way in removing water from your food.
  • Choose easy and comfort recipes such as stews, sauces, and casseroles which are thick and contain great flavors. Rice, noodles, sauces, mashed potatoes or polenta, and condiments you would serve with a dish may be obtained small packets to compliment your dish. Meals that depend on certain texture, structure or large pieces don’t adapt well to a dehydrator.
  • You do not need to spend so much time cooking yourself. Double your recipe for the favorite meal and place half of it in your dehydrator overnight or before heading to work in the morning and the food will be ready for the trail come the weekend. Alternatively, you can buy a pre-made meal from a deli at the local grocery, prepare it as per the instructions given on the package, and convert the food to a backpacking meal using these principles. Make sure that what you have is a recipe you would love to consume.
  • Pack your recipes along with nutritious and colorful veggies. However, limit the fiber as this is weight without calorie.
  • Make sure the flavors in your homemade backpacking food are varied as this will keep your meal interesting throughout the trip.
  • Once you have prepared your recipe in the kitchen, puree or chop the food to consistent sizes. The smaller the portions cut, the faster the pieces will rehydrate at the camp. At first, the chopped version may look somewhat strange, but the taste of the meal will be familiar and fabulous.
  • You should learn what products rehydrate faster and which ones take the time to rehydrate. It will be very frustrating having to wait thirty minutes for the meal to rehydrate so as the meal can soften when on the trail. Some grains, vegetables, tofu and beans often take some time to rehydrate. Therefore, you can replace these products with the freeze dried versions since these foods rehydrate faster.
  • Be careful with fatty meals as food that contains fatty surface go rancid quickly. Rinse the fat from the meat using hot water before you can rehydrate. Limit the amount of fat when cooking and carry butter or a bottle of olive oil to add at the camp.
  • The closer you are able to get the dehydrated sauces into powder consistency, the faster your homemade backpacking food will be ready when on the outdoors. Pulse the food in a blender or processor once the moisture has been extracted from it. You will notice that the coarser components won’t be easily broken but the sauce ones will.
  • Measure your food into servings before you can put it in a dehydrator. Add some volume of water so as to recreate the initial serving volume.
  • When placing the food in the dehydrator, spread it uniformly and thinly over the trays. For runny sauces and drier recipes, use a fruit leather tray and a mesh tray respectively. Food dries quickly when placed on mesh trays.
  • Do not compromise the drying time. Food can never get over-dried, so make sure you do it overnight or even longer.
  • At the camp, use hot water or create a lightweight insulated ‘cozy’ for nestling the pot. The hotter the food products remain during re-hydration, the quicker it’ll be ready for consumption.

Weston Stainless Steel Food Dehydrator


The time has come for you to take a chance into the unknown and begin preparing your own camping meals. By using certain ingredients and cups of boiling water, you’ll be in a position to create an actual meal in the wilderness with as many calories as you desire. Here’s how to go about it.

The Base

Let’s begin with the carbohydrates. Select one which is not fussy and pack light. Basically, the carbohydrate will be over a hundred calories per ounce and will be able to rehydrate without having to boil water for over a minute so you can save on fuel. Here are some examples:

  • Rice noodles – This choice is perfect when you are in need of texture
  • Couscous – This is a favorite way to begin a backpacking meal. During a hot period, couscous cooks by adding cold water and leaving it out in the sun covered for about a half an hour.
  • Potato flakes – The Idahoan potatoes are a perfect staple for the backcountry meals. Begin with the plain flakes and add your flavoring.
  • Macaroni – Pasta shapes which are small and thin will cook excellently by adding boiling water and covering for about ten minutes with the heat turned off.
  • Instant rice – While it’s possible to rehydrate instant rice using cold water, heating up the water to a simmer would yield much better results.

Picture of and Adult Eating Campfire Couscous Salad

The Flavor

After that, you’ll need to consider how to season the base. This can be done with:

  • Spices – Make sure you take a look at your spice cabinet. Some dried mustard perquisites your couscous. You can add dried basil to pasta. Chipotle can be used to add flavor to your instant rice. You should try a few experiments to determine what is suitable for your case.
  • Seasoning mixes – Seasoning packets often come in different flavors including chow mein, fried rice, and chili. The Asian grocery store would be the most ideal place to look for these products. Here, you can find great backpacking meal additions such as instant chicken and powdered coconut milk.
  • Curry paste – You can add this product to your instant rice during your back country ventures, but you’ll need to gauge your comfort level as this may not be suitable for your case.

Dried basil lasts much longer than fresh.

The Nutrition

Adding nutrition to your back country meal is probably the hardest thing you can do. Vegetables can be heavy, so you’ll need to think carefully and choose products that have a moisture weight reduced. Aim for fifty calories per ounce, which include staples such as dried onion and dried tomatoes, which can be found in any grocery shop. Trader Joe’s is an excellent source of dried veggies, including dried beans, dried coconut, and dried kales.

Ovena Dehydrate Kale Chips

If you are more than willing to splurge, there are online companies which sell backpacker-friendly vegetables from dehydrated sweet potatoes to freeze-dried spinach.

The Calories

When selecting fat for your backpacking meals, you can never go wrong when it comes to calories. Most fats are upwards a hundred and sixty calories per ounce, so do not hesitate when searching for your hearty meal. You can opt for olive oil, which is easy to carry in a lightweight disposable bottle.

However, there are other options to pick including avocado oil, peanut oil, safflower oil, among others. Remember to keep the oil separate until the food has cooked since water and oil do not mix.

avocado oil near to avocado on the table

At this point, some splurging can create a huge difference. Powdered butter can boost your back country meal made with potato flakes. Cheddar cheese and powdered Parmesan can make your pasta worthy of a back country.

