Easy Backpacking Dinner Recipes

Written by: Nancy Bordeaux – Chef

As you already know if you’ve read our other easy backpacking recipes, it is very important to eat nutritiously and drink plenty of water while backpacking. We’ve already mentioned a few meal ideas for breakfast and lunch, as well as a few energizing backpacking snack suggestions.

Dinner is the backpacking meal that most backpackers settle down and truly enjoy. Once you have set camp for the evening and settled in, a hot and hearty meal will revitalize your body and get you prepared for another day of active hiking.

Backpacker’s Sushi

Cook 1 cup instant rice with boiling water.

Cut nori (seaweed rollers for sushi found at international grocers or sections) into quarters

Place a spoonful of rice on the nori and add a spoonful of tuna from foil packet

Roll the sushi and dip in wasabi, horseradish, or soy sauce (take-out packets)

Seafood Pasta

Cook 1/2 package pasta (fettuccini, tortellini, etc)

Heat a little bit of olive oil, salt, and garlic with salmon or tuna (foil package)

Toss with parmesan cheese and enjoy!

Variation: chicken (canned) and sundried tomatoes

Just Add Water Backpacking Feast

In a small sandwich bag combine:

3/4 cup instant potatoes

3/4 cup dry stuffing

Dried cranberries

Beef or turkey jerky pieces

Powdered gravy mix

At camp, stir in boiling water and let stand before eating.

Country Chicken and Rice

Combine 1 cup instant rice with 1 1/2 cups boiling water

Stir in one packet onion soup mix

Add 1 small can of chicken

Stir until warm

Fiesta Trail Chicken

In a small sandwich bag combine:

1 cup instant rice

1 packet tomato soup mix

Spices (chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, etc.)

At camp, add 1 1/2 cups boiling water to dry ingredients and stir in a small can of chicken.

Other dinner ideas include:

Small canned hams that require no refrigeration

Fresh vegetables for first night dinners (broccoli, corn on the cob, green beans, etc.)

Soup cups

Canned foods (ravioli, Spam, beanie weenies, beef stew, etc.)

Salty foods are good for replenishing your body to avoid dehydration. Eat foods that are high in calories and protein. If you packed canned foods, look for products with easy open lids. Otherwise, remember to pack a can opener, like the versatile Leatherman Juice S2 Multi-tool.

The most energizing and replenishing snacks for the trail is gorp, or modern versions of trail mix. Try these gorp recipes for variety.

Chocolate Lover’s Gorp

2/3 cup dried apricots

2/3 cup dried cherries

2/3 cup dried blueberries

2/3 cup almonds

2/3 cup peanuts

1 cup white chocolate chips

1 cup dark chocolate chips

The Trail is on Fire Gorp

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a skillet

Brown 2 cups puffed rice cereal and 2 cups raisin bran, stirring constantly

Spread the cereal on a baking sheet and cook at 250 for 30 minutes.

Toss cooled cereal with:

1/2 cup Spanish peanuts

1/2 cup cashews

1/4 cup raisins

1/4 cup dried dates

1/4 cup dried jalapeo slices

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp chili powder

1/4 tsp cumin

2 Tbsp sugar

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