It can be quite fun to make your own backpacking meals since you are taking control of your nutrition while saving money at the same time. Dried meats are lightweight and convenient while at the same time, cooking food while you are out in nature enhances the overall experience.

No matter if you are in need of just a couple of meals for the weekend or you have been preparing yourself for a real backpacking adventure that will last for a week, these tips on how to effectively cook food in the great outdoors while backpacking might come useful to you.

Which Type of Foods to Bring?

It is really important to keep your pack weight to the minimum on a multi-day trip, although, at the same time you need to have a good balance of foods that you will enjoy and that will provide you with good nutrition.

The goal should be to make meals that can provide the most calories and nutritional values with the least amount of your weight. It would be wise to search for calorically dense and rich protein-based food, more than 100 calories per ounce, that will offer you a real value and keep you full for a long period of time.

So, for that reason, think about more substance and less volume. Butter and oil are excellent ways to supplement your caloric intake which will as an addition make your dinner or lunch taste great.

Cooking Process

Food and cold water can be combined together first and then placed in a cooker to boil. The problem with this method is that the cleanup can be quite a hustle. For that reason, it is advisable to not make any saucy dishes since they can be spilled all over the lid. As an alternative, you could make stews or soups. Another method of cooking your meal is by soaking the ingredients in cold water while backpacking or sleeping.

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That will greatly lessen the cooking time. So, the first step would be to soak the meal in a pot of cold water. The soak range can last from a few minutes to even an entire night. Have in mind, if you want to have a warm dinner and to cook the food after, the longer the ingredients stay drenched, the easier the process will be. In case you do not have a backpacking stove with you, or it has just run out of fuel and you are done with all the fresh food you have brought with you, it would be wise to bring some granola bars or crackers. Some dry foods can be prepared without using a stove at all. Although the hearty experience will be missing, since warm food is comforting to everyone, it will be at least a viable option that will provide you with a meal full of calories.

Determining Portions

To determine the portioning, all you would need is a small lightweight bowl or a digital scale. Especially if you have dehydrated foods with you since they are hard to measure with spoons or cups. Usually, a 100-gram meal is sufficient to fill you up and around 150 grams would be more than satisfying for any backpacking adventurer.

Do Not Forget About Proteins

Using your own dehydrator will make it easy for you to prepare your own food since pre-dried proteins are a bit hard to find in regular grocery stores. Another option is to just order freeze-dried meat. Freeze-dried meats are a bit expensive, although they usually have good value. The reason is that they can last for a long time and can get a lot of servings out of one purchased pouch.  Although it is not as fun as cooking the meal yourself, it sure is useful to bring freeze-dried meat just in case. The other popular option is to bring some heavier proteins with you, like tuna, sausages, chicken or salmon packets which you can cook yourself.

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You can complement your high-protein dishes, which are more than needed while backpacking, by bringing nut butter since they are full of healthy fats. It is liberating and to say the least exciting to be able to create your own delicious meals for a backpacking adventure. If you are out in nature with your friends, showing off your great cooking skills will make them drool with envy.

After your bodies have been working so hard after a long day’s walk, there is nothing more rewarding than eating a delicious bowl of food to reward yourself with. Hopefully, this advice on how to cook meals will be helpful to you and have made you more confident in your ability to come out with your own backpacking meal recipes.