Best Backpacking Breads

I know it’s a sin, but I love carbs. The thought of going a day without bread is a sad one for me. Finding the right bread to take backpacking can be a bit of a challenge – but it’s not stopped me yet.

Backcountry ovens work well for car camping and canoe trips; a little too heavy though for backpacking. Photo: M.Kopp

Flatbreads such as tortillas, pita and naan are great backpacking breads. Heavy rye bread seems to fair well too.  Bagels are quite dense and resist squishing and if you buy popular store brands with lots of preservatives, they last forever on the trail. Not sure what that means for your insides, but then again carb-lovers can’t be too choosy.

A tasty favourite among backpackers is Logan Bread – energy-packed, dense bread that holds up well on the trail.  Invented in the 1950’s and named for Mt. Logan (Canada’s highest peak at 5959 m – or 19 551 ft), there are countless variations for making this hearty fare.

Basic ingredients usually include whole wheat flour, brown sugar, powdered milk, baking powder, eggs, dried fruit and nuts. Most recipes call for molasses and oil too, but it seems to be a matter of personal taste.

Here is a recipe for Logan Bread adapted from Carol Hodgins book, Wanapitei Canoe Trippers’ Cookbook  – an excellent resource for meal and snack ideas while outdoors:

1 c  white flour 
1 c  whole wheat flour                                                     
1 c  rolled oats 
½ c  brown sugar                 
2 tsp baking powder           
1 tsp  baking soda               
1 tsp cinnamon
1 c  margarine
¾ c  dried cranberries                                                     
½ c  pecans
½ c  honey
¼ c  molasses
½ c  oil
3 eggs                                       
1 c milk         

Mix dry ingredients and work in margarine. Add cranberries and pecans. Mix in honey, molasses, oil, eggs and milk. Bake in a greased pan at 350 F for 45 minutes. If you prefer a drier version of this bread, bake at 300 F for one hour.

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