The Protein

If you have been snacking on beef jerky, almonds, and peanut butter throughout the day, it may not be necessary to include proteins into the end-of-day meal. Nonetheless, if you are thinking of incorporating it into your recipe, there are some options you can consider. At the grocery shop, you can find dehydrated refried beans and bacon bits. If you are brave enough, you can opt for a freeze-dried ground beef.

Chop up the bacon and add to the meat mix.

There are numerous ways of combining the above ingredients to create an easy, fast, and delicious meal. Make sure you do some experiments at home before heading to the back country. That way, you’ll have an idea of how best to prepare your homemade backpacking food without difficulties.


You are on the trail, and you get hit by the snack attack. Now you know you need something fast to quench that desire. Snacks are great to have every time you are in the back country. It is important to prepare some at home before leaving for the back country. Here’s what you’ll need to consider.

  • Fig bars are tasty and affordable. You can also decide to buy something like ProBar Mel and ClifBar Orginal. If you are an experienced backpacker, you may need to consider purchasing a dehydrator to make fruit rolls, dried veggies, and fruits. Salami, dried fruits, cheese, and fruit leather – whatever you prefer, make sure there’s a perfect mix of salty and sweet.
  • Homemade Granola Bars are snacks you can easily make at home. Pack this product in reusable zip lock and snack time baggies. You can include carob chips, chocolate, almonds, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, cashews, coconut butter, dried fruit, or any other thing that would be ideal for hiking.
  • You can never go wrong with fresh fruit. Make sure to stock up on fresh fruits such as bananas, grapes, apples, and oranges beforehand. The juice from these fruits will be tantalizing during and after a long hike.
  • The Raspberry Fig Fruit Leather recipe is easy to make, and the outcome is so delicious. This is a perfect snack when hiking or when hanging around the campsite.



If you will be spending a tremendous amount of time in the outdoors, it is beneficial and cost-effective to prepare your back country meals as highlighted above. Nonetheless, if you plan is to go on a short-period hike, you may want to bring a pre-cooked meal or prefer eating out. Preparing a homemade backpacking food is preferable as opposed to camp cooking. Here is why:

  • If you happen to forget your fuel canister, hose, or any other critical component, it will be impossible to have a meal, and this ruins your entire experience
  • Cleaning dishes after cooking and eating can be time-consuming and overwhelming
  • If you are purchasing kitchen equipment for camping for a few trips, cooking at the campsite is definitely not a cost-effective measure
  • If you have no experience in camp cooking, the outcome of your meal will vary greatly

So what are the alternatives?

  • Prepare a homemade backpacking meal and take with you on your outdoor trip
  • Carry the just-add-water product (dehydrated meals). These may include items such as dried beans, oatmeal, coffee, tea, and cream cheese. You can also carry pre-made sandwiches for lunch, and other pre-made food for dinner. For instance, if you pre-cook steak or chicken, you can prepare burritos by reheating everything.

picture of cream cheese on the top of a bread slice


Marinated tofu

It usually takes some time to make the tofu before you can hit the trail, but you will fall in love with its taste. Here is how to go about the process: cut the tofu into small blocks for quick and easy marination. One block of tofu should create about eight smaller blocks.

After that, put the block on a towel or a heavy fabric and cover the tofu with it. Put something heavy on the blocks of tofu, so the water and juice content is extracted. It will not be perfect, but it would be ideal that way. Drain the water.

In the meantime, place the following ingredients in a bowl for the marinade:

  • Two teaspoons of olive oil
  • Lime juice
  • A half chopped jalapeno
  • A quarter onion (chopped into smaller cubes)
  • A half teaspoon each of salt and pepper
  • One tablespoon tequila (optional)

Mix the ingredients well to create a homogenous mixture. Now, place the blocks of tofu in the marinade.

When you are in a hurry and making this food right before you can start your trip, give it about fifteen minutes to soak. However, for the best outcome, leave the mixture for fifteen minutes before transferring it to a freezer until the day you are to begin your trip.

The good thing about tofu is that it can unfreeze relatively quicker compared to meat. Once the food is unfrozen, you can prepare it whoever way you find suitable. You can cook it in oil or eat it as it is with some fresh veggies.

Marinated tofu on the plate

Granola bars

If you are a person who loves granola bars and nuts, you can be delighted that there are better ways of making these food products without the weird preservatives and additives. If you’re are a conscious individual, then this recipe will work for you.

Prepare the following:

  • A quarter tablespoon sea salt
  • One and a half cups of rolled oats and same amount of crispy rice cereal
  • A third of a cup of dried blueberries
  • A half cup of shredded coconut
  • A quarter nut butter (almond is suitable)
  • A half syrup (can, brown rice, maple, etc.)
  • A half cup of chopped almond
  • A half a teaspoon of vanilla extract or one teaspoon vanilla sugar

Begin by turning your oven to preheat to three-hundred and fifty degrees Fahrenheit. After that, put on the baking sheet shredded coconut and almond bits to bake until brown areas are formed.

After that, prepare a baking pan and line the pan with two overlapping baking sheets such that all the sides and bottom of the pan are covered. Mix the rolled oats, rice cereals, blueberries, salts, almond, and coconut in a bowl. These need to be uniformly mixed. They will later be put in a baking pan.

