Stove-Free Backpacking Menu Ideas

I’m not a huge fan of backpacking without a stove, mainly because I hike a lot in the mountains where the motto is: “If you don’t like the weather, wait 5 minutes.”

To say the least, mountain weather is unpredictable. Storms gather without warning and snow can fall any one of the 12 months of the year.  Warm beverages and hot meals can be life-savers. 

Mountain weather: one minute nice, next not! (Photo: B.Kopp)

That being said, there are certain hiking areas where the rain, if it falls, doesn’t chill you to the bone. For those places, you might want to try a trip without a stove. Here are three days worth of meal ideas to help you test the waters.


  1. Great-ola: granola with powdered milk.
  2. Easy-Peasy Cheesy Bagels: bagels with cream cheese (try flavored cream cheeses).
  3. Peanut-Chocolate Delight: English muffins with peanut butter and nutella.


  1. Terrific Tuny Wrap: tuna wraps made with package tuna, single serving mayo packet, whole wheat tortillas.
  2. Protein & Carbs: beef jerky, smoked gouda cheese and crackers.
  3. Panini Perfection: pesto sauce and Monterey Jack cheese on panini bread.


  1. Veggie Delite: dried hummous (rehydrated) and veggies (carrots, red pepper, cucumber) with pita bread.
  2. Supreme Salad: salad rolls made with rice paper, rice vermicelli, carrots, red pepper, green onion, canned chicken and served with peanut dipping sauce.
  3. Chowing Down on Chicken: chicken wraps made with package chicken, single serving mayo packet, salsa, whole wheat tortillas.


  1. Plenty Full: Energy bars
  2. Plain Good: GORP
  3. Definitely Decadent: Dried fruit and dark chocolate

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