Backpacking meals are fun to plan, but lunch can be the hardest. Stopping is hard to justify on long days. And eating too much can leave you looking for a nap, rather than going. It’s too easy to eat a steady diet of energy bars, nuts, maybe gorp, dried fruit or even junky bags of cookies. But there are times stopping is worthy, like if it is cold out, a warm meal can make the difference. Impress a hiking partner? When you have children along, and they like to take breaks often. Those trips when the miles are short, but the views are amazing.
Vegetarian Dayhiker’s Picnic is made to impress. While not designed for long trips, such as a week long backpacking trip, for the first day in, you will eat like royalty! Honey Roasted Almonds, Cheery Cherry Pasta Salad & Fudgy Brownies.
Herbed Tomato Couscous Salad – a vegetarian no-cook lunch. You can make it at breakfast or break time even, and carry it in your pack to enjoy later. Great with crunchy crackers. It also makes a great “emergency” meal if you like having an extra day of food for backpacking.
Buffalo Chicken Wraps – This meal requires a quick boil of water, but if you have a scenic vista or time to spare, it’s worth it.
Spring Pasta Salad – No-cook lunch, you can use both regular ramen (which is fried) or baked. You can also use instant packets of rice noodle ramen instead, however you will need to soak it in warm water as noted on the package. While the lunch is vegetarian, it goes well with shelf stable pepperoni minis or cheese diced up.
Asian Chicken Slaw Wraps – Crunchy and quick to make, the filling is also great to eat without wraps as well! Broccoli slaw mix carries well in your pack, and can last up to 3 days backpacking, unless it is really hot out (it will wilt). If you have peanut allergies, try sunbutter or soy butter instead!