Food on the Trail

I had a request from Rae to show what my mum and I ate on our recent backpacking trip that I made these energy bars for. Our trip was five days long and we dehydrated most of our lunches and dinners, as store-bought backpacking food has a lot of added junk and has a very small selection of our allergy-friendly food. I thought that I would breakdown our meal plan for inspiration to other gluten free backpackers and provide a few things we learned about dealing with dehydrated food.

Note: All recipes were taken and/or adapted from A Fork in the Trail.


Everyday we had cooked cereal with nuts and ripped up Sun-Rype fruit source bars and Kettle Valley dried fruit bars.


Day 1 – We brought sandwiches from home

Day 2 – We had carrots, green beans and almond butter and marmalade sandwiches.

Day 3 – Almond butter and marmalade sandwiches with carrot-cabbage slaw with dried apples and almonds.

Day 4 – Almond butter with marmalade on Gluten Free Crispbread (from Sweden) with carrot-cabbage slaw with dried cranberries and toasted almonds.

Day 5 – Almond butter with marmalade on Gluten Free Crispbread (from Sweden) with carrot-brocolli slaw with raisins and sunflower seeds.


Day 1 – Freybe European Wieners (pre-cooked) on toast with carrots and green beans.

Day 2 – Hungarian Goulash with brown rice noodles.

Day 3 – Italian sausage with peppers and mushrooms with brown rice noodles.

Day 4 – Cuban pork stew with rice and banana crisps.

(Sorry for the poor picture quality – I was very hungry and didn’t check whether to see if it was blurry or not!)

Of course, we had our granola bars for our daily celebratory afternoon snack!

What we learned:

(You can learn about food dehydration basics here and here.)

  • The breakfasts ended up being very heavy, so for future trips we are planning on using dehydrated fruit instead of dried fruit bars.
  • Add the cereal to the water at the beginning instead of once the water is boiling to save on fuel.
  • Grated carrots and shredded cabbage dehydrate and rehydrate really well. Using sliced carrots took a while to cut up and rehydrate.
  • With sauces you have to be a bit more careful about how much water you add (you don’t want tomato soup!) but with salads, it is easy to drain off excess water.
  • Dehydrating and rehydrating meat takes longer than sauces or vegetables. It’s easier to deal with and cuts down cooking times if the meat is dehydrated on a separate tray from the sauce and if you start rehydrating  it with cold water by adding it enough water to the ziploc bag it is in to cover the meat at the beginning of the day. Make sure that you double or triple bag it so that it doesn’t leak into the rest of your bag!
  • Don’t cook normal rice. Noodles are so much easier, take much less time to cook and don’t burn to the bottom of your pot.
  • Food for Life Rice Bread, though very tasty, is very heavy. Since it’s about 2lbs/loaf you can easily add a lot of additional weight to your trip. Instead, use crackers or make your own pan-fried biscuits. (For her latest trip, my mum  made pan-cooked hazelnut-rice biscuits for lunch.)

Do you have any food advice for backpacking regarding gluten free foods or how to manage the weight of your food? If so, I’d love to hear it!


Filed under Food, Life, Photography

6 responses to “Food on the Trail

  1. This is impressive! Can I get in line to be taken along on your next backpacking trip?!? 😀

  2. Rae

    Maybe I’m crazy, or you just take great pictures, but that all looks really good! Thanks for sharing what you learned.

  3. Hi there… sounds like you had a great trip and I am glad you enjoyed the food. It’s nice to see the feedback about the recipes too. I notice that you are using gluten-free ingredients and you might be happy to know that I have a second book coming out in 2011 called Another Fork in the Trail. It is a vegan/vegetarian book with emphasis on gluten free as well. That said, one can always add meat. Anyway, if you’d like me to send you a few recipes just drop me a line through the email on my website.

    Happy Hiking!
    Laurie Ann

  4. Christine!
    Thanks so much for sharing this post with me! I am still in the process of completing my backpacking recipes….slowly but surely! We are also training a bit by carrying our packs (with weight) on short hikes whenever we can. Good times! Hopefully soon I will get around to posting a few of my recipes – busy times! Thanks again!

  5. Pingback: Another Backpacking Trip to Remember | Without Adornment

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