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It's Always an Adventure...

Cooking While Camping & Backpacking

Fueling your body while hiking is just as important as putting enough gas in your car to get you to your destination. Without sufficient nutrients, you may not finish the trail or adventure you set out to complete! How many calories a person needs depends on many factors such as your body weight, the length of the hike, the difficulty of the hike (elevation gain/loss), how heavy your pack is, etc. 

Here are three resources to calculate the amount of calories you should consume depending on your trip: 

  • Fitwatch - calculate calories burned while backpacking with a moderate load

  • Mayo Clinic - lists calories burned per hour for a variety of activities, including backpacking 

  • - activity calculator app

Once you determine how many calories you'll need to consume on a given outing, you can start planning your meals. For the purposes of this article, we'll be talking about "traditional" backpacking meals - otherwise known as pour in some water, wait a little while, and bon appetite. However, read on because the article ends with links and resources to delicious recipes. 

*Note: Some of the links below may contain affiliate links.

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Backpacking Meal Comparison

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Pocket Rocket with Pot
$29.98 on Amazon
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Pocket Rocket
$15.44 on Amazon
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MSR PocketRocket® 2 $33.71 on
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MSR WhisperLite
$67.46 on
JetBoil MiniMo.png
$59.95 on
JetBoil Flash.png
$109.95 on Amazon
JetBoil HalfGen.png
$194.95 on
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Coleman Camp Bistro 1-Burner Butane Stove
$19.72 on
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Coleman Portable Butane Stove with Carrying Case
$33.60 on Amazon
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Coleman Classic Propane Stove, 2 Burner
$43.88 on Amazon has you covered for all the specs on these stoves and so many more!

Check out their articles on the Best Backpacking Stoves of 2020 and Best Camping Stoves of 2020.

Camp Kitchen 

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GSI Outdoors Infinity Backpacker Mug
$9.99 on Amazon
Sea to Summit Titanium Cutlery Set
$34.95 on
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Snow Peak Titanium Mini 
$75.95 on Amazon
Sea to Summit Alpha Set 2.2
$94.95 on



A perfect fusion of flavors compliments of Patagonia Provisions Wild Pink Salmon

Wild Salmon Tacos with Cilantro Slaw and Mango Salsa


Cilantro Slaw:

  • 2 cups finely shredded fresh cabbage (green or combo. of red & green)

  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise

  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • Juice and zest of 1 lime

  • Salt & pepper to taste

Whisk together mayo, vinegar, sugar, lime juice and zest then add shredded cabbage and cilantro. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add dressing to cabbage right before serving. 

Mango Salsa:

  • 1 ripe mango, peeled, seeded and chopped

  • 1 small onion, finely diced

  • 1 or 2 Serrano or Jalapeno chili peppers, seeded and minced

  • Juice and zest of 1 lime

  • Salt & pepper to taste

Mix together mango, onion, chili pepper and lime. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 


Spoon cilantro slaw into warm tortillas and top with flaked salmon. Top with a dollop of mango salsa (or serve salsa on the side).


Optional Garnish:

Lime wedges, additional cilantro and crumbled Mexican cotija cheese, sliced avocado, and/or thinly sliced radishes. 

Shop Patagonia Provisions HERE and explore more of their delicious recipes HERE

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Blueberry Coconut Oats from



  • At home, pack all ingredients into a bag.

  • In camp, bring 1/2 cups water and the contents of the bag to a simmer. Cook, stirring often, until the oats are soft, about 10 minutes.

Moroccan Chicken Couscous from


  • ½ cup couscous

  • 1 cup dried apricots, chopped

  • ¼ cup sliced almonds

  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

  • 4 teaspoons ras el hanout

  • 2 olive oil packets, or ~2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 7 oz packet cooked chicken

  • 1 packet True Lemon

  • 5 oz water, (on the trail)


  • At home: Place the couscous, apricots, almonds, ras el hanout, and salt in a resealable bag. Pack along with the olive oil packets (or small container of oil), chicken pouch, and True Lemon.

  • At camp: Bring ~5oz water and oil to a boil in your cookpot. Add the couscous, apricots, nuts, spices, and True Lemon to the pot. Give it a big stir to combine, add in the chicken, then cover and remove from heat. Let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork or spoon and dig in.

Check out Fresh Off The Grid for countless other recipes!

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Personally, my favorite backpacking meals by far are from Packit Gourmet. In addition to their pre-packaged meals, they offer countless options from dehydrated beans to meat to spices in their online grocery store. Their grocery section is the perfect place to explore if you want to make some DIY backpacking meals. See here:

If you've made it this far, you deserve a special treat! Visit, create an account, add their Austintacious Tortilla Soup (my favorite!) to your pack, and enter GOODEATS at checkout for a free soup!

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The possibilities for snacks, appetizers, entrees, desserts, etc. certainly seems limitless. With all of the great resources on the internet, we're sure you won't go hungry.
Always remember to "fuel up" and happy travels! 
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