Nothing beats being on a trail in the backcountry taking in all the fresh air, natural beauty and enjoying the escape from otherwise busy and hectic city life. Part of enjoying your walk is making sure your body is fully energized. This means filling up on some tasty gluten-free backpacking meals which you can enjoy while taking a rest on your backpacking chair.
These are 10 gluten-free backpacking food ideas. But first…
Why gluten-free foods?
If you have celiac and your body simply cannot tolerate gluten, or even if you are slightly sensitive, the last thing you need when you are out in the backcountry is a reaction from eating food that has gluten.
Cutting back on gluten doesn’t have to mean giving up on your backcountry adventures. There are plenty of options out there on gluten-free backpacking foods. These are packed with energy and will keep you well-nourished and on the trail.
You must learn how to pack your food before heading out on the trail. Not only will this ensure that you have sufficient food, but you are also able to keep the smell of food from attracting wild animals. The camping and backpacking food storage guide will teach you everything you need to know.
It may seem like the most daunting task when trying to find the best gluten-free food for backpacking. Before the existence of easily packaged gluten-free backpacking meals, the only choice most people had was to prepare their meals and pack them.
Now there are plenty of companies that make gluten-free backpacking foods such as scrambled eggs with bacon from Mountain House or Buffalo Cranberry Jerky bites from Tanka. These need to be filling as being on the trail can take a lot of your energy and leave you hungry.
One thing about packing almonds is that they are super nutritious. An ounce of almonds packs a heavy punch with up to 6 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber. Even better is that almonds are good for the heart.
The fiber in the almonds makes them a great choice when you need to stay energized for a long time. The protein helps to rebuild the muscles that break during serious backpacking. This helps you recover faster.
But that is not where the benefits end. Almonds are highly versatile. Whether you plan on adding them to oatmeal or your trail mix, they remain a great and reliable choice for many backpackers.
2. Red Lentils
This is a different variant of lentils that is packed full of protein. Each quarter cup of red lentils provides 13 grams of protein. They are also rich in fiber which means you will stay full for longer.
Red lentils require about 15 minutes to cook on the backpacking stove. They are an excellent source of protein after a long day on the trail.
3. Chia seeds
When you are on that trail, it’s important to ensure that your body receives its essential nutrients. Chia seeds provide omega 3 fatty acids, protein as well as fiber. Chia seeds also come loaded with other essential nutrients as well as plenty of antioxidants.
Your body is going to take a lot of pressure as you go backpacking. Chia seeds are a great way to help the body recover faster.
Quinoa should be on your list of the best backpacking foods for several reasons. Quinoa is one of the few foods that have all the amino acids and thus provides the body with all of the amino acids that it requires.
What’s more, is that this great backpacking food also provides the body with complex carbohydrates. This gives you long term fuel and energy which you need when walking the trail.
5. Peanut butter
Peanut butter is a favorite of many backpackers. One of its main benefits is that while not just being gluten-free, peanut butter is a versatile type of food. It is rich in protein and fat. And these fats are the healthy kind and provide your body with hours of energy.
Peanut butter can be added to different types of food. If you don’t want to spend time preparing a meal, simply take a spoon and eat it straight from the container.
Preparing your meals
Sometimes you may simply prefer preparing your meals when you are out backpacking. These simple and delicious gluten-free backpacking foods provide lots of energy.
6. Honolulu curry
Your taste buds will love this. Honolulu curry is simple to prepare and takes around 20 minutes. What’s more is that Honolulu curry is full of healthy nutrients providing the body with carbohydrates, proteins, sodium, and fat.
Before heading out, ensure that these are mixed and stored in a freezer bag and that the packed food fits nicely in your backpacking backpack.
When backpacking and you feel like you need to fill up on your energy reserves, simply add the mixture in 1 cup water and place it on medium heat. Let the food boil. Stir for around 10 minutes and remove the meals.
7. Smoked salmon and potato pancakes
Note that preparing this delicious meal will take some time. Once ready, however, it is super filling and delicious. Start by grating potatoes. You might need to use around 9 average-sized potatoes.
Grating the potatoes in very small sizes means that they will cook faster. It also keeps them from falling apart.
Drain any extra fluid once you are done grating the potatoes. Take 2 eggs and beat lightly. Add in a bit of salt to the eggs, a small onion, and a handful of oats. Mix the ingredients with the potatoes.
8. Cheese sticks
If you are searching for a great bang for your buck, then try cheese sticks. They are energy-dense and full of protein. What’s more, cheese sticks have a super high calorie-to-weight ratio. This means a small pack can provide your body with plenty of calories.
9. Dehydrated refried beans
Beans are a superfood that is rich in carbohydrates, proteins and some trace minerals. When it’s finally time for you to cook your beans, start by boiling water, add some corn chips and then add the dehydrated beans. Stir and make sure that they absorb the water fully.
10. Grass-fed beef sticks
If you are tired of traditional beef jerky, you will enjoy grass-fed beef sticks. They are a great protein and energy source and come spiced. When you want to munch on something as you walk the trail, these are a great choice.
What to look for in Gluten-free backpacking foods
Whether you’ve decided to cook your gluten-free backpacking meals or you prefer to buy dried meals, there are several factors that you need to consider.
Simple to cook
Some people will view preparing meals when backpacking as pain due to the processes of setting up the stove and cooking. Other people simply don’t like cleaning the dishes when out in the woods. Many people, therefore, will prefer non-cook meals.
Cooking from home
If you prefer preparing your meals at home, make sure that they are simple to pack and carry and when its finally time to warm them, this should also be quick and easy to do.
When it’s time to have your meals, reheating them should be hassle-free. However, food must remain safe to eat. One of the ways to make sure that this happens is by letting the food cool down completely and then putting it in the fridge.
Some areas will have more water available than others and this can influence the type, as well as the amount of food and weight that you will carry.
Not only should the food be easy to prepare, but it also needs to be nutrient-dense. Walking takes a lot of your energy and the average person can burn as much as 2500 calories when walking a trail that is 5 miles long.
Your body should, therefore, be well energized to be up for the task. You can consume enough calories in the form of carbohydrates, fats, and protein.
Make sure that the food you bring doesn’t wear you down. Prioritize on nutrient density as you can pack a small amount of food that will provide you with all the nutrients that you will need when backpacking.
You must have fun even when you are backpacking. The last thing you want is food that doesn’t taste good. Ensure that you carry food that you love to eat.
Some gluten-free backpacking meals will take longer than others to cook. You must have the fuel for cooking your meals depending on how long it will take. The best backpacking stove will have enough fuel to last you the trip.
Note that frozen, dried and canned foods can be quite costly. However, sometimes you may be so tired and weary that you don’t have the energy to cook. When you need something to eat fast, then the cost is justifiable.
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There are plenty of different options for backpackers when it comes to the food they can carry. While it might seem like a hard task to find the best gluten-free backpacking food, it is simple once you focus on nutrient density, lightweight and simple to prepare.
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- Best Gluten-free backpacking foods, hiking-for-her.com