Food ideas for Day hiking dates.

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Home Forums General Forums Food, Hydration, and Nutrition Food ideas for Day hiking dates.

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    Russell Lawson
    BPL Member


    Locale: Olympic Mts.

    Hello, Looking for creative mobile picnic ideas on fancy, out of the box trail recipes that don’t fit the need to cram calories per ounce or cook times under 10minutes, as it’s for day hikes and overnighters.  So far I’ve mastered making sushi rice in my 550ml with rehydrated mushroom, cucumber and greenonion rolled in a nori sheet.  Typical gorp and chocolate. I’m not big on sweet personally, but trying to figure out if I can cook a dessert in my 550ml.  Any other savory ideas appreciated as well!

    Thankful for any input!

    BPL Member


    Locale: Virgo Supercluster

    Savory?  Go traditional: quality dried meats, aged cheeses (softer in hot weather), fresh breads.  There’s little better on a long dayhike than salumi (capocallo!), some decent brie or a younger cheddar, and a baguette.  We don’t do dessert that often, but a simple dark chocolate and a nip of scotch are welcome in the evenings.

    matthew k


    I have a friend that is a wildlife biologist who has spent a lot of time outdoors (including camping for months on research projects). She says she can live for weeks off of three ingredients: baguette, brie and avocado.

    BPL Member


    Locale: Front Range

    Dessert idea: PUDDING. Soak chia seed (experiment at home for amounts and time). If you don’t mind carrying the weight, soak in coconut milk, almond milk, etc, or add coconut milk powder. Hot water helps the coconut milk powder dissolve more easily. Add sweetener–as much or as little as you like. (Honey packets, maple syrup in small squeeze packages like energy gels come in, or similar are easy to carry or just use sugar). Add flavor (vanilla extract, cinnamon, toasted coconut, blueberries, chocolate powder, etc etc).

    I am sure there are official recipes all over the internet, maybe even on BPL.


    Edited to remove underlining which showed up as code.

    BPL Member


    In terms of dates, picking up take out from some highly sought after restaurant/food truck from somewhere in the city and hiking it in has had the most success for me.

    I have also re-packaged frozen salmon in a double layer of aluminum foil with lemon, olive oil, garlic seasoning, etc and carried that bundle in a ziplock bag letting it thaw as I hiked. The campsites had cast iron ovens and we used our stove for the fire source cooking the fish in the foil bundle on top of the oven; would have worked even better with a lightweight fry pan and lid.

    BPL Member


    Real food. Always. Cheese, salami, tortillas, fruits and nuts. Bars and goo are gross. If you wouldn’t choose to eat it at home why would you take it on the trail?

    David Thomas
    BPL Member


    Locale: North Woods. Far North.

    I met my wife on a “Gourmet backpacking trip” – she brought a chocolate fondue and I brought ice cream sundaes (using dry ice for the ice cream).  And I catered a wedding on top of Half Dome once.

    High quality crackers and then, yeah, as JCH and Bonzo mention, high-quality cheeses and meats – soft cheeses on a day hike, hard cheeses for overnight trips.  Meats – just sliced turkey and roast beef – keep a day or two just fine at modest temperatures and salami and prosciutto last a long time.  If you accept a bit more weight, look to classics like prosciutto and melon or pairing pear or apple varieties with medium cheeses.

    Polycarbonate wine glasses are light.  Decanting wine or liquor into PET soda bottles cuts the weight in half going in (by avoiding the glass bottle) and by almost 100% while hiking out.  Decanting very cold champagne gently into pop bottles preserves the carbonation and the whole container (champange in PET bottle) can be then be frozen and serve as cooling for other courses – like the smoked salmon and hazelnut-chocolate-torte wedding cake on Half Dome.

    Jacob’s idea of hiking to a nice restaurants was tongue-in-cheek, but we did that on our honeymoon in Italy using a guidebook, “Walking and Eating in Tuscany and Umbria” that detailed hikes through hills, orchards and vinyards that ended at nice bistros and cafes.  Lots of hilltops in Germany and Switzerland have cafes with latte bars, certainly beer and wine, sometimes more.  At one refugio in the Italian Alps we stayed at, you could camp in the meadow and make your own ramen, but we went with the meal plan and had 4-course dinners.

    Sarah Kirkconnell
    BPL Member


    Locale: Homesteading On An Island In The PNW

    For desserts? Pack in something you like, or make something pretty but easy. You can make instant pudding (with full fat dry milk) and chill it in a stream (in a Ziploc bag) then serve it with gourmet chocolate and berries (packed in or picked in camp), even served in the tiny graham cracker crusts found in 6 packs at the store. I’ve packed in ice cream as well on ice. Then used the ice water to drink (2 Ziploc bags).

    Rick Reno
    BPL Member


    Locale: White Mountains, mostly.

    Dessert? You gotta try Backpackers Pantry freeze-dried creme brulee. Just sump in some water, stir, wait ten minutes, and BAM!  There’s even crunchy sugar stuff to pour on top and it’s wicked good. Honest! Rei has them for $6.


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