Basic Trail Meals

I am going on a multi-day hike without a stove, and am trying to think of simple meals that can be prepared with a minimum of (light and compact) ingredients and cold water. My current plans include overnight oats and simple wraps using pouch tuna and peanut butter. Does anyone have other suggestions for good trail meals? I will be hiking in Greenland, so it might also be difficult to source fresh ingredients before my hike; foods that I can easily bring from home will work best. Thanks in advance for all suggestions!

  • Posted by: tiffany
  • June 17, 2018


boulangere June 18, 2018
Here is a link to a seed mix I make that has sustained me well, though I’ve never hiked across Greenland.
And by the way, lucky you!
Isabel June 18, 2018
There are plenty of prepackaged meals out there but check the nutrition info before you commit. Typically very high in sodium. I'd also suggest checking to see what produce you are allowed to bring in your luggage before packing any fresh ingredients.
Emmie June 18, 2018
Without a stove is tough, but when I backpack I usually bring a block of cheese, powdered hummus (surprisingly tasty, especially if you add some lemon when mixing), and cucumber to make some really tasty wraps.
Alyssa June 18, 2018
Be sure to bring a few apples and/or carrots, an onion, and, if you have room, a bunch of cilantro or parsley. You can chop up onions (and bell peppers) before your trip and just pack them in a baggie ready to use. These few fresh items will taste so good on trail, and will elevate otherwise super-bland meals.

I love planning a whole trip around tortilla meals. Rehydrated refried beans, cilantro, onion, and taco seasoning makes a great burrito. PB and trail mix rolled in a tortilla make a satisfying lunch wrap. Make sure to get really good tortillas so you don't dread them every meal ;) I love whole wheat, so I get a bit more sustenance.

For oatmeal, I always bring cinnamon and usually add a sprinkling of trail mix (craisins, nuts) to make it interesting. Oh, and don't forget to pack coffee and tea! Tea can be cold-brewed in your water bottle as you hike so you have a flavored drink instead of plain water, which can get really boring quickly.

Don't underestimate snacks--a Lara bar or hearty meat bar (I love Epic brand salmon bars) with a few handfuls of trail mix and some water can sub for a decent no-cleanup breakfast or lunch.

It's really nice, too, to pack a boil-and-eat camp meal or two for when you're really starving and want something hot, salty, and hearty. My favorites are Backpacker's Pantry Pad Thai and Louisiana Red Beans and Rice.

Have fun!
Miss_Karen June 17, 2018
MRE fit that description. I can't vouch for how tasty they are it's a military thing.
Nancy June 17, 2018
Tiffany, let me direct you to one of the great camping cookbooks. One of the earliest and still best to move away from all the dehydrated, highly processed food sold for camping and use real food on the trail.
The recipes are reliable and tasty. Most are to be cooked, but there are many that can be prepared (partially or wholly) before you leave, then combined or eaten as is on the camping trip. If you have time before Greenland, have a look and see if this suits your trip.
From Kinmount & Axcell, Simple Foods for the Pack, 1982 (pub by Sierra Club) now in its 3rd edition.
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