Food Preparation- 5 Day 2 Person Backpacking Trip

As avid backpackers, Louis and I have our responsibilities down pretty well when it comes to preparing for a backpacking trip. Louis packs the gear (tent, stove, fuel, etc). and it is my responsibility to prepare and pack the food for us. I got pretty tired of the ready made backpacking food early on and decided to explore other options. Since our gears are ultralight, I try to do the same for the food without giving up on taste. I try to strive for the following when packing for food:

  1. Count calories and bring the exact amount we need. There are been many times where we brought way too much food and had to haul half of it back home.
  2. Try to only pack one hot meal per day. I’m even trying to cut back on this for long mileage days (10+miles) since we are usually too tired to cook at the end of the day.
  3. Bring lots of high energy snacks while we hike during the day. Low blood sugar can really slow you down when you are hiking.


    We managed to fit all 5 days of food for 2 people in our Bearvault BV500.

For the most recent 5 day backpacking trip, I used the blog below for most of my food ideas and made modifications on my own.


For breakfast, I packed the following foods. The calories listed below were shared between 2 people and we ate mash potatoes for 2 days.

    1. Backpacker’s Pantry Colorado Omeletwith 2 packets of hot sauce and tortillas for breakfast burritos. 580 calories.
    2. Idahoan Mashed Potatoeswith 2 Tbsp of shelf stable bacon. 450 calories.

Mash potatoes with bacon and coffee

  1. Instant Oatmeal Packets (2) with dehydrated fruits and nuts. 350 calories.
  2. Instant coffee each morning, 80 calories. We like to purchase the Vietnamese coffee packages as they have sugar and cream already mixed in the packages.


We kept it fairly simple for lunch. Crackers each day with a variety of toppings we picked out from our local Target store. We bought pepperoni, Laughing Cow spreadable cheese (they don’t need to be refrigerated and are shelf stable) and single serving packets of peanut butter.

These lunches were about 350 calories each person.


For dinner, I used a 10 servings tin of Mountain House Rice & Chicken as a base for each night. Again, the calories listed below are for 2 people. Using ideas from I made the following meals:

  1. Regular Rice and Chicken with 1/2 cup of dehydrated vegetables from our garden and 1 tsp of chia seeds. 560 calories.
  2. Fiesta Rice and Chicken using the recipe from the yummy life. This one was Louis’s favorite. 610 calories.
  3. Curry Rice with Chicken and Cashews. I didn’t have cashews at home so I replaced it with pine nuts, also turned out to be very tasty. About 760 calories.P1080362


  1. KIND bars. I used‘s recipe and made my own coconut and almond KIND bars. The instructions on her website is really great, my only comments are:
    1. the 260F temperature takes awhile to get to, I had to turn the eat on my stove on the lowest setting in order for it to reach that temperature.
    2. Use cooking spray to coat the container, I used oil the first time and it did not work.P1080132
  2. Jif To Go Creamy Peanut Butter – my favorite is the chocolate flavor. They make for an excellent desert too.
  3. CLIF Shot Bloks – even though these guys aren’t the most economical option. I find they are delicious when hiking and it gives a nice sugar boost.



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