In the pan or skillet, place butter and a syrup of your choice. Cook the mixture, so they blend perfectly to create a homogenous mixture. Signs of bubbles indicate your mixture is ready. Add the vanilla extract and stir everything. Remove the pan/skillet from the heat source and give it time to cool slightly.

From here, go back to your oats mixture. Add butter mixture and syrup to the rice cereals and oats and stir well to allow the butter and syrup to dissolve. Pour the mixture into a baking pan and press it with slightly wet hands to make the mixture hard and tight. Ensure the surface is uniform without strange protrusions. When that is done, place the component in a freezer for about fifteen minutes.

After that, take the pan out of the freezer. Using a baking sheet, remove the mixture block and put it on a table. Cut the component into twelve or fewer bars. When you want to store them, it’s advisable to wrap the bars individually in their own wrap. Store the products in a fridge to ensure they do not perish easily. Only remove them from the refrigerator when it’s time to go camping or hiking.

Close up of Granola Bar

Trout taco recipe

If you are a person who loves to fish when hiking or camping, then this recipe is meant for you. You can prepare trout taco by either bringing an already caught fish or catching one on your own. To make this meal, here’s what you’ll need:

  • Lemon drops
  • Olive oil (to taste)
  • Trout (a single fish yield a portion)
  • A teaspoon of rosemary, pepper, and oregano
  • A corn tortilla
  • A teaspoon salt
  • Sauce

Prepare your fish by ensuring it’s clean. After you have removed its insides, season the fish using a mixture of pepper, lemon, oregano, and rosemary, plus salt. Cover it using olive oil. This can be smeared mostly on the skin area. Add some oil to the skillet to preheat it before you can fry your fish. Fry the fish until it turns brown.

There are other alternatives to the skillet. In case you don’t have it, you can opt for a heavy-duty foil. Wrap your fish in the foil and then place on the charcoal base fire. Alternatively, you insert a stick and put your fish above the flames. However, you need to be carefully so as not to over burn the fish or it may end up turning black and inedible.

Finally, after the fish is cooked and ready, remove the meat from its skeleton and put these pieces on the tortilla wrap. Roll the fish inside the wrap, and you have yourself a homemade backpacking food. You can decide to add other components to your tacos such as ketchup or any other sauce. You can try a Carrot Cayenne Sauce or guacamole.

Jerk Spiced Organic Trout Tacos with Honeydew Salsa

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High Energy Snacks And Meals For Hiking: Hiking Food Ideas For Healthy Snacks And Meals




Eating on the trail is both similar and different from eating at home. While you are hiking and backpacking your body is burning a lot of calories. In order to remain healthy and active throughout your trip, your food will have to replace the calories that you are losing. The best hiking food guides suggest eating foods that are high in good fats and proteins. Make sure and consider this when packing your gear. Eating enough calories will help you avoid headaches and lethargy.

Studies also show that sufficient eating allows us to focus and concentrate better as well. You do not want to adhere to a strict diet while on the trail.

How Much?

Some experienced hikers suggest packing enough food to allow for 2,500-4,500 calories per day per person.

These estimates are, of course, going to vary according to your weight and individual needs. As you gain more experience yourself, you will become more familiar with how much food you will need for summer hikes, winter hikes and anything in between.

The most important thing to be aware of is to make sure you will not run out of food. It is always better to have a little more weight in your pack than to run out of food before you get home. So in the beginning, always pack more than you believe you will need.

Good Types of Food

When deciding what kind of food to take with you on your hike, you need to consider a few things before throwing it in your pack.

  • Durability: How well will this food do when being shaken around in a backpack for days on end? Bananas are a great snack, however, they bruise and ruin easily. Unless you only pack one or two for the first day, chances are they will not do any good.
    Peanut butter, on the other hand, is not affected by temperature or being shaken and tossed around. This makes it a perfect candidate for hiking food.
  • Prep time: How long will it take to get this food ready to eat? We will be discussing cooking on the trail in a little while, and a hot meal is always welcome when you are working hard, but everything should not have to be cooked.
    For breakfast, lunch, and snacks, you should choose a food that is quick and always ready. You do not want to have to spend 30 minutes cooking every time you get hungry. You simply need food to replace the calories that you are burning so your body remains healthy.
  • Trash: What is the trash that comes along with this food? Remember, you are in the woods, on the trail, far away from a proper trash can, you must choose a food that does not produce a lot of trash that you will have to keep with you for a week.
  • Weight: Basically, you need to consider the calorie to weight ratio. If your food for breakfast each morning adds 1 lbs for each day, but you only receive half of the calories you need, it is probably not a wise choice for food.
    Again, peanut butter is a good choice. An entire jar may weigh a pound or two, but it is packed with protein and calories that are extremely beneficial.
  • Taste: Do you like the food? Do yourself a favor: Don’t try a plethora of new foods that you are not sure you will like while on the trail. You have two choices; Try the foods before you leave OR Only pack one or two foods to try while you are out. If you force yourself to eat foods that you discover that you hate for a week in a row, you will be miserable. Don’t do that to yourself.

There are a ton of choices and combinations for great hiking foods, what you enjoy and what is best suited for your type of hiking will determine which choices you will make. Most experienced hikers tend to agree on the best types of food to take along on your trip.

Peanut Butter

The versatility and durability of this food make it perfect for the trail. Having 94 calories, 3 carbohydrates, and 4 grams of protein per tablespoon makes it extremely beneficial. Some places offer peanut butter in a squeeze tube that makes it even easier to carry along.

If you are unable to find those convenient packs, don’t fear. A small jar of peanut butter will serve you just as well while you are hiking.

