Eat The Best When Outdoors: 20 Gourmet Backpacking Food Ideas

Gourmet backpacking food takes outdoor dining to a new level, redefining the traditional notion of campfire meals. With careful planning, creative recipes, and lightweight ingredients, backpackers can now indulge in culinary delights that elevate their outdoor experience. Stay tuned to learn more and pack up some ideas!

The 10 Best Gourmet Backpacking Food Recipes 

1. Trailside Pesto Pasta

A delectable blend of whole wheat pasta, homemade basil pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, and pine nuts that provides a burst of flavor and energy after a long day on the trail. 

To prepare, boil the whole wheat pasta until tender. Mix homemade basil pesto with sun-dried tomatoes and pine nuts in a separate container. Combine the cooked pasta and pesto mixture for a flavorful and energizing post-hike meal.

2. Hiker’s Quinoa Salad

A refreshing mix of cooked quinoa, diced vegetables, feta cheese, olives, and a lemon vinaigrette, offering a nutritious and satisfying meal packed with essential nutrients.

Cook quinoa according to package instructions. Dice vegetables and combine with crumbled feta cheese and olives. Drizzle with lemon vinaigrette, toss well, and enjoy a refreshing, nutrient-packed salad.

3. Wilderness Stir-Fry

Sautéed freeze-dried veggies, thinly sliced beef jerky, and a savory soy-ginger sauce combine to create a hearty stir-fry that’s both lightweight and full of flavor.

Rehydrate freeze-dried veggies and thinly sliced beef jerky. In a pan, sauté the rehydrated ingredients with a savory soy-ginger sauce. The result is a lightweight and satisfying stir-fry bursting with flavors.

4. Backcountry Black Bean Tacos

Portable corn tortillas filled with rehydrated black beans, avocado slices, salsa, and a sprinkle of cheese deliver a zesty and protein-rich meal for any outdoor adventurer.

Rehydrate black beans and prepare portable corn tortillas. Fill them with rehydrated beans, avocado slices, salsa, and a sprinkle of cheese to enjoy zesty and protein-rich tacos.

5. Summit Oatmeal Parfait

Layered instant oatmeal, dried fruits, nuts, and Greek yogurt powder form a quick and delightful breakfast that fuels your day’s ascent with a mix of textures and tastes.

To prepare, layer instant oatmeal with dried fruits, nuts, and Greek yogurt powder in a container. Add water or milk when ready to eat, creating a quick and delightful breakfast with a mix of textures.

6. Campfire Risotto

Creamy Arborio rice simmered with dehydrated mushrooms, parmesan cheese, and a touch of white wine creates a luxurious dish that offers comfort even in the wild.

Simmer Arborio rice with dehydrated mushrooms and white wine until creamy. Stir in parmesan cheese for a luxurious and comforting campfire meal that’s hearty and flavorful.

7. Alpine Energy Bars

Homemade bars with a blend of rolled oats, almond butter, dried fruits, nuts, and honey provide a boost of energy and nutrients during intense trekking.

Mix rolled oats, almond butter, dried fruits, nuts, and honey to create a dough. Press the mixture into bars and let them set. These homemade bars offer a nutritious and energy-boosting snack for intense treks.

8. Mountain Mac ‘n’ Cheese

Macaroni cooked with powdered cheddar cheese, powdered milk, and a pinch of red pepper flakes, offering a nostalgic comfort food experience while on the trail.

Cook macaroni according to package instructions. Mix powdered cheddar cheese, powdered milk, and red pepper flakes. Combine the ingredients for a nostalgic and cheesy comfort food on the trail.

9. Granola-Crusted Trail Mix Bites

Nutrient-dense balls made from crushed granola, nut butter, dark chocolate chips, and chia seeds deliver a portable and energizing snack for quick refueling.

Crush granola and mix it with nut butter, dark chocolate chips, and chia seeds. Form nutrient-dense balls for a portable and energizing snack perfect for quick refueling.

10. Backwoods Thai Curry

A flavorful blend of dehydrated coconut milk, freeze-dried veggies, curry spices, and rehydrated chicken or tofu creates a gourmet Thai-inspired dish in the heart of nature.

Rehydrate coconut milk and freeze-dried veggies. Mix with curry spices and rehydrated chicken or tofu. Heat the mixture for a gourmet Thai-inspired dish that captures the essence of nature’s flavors.

10 Best Dehydrated Backpacking Meals To Try 

1. Mountain House Chili Mac with Beef 

Dehydrated beans, textured vegetable protein, spices, and tomatoes create a hearty, protein-packed chili that’s easy to rehydrate and enjoy.

To prepare just add hot water to the pouch & eat in less than 10 minutes, with no cleanup. The pouch has a shorter, wider, more bowl-like shape for an easier eating experience. Eat straight from the pouch and skip the dishes! Prep time: 10 mins. 

2. KAMUI Freeze Dried Backpacking Food


Experience the flavors of KAMUI Freeze-Dried Dehydrated Japanese Gomoku Mixed Rice and relish its deliciousness whether camping, backpacking, or seeking a swift home-cooked meal.

