How to Do Easy Meal Prep for Backpacking

No dehydrator? No problem! Here’s an easy-prep, minimal waste, plant-based meal plan that can be adapted for more days – or varied diets – on the trail. I’ll show you how to pack and make three full meals: Trail Mix Oatmeal, Peanut Noodles, and Couscous with Lentils. Let’s cook! Disclaimer: I am not a chef, a cook, or a nutritionist. I just like food. Eat at your own risk.

My stove:
My bowl:
My spork:
Stasher Bags:
Mini Nalgenes:
Bear Canisters:

Oatmeal: Small Stasher Bag
1 cup Quick Rolled Oats
2 tbsp Brown Sugar
¼ tsp Cinnamon

Trail Mix: Small Stasher Bag
1 cup Trail Mix of choice
¼ cup Pepitas
¼ cup Dried Cranberries
¼ cup Chocolate Chunks
¼ cup Coconut Flakes

Pasta: Medium Stasher Bag
1.5 cup Penne Pasta

Snack Bag: Medium Stasher Bag
12 p. Dried Mango
8 p. Dried Ginger
1 cup Banana Chips
¼ cup Peanuts or Cashews (raw, roasted, or salted – up to you!)

Couscous: Medium Stasher Bag
2 cup Couscous, dry

Lentils and Vegetables: Medium Stasher Bag
1 cup Lentils, Red Split or Quick Cooking
1 cup Dried Vegetables (veggies only, no beans)
1 tbsp Curry Powder of choice
1 tsp Red Chili Flakes

Peanut Butter Powder: 2oz Nalgene
¼ cup Peanut Butter Powder

Oil: 2oz Nalgene
¼ cup Olive or Avocado Oil

Soy Sauce: 2oz Nalgene
¼ cup Tamari, Soy Sauce, or Liquid Aminos

(opt.) Crispy Onion: 2oz Nalgene
¼ cup Crispy onion, fried onion, or other topping

1. Add ¾ cup pasta and 1.5 – 2 cups of water (more if you like thinner oatmeal or a big mug of coffee) to a pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and let simmer for 8 minutes or until pasta is al dente.
2. Turn off heat and strain water out of pot and into coffee cup. Leave the noods in the pot and cover to stay warm.
3. OATMEAL: Add ½ cup of oatmeal and ½ – 1 cup of the hot starch water to a bowl with a lid. Cover, and let sit for 5 minutes or until oats have absorbed all the water. Add instant coffee or tea to the remaining water in your cup and enjoy some caffeine while you wait!
4. Once oats are cooked, add trail mix. I tend to add around ¼ cup of mix-ins.
5. Eat, enjoy, and camp clean your bowl.
6. NOODLES: Add cooked noodles, 2 tbsp powdered peanut butter and 2 tbsp soy sauce to your bowl. Mix. Add oil to taste – around 1 tbsp. OPT: add crispy onions and peanuts. If you have red pepper flakes, add these too. Cover and store until lunch.

1. Bring 2 cups water and ½ cup of lentil and vegetable mix to a boil. Cover, and simmer for 5 – 7 minutes or until lentils are mostly cooked. If you have a sensitive stomach or want softer lentils, cook for longer – up to 15 minutes.
2. Turn off heat and add ½ cup of couscous. Stir, cover, and wait 10 minutes. Crack a beer!
3. Once couscous has cooked, add oil to taste. Eat and enjoy!

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