For a variety of snacks try smearing the peanut butter on crackers, apple slices, celery and other foods to mix it up. Each of these, are healthy and fairly easy to take along the trail. If you really need a quick pick-me-up, eat a tablespoon or two straight out of the jar.


Tuna is not for everyone. Personally, I do not touch it with a ten-foot pole, however, it is a great food to take on your trip. At only 179 calories per 154 g of tuna, it is not a high-calorie food. What it brings to the table is the amount of protein it carries.

There are 39 grams of protein in that 154 grams of tuna. These proteins are essential in keeping your muscles functioning properly. In case you did not know, muscles are the only thing keeping you alive. Your heart, lungs, and other organs are muscles. The proteins will allow them to work at their full potential.

There are several suggestions when making tuna on a mountain. The favorite can of tuna is one that is small and has a pop top. When you choose the can that has a pop top, it eliminates the need for a can opener.

Most hikers simply put the tuna on crackers or bread as a snack. Some even bring individual packages of mayonnaise to add a little flavor. Again, experiment with different combinations before you go. See which options are the tastiest and the easiest to whip up.

Energy/Granola Bars

Energy bars are packed with calories and are as simple as you get. For example, Cliff Peanut Butter bars have 240 calories and 11 grams of protein. This is a perfect replacement for the calories that are burned while climbing the trail.

These bars are not meant to entirely replace meals or other foods while hiking. However, they are a very light, easy and efficient snack to keep you moving forward and to keep you healthy.

Dried Fruit/Jerky

Dried fruit and jerky are also great options for the trail. They are sturdy enough to withstand the abuse of the backpack and can stand the heat on summer trips. Calories are included in each and they make a great snack.

There is one issue with packing dried meat and fruit. Make sure and take in plenty of water while snacking on them. Dried fruit and meat will absorb water from your body while it is being digested, if you do not take in extra fluids you can easily become dehydrated.

Jerky does not provide enough calories to truly replace burnt calories, but it does make for a nice treat when the there is a lull in the trail. Many hikers prefer to dry their own fruits and meats to avoid any added chemicals that companies may place in their products. There are tons of simple recipes to get you started online and a dehydrator can be purchased for a reasonable price from most super or outdoor stores.

Fresh Fruit

On the flip side of dried snacks, there are fresh fruit options. We have discussed that bananas may be appropriate for day trips and possibly two days on the trail, but will not withstand the abuse that the trail offers on longer trips. Apples, oranges, and pears are all decent options for a healthy snack while hiking.

While they are not exactly the most efficient snack because of the lack of calories for their weight, they do have the ability to replace water in your body naturally. Several seasoned hikers suggest apple slices, hard cheese and crackers for an afternoon snack in the mountains.

Cooking on The Trail

Snacks and easy meals will most likely contribute to the majority of your diet while hiking for several days. However, after eating several meals for calories and not necessarily enjoyment, you may crave a nice hot meal to finish off your day.

Packing cooking utensils for a week long backpacking trip can be daunting and take up a lot of space. Thanks to many helpful hikers before you, there are tons of tips and suggestions to help guide you along the way.

There are basically three different types of cooking that you can manage on the trail.

  • Real cooking-involves actually cooking raw materials
  • Cold meals- prepackaged meals that require no heating or cooking
  • Rehydration- using dehydrated food and hot water to “remake” the food

Now, while these options are all completely feasible while hiking, there are major opinions of each of them.

Real cooking is usually not a good option due to the number of supplies needed to make it happen. You would need to bring all of the raw ingredients, with no refrigeration, in order to make the meals. After packing each ingredient, you must add in pots/pans and a stove.

Finally, after you are able to stuff all the materials in your bag, you will need to allow extra time for cooking.

Cold meals are a great option. They are quick and satisfying and do not need any preparation. The food is ready to go whenever you want. If you are on a short trip these are the perfect solutions. However, if you are on the trail for several days, it will begin to get very monotonous.

Rehydration seems to be the favorite for most backpackers. Some hikers even dehydrate and prepare their own meals before leaving and simply rehydrate it on the trail. These recipes and meals can be as simple as macaroni, or noodles and as complex as a rehydrating cake for dessert. It is amazing how versatile this method can be.

When deciding to rehydrate food you will need very basic materials. Most hikers prefer “one pot meals” which means that only one pot is used for cooking the meal. This eliminates having to scrub or clean several pots or pans.

When preparing your own meals to rehydrate there are two options. You may dehydrate the food yourself or buy already dehydrated ingredients. After gathering all the ingredients for the recipes that you choose, it is best to combine them all into a single bag for less trash while hiking. Be sure to include a note on each bag detailing which meal it is and how much water is needed to rehydrate it.


Cooking on the trail can be overwhelming and depending on the type of cooking you decide to use, it can be very bulky and heavy. Real cooking will require a few more pots or knives or utensils, but using this basic list will get you started.

You may come to find that you can manage real cooking with very few materials as well. Rehydration can be very minimalistic and often you will only use one pot.

You will also need to consider a heat source, of course. Stoves are the most popular choice as open fires are sometimes prohibited and stoves are quick and easy.


There are benefits and downfalls of each type of stove. Most hikers have different preferences based upon what type of hiking they will be doing.

