Backpack Higher: Create A Weekend Menu For Much Less Than $25

Kiss your days of tuna-mac goodbye

After getting the gear, backpacking isn’t costly. An evening beneath the celebs is free, and feels liberating. That’s simply one among 1,000,000 explanation why I like it. However, take one frenzied lap by your native grocery retailer to fill up on your weekend overnighter, and also you’ll rapidly see that menu planning isn’t fairly as liberating. The truth is, it’s straightforward to drop extra money than you’d spend out on a flowery dinner for 2. After I not too long ago spent $80 for a weekend of meals, I knew I needed to discover a greater approach.

To interrupt myself of the dueling dangerous habits of overspending or consuming nutritionally-suspect, quick-grab meals, I gave myself a enjoyable problem: Create a backpacking menu I’d be proud of even within the frontcountry, for lower than $25. That’s two breakfasts, two lunches and two dinners, plus snacks, for one backpacker. My precedence was to eat effectively within the woods, so as an alternative of stressing about weight or sturdiness, I picked gadgets that might create one thing luxurious. This isn’t a meal plan for fastpacking by robust terrain. I imply, there needs to be one thing left for future challenges, proper?

And so, after some scheming I went grocery purchasing, picked up the next and headed to the trailhead with a giant smile and excessive hopes:

  • Baguette
  • 5 ounce package deal grated Parmesan cheese (I bought the flamboyant form)
  • Mozzarella ball
  • 1 small tomato
  • 1 small avocado
  • 1 small apple
  • 1 lemon
  • 6 eggs: 4 boiled, two uncooked
  • On the spot potatoes
  • Small broccoli head, with the stalk lower off to save lots of weight
  • Angel hair pasta
  • 1 pack of dried mango (a lot for snacking too)
  • Four packets on the spot oatmeal
  • three ounce package deal shelf-stable bacon bits
  • Free salt packets
  • 2 packets on the spot espresso (I’m obsessive about the packets that add cream and sugar)
  • three packets olive oil, which you should purchase at REI, in a sandwich bag

Complete: $24.34 (YMMV)

Packing ideas: Sure, a lot of these items problem the notion of what’s packable. Right here’s how I pulled it off with nary a cracked egg or bruised tomato. A hearty baguette in its bag can simply tuck into your pack’s facet pocket like trekking poles—simply take care to not tighten the compression straps an excessive amount of or throw your pack on the bottom on that facet. The recent fruits and veggies I carried in my high lid in plastic sandwich luggage. The egg have been tough. I boiled 4 of the six and saved them in a sandwich bag, and the final two I padded with a clear bandana and tucked them in my cooking pot with the mozzarella and housed them deep in my pack. If you happen to’re utilizing a bear canister, it’s straightforward to retailer essentially the most delicate gadgets on high and defend them from the remainder of your stuff.

Friday Dinner: Caprese With Avocado

I made this straightforward dinner on the trailhead whereas sorting my gear. Whereas consuming, I additionally boiled 4 out of my six eggs, for Saturday’s lunch and fewer possibilities of breakage over the weekend. When you have a full work week like me, you’ll dig this plan, conducive to late trailhead arrivals.


  • Baguette
  • 1 olive oil packet
  • Mozzarella
  • ½ tomato
  • ½ lemon
  • ½ avocado


  1. Rip off a big chunk of baguette and slice it in half.
  2. Drizzle olive oil packet over every half.
  3. Layer backside half of bread evenly with tomato slices, avocado slices and cheese. Squeeze lemon on high (and on different half of avocado to maintain it recent for tomorrow). Add a touch of salt.

Saturday & Sunday Breakfast: Oatmeal With Fruit

I wish to maintain it easy within the mornings. Actually, coffee is step one for me then a fast breakfast, and I’m off.


  • 2 packets of on the spot oatmeal
  • ½ apple
  • Four slices of dried mango
  • On the spot espresso


  1. Boil sufficient water for oatmeal and occasional.
  2. Lower your apple and mango into bite-sized chunks. Add to dried oatmeal.
  3. Pour simply sufficient water over your oatmeal to cowl. Stir and let sit till mango rehydrates.
  4. Sip espresso till oatmeal’s prepared.

Saturday Lunch: Avocado Egg Salad Sandwich

Avocado Egg Salad Sandwich

I noticed this recipe in a veggie cookbook months in the past, and was mesmerized. Avocado and egg salad! Why didn’t I consider that? It appeared like protein-and-vitamin-packed perfection. It additionally requires valuable few components, making it good for this kind of culinary journey. Disclaimer: Issues can get messy.


  • Baguette
  • ½ avocado
  • ½ lemon
  • ½ tomato
  • 2 hardboiled eggs
  • Salt to style


  1. Rip off a giant chuck of baguette and slice it in half.
  2. Lower your avocado and eggs into chunks.
  3. Place avocado and eggs in bowl. Squeeze lemon over. Smoosh till it appears to be like like egg salad.
  4. Layer backside half of bread evenly with egg salad. High with tomato slices.

Saturday Dinner: Backpacking Carbonara

Backpacking Carbonara

Are you able to make carbonara within the backcountry? You wager. I can’t say I wasn’t a bit of nervous—would I find yourself with uncooked eggs in every single place in my pack? Would I char the underside of my pot irreversibly? Wouldn’t it style like paste? However what I skilled was a straightforward and really satisfying meal. It was my favourite dish of the weekend and an absolute keeper. Caveat: This was one other messy one. No char, however dish obligation was a little bit of a bear. Trace: Pack a mini sponge.


  • Angel hair pasta, damaged in half in plastic sandwich bag
  • ½ broccoli head, lower into florets
  • 2.5 ounces (about half a cup) grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 packets olive oil
  • 1.5 ounces (half the quantity you obtain) shelf-stable bacon bits


  1. Boil pasta and broccoli for the minimal prepare dinner time. As soon as cooked and drained, retailer in bowl.
  2. Whereas pasta is cooking, beat eggs along with your camp utensil (spork is best right here) in a plastic sandwich bag.
  3. Return pot to low flame. Add oil and bacon till scorching (this will probably be very quick). Add pasta, toss to coat. Take away from warmth.
  4. Pour in eggs, toss always to prepare dinner and coat. Be quick—you may find yourself with scrambled eggs.
  5. Pour in most of cheese, toss to coat.
  6. High with remainder of cheese.

Sunday Lunch: Loaded Mashed Potatoes

Loaded Mashed Potatoes

Easy, ridiculously quick, very filling: On the spot mashed potatoes are one of the best when backpacking. Whereas I’ve been identified to eat them chilly proper out of the bag, this weekend I attempted to make them a bit of fancier. For you.


  • 1 Four-ounce packet of on the spot potatoes
  • ½ broccoli head, with stalk lower off
  • 2.5 ounces (about half a cup) Parmesan cheese
  • 1.5 ounces shelf-stable bacon bits


  1. Boil 2 cups water and drop in broccoli lower into florets.
  2. Put potatoes, cheese and bacon in a bowl.
  3. Pour boiling water and broccoli into potato combination.
  4. Stir and luxuriate in.


Success! This was one of many tastiest weekend backpacking journeys I’ve ever had. Sure, I packed extra weight and had extra quantity, nevertheless it was just for two days and the rewards have been effectively value it. I’d do it once more in a heartbeat. The truth is, I’m already scheming my subsequent backcountry connoisseur problem (and would love to listen to what food-related backpacking you’d like solved, too).

What do you assume? Do you’ve gotten any good recipes to share? What ought to I strive subsequent time?

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Backpack Higher: Create A Weekend Menu For Much Less Than $25

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