A Guide to Planning a Menu for Long-Distance Backpacking Trips

Backpacking is a thrilling way to explore everything that nature has to offer. From hiking on mountains to camping by a lake—backpacking promises us a trip full of adventure.

Whether you're going backpacking on a group tour or alone, you'll need to plan it out. For many of us, planning the menu is a last-minute consideration. Ramen: check. Oatmeal: check. Energy bars: check. That's all there is to it, right? Wrong!

If you're going on a long-distance backpacking trip, you're going to need a lot more careful thought and planning than that. By day three, your taste buds will probably start rejecting energy bars. But you'll still need to eat to keep your energy levels high and keep on moving forward. So, here's a complete guide to planning what you should consider and carrying with you for your next long-distance backpacking trip!


A typical backpacking day starts at the crack of dawn. You’ll most likely be up early, packing your ear, prepping for the day ahead. You’ll want your early breakfast to be an efficient meal, which provides you with enough energy to hike at least until the afternoon. You'll probably need instant coffee, instant milk, sugar, instant oatmeal, dried fruits, nuts, or a protein shake for your first meal. Pack your breakfast before-hand so that you're not grumpily fussing around early in the morning and starting your day off on a sour note.

Lunch and Snacks

We swear by snacking. Snacking will maintain your energy levels, ensuring you’re not dehydrated or dizzy during your hike. If you’re following a more strenuous route, chances are, you’ll be hungry within a few hours of your breakfast. Carry pre-packaged beef jerky, energy bars, and high fiber nuts and seeds with you to snack on. These are all high in calories and nutritional value. We'd suggest packing peanut butter, dried sausage, chips, cookies, candy, tortilla wraps for lunch. Anything light, easy, and efficient.


Bringing along ready-to-eat dehydrated meals is probably your best option. They're quick, efficient, and help you cut costs if you make them yourself. You can dehydrate separate ingredients, such as cooked pasta, cooked meat, and vegetables, or combine them for a bigger meal. Ramen is a popular dinner dish for backpackers, so carry a few packets with you and some spices and powdered cheese to add taste. Go for dried meats for some added nutritional value.

Meals You Can Prepare on The Go During a Hike

The best backpacking bags and gear for those going on long-distance bag packing trips are ultra-light and easy to carry. At Light Hiking Gear, we offer all kinds of backpacks and gear for all sorts of traveling and hiking. We’re a science-driven, environmentally-friendly company here to help you with all your backpacking needs.

Contact us at 801-971-0007 or email us at Service@LightHikingGear.com to find out more.


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