In need of some backpacking food ideas for your hike trip? Here we give you the best meal planning ideas for hiking food!

The hiking food is an important element to pay attention to, especially depending on the distance, difficulty, and geographical location. If you are doing a long route, an energy bar and dried vegetables won’t be enough.

And while your food preferences are probably tilted toward a hot meal and hot coffee, when you go tripping, your backpacking meal plan should consist of easy-to-carry backcountry food with caloric density to sustain you during the entire trip.

If you don’t have many backpacking meal ideas, we give you some of the best!

9 Hiking Food Ideas to Keep You Energized

Protein Bars And Trail Food

This kind of food is lightweight, does not take up much space, and concentrates a great variety of minerals, proteins, and important nutrients to compensate for physical wear and tear. Besides, energy bars, beef jerky bars, trail mix, and granola are good options!

Nonetheless, granola from grocery stores tends to have a lot of extra ingredients that you don’t need, like sugar and corn syrup. You can make your own granola and trail mixes at home!

Packaged Foods

It is true that packaged foods often have a bad reputation, as they tend to have a lot of unhealthy ingredients. But, healthier options can help you during your backpacking trip.

Nut butter packs, chicken packets, canned fish, baked or dry-roasted gluten-free grains, and canned beans are excellent choices.

Plant-Based Food

Plant-based foods are also a good option when it comes to preparing something easy, tasty and that provides the necessary nutrients for a day of hiking.

An example of this is the vegan wraps, which in addition to being delicious, have a high content of carbohydrates, ideal to replace the glycogen lost during the walk.

Greens powder is also a good alternative, it is a supplement based on vegetables and fruits that provides a good amount of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber, as supported by research and studies found in this page.

Dehydrated Meals

If you are not into canned foods, a much better alternative is dry food packaged in pouches. The packages are very small, and light and there are many variations. You just have to add hot water and your meal will be instantly ready!

Dehydrated vegetables, instant coffee, dried fruit, powdered milk, instant potatoes, meal replacement shake, instant mashed potatoes, and instant rice are some examples.


Freeze drying is a food preservation process in which food is frozen and thawed under vacuum and low atmospheric pressure. The result is food similar to dehydrated food, without water, which can be preserved for a long time.

This is why freeze-dried meals are perfect for backpacking trips. Instead of processed foods such as candy, you could have some freeze-dried fruits as they are a great source of rapidly absorbed carbohydrates. 

Keto Hiking Food

There are many backpacking lunch ideas for high-fat foods. has shown that olive oil, cream cheese, nut butters, seeds, and avocado are very nutritious keto foods, with many health benefits and there are many snacks you can prepare with them for a hiking trip!

Instant Food

One way to avoid complications is instant food, although of course, here consider that there are notable differences in the quality of nutrients, since although some soups may not offer a great nutritional value, some others that include rice, vegetables, cereals or proteins, may represent a good contribution.

Pretzel Sticks And Crackers

Pretzel sticks are a classic backpacking snack and one of the best backpacking food ideas because they have a long shelf life, they’re lightweight, and they won’t make your fingers sticky.

Crackers are another great option because they can be paired with nut butter or cheese for a complete meal.


The water factor is also vital to consider since although it is quite heavy and spacious, it is essential to maintain good hydration during the trip.

A container to boil water can also be of great help to obtain extra liquid reserves, or to avoid having to carry so much.


With good planning, you will be able to draw an ideal food route to have enough energy and not go hungry during your outdoor adventure.

If you are going on a long trip, it will be necessary to choose which food to carry more carefully, as we must find a balance between the weight to carry and the quality of the food.