Just add hot water, and it will be ready in 15 minutes. You will have to wait up to an hour if you’re not using hot water. It comes with a spoon, and you can eat it straight from the pouch. It’s perfect for campers, backpackers, quick home meals, and emergencies.

3. Roland Foods Roasted Garlic

A blend of whole wheat flour, roasted garlic, spices, wheat, and soy with nutty undertones that offers a flavorful North African-inspired dish with a perfect balance of textures and tastes.

To prepare, bring 1 1/4 cups of water to a boil, mix in the contents of the pouch, simmer for 10 mins, and let cool for 5 mins. Prep time: 15 mins. Balanced textures and suitable for vegetarians.

4. AlpineAire Foods Shakshuka

AlpineAire Foods’ Shakshuka offers a delectable and energizing meal in a compact package. It combines dehydrated eggs, instant rice, flavorful spices, sun-ripened tomatoes, and a hint of herbs to create a hearty and protein-packed Mediterranean-inspired dish. 

Just add boiling water and wait for 10 minutes then you can savor a warm and satisfying meal anywhere your adventures take you. Prep time: 10 mins. This product is not vegan-friendly.

5. Mountain House Classic Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

Dehydrated pasta, meat sauce, garlic flakes, and red pepper flakes come together to create a simple yet satisfying Italian pasta dish with a kick. Rehydrate with boiling water for 5 mins and wait for an additional 4. Prep time: 9 mins. 

6. Backpacker’s Pantry Dark Chocolate Cheesecake

Indulge in wilderness luxury with Backpacker’s Pantry Dark Chocolate Cheesecake. A delightful blend of rich, dark chocolate, creamy cheesecake filling, and a crumbly graham cracker crust awaits. Simple preparation involves adding cold water, mixing, and in 10 minutes, after topping it with cookie crumbs, you’ll relish a decadent dessert that redefines campfire treats. 

7. Hungry Jack Premium Hashbrown Potatoes

This is the perfect filling breakfast to kick-start your day. Preparation: First add hot water to the hashbrown potatoes, and let stand for 12 mins during which you can whisk together the eggs flour, and salt in a bowl. After the 12 minutes have passed, drain the hashbrown potatoes and whisk them into the egg and flour mixture with the bacon, cheese, and chives. Then heat a greased skillet over medium-high heat, scoop out ¼ of the mixture onto it, and cook for about 3 mins. Flip the pancake when it starts browning and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Prep time: 15 mins. Filling and ideal for breakfast.

8. Roland Foods Mediterranean Seasoned Quinoa

This convenient and nutritious meal features a harmonious blend of fluffy quinoa infused with aromatic Mediterranean herbs and spices. Succulent vegetables and finely diced onions add layers of taste to this culinary journey. 

Simply add it to boiling water, allow it to rehydrate for around 15 minutes, and relish a savory and protein-rich dish that encapsulates the essence of Mediterranean cuisine.

9. AlpineAire Foods Al Pastor

Experience a fiesta of flavors with AlpineAire Foods’ Al Pastor. Tender dehydrated pork, vibrant bell peppers, onions, and a medley of authentic spices bring the essence of Mexican street cuisine to your outdoor escapades. Just add water let it rehydrate for 10 minutes, and savor a zesty and protein-packed meal that captures the spirit of traditional Al Pastor. 

10. Mountain House Chicken Teriyaki with Rice 

Dehydrated teriyaki-marinated chicken, instant rice, and dehydrated vegetables combine to offer a savory and Asian-inspired meal on the go.

Rehydrate dehydrated packet with hot water for 8 mins. Prep time: 8 mins. Savory and convenient for on-the-go.

What foods are good for backpacking?

Good foods for backpacking include lightweight, non-perishable items like trail mix, dehydrated fruits and vegetables, energy bars, nuts, nut butter, instant oatmeal, jerky, and pasta. These options provide essential nutrients and energy while being easy to carry and prepare.

What is the healthiest backpacking food?

The healthiest backpacking food often includes a mix of whole grains, lean proteins, healthy fats, and a variety of vitamins and minerals. Items like whole grain granola, dried fruits, nuts, lean jerky, and instant quinoa can provide sustained energy and vital nutrients for outdoor adventures.

How much food do you need for 3 days backpacking?

The food needed for a 3-day backpacking trip varies based on factors like your activity level and metabolism. As a general guideline, plan for around 1.5 to 2.5 pounds of food per day, aiming for a balanced mix of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.


Through innovative recipes, dehydrated ingredients, and mindful preparation, backpackers are empowered to enjoy mouthwatering dishes against the backdrop of nature’s grandeur. Gourmet backpacking food is a testament to human ingenuity and the desire to merge the art of fine dining with the thrill of outdoor exploration. 

  • Made with 100% Japanese rice
  • Authentic taste of Japanese cuisine
  • Tasty freeze-dried meal
  • Add hot water. Ready in 15 minutes
KAMUI Camping and Backpacking Food - Blocksy Content