Ultralight Backpacking Recipes


Does this sound familiar?

You’ve tried commercial freeze-dried meals only to be quickly disappointed by the taste, excess sodium, bulky packaging, and not to mention the price. You’d love to give ultralight backpacking recipes a try, but you’re unsure where to start.

Here's the good news...

Preparing DIY backpacking meals using ultralight recipes is easier than you might think. You can be well on your way to enjoying tasty and nutritious homemade meals in only three easy steps.


Choose Ultralight Recipes That Best Meet Your Needs

Here are 9 considerations we use when developing & trail testing our ultralight backpacking recipes.

Optimized for Peak Performance

Our dietitian-created recipes include adequate protein for an endurance athlete and anti-inflammatory ingredients encouraging recovery and reduced soreness.

Ultralight & Low Volume

Calorically dense recipes (>125 calories per ounce) reduce the volume and weight of the food you'll need to consume to meet your nutrition goals.

Bear Canister Friendly

Pliable, low-volume DIY backpacking meals are great for filling in those nooks and crannies. Easily pack a 5-day food supply in what seems like a 3-day supply bear canister using our ultralight recipes.

Quick & Easy to Prepare

You'll be more likely to eat healthier meals if the recipes are quick and easy to prepare at home and on trail. Spend less time in the kitchen and more time outdoors.

Minimal Water

Recipes requiring minimal water for preparation reduce the water weight carried in your pack and the need to camp near a water source.

Fast Prep Time

Our quick-cooking and cold soak ultralight recipes reduce fuel consumption, which reduces money spent on fuel, fuel weight in your pack, and frequency of resupplies to refuel.

High Fiber

Our high-fiber recipes aid in blood sugar management and slow digestion, allowing you to feel satiated for an extended period.

High Fat

DIY recipes with a high-fat content serve as a slow-burning fuel to help sustain your energy level over the day.

Continue Your Home Diet

Hiking puts your body under a significant amount of stress, there's no need to stress your body with unusual foods further. We create recipes similar to what you likely consume daily at home.

These key considerations are the foundation of our ultralight backpacking recipes.

What makes these so important?

Enjoy one of our favorite ultralight backpacking recipes.

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta


Prepare Your DIY Backpacking Meals with Ease

Dry Ingredients Based Recipes

Our dry ingredients-based ultralight recipes are as simple as measuring and adding ingredients to a bag or container used in the backcountry. No mixing bowls, cooking, or dehydrating are required. Clean-up is a breeze!

Grocery Store Friendly Ingredients

Dry ingredients are often found at your local grocery store, ideal for those impromptu backpacking trips. Grocery store bulk bins are a great way to purchase ingredients at a reduced cost.

Freeze-Dried vs Dehydrated Ingredients

Freeze-dried ingredients retain 97% of their nutritional value, whereas dehydrated ingredients can lose up to 50% of their nutritional value. Freeze-dried fruit is often sold in the snack aisle of local grocery and discount stores.

Dehydrating Your Own Ingredients

Our recipes do not require dehydrating ingredients, but it's a great way to keep food on hand year-round. When in season, purchasing and dehydrating produce can significantly reduce the cost of ingredients used in ultralight recipes.

Personal Preferences

Homemade backpacking meals allow you to choose ingredients that best meet your personal needs and diet preferences. For example, the dairy powder can easily be substituted with almond or soy milk powder as a vegan alternative.

Perfect Portions

Homemade backpacking meals allow you to pack the perfect portion size for yourself or your group, and reducing the risk of food waste and having to carry heavy leftovers home in your pack.

Backpacking breakfast recipes don't get any easier than this!

Granola with Milk & Berries


Properly Store Your Backpacking Meals & Reduce Plastic Waste

Short-term Storage

Our backpacking meals can be packaged in zipper-top freezer bags or reusable silicone bags for short-term storage. Such bags are not airtight, which exposes the food to moisture and oxygen from the environment, resulting in mold or bacterial growth.

Long-term Storage

For long-term storage, consider vacuum sealing, heat sealing, or freezing the meals to limit the exposure to moisture and oxygen. Plastic vacuum seal, food-grade mylar, or commercial grade compostable bags are great options for long-term storage. Freezing inhibits the growth of bacteria.

Maximizing Shelf Life

Shelf-life can be further increased by storing meals in a cool, dark, dry location such as a pantry or dark plastic tote. Exposure to sunlight and heat also play a role in the degradation of backpacking meals.

Reducing Plastic Waste

There are several ways to reduce plastic waste when preparing backpacking meals. Use empty bread, English muffin, or rice cake bags for packing trail mix, chips, crackers, etc. Wash and reuse mylar bags that previously held ingredients.​

You're going to love this Foodie fan favorite!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Shake

Ready to start making ultralight backpacking recipes?

here's how we can help

200+ Dietitian-Created Recipes

Automated Backpacking Meal Planner

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