We probably all agree it is better to not eat too much during lunch when backpacking, or hiking or doing any other outdoor activity, as it will slow you down and make every action more demanding. However, this doesn’t take away the importance of having lunch and/or snacking while on the trail, in order to keep your energies high and always have the right amount of nutrition to keep going.
Of course, it’s best to eat something that doesn’t require stopping for too long, nor cooking. So backpacking lunches will be quicker and colder in comparison to a backpacking breakfasts, for example. At the same time, you need the right backpacking gear to get everything ready to fuel up properly.
Some believe it's better to eat several snacks throughout the day, instead of stopping to eat just one meal. So what you can do is to get your “extended” lunch ready in the morning before hitting the trail and then have a bite of it every now and then.
You can prepare most of these recipes at home and carry them with you along the trail, or get them ready during a rest day at the camp.
These are Apache Pine's favorite lunch and snack recipes for backpackers, hikers and outdoor lovers, which will give you the right energy and won’t take away too much time from your activities.
These can be very good ideas for all sorts of outdoor experiences and not just when backpacking, becoming a perfect example of homemade energy food for athletes in the outdoors.
Lunch and snack recipes for backpackers
Peanut butter and honey energy bars
To make roughly 12 bars of 2x2 inches each, here are the ingredients you’ll need:
- 1 cup of peanut butter
- 3/4 cup of honey (pick your favorite flavor!)
- 3 cups of instant oatmeal
In a pot, combine together peanut butter and honey and warm them over low heat. Stir everything until it is uniform and well mixed. Then remove it from the flame and add the oatmeal. Press everything into a big 9x9 ungreased pan or any other suitable recipient and let it cool down properly. When cold enough, cut it into bars and store them in a ziplock bag (or whichever other recipient you prefer).
Of course, these bars can be customized according to your taste and needs. You can add some dried bananas, coconut powder, crumbled almonds, all sorts of seeds, chocolate chips, nuts, dried berries, wheat germs, ginger bits, or whatever other ingredient that comes to your mind.
Lemon and ginger granola
This recipe needs to be prepared at home.
- 2 cups of rolled oats
- 1/4 cup of wheat germ
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 1/4 cup of honey
- 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts
- 1 tbsp of vegetable oil
- 1 lemon (both juice and zest)
- 1 tbsp of freshly grated ginger
- 1/4 cup of chopped candied ginger
First things first, preheat the oven to 250º F. Then use a large bowl to combine the oats, wheat, nuts and brown sugar. Then add the honey, lemon zest and juice, and the ginger. Stir everything properly in order to obtain a uniform mix: this is very important. Then pour everything onto a cookie sheet and spread it out evenly.
Put everything into the oven and stir every 15 minutes in order to cook everything in the same way. Wait until the mixture is dark, possibly golden brown. Once you consider it ready, let it cool and then store it in an air-tight container, so it will remain fresh and crunchy.
The inevitable mix
Besides all the things you can prepare at home, there’s an inevitable outdoor energy mix that you should always bring with you when backpacking. It's perfect for snacking, but also to use during breakfast or as some sort of sweet treat.
It normally includes nuts of all sorts, dried berries, chocolate chips, caramelized ginger, dates, crystallized caramel, and even some crumbled corn crackers or some other salty component which will give it a tasty twist if you like it.
A little bag like this can save your adventure on many occasions!