  • Canister stoves are great and double as a pot and a stove. They are simple to use, reliable and because some are a mix of propane and butane, they are fairly stable and able to be carried in lightweight containers.
    There are drawbacks to using a canister stove as well. The added propane allows the stove to work at colder temperatures, but it is possible for the propane to burn off quickly and leave you with butane that will not function at cold temperatures, rendering it completely useless.
    There is also the fact that while the containers are lightweight they are also very small. One container has been suggested to be able to last for 2 people on a trail for 2-3 days.
    You will need to pack extra containers of fuel and also carry around the empty containers as well.
  • Alcohol stoves are also a popular choice among hikers. They can be homemade and are very simple. You can also transport the fuel in any plastic bottle or other containers.
    There is the possibility of having extreme problems with this type of stove if you are not familiar with them. If these stoves get tipped over while burning, the fuel will spill out and can cause a bigger fire. It is recommended to use extreme caution when using these stoves.
  • Multi-fuel or white gas stoves are also a great choice. These are probably what most novice hikers will be the most familiar with. These stoves are exactly what the name implies, multi-fuel.
    Hikers can use white gas, propane, gasoline, kerosene or diesel fuel. This is extremely convenient if hiking for long periods of time. You can fill up your fuel at any trail stop along the way.
  • Solid fuel stoves are an extremely popular choice among single hikers. These tablets are easy to store, carry and relatively inexpensive. Most tablets burn for about 10-12 minutes which would be long enough to heat water for rehydration meals.
    This would probably not be a good choice for real cooking. The time that it would take to prepare the meal would be too long for the tablet to last. However, if you see that you are done cooking before the tablet is gone, you may extinguish the tablet and save it for later. This will help you to never use more than you truly need.

Each of these options has been proven effective on the trail. Again, stoves are recommended to take on the trail due to the fact that open air fires are prohibited in some areas, especially during dry spells. Keep in mind when and where you will be going hiking.

Cold temperatures and lack of refilling options often will be able to help you determine which stove will best suit your needs.

Eat Up!

Using these tips from the experienced hikers is a great way to get started. Always remember to pack enough food for your trip and to hydrate as much as possible when eating dried fruits and meats. There is no reason to compromise great snacks and great meals just because you are roughing it on the trail!

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Easy No Cook Meals For Your Outdoor Adventure: 10 Ways To Enjoy Clean Eating




No cook camping meals can be a fun way to eat without having to create a fire or bring along a camping stove. Eating no cook camping food means you can eat faster because there is less preparation and wait time than when you decide to cook a hot meal. While some may enjoy a hot meal, there are many camping food ideas, no cooking required!

This means you can still eat healthy, with less wait time than cooking, and still come up with some great no cook backpacking meals! As you will see, there are several delicious recipes out there that can be made without heat while you are enjoying the outdoors. You may find something that you did not think you would enjoy, but now love!

In this review, we are going to show you the features you need to think about before you prepare meals, as well as several recipes to give you an idea of what you can make. They can always be tailored to your liking, and prepared before you leave for your camping trip. Hopefully, you will find a new favorite camping food after you see what we have in store!

Things To Consider

When it comes down to finding recipes for your next upcoming camping trip, you will need to think of foods you enjoy and then what you can make from that to enjoy while out on the trail. Check out some of the features below to see what you can gather for your next adventure.


You have a variety of choices of meals and snacks you can make just before or while you are out camping. Things like sandwiches, salads, trail mix and more can keep you full of energy, without having to start a fire and get dishes dirty!

Once you have a few recipes, you can gather the foods and prepare your meals, which will be easy to make, easy to eat and a big help once you are outdoors. Bringing along a cooler will help keep many foods edible, so you have a wider range of foods to enjoy.

Health Factor

You get to choose what goes into your meals, which means you can choose healthier options. Things like vegetables, fruits and more can be eaten cold, without much preparation.

You can prepare wraps with beans and other items that are healthy and give you fiber, protein, and the things you need while you are exploring the outdoors.

Amount Needed

Gear space is going to be limited, so you only want to take what you know you will need. Bringing too much can mean less space and possibly wasted food. Therefore, think of how much you will need to eat in a day, plan it in meals and snacks, and then take that amount with you.

Each meal can be stored in a container and labeled for easier eating and access.


Your foods will most likely need to be stored in containers so they do not spoil. This is why bringing a cooler is helpful. Certain things like fruits, veggies and meats will spoil if it is not stored correctly.

If you bring along, bread or crackers, make sure they do not get exposed to air and go bad. Keep what you need to in the cooler and you should be good to go as far as food storage and food safety.


There will be a lot of preparation before you leave for your trip as far as getting the meals together. While many things can be prepared while you are on the trail, some items, like salads and pastas should be prepped before you leave and stored in a container for later.

Things like sandwiches can be made while you are on the trail.

10 Simple No Cook Meals for Camping

Below we have compiled 10 simple recipes that require no heat that you can pack up and take with you on your camping trip! Keep in mind that some items need to be put in a cooler to prevent anything from spoiling.

Be sure to properly wrap or use containers for foods so you do not go through any bad experiences such as eating spoiled food that could make you ill.

Burritos and Wraps

There are many types of wraps and burritos you can make, including banana and peanut butter, chicken, and more.

See below for a no cook burrito recipe that feeds 4.

  • Take the 100 grams of Bulger wheat and add 100 ml of hot water in a bowl. Cover it and leave it for 40 minutes.
  • Next put the 120 grams of cherry tomatoes in a bag and squish them to separate the juice. Pour the juice into the bowl once it is ready, and keep the tomato bits in the bag for use later on.
  • Stir the Bulger wheat with salt and pepper. Use another bowl to mix the 3 tbsp of Tahini with 3 tbsp of water.
  • Put out the wraps and add the mixture in the middle, with kidney beans on one side and the corn on the other. Add some smoked tofu over it and then add in the pieces of tomatoes from earlier. Add some lime for zest if you wish.
  • Fold them and enjoy!


