Backcountry Grocery Store
If only a backcountry store existed, one that sold dehydrated hamburgers with fries. A gourmet hamburger may be a pipedream on a weekend backpacking trip, but that doesn’t mean you have to eat poorly or purchase pre-made meals. Here is a sample menu of my favorite meals made from grocery store ingredients:
Dinner – Turkey Dinner
Celebrate your arrival into the mountains, onto the trail or even into the parking lot with this simple meal. Mix all ingredients into a bowl and add 1 ¼ C of boiling water, cover and gobble.
- 4 pieces of sliced turkey from the deli
- ½ cup of dried cranberries
- 1 cup of dried mash potatoes
- 1 cup of stuffing
Breakfast – Simple and Clean Oatmeal
Warm your body up with a hot drink and a jazzed up oatmeal blend. Simply boil three cups of water and add to drinks and oatmeal.
Instant coffee or tea
1 C of oatmeal with nuts, dried fruit, hemp seeds, cinnamon and 1/3 C of powdered milk
Lunch – Have a dedicated lunch bag that holds lunch items and snacks. Make sure you pack calorie rich foods that you enjoy and one item you don’t overly enjoy to ensure it remains backup food. Here is what I like to pack:
- Trail mix with nuts
- Hard cheese such as cheddar
- Hearty vegetables, like carrots
- Dried fruit
- Bars (I love Patagonia Provision bars for my fruit intake, Lara and Nature Valley bars)
Dinner – Burritos
I mix Minute Rice and black bean soup, only adding the amount of water it would take to boil rice. I mix in some pre-made fajita mix, chop up a small onion and peppers, add some cheese from my lunch bag and pile them into wraps. Yum.
- 1 cup of Minute Rice
- ½ cup of black bean soup mix
- 1 small onion or shallot
- 2 small baby peppers
- Cheese (from lunch)
- Fajita mix
- 2 wraps
Breakfast – Enjoy the rest of your hot drinks and oatmeal.
Lunch – Same plan as the day before.
Dinner– On most of my weekend trips, I plan on being out of the backcountry by the evening for safety reasons and also for the fact that I can have a meal that I didn’t have to carry on my back. Hamburgers are my favorite off-the-trail meal, as my body craves the calories and protein. If you don’t have the option of a roadside meal, consider having packaged curry meals in the car that just need to be heated up on your stove.
- White gas for stove – To make these meals you will only need 500mls or less of gas
- Plastic baggies – Premake meals and dispose of any bulky packaging, then double bag your meals to avoid a leak, spill or to save leftovers.
- If you don’t have a sturdy dry bag or stuff sack, use one of the grocery store bags to pack everything and keep all your food organized in your backpack.
It’s easy to turn a regular grocery store into your own backcountry restaurant. I hope you enjoy these meals and the special places where you get to eat them!
Leah Evans AGMG Assistant Hiking Guide, Professional Skier