3 DIY Backpacking Meals for Your Next Trip Off the Grid

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Rebecca Parsons

Backpacking is the perfect escape. There’s no better way to leave behind the stresses of daily life than spending a few days on the trails with family, friends, a furry companion, or even on your own.

While time in the backcountry is the ultimate way to de-stress, planning and prepping for the trip can often lead to some anxiety. One of the biggest challenges of getting ready for a backpacking trip is planning out your meals.

Many people opt for pre-packaged meals from the store, but preparing meals yourself can save a lot of money, cut down on your plastic usage, and often even taste better.

Here, we’ve rounded up three meals that are easy to prepare, call for simple ingredients, and are tried-and-true delicious options for your next backpacking trip.

Chicken and Vegetable Cous Cous

cous cous
Rebecca Parsons

Ingredients:

– 1/3 cup cous cous

– 1/3 cup freeze-dried chopped chicken (omit for vegetarian)

– 1/2 cup freeze-dried mixed vegetables

– 1 tbsp. dried onion flakes

– 1 1/2 tsp. chicken bouillon granules (omit for vegetarian)

– 1/4 tsp. dried thyme

– 1/4 tsp. dried sage

– 1/4 tsp. garlic powder

– 1/8 tsp. ground black pepper

– 1/4 tsp. salt

– 1 1/2 cups hot water

Cooking Directions:

At Home: Add all ingredients (except water) to a reusable quart-sized freezer bag. Seal bag and store until ready to use.

To Cook: Bring water to a boil and carefully pour into bag (pro tip: rest bag between two rocks). Seal bag and let soak for 9 minutes, turning bag upside down after 3-4 minutes to redistribute and mix ingredients. Open, and eat directly from the bag.

Curry Rice with Chicken and Cashews

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Rebecca Parsons

Ingredients:

– 2/3 cups instant brown rice

– 1 tsp. chia seeds or ground flaxseed (optional)

– 1/4 cup freeze-dried chopped chicken (omit for vegetarian)

– 1/4 cup chopped roasted cashews

– 1/4 cup freeze-dried mixed vegetables

– 1 tsp. dried onion flakes

– 1 1/2 tsp. chicken bouillon granules (omit for vegetarian)

– 1 1/2 tsp. curry powder

– 1/4 tsp. garlic powder

– 1/8 tsp. ground black pepper

– 1/4 tsp. salt

– 1 1/2 cups hot water

Follow same cooking directions as above.

Creamy Chicken Alfredo

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Rebecca Parsons

Ingredients:

– 1 cup angel hair pasta

– 1/4 cup freeze-dried chopped chicken (omit for vegetarian)

– 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

– 1/4 cup freeze-dried chopped mushrooms

– 1 1/2 tsp. chicken bouillon granules (omit for vegetarian)

– 3 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese (the dried, unrefrigerated type in a can)

– 2 tbsp. powdered milk

– 2 tbsp. corn starch

– 3/4 tsp. dried Italian herb blend

– 1/4 tsp. garlic powder

– 1/8 tsp. ground black pepper

– 1/4 tsp. salt

– 1 1/4 cups hot water

Follow same cooking directions as above.

As always, it is important to follow “leave no trace” principles when backpacking. Whatever your pack in, pack it out and leave the area better than you found it.

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