Good backpacking meals are few and far between, but lightweight backpacking meals are even harder to find. As backpackers, we know the importance of having lightweight gear and meals, but it can be hard to find meals that taste good, fill you up, and weigh less than your average plate. Finding the best backpacking meals for your backpacking trips seems easy enough, but for those of you who go on extended backpacking trips, you’ll have to focus on the weight of each meal and not just the taste or look of them. Here are a few of the qualities you should look for when choosing the best meals for your next backpacking trip:
Package Size: The size of each package is important as you’ll be packing as much food, water, and clothing as possible into your backpack. The smaller the package the better, but not every compact meal makes a great meal. Package size is great to keep in mind, but there are a few other things to worry about, too!
Pieces: Inside some backpacking bundles, you’ll find an assortment of meals. Buying a bundle helps you save money, but you never want to get so many you can’t eat them before their expiration. Find a bundle that matches up with your specific backpacking needs!
Flavor: Flavor is probably the most important quality you look for every time you buy a backpacking meal. From Thai food to Mac and Cheese, you’ll have a ton of options to choose from when you start looking for meals.
Shelf Life: How long will the food actually last? We all like to be prepared when out in the backcountry, but sometimes we don’t get to every meal we bought. Look for the expiration or shelf life date to help you better prepare and avoid waste.
Weight: Weight is a key characteristic when backpacking for several days at a time. Too much weight will leave you bent over after your trek, so minimizing as many pounds as possible is your best bet.
Add Water: Just add water! Many backpacking meals require you to add water, while others don’t. If you’ll have access to plenty of water during your trip, this shouldn’t be a problem. But if not, focus on getting meals that can be opened and ready to eat!
We’ve done all the research to help you find the best tasting and lightweight backpacking meals out there. Keep trekkin’ on to see what backpacking meals made our backpacking meal buying guide! If you’re short on time, no worries! Start with our Top Pick and Budget Pick first, then come back when you have more time!