The Cnoc Staff's Favorite Backcountry Meals

The Cnoc Staff's Favorite Backcountry Meals

Anyone who thinks backpacking food is bad has never been backpacking - not because the food itself is the highest of quality and flavor, but because there’s no better seasoning to any dish than the hunger built up by a long day's hike. But over the course of a long hike or a summer packed with trips, it’s not hard to get sick of eating the same thing again and again and again. Need to mix up your adventure diet? The Cnoc staff are pro backpackers and lifetime eaters - they shared their favorite backcountry meals to inspire you while you prepare for your next trip.

Kyle: A classic lunch for me on the trail is a tortilla with peanut butter and Takis -- a surprisingly crunchy and satisfying combo! For dinner, I'm a fan of the hiker trash pad thai -- a ramen packet with a scoop of peanut butter and generous drizzle of sriracha.  It's cheap, fast, and hits the spot! 

Gilad: I don't eat real meals on the trail (when solo) besides dinner and that depends if it's summer or not. In summer, I’ll make cold soak couscous with some soup powder and salmon or tuna chunks. For winter, I’ll have a hot meal: cook some dry veg, add sauce powder (spicy Thai works well), throw in chicken chunks, cook a bit into a soup and pour couscous in to soak the liquids. Takes about 7 minutes to make if you presoak the veg when setting camp

Note: Love couscous? Read our blog/love letter to couscous as a backcountry meal here

Mika: I eat whatever Gilad makes. That said, there is a teriyaki salmon with ramen that's probably my favorite.

Becky: I’m a big fan of dehydrated hummus on trail - I mix in some sundried tomatoes and olive oil for extra calories and eat it with pita chips. I find inexpensive bulk boxes of dehydrated hummus at middle eastern groceries and think it should be a bigger staple in hiker diets. I also make overnight oats for breakfast basically every single morning while backpacking. If I’m thru-hiking and really trying to add calories, I’ll mix in peanut butter, some trail mix, protein powder, and chia seeds and consume it next to my morning breakfast smoothie of a vanilla Breakfast Essentials mixed with some instant coffee. 

Adrian: I really like taking two stroopwafels and putting a nut butter packet between them to make a super dense "sandwich". I usually have that as a mid day break snack to basically skip lunch. I usually go with a peanut butter packet and the honey waffle combo. Otherwise it's just basic ramen with some additives. If I'm feeling fancy, I'll eat a tortilla with a ton of smoked salmon and cream cheese. That's more of a winter thing though.


2 comments


  • Becky @ Cnoc

    I mix oats, chia seeds, and water and leave to soak overnight! It’s really that simple – liquid is to taste, but I find just making sure the oats/seeds are submerged is right for. You’ll also want to mix in sweetener if using plain oats, and can use any other mix ins – nut butter, dried fruit, nuts, protein powder, and powdered milk all work great!


  • Teresa Annarino

    Becky. How do you make overnight oatmeal on the trail?


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