Granola bars are easy to make and best of all, you can tailor it how you like!

Below is a simple, no cook granola bar recipe that makes 24 bars and takes only minutes to make!

  • Take 2.5 cups of rice cereal, 2 cups of rolled oats, and 1/2 cup of raisins (or your choice) and mix them in a bowl.
  • Mix together 1/2 cup of brown sugar and 1/2 cup of corn syrup. Then stir in the 1/2 cup of peanut butter and 1 tsp of vanilla.
  • Add the mixture to the dry bowl of cereal and mix it all together well. Pour it into a 13 x 9 inch pan and let sit. Cut into pieces and enjoy!

Energy Bars

This recipe makes 20 to 24 bars depending on how big you cut the portions.

  • Take 2 cups of dry oatmeal and 1 1/3 cups of coconut flakes and mix them together with 1 cup of flax seed.
  • Add in 3/4 cups of chocolate chips with 1 cup of peanut butter (You can substitute for almond butter). Stir in 2/3 cups of honey and 1/2 tsp of vanilla.
  • Once you have mixed it together well, add the mixture to a 9 x 13 inch pan and spread it around.
  • Put it in the freezer for one hour and slice them up. You can store these for about a week!

Chilled Avocado Soup

This delicious Mexican soup can serve between 6 and 8 people if you follow this recipe.

It will have to be prepared before you head out, however.

  • Take 2 chopped serrano chilies, 2 avocados chopped up and peeled, and half of a chopped onion into a food processor and make it into a paste.
  • Add 6 cups of chicken stock, 1 cup of heavy cream, and 1/3 cup of lime juice and turn it into a puree. Pour it through a strainer into a bowl and season it with some pepper and salt to taste.
  • Cover this and put it in the refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours.
  • When serving, you make a bowl and add the rest of the chilies, onions and tomatoes on top of the soup.

Crab Rolls

This recipe serves 4 people and takes about 15 minutes to make!

Keep stored in a cooler on your trip.

  • Take all of the ingredients and mix them into a bowl together. This includes 1/2 pound of crab meat, 1/4 cup of mayo, 4 chopped radishes, 1/2 apple, 2 tbsp of lemon juice, 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp of pepper.
  • Take the mixture and add it to hot dog buns and enjoy! Serve it along with some chips or trail mix for a full meal.

Trail Mix

This delicious snack offers everything you need to keep up on the trail. Full of energy, you only need a few minutes to put this recipe together, and you can add in other items to make it how you like it!

Plus it will store for a couple of months!

  • Choose 2 types of nuts (pecans, cashews) and add 3/4 cup of each in a bowl.
  • Choose two or three types of seeds (sunflower, chia, flax seed) and add 1/2 cup of each to the mix.
  • Take 2 types of dried fruits to add to the mix such as cherries or bananas. Add 1/2 cup each to the bowl
  • If you want to add chocolate, you can then put in 1/2 cup of chopped bits or chocolate chips.
  • Add in 14 tsp or sea salt, 1/2 tsp of cinnamon and a touch of nutmeg and mix it all together.

Cold Cut Sandwiches

Cold cuts offer the protein you need when you are exercising and enjoying outdoor activities.

You can make any type of sandwiches, but the idea is to get proteins and sugars your body needs while you are out.

  • Take a sub bun or two slices of bread and lay your meats on there, such as ham, turkey or chicken.
  • Add on cheese and condiments to your liking, and enjoy with some chips or granola!

Tuna Salad

This easy, no cook recipe takes about 15 minutes to prepare and will serve 4 people.

Keep stored in a sealed container in your cooler.

  • Take 12 oz of tuna and add in 2 tbsp of chopped celery, 2 tbsp of chopped red onion and 1 tsp of chopped parsley.
  • Add in 1/3 cup of mayo, 1 tbsp of mustard, with pepper and lemon juice to taste.
  • Mix everything well and keep cold until ready to eat.

Stuffed Tomatoes

Stuffed tomatoes look fancy, but really only take about 15 minutes to prepare, and really fill you up.

This recipe serves 4, so double it if you have more people.

  • Slice off the top of the tomatoes and cut a cone shape into the each tomato. Take out the core and throw it away.
  • Dice up the other piece of tomato and put it in a bowl. Hollow out all of the tomatoes and put the seeds and other “flesh” into a sieve to drain.
  • Add in mango, salad onion, and cheese in a coriander, pour the dressing (tbsp of tomato juice in the bowl with oil, lime zest and juice) over the combination.
  • Add everything into each hollowed tomato top it with the lids you sliced off!

Avocado Chicken Salad

Okay, so you are going to need chicken that is cooked, but you can purchase a rotisserie chicken and use that, which is ready to go.

  • Mix together the shredded rotisserie chicken with 1 sliced cucumber, 4 chopped tomatoes, 1/4 red onion, 2 diced avocados, and 1/2 cup of chopped parsley.
  • From there, add in 2 tbsp of lemon juice, 3 tbsp of olive oil, along with salt and pepper as you like.

What Do Other Campers Think Of No Cook Meals?

Campers find that there are many recipes that they can make before they leave or while they are camping to satisfy their hunger. The choices of making wraps, sandwiches, snacks and breakfast foods are vast and can satisfy nearly everyone.

While some people would rather have a hot meal, especially for dinner, you do not necessarily have to eat cold food for each meal. However, if you are doing so because you are packing light, then some people will have to deal with it for a few days until they can get to a stove or fire. Overall, many do enjoy the great amount of meals you can create without using heat.

