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Backpacking is Love and every seasoned backpacker will agree to it. Backpacking is about living a minimalist yet fulfilling life while having fun, exploring wilderness and experiencing new things. Most of all, backpacking is about Living the Moment and that is the reason why I always reckon backpacking is Love and that, in its purest form.

Nonetheless, backpacking is not easy is it appears, and one has to be strong, resilient and adaptable enough to take on the challenges that backpacking has to offer. Being a backpacker for 5 years, travel enthusiasts often ask me for tips and advice. One of the most important things that I particularly advise them is to take care of diet during travels and excursions.

The problem with backpackers is that they do not have the luxury to stuff their bags with meals and snacks. This would not only make the backpack unnecessarily heavy, but you will also run out of space to place your necessary possessions in the knapsack.

The solution is to play smart. Thankfully, there are dozens of smart foods that are extremely nutritious as well as handy and lightweight that you can comfortably place in your backpack without worrying about the space.

best backpacking food ideas

In this article, we are listing down the best backpacking foods and meals.

1. Nuts and Seeds

Lightweight, rich in calories and small in size, nuts and seeds are the best option for travelers and backpackers. Nuts and seeds are loaded with minerals, fibers, proteins, healthy fats and vitamins which makes them the perfect snack during excursions and long trips.

In a nutshell (pun intended), backpackers require extra calories especially when trekking on tough terrains, so it’s important that you consume calorie-dense foods. If you want to make it delicious, you can mix dry fruits with nuts, almonds, black seed and sunflower seeds for a tasty snack that you can enjoy on the go.

Interesting Reads: Easy Camping Food

2. Dried Potato

Dried potatoes are best for instant energy. The best thing about dried potatoes is that they are fulfilling and even a few grams are enough to extinguish the appetite. There is no debate that fresh foods are always the best as they are free of additives and preservatives but again, during travels, you want something convenient, yet nutritional and dried potatoes can be the perfect choice.

Dried potatoes are loaded with vitamins, potassium and other essential minerals which can instantly boost your energy levels. In a pinch, dried potatoes deserve a place in your backpacking eating plan.

3. Dried Fruits

Well, that’s no brainer. When the fruits undergo the process of drying, the excess water is removed from them which suppresses the growth of bacteria and also makes them heat-stable, hence dried fruits have longer shelf lives. Dried fruits are a healthy source of minerals, antioxidants, fiber and minerals that can stimulate your energy levels.

Dried fruits are again, convenient, compactable and you can easily store place them in a backpack or travel bag as they won’t acquire much space. Moreover, when mixed with nuts and seeds, you will enjoy a high-energy trail mix.

4. Powdered Eggs

Egg is a powerhouse but obviously, it can get troublesome to take boiled eggs with you on long treks and travels. Thankfully, eggs are now also available in powdered form. Powdered eggs are not just convenient to store and easy to prepare but they also have an extended shelf life which makes them a lifesaver for travelers.

Powdered eggs are as rich as fresh eggs when it comes to nutritional value. However, if you have high blood pressure issues, it's not wise to consume too much of them because of the high sodium content.

5. Powdered Milk

Backpackers often avoid fresh dairy products as they not backpackers-friendly and are highly perishable. But during excursions and in rugged travel conditions, your body craves for calcium and powdered milk can be the best alternative option when refrigeration is not an option.

Powdered milk is rich in proteins, vitamins and potassium and its nutritional value is very close to that of fresh milk. You can boost your energy levels by adding powdered milk to instant oatmeal or other dehydrated meals.

Interesting Reads: Easy Travel Recipes for Road Trips

6. Hard Cheeses

Cheese lovers would love this. Cheeses are an excellent source of instant energy as they are loaded with healthy fats, vitamins, phosphorus, and calcium. But again, the normal cheese or the soft cheeses are perishable and need to be refrigerated all the time.

Hard/aged cheeses on the other end have extended shelf lives as they have low moisture content which makes them heat-stable, bacteria resistant and also increases their shelf life. You can enjoy parmesan, and pecorino romano over instant meals to enhance its nutritional value with a tasty pop of flavor.

7. Jerky

Best of the last. In my opinion, jerky is arguably the best backpacking food out there and that for the right reasons. Jerky is tasty, satisfying and full of protein. Unlike fresh meats, jerky doesn’t require to be refrigerated and being a processed meat product, it is the best option for backpackers.

When on backpacking adventures, your body requires proteins and jerky can instantly raise your protein levels when fresh sources are unavailable. Though, jerky is available in chicken, beef, and turkey; beef jerky is the best and is also eaten by bodybuilders as it gives them the energy that they need to get through the rigorous exercises every day.

Interesting Reads: How to Stay Fit While Traveling

8. Butter Tart

Butter tart is a miniature pecan pie without the pecans. Except that it can have pecans or raisins, or walnuts, or chocolate drizzle. But it most classically has none of these, just the buttery, sugary filling in a shell about the size of a muffin’s base. And there’s no corn starch or flour in the filling, so it has a more gooey texture than the non-pecan part of a pecan pie filling.

Butter tarts are probably seen as a bit more rustic or less upscale than Nanaimo bars, and are best when found at the counter of a back road general store during a gas stop on a long road trip and purchased as thanks to the guy doing the driving.

9. Seaweed

We love it on our sushi or packed into our smoothies, but what is it about the nutrient-dense seaweed that our bodies can't get enough of? And what are some ways we can eat more of it?

Like I mentioned earlier, backpacking is not easy. You have to stay strong during the toughest of times and in order for you to stay strong, fueled and energized, you must choose the right portable foods.
Kalyan Panja Kalyan Panja Author

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