Backpacking recipes: dinner

Aaaah, dinner time! Isn’t that the feeling after a long day backpacking into the wildDinner is a very important moment, most definitely as important as breakfast when backpacking. 

Hopefully you’ve been snacking all day long, had a bit of lunch and kept you energies up while hiking, backpacking or doing whichever other activity you’ve been experiencing. Of course, dinner is a meal that has to refuel your whole body, hydrate it and provide all the necessary nourishment: this is the priority. Of course, it’s not easy to arrange a dinner like that when you are in the outdoors, with just your backpack and stretched out water.

The most important thing is of course to have the right backpacking gear, which will allow you to take with you everything you need to live in the outdoors for several days, including backpacking sleeping equipment and backpacking cooking gear, bush knife and water filter enclosed. These two are very important when it come to cooking in the wild, as they will help you to cut and build whatever you need, as well as fetch cooking and drinking water even when you don’t have direct access to a clean water spring.

So here are some Apache Pine’s ideas for some tasty dinner backpacking recipes.

Dinner recipes for backpackers, hikers and outdoor explorers

Ramen noodles

You can make your ramen noodles as you like them most. You can use peas and chickpeas. You can add some ham if you fancy it, or some bacon. You can use red peppers, cheese and onions. Even some dried eggs if you have some. 

Roughly, the ingredients for one serving are: 

  • 1 or 2 packages of Ramen noodles
  • 1/2 cup of dried peas
  • 1/2 cup of chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup of lentils
  • Whichever other ingredient you like
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Grated cheese

Mix noodles, peas, chickpeas, and lentils in one ziplock bag. Then mix red peppers, cheese and possible hams, bacons, eggs and other similar ingredients. Don’t mix it all together as the first group is drier than the second one and they could ruin your mix if stored all together.

When it is dinner time, add some boiling water to the noodles, peas, chickpeas and lentils. Once everything is cooked, drain the water and add all the rest of the crew. Mix everything properly and enjoy your super tasty, super nutritious meal. 

Grilled potatoes and cheese 

For this recipe you’ll need to light a (small!) fire - and then make sure to leave no trace. When it comes to cooking the whole thing, there are many options. You can either use a grill, which can be a good idea if you are biking or if you are backpacking for just a few days, or you can use some aluminum foil.

The ingredients are: 

  • Potatoes
  • Cheese
  • Ham and/or bacon if you want

At home: If you are planning to eat the potatoes by the next day, then all you have to do is to cut them in halves, place the cheese in the middle, close them together again and wrap them in aluminum foil.

If you are planning to eat them further down the road, then slice them and place them in a vacuum-sealed package.

Then put the dried cheese in a zip lock bag, together with any other dried ingredients you may want to add to your recipe.

On trail: Light up a small fire and wait for the embers. At this point you can either: 

  • Throw the potatoes wrapped up in aluminum foil in the embers and wait for them to cook
  • Place the sliced potatoes on the grill and add the cheese and bacon when they’re about to be ready
  • Trow the slices directly into the embers and cover them properly with another layer of embers. Potatoes will develop a natural coat which will prevent them from burning. They shouldn’t take longer than 10-15 minutes. When they are ready, peel off the “skin” of ashes and starches. Place everything in a bowl and add all the other ingredients. The result will be some sort of mashed potatoes with cheese and whatever other food. There’s a chance the slices will be too crunchy to turn them into a mash. If that’s the case, place the other ingredients on top of the slices when they’re still very hot, wait a couple of seconds for them to melt a bit and then help yourself.