Backpacking Food: The Best For Your Day Hike!

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Pack the Best Backpacking Food!

Do you want a great way to explore the world around you? Go hiking! Do you want to know about some healthy, convenient backpacking food to take with you? Read on. 

Backpacking Food
Dry Fruit

Backpacking is a great, healthy way to explore. Most of the time you want to hike on a budget. When you backpack, budgeting means that want to be careful about how much gear you carry in your backpack. You want to budget how much your pack weighs. 

Planning and preparing healthy food for backpacking could be a difficult job. Planning and preparation could become confusing as you decide what to take and what not to take.   

When you choose hiking foods though, a lot of foods happen to be easy to take on your hike and nutrient rich. Being nutrient rich and easy to carry, makes these foods ideal choices as backpacking foods

Consider these choices for foods and meals to take with you on your backpacking and hiking adventures. 

Dry Fruit – A Great Backpacking Food Choice

Fresh fruits spoil easily. That makes fresh fruit a poor choice as a backpacking food. On the other hand, dried fruits last longer. Dried fruits also resist spoiling in hot or wet weather.  

Dried fruits have a very low moisture content. A low moisture content keeps harmful germs from growing in your food. In turn, this means that the dry fruits stay fresh. 

Best Hiking Snacks

Dried fruits have a high nutrition value. Dried fruits also have a LOT of antioxidants and fibers.

  • Antioxidants:
    • Protect your body’s cells.
    • Keep your heart healthy.
  • Fiber:
    • Helps you have healthy blood
    • Lowers sugar levels

Dry fruits also preserve the nutrients available in fresh fruit. For example, the vitamins and minerals present in fresh grapes remain present in dried raisins.

As an added advantage, you can easily pack dried fruits. Dried fruits are small and compact. So, you can easily pack and carry theses fruits in your backpack.  

If you want another easy to carry and healthy snack, mix dried fruit with nuts and seeds. Mixing the nuts and seeds makes a very good, easy to make trail mix. 

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts make the best backpacking food choice. Seeds follow at a very close next best choice.


Best Hiking Snacks
Pumpkin Seeds

While nuts might seem like a modest choice as one of the best hiking foods, they have a LOT to offer.

First, you have a large selection of nuts to choose from. Also, all nuts make a tasty treat when you go hiking. Finally, nuts give you a great source of energy boosting protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Mix your nuts, or choose individual nuts.

Almonds and cashews make great choices. Why?

  • Almonds – An ounce of almonds has six grams of protein to help maintain your energy. They also have vitamin E to give you energy.
  • Cashews – Many hikers love how cashews taste. While almonds make a healthier choice, cashews have a LOT of vitamins and minerals to give you energy on the trail.


Seeds also make a GREAT choice! Pumpkin seeds make a good trail snack. They have protein, fatty acids, and fiber. All help give you more energy more energy.


Avoid fresh meat as a backpacking food. Fresh meat has to stay cold to avoid spoiling. 

However, jerky makes an amazing substitute for fresh meat. Jerky is a backpack friendly food since it is lightweight and compact. This food also gives you protein for energy as you hike.

Jerky is prepared by drying fish or meat. Drying prevents the meat from spoiling. 

Since drying removes most of the water, jerky makes a lightweight hiking food and requires no refrigeration. Just buy some when you go shopping, easy!

Eat jerky for a protein supplement when you do not have fresh meat available. So, pick jerky as one of your best choices as a backpacking food item. 

You might like several kinds of jerky including beef, salmon, and other varieties of meat. 

Dehydrated Meals

Backpacking Food
Dehydrated Meals
(Ivorrusev, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

When you hear healthy and delicious, the two words usually do not describe dehydrated meals. However, now you can find a lot of tasty, nutritious dehydrated backpacking foods. These meals can provide a quick, easy to fix, warm snack or meal during your hike.  

You have a lot of dehydrated meals to choose from. The different menus include breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. You can easily find these meals at outdoors stores. 

These meals include foods like fruits, eggs, wheat, vegetables, and meat that have all the water removed from them. Many dehydrated meals now include high quality, healthy ingredients. Just read the labels to easily see what is used to make the meals and if the meal meets your health standards. 

These meals are served in light foil containers. The packets make them easy to pack, easy to carry, and also easy to store between hiking trips. 

Protein Bars – A Super Backpacking Food!

You want to pack easy to carry backpacking food with high protein content. Protein helps keep your energy level high during hard hikes.  

Just like runners and athletes, backpackers also need to regularly eat high protein foods. During your hike, the protein gives you energy, keeps your muscles in shape, and helps keep you feeling full.  

Protein bars, just like their name sounds, have rich, high grade sources of protein. The bars only add a little weight to your pack making them easy to carry. 

Furthermore, protein bars can cater to a broad range of diet tastes. You can easily find vegetarian or vegan protein bars. 

When looking for the best bars to buy, look for bars that have very few added ingredients. Whole food bars make an excellent choice. Whole foods use very few processed ingredients when they are made.

Kinds of protein bars include:

  • Fruits
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Veggies.

They have many health benefits and give you extra energy when you hike. 

Avoid protein bars that have:

  • Sweeteners
  • Artificial colors
  • Added flavors.

Bars that include these have less health and energy benefit. Also, extra sugar can lead to dehydration when you hike. 

Powdered Milk

Most dairy products do not make a great backpacking food choice. However, powdered milk makes a healthy choice. When you want milk, but cannot keep it cold, powdered milk gives you a healthy choice.

Healthy Eating
Healthy Eating Plate – © Harvard University.

Just like fresh milk, good quality powdered milk has high grade proteins. Powdered milk includes phosphorus and potassium. Milk has a LOT of calcium and Vitamin B as well. 

When you hike in a harsh climates, this form of milk is a great source of calories. Calories help give you energy as you hike in a rough climate. You can include powdered milk in coffee, tea, oatmeal or any of your dehydrated meals to make the meal more healthy. 

Most healthy foods need to be kept cold. Powdered milk gives you an option to have milk without having to keep it cold. 

Be sure you have best the hiking gear when you take a hike. If you need some, please check this gear:


For more information about healthy food, read this from the Harvard School of Public Health.

No matter where you hike or how far you hike, choosing the best backpacking food helps you have more energy as you hike. Choose healthy, lightweight, and easy to pack foods. You will enjoy your hike and time outdoors more when you pack these backpacking foods!

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