Pros And Cons

While many people prefer a hot meal at the end of the day, some do not have the space for a camping stove, or the money to purchase extra conveniences while camping. Some camping areas do not let you make your own fires.

Overall, many people can enjoy foods that do not have to be cooked over a fire to enjoy. See below for the pros and cons of taking no cook meals with you on an outdoor adventure.


  • Convenient
  • No wait for cook times
  • Less clean up
  • Minimal dirty dishes
  • Less load to carry without a stove
  • Fun, creative recipes to be enjoyed


  • Some prefer a hot meal after a long day
  • Much preparation before leaving for the trip
  • Must carry all food with your gear
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How To Make Adorable Snail Snacks: Easy Family Dinner




When most people hear about edible snails, one of three thoughts pops right into their minds. Some people may think “yuck”, others might think of French cuisine, and some might think of both. But there is more to this particular meal than you might think. You may be surprised to find out just how some of this snail eating began and how to get your hands on some snails.

Let’s take a trip through the history of people chomping down on snails, give you a recipe or two and perhaps even a few ideas on where to find them.

History of Snails as Food

Snails have been eaten since prehistoric times. It shouldn’t come as any surprise, snails are a rather slow-moving critter that even the poorest of the hunter should be able to gather up. And since most snails tend to be about 15% protein and 80% water they aren’t too bad of a meal to have.

The Greeks and the Romans ate snails. The Romans would even have special vineyard gardens reserved just for snails. They would feed them such foods as wine and milk to fatten them up for consumption.

Snails became a very special dish for the Romans, and the Roman Legions brought snails with them as they conquered most of the world that was known to them. This may be how the little critters became spread so far and wide across Europe.

During the middle ages, the snail had a special place among all people. First, snails were cheap, often free, so even the poorest people could collect up some for a meal. Also, they were not viewed as fish or as meat, so people could eat them, even on meat-free days as proclaimed by the church.

Often times, during Lent, the monks would have a dinner of snails and monastery beer. And since snails were so easy to come by, some people realized that they could sell them for a profit.

The snail trade would eventually center in Paris, where, for example, a village that was in the snail selling “business”, was able to sell 4 million snails in one year. Snails grew to hold a very interesting place in food. In some areas, they are considered a meal for everyone, in others, they have become a special delicacy.

Is This the Right Type of Snail

There is a vast array of snails out there and to be perfectly honest, mankind isn’t exactly sure if they are all edible. There are over 100 different varieties that are edible, though, and they cover snails that live on the land and in both fresh and salt water. For the most part, if you are looking for a snail to chow down on you will want either the “helix” or the “achatine”. The helix is the easiest to recognize as they have a spiral in their circular shells.

While the Helix pomatia and Helix lucorum are often eaten as escargot, one of the most popular versions is the Cornu aspersum (in many older texts this was referred to as the Helix aspersa). In French cuisine, this little snail is often called “petit gris”, which means little gray. But this snail has a name that might be more well known to you, garden snail.

One thing to consider when eating snails are if there is any chance of poisoning yourself. All snails can have various levels of poison, depending on what they have recently eaten. If you gather up some snails that you find in your garden, there are ways to go about detoxing them, though.

Some snails though have a bit of a stronger poison. For example, the Marine Cone Snail has a rather powerful poison. They use it to paralyze fish. It is not a snail that you would want to eat, but chances are that an encounter with this snail won’t prove fatal for a human.

Garden Snail’s Journey

This snail started out native to the Mediterranean region and into parts of Europe and even into the British Isles. However, it has managed to spread to every continent on the globe, save Antarctica and to a large number of islands. For some of its travels, it was brought and specifically introduced.

One example of this is when the Huguenots introduced it into South Africa during the 18th century to be grown as a food animal.

In others, such as California in the United States, it seems to have just stowed away and found itself a suitable home. This snail has also proven very adaptive, being able to adjust to many and varied climates that are quite a bit different than their original habitat.

Where to Find Snails

Depending on where you live you will have a few options of where to track down some nails to munch on.

Snail Shop

Some areas will have snail shops that you can go to pick up your fresh snails. The upside to this approach is that you know the snails will be safe to eat and be already detoxed. This means that if you are looking to have snails right away this would be your best option.

Depending on how well stocked the snail shop is you might have the option of both fresh and canned snails. There may be a wide variety of snail species to choose from. Also, a well-staffed snail shop, will help you to both make an informed selection, as well as give you some pointers on how to prepare them.

The Internet

If there are no snail shops in your area, you can always look online to order some snails for your meal. There are plenty of options, such as this can from Amazon. This means that you get specialty snails from all over the world. Now the downside is that you will only really be able to get canned or jarred options. If you have never had snails before this might not be a bad idea, but you won’t be able to experience fresh snail this way.

Also, when planning your meal, you will need to factor in shipping times, or of course, you could just keep a few cans in your pantry. These cans have quite the long shelf life, so you can put them in the pantry and just have the ready for when it is time to cook some up.

Collect Your Own

Of course, if you have snails in your garden or around your property you can collect up your own. You will want to double check that the snails you are gathering are the correct type.

If you find them in your garden you are probably all right. If you find them along your fruit trees, though, they might be from a different species that is protected. Be sure to check in your local area to make sure that you aren’t eating a protected species.

One way to catch some snails in your garden is to take a board around a foot by a foot and a half and attach pieces of wood to raise this board up about one inch. Put this out into your lawn or garden over a damp area. Since snails tend to seek out wet or damp areas the snails will flock to these boards. You can check the boards every few days and just pull off whatever snails you find there.

