10 best meals to prepare for your outdoor adventures

When you pack your food for your outdoor adventure, there are several things you should consider. Weight, nutrition profile and preparation  are all aspects you should think about before departing on a camping trip or a long-distance hike.

Hiking, climbing, paddling, gathering fire wood, carrying your heavy backpack — you’re going to be burning more calories than you think. Needless to say you will need some high-energy and easily prepared meals to gain your strength along the way.

Here is my list of 10 best meals for an adventure.


Nutella oatmeal

Why? Oatmeal probably is the most popular and best backpacker’s breakfast you can get. However it is easy to get bored of eating it every morning. Making blends with dried fruit, nuts, berries or herbs can be a creative way of preparing a delicious breakfast. My favorite is the Nutella oatmeal.

What you need. Mix oats, milk powder, salt and sugar in a zip-lock bag.

On the trail. Boil water and pour water into the oat mixture. Stir it and let it cool off for a minute. Add one spoon of Nutella (available in small plastic jars) and sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts.

Tip. Cappuccino Oatmeal is a great alternative. Mix a pack of instant cappuccino with oats and milk.

Nutella Oatmeal

Source: Trail Recipes

Pepperoni and Cheese Quesadilla

Why? Quesedillas are a easy way of having a warm, tasty breakfast.

What you need. Flour tortillas, tomato paste, oregano, grated cheddar, pepperoni slices

On the trail. Mix tomato paste with some water and oregano in a mug. Heat the tortilla in a pan and smear it with the tomato sauce. Sprinkle the cheddar on it and heat up till melted. Then top it off with pepperoni. Remove from the pan, fold the tortilla en cut into wedges.

Tip. When going on a long-distance trip without the option of resupplying it is wise to bring food that doesn’t spoil in a few days. Consider bringing a salami saucage and some dried parmezan instead of the pepperoni and cheddar.

pepperoni-quesadilla (1)

Source: Trail Recipes

Brown Rice Cereal

Why? Brown rice cereal is a quick option for those who are fed up with oatmeal or lack the time to make the quesedillas. Not only delicious, but it also has lots of nutrients that are essential for an adventurer’s diet.

What you need. Cooked rice, brown sugar, milk powder, cinnamon and dried fruits (mix in a zip-lock bag)

On the trail. Pour hot water in the mixture. Let it sit for about 5 minutes.

Tip. Uncle Ben’s has packs of Express Wholegrain rice that is ready in about 2 minutes to save fuel.


Source: Trail Recipes


Most adventurers tend to eat snacks as lunch, but if you have the time to prepare a meal, here are a few lunch ideas.

Tomato Basil Soup

Why? Warm and quick meal to get through the day

What you need. Tomato sauce powder, dried basil herbs, vegetable bouillon cube, milk powder  (mix in a zip-lock bag)

On the trail. Pour hot water in the mixture. Stur well and let it rest for a few minutes.

Tip: Add vermicellis for extra carbs.


Source: Tiphero

Creamy Mushroom Soup

Why? Because you can and it is tasty.

What you need. 3 tablespoons instant mashed potatoes, 1 tablespoon milk powder, 1 tablespoon dried mushrooms, beef bouillon, croutons (optional)

On the trail. Put the dry soup mixture in a pot and add water. Cook for 5 minutes. Add croutons.


Source: Trail Recipes

Bannock bread

Why? Because you can prepare it in advance and you can preserve it for 3-4 weeks.

What you need? Bannock bread is a bread you can bake at home or on the trail and doesn’t spoil in a few days.

Tip: Perfect with some soup

The full recipe you can read here: How to make Bannock Bread

bannock-bread-72016-5790e3475f9b584d202d3476 (1)



 4 Cheese Mashed Potatoes with Salami

Why? At the end of the day you need some hot food you really love!

What you need. Instant mashed potatoes, 4 cheese sauce powder, salami, pepper

On the trail. Boil water and pour it into the mix of mashed potatoes and sauce powder. Cut the salami in small pieces and add it to the meal. Season to taste with pepper.

Tip: While instance cheese sauce is an easy option, you can choose your own cheeses by selecting some dried ones yourself (parmezan, mozzarella powder, etc.)


Source: Trail Recipes

Mushroom risotto

Why? Risotto is a tasty meal to end a hard day of hiking.

What you need. Cooked rice (Uncle Ben’s express), vegetable bouillon cube, dried mushrooms, dried parsley and thyme.

On the trail. Put the rice, bouillon and mushrooms in a pot and add hot water. Let it soak for 10 minutes. Season to taste with parsley and thyme.

Tip: Mix different types of dried mushrooms (porcini, portobello and cremini)


Source: Trail Recipes

Pan-Fried Gnocchi with bacon

Why? Carrying a bag of potatoes might be a little bit too heavy, but this is the next best thing.

What you need. Gnocchi, bacon, oregano, salt and pepper

On the trail. Bake bacon in a pan. The fat of the bacon will help you bake the gnocchi. Season to taste with oregano, salt and pepper.

Tip. Baked gnocchi is a good option for a bbq meal as well. Put some hotdogs or burgers on the campfire. No bbq? You can add some sauce to the gnocchi if you feel the meal is too dry.


Source: Trail Recipes

Mac and cheese

Why? Who doesn’t love Mac and Cheese? Pasta is one of the best meals to eat on the trail because it’s rich of carbs.

What you need. Pack of macaroni, 4 cheese sauce powder, milk powder, parmezan or grated cheddar, pepper.

On the trail. Boil water and add the macaroni until it’s al dente. Pour off the water only to leave it a little bit in it. Add the sauce powder and milk powder. Season to taste with pepper and add grated parmezan or cheddar on top of it.

Tip. Choose any type of pasta you like. Instead of 4 cheese sauces you can opt for an instant tomate sauce as well. Or just add some tomato paste to the creamy cheese sauce.


Source: Tiphero

Need more inspiration? Purchase Amc’s Real Trail Meals, Recipes for Adventure or Backpackers’ Ultra Food for more inspiration! 

6 Comments on “10 best meals to prepare for your outdoor adventures

  1. I buy powdered peanut butter. It tastes fantastic! I hydrate the peanut butter and sprinkle it with coconut powder -on crackers. I read someplace you can make your own powdered fruit. 💖


  2. I like freezer bag meals for dinner. Using freeze-dried ingredients I’ve made some tasty meals. My favorites have instant mashed potatoes and freeze-dried cheese, then bacon, broccoli, etc to make it interesting. I think I’ll try your mushroom soup recipe — looks good!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: How to plan a backpacking trip? | An Adventurers Journal

  4. Pingback: Everything you need to know about food for backpacking – FAQ | An Adventurers Journal

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