Because camping, trekking or hiking with no stoves, pots, pans, and other cooking utensils is so much easier, no cook backpacking meals have now become very popular. Not only does this save you from carrying several extra pounds but it also gives you more time to enjoy nature without having to worry about cleaning up or preparing your meals.
What are the Best No Cook Backpacking Meals?
Of course, backpacking meals should be packed with nutrients and calories to provide you strength and energy. They also don’t have to be unhealthy or expensive. In fact, you might be surprised at the number of choices and ways you can prepare them. For easy, tasty recipes and ideas on what you can eat without cooking or heating, check out this list!
The trail is not the best environment for keeping meat fresh. Thankfully, there are cured and preserved meats that do not need refrigeration. These are ideal additions to your meals or a good snack by themselves. These include:
Cheese is a great source of protein, healthy fats, and minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, and vitamins A and B12. You can eat it on its own or with bread, meat, crackers, or in wraps. The following aged hard cheeses will stay good outside the fridge longer:
3. Trail Mix, Granola Bars, or Fiber Bars
Dried fruits give you a sugar boost but are healthier than candy. Nuts and seeds, if roasted, provide healthy fats and oils and proteins. Cereals provide energy-giving sugars and fiber. Trail mix is a light, nutritious, and handy treat on the trail. Fiber bars and granola bars are just basically another form of what’s in a trail mix. Here’s what you can add to your mix:
Fresh wild berries
○ Marsh berry
○ Cashew nuts
○ Pumpkin Seeds
○ Sunflower seeds
○ Flax seeds
○ Chia seeds
Granola or cereal
Bagels are great for breakfast sandwiches since they are less delicate but more moist and fluffy than other carbohydrate choices for trails. You can eat them with any or a combination of the following:
Crackers are also a great, filling food rich in sodium and carbohydrates. Prevent them from breaking and getting crushed by hanging them outside you backpack in a bag or bandana. You can also eat them with cheese and meat for a complete, satisfying meal.
Oatmeal is another unbeatable instant breakfast food. For a nutritious and easy meal, combine oatmeal with hot or cold water, whichever is available, and top with dried fruits, some nuts, and a little honey. You can also add some powdered milk or get the instant oatmeal packets than only need hot water.
Quaker Instant Oatmeal Variety Pack of 48 packets is a cheap option. It only costs less than $20 and contains single-serving packets that only take 90 seconds to prepare. Simply add water and stir.
Wraps are the first things that come to mind when I think of a quick, easy, and complete meals with all the things you need like proteins, veggies, fats, and carbs. Pita is also a durable type of bread that can survive being unrefrigerated and packed. There are also hundreds of fillings that you can roll inside a pita wrap for a meal or a heavy snack. Here are some ideas:
Fresh vegetables such as peppers, green beans, broccoli, and carrots paired with a little savory hummus are enough to keep you satisfied and fueled.
Pizza, in my opinion, is always good whether cold or warm. Pizza wraps require very simple ingredients and even less preparation than oven-baked pizza. Just pack some tomato powder and dried herbs that you can mix with some salt, pepper, and water for a nice sauce base. Add some cured meats and hard aged cheeses. Layer everything together and add a little barbecue or hot sauce for an extra kick.
For dinner, whip up a burrito by wrapping some beans and rice with some veggies, cheese, and meat.
If you’re tired of meat, tuna is another affordable and convenient protein. You can bring the kind that comes in easy-open cans or packets. Add some hard cheese and sliced vegetables, and you’ve got yourself a good and energy-packed meal.
For snacks, ideal pita fillings include peanut butter and jelly or bananas, mayonnaise, cream cheese and smoked salmon, canned pineapples with chicken, pesto chicken, and the like.
No cook backpacking meals tend to be boring and monotonous especially during long trips. Fortunately, there are tons of meal ideas and ingredients that you can mix and match for some variety, like those mentioned here. Whether you prefer to bring a stove or not, these meals are definitely a must-try!