A second way is to find a bowl and bury it to the point that just about an inch is exposed over the top of the soil. Then you merely have to pour some beer into the bowl, if you don’t want to use beer combine two cups of warm water with a half teaspoon of yeast, two tablespoons of flour and a teaspoon of sugar.

This type of trap will attract snails from only a few feet away so if you need to cover a large area you’ll need several such traps. Also after a day or so the beer or yeast mixture will need to be refreshed.

You will need to remember that you will need to put your snails through a detox prior to eating them. The process will take a few days, so you will need to factor that into your plans for snail collecting.

Farm Your Snails

A final way to get snails for you to eat, is to farm your own. This practice is called Heliciculture. One of the perks is that if you farm them you can, for the most part, skip the detox process. And in addition to snails for consumption, there are some other products that you can collect from snails. There are people that collect the slime trail from snails in cosmetics and others use snail eggs as a type of caviar for humans to eat.

As if raising your own snails with the possibility of selling them and other products wasn’t enough, you can also raise other types of snails. You may have to do some research to get your first set of snails, but if you get the chance to bring in some snails that are not otherwise available in your area, you might find yourself in a nice little niche.

Shell Options

As we get to cooking the snails you’ll have to determine if you will want to serve your snails with the shells or without. Without, is the easiest option, since it won’t matter if you break some shells along the way. With is a little bit trickier, but you have options depending on how you get your snails.

If you are farming your snails or just captured them and have time, feed them crushed oyster shell for a period of one to two weeks. This will boost their calcium and toughen up their shell. After that, you can proceed as normal.

If you would rather just have a set of shells to serve with this dish, you can look around in search of gros blanc shells. These are from larger snails, and tend to be a bit tougher.

Detox Process

We have mentioned before that for the most part land snails aren’t poisonous, but they can pick up some amount of poison based on what they eat. Also, their flavor can be changed based on what they consume.

If you are farming your own snails you will be sure of what they eat, but even if you find some in your garden you can’t be sure of everything that they’ve been eating. Luckily, the process is not complicated, it just takes some time to work through the process.

There are two different options on how to detox your snails. The first is to put your snails in a container (with plenty of air holes) and keep them from any food. They can be given water or wine during this time, though. The second route starts by putting the snails in a container with plenty of air holes and feed them something like oats for three or four days. After that, you will have them fast for another two days.

No matter what option you go with, you’ll want to de-slime your snails as well. You’ll put all your snails in a container and cover them with water. For each dozen snails, you’ll want to add a tablespoon of vinegar and two of sugar. You’ll then let them soak, until the snails let all of their slime go.

This process normally takes four to five hours. You can speed up this process by changing out the solution they are soaking in. Next, you’ll want to rinse the snails off in cool water.

Cooking Snails

There are a vast number of ways to cook a snail that is to be consumed. The classic French method involves butter and garlic. But for a little more detail, let’s start with the snails that have been detoxed and de-slimed. At that point, you’ll want to toss them in some water and bring them to a boil.

This is only the first step, so you aren’t looking to have a completely done dish. We only need about 10 minutes of boil here for our purposes. After this, you’ll want to remove the snails from the water and let them cool. The next step is to remove them from their shells and here you will have a choice.

If you want to serve them in their shells you will need to be rather careful while you extract them. Some people use a long knitting needle to spear the snails and pull them out. While different species of snail have shells of different hardness, if you have a garden snail or petit gris, it most likely has a somewhat delicate shell.

Of course, if you don’t intend to use the shells for serving your snails it is a much quicker process, just be careful that any shells that break in the process are completely removed from the snails you intend to eat. When the shell is off, you should have no problem peeling the skin from the meat. Normally, you will also cut off the back tail portion.

Method 1: Quick and Easy

Now that you are ready to finish this dish, you’ll want to heat up a sauté pan with some butter. When it is ready you’ll want to add in some garlic, when that becomes transparent you can add in the snail meat. You’ll want to cook it for about 3 minutes.

Method 2: A Touch Longer

For a different approach, you can place the snail meat into a pot and cover them with water. Feel free to pour in a bit of cognac or replace half the water with a white wine. From there you’ll add in whatever flavors you feel would work well, but a wise idea would be to include peppercorns, parsley, thyme, onions, and garlic. Let this simmer for a few hours. During this time, you could prepare a compound butter.

Simply take some butter (no imitations like margarine for this one please) and add in some chopped parsley, a touch of garlic and perhaps a pinch of salt and pepper. Mash it all together, then put it back in the refrigerator until it is time to serve the snails.

Service Options

When the time comes to remove these snails from the cooking vessel and serve them to your guests you have a number of options. If you want to go formal there are various serving dishes that can be found online. These will let you place each snail, either in its shell or not, into its own groove.

Sometimes guests will take a snail in a shell, or more than one, to their plate to consume it. Other times, everyone will end up eating snails right from this dish. This method is often paired with specialized forks, designed to spear a single snail and bring it to the diner’s mouth.

For something less formal, but still elegant you can dish out an amount to each person’s plate. For a basic pairing, you can add a salad and perhaps a crusty French style bread. This will give you a meal that covers all the bases, looks like it came from a fancy restaurant, but is fairly simple to make. No matter how you make them, they would pair well with a bottle of French wine.

Wrapping it All Up

Snails can be a cheap and easy source of food. Some people might think they are an odd thing to eat, but when you consider the fact that these little critters have been consumed for thousands of years, they become less odd.

They have been food for peasants and royalty alike, yet edible snails can be found for free in many corners of the world.

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