7 DAYS OF LIGHTWEIGHT AND NUTRITIOUS BACKPACKING MEALS
We are a family of avid hikers. With two young kids, we have been doing day hiking trips since the children were old enough to walk. But now the kids are approaching their teens, we have undertaken more and more multi-day hikes. The more they hike, the more they want to hike. So, this year we wanted to find something a bit longer to quench their thirst for hiking.
This year we took on the Cape to Cape track in Western Australia. It took us 7 days. There are organised groups and tour operators which do everything for you but hike, however, for 4 people this can become quite expensive. So, we carried our food with us for the 7 days so we wouldn’t have to worry about finding somewhere to stock up on provisions. This left us free to enjoy the pristine beaches and make the most of the no-fee, basic campsites on offer.
I came up with a week of nutritious, lightweight recipes and portioned them up into ziploc bags, labelled with the days of the week. Each person had their pack of food for the week in a neat and tidy bundle. Many were dried recipes which just required the addition of boiling water, all completely safe to carry without refrigeration, in high daily temperatures.
It was difficult to find enough foods to meet these requirements, while at the same time, giving a variety of tastes and flavours to stop everyone getting bored with the same foods. Here is how I did it.
Breakfast was a packet of instant porridge with a sachet of instant coffee or a tea bag. To give each day a different flavour, I portioned up the porridge in the ziploc bags, then added dried raspberries, dried bananas, some cinnamon, almonds or some raisins. They were a real favourite and provided enough carbohydrates and sugar to give the family enough energy to start the day.
For some protein, I included some small chipolata sausages, the kind you get stuck on cocktail sticks at birthday parties. They don’t require refrigeration and make for a tasty lunch with some crackers. That might not sound like much but you will be surprised how good things taste when you are out there.
Everybody had 2 cereal bars a day for their afternoon snack. There were also small sachets of peanut butter I had made up. We ate this directly out of the bag off our fingers for a quick energy boost. There were also bags of dried fruits and nuts I had made up if anyone needed something extra to get them through until dinner.
Dinner was a dehydrated meal which we brought to life by adding boiling water. I bought some of these online, so I did cheat a little on this one. To save some money I added instant noodles to the bulk before dividing with portions of beef jerky to make sure we wouldn’t wake up in the middle of the night feeling hungry. Beef jerky is always good to have on hand when you are hiking, I consider it an essential.
Hiking and camping are a little bit different. We’re on lean side of life and camping is luxurious for us.
What do you think? What is your favourite hiking meal? Share your thoughts through the comments section below.