On-Trail Comfort Food
While these meals won’t live up your mom's apple pie or great grandma’s mac and cheese, they’re easy to make and comforting enough to make anywhere on the trail feel like home.
By Brittany Manwill
When the winter elements are hostile, it’s nice to have a warm, homey meal to fuel your body and boost your spirts. While these meals won’t live up your mom's apple pie or great grandma’s mac and cheese, they’re easy to make and comforting enough to make anywhere on the trail feel like home.
DIY: Pocket Holiday Dinner
Sure, the holidays are over. But nothing says comfort food like a big turkey dinner, especially in the middle of winter. While this recipe is more prep-heavy than typical backcountry meals, it’s a heck of a lot easier than cooking a whole holiday meal at home.
- 1 canister crescent rolls
- 2 oz freeze-dried turkey, chicken, or your favorite protein
- 2 oz freeze-dried mixed veggies (potatoes, peas, carrots, etc.)
- 1 packet powdered-gravy mix
Cook the gravy according to directions, then stir in an additional 2 ounces of water. Add the freeze-dried meat and vegetables. Cook until tender, adding more water if necessary. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Lay out crescent roll triangles and scoop filling on top. Fold the dough around the filling, overlapping and enclosing the mixture within. Cook on a preheated pan over the stove for about 5 minutes, flipping once halfway through.
Thai Kitchen - Instant Rice Noodle Soup
The sniffles hit big time during winter, and nothing eases a cold like a steamy bowl of brothy soup. These Thai rice noodle packets are an easy and budget-friendly upgrade from poorcollege-student Top Ramen. They come in several flavors, including spring onion, garlic and vegetable, and Thai ginger. While they’re less nutrient-dense than other quick meals, each packet only weighs 1.6 ounces, so it’s easy to pack more than one. Or bulk them up by bringing your favorite add-ins. Contains one 170-calorie serving. Available at most grocery stores. $1
Mountain House - Beef Stew
For many, a juicy slow-cooked roast is the ultimate comfort food—good for the body and the soul. So, if pot roast is your idea of comfort food, Mountain House’s freeze-dried beef stew might be your best option. This old standby is a longtime favorite among hikers. After adding boiling water, the savory meat, potatoes and veggies are ready to eat in about 15 minutes. Contains 2.5 210 calorie servings. Available from Mountain House. $10
Backpacker's Pantry - Charros Beans & Rice
Gotta love Mexican food in the backcountry. Not only is it delicious, but beans and rice contain all the essential amino acids that make up a perfect protein. Try Backpacker’s Pantry Charros Beans & Rice. Just add water, let sit and serve. Pack a few tortillas, the ultimate no-smush bread, and roll up a few burritos for a plate-free option. This one is quick, hearty and vegan. Contains two 400-calorie servings. Available at REI. $6.5