Food is an important part of any outdoor adventure, particularly those where you spend the night outdoors. There are actually quite a few options available to you when you go hiking, as far as hiking food goes, and you certainly don't have to stick to the staples of outdoor food, like energy bars. But then there's nothing wrong with the staples either. But depending on what kind of cooking equipment you are taking, you can actually get fairly gourmet with your hiking food.
Hiking FoodAll the best hiking food, broken down by meal time.
Hiking Food - BreakfastMost people probably wont want to get too fancy when it comes to breakfast in the outdoors. A couple handfuls of granola or trail mix suffices for many people. But if you are willing to turn that stove on and heat some water, you definitely have a few options available to you.
A hot cup of coffee or tea should be near the top of anyone's breakfast list. Oatmeal is another popular outdoor staple that is both easy to make and tasty in the morning. You can mix your own, or just as easily get some premixed oatmeal that just requires hot water. And just because you're in the outdoors, that does not mean that staples of home, like eggs and bacon, are not an option.
Hiking Food - LunchIf you're on the trail and racking up miles you may not want to spend too much time on lunch. For most people, a quick pit stop and snack are sufficient for lunch.
Trail mix is always good at lunch. It's quick, filling and tasty, depending on what kind you get. If you want to supplement that, dried fruit goes well with trail mix, as does jerky. And if you don't have time to stop and want to eat on the go, Clifbars are always an option.
Hiking Food - DinnerDinner is always the most important meal when you find yourself in the outdoors. You've just put in a long day of hiking, and you want something hot and filling to relax with. At the same time, you don't want to spend a lot of time putting something elaborate together. Single pot meals are always ideal when it comes to hiking food.
The staple for trail food at dinner is pasta, or some variation on the dehydrated noodles and sauce theme. Dried noodles are lightweight, take very little time to make and are just about impossible to ruin. They're also extremely filling, which is an important criteria when hiking. And you can do a lot of things with the sauce to give some variety. Something like pesto, for instance, is lightweight and tasty, and different enough from what you normally get to keep things interesting.
Of course if all you can be bothered to do is heat water, there is always the meal in a pouch option. Tasty variations like Beef Stroganoff, Pasta Primevera and Santa Fe Chicken are all easy, tasty and filling.
And there is always desert in a pouch for after dinner if you're so inclined.