Light weight backpacking lunches?

#1
I'm looking for suggestions for light weight lunches for multi-day backpacking trips. I've tried the little single serving cans of tuna but the weight and bulk add up fast for a multi-day trip. I don't want to cook anything.

I pack light, 23-25lb for a 5 day trip so weight is important. now that I have to use a Bear canister bulk is important as well.

I could fall back on jerky, protein bars and trail mix but as I get older I need the calories a decent lunch provides.

What do you guys do for lunch?

Thanks
BMcF
 

Alex MacDonald

that's His Lordship, to you.....
#2
Take a look at Packit Gourmet. I've had a bunch of their offerings so far (bikepacking "test" mode), and been extremely impressed with both the quality and selection. In addition, their "general grocery" section will allow you to custom tailor your food loadout if you want to actually do cooking rather than pour boiling water into a bag. And speaking of bags, you'll need a long-handled spoon for their foods, if nothing other than for making sure the mixing is done properly. And pop for one of their "cozy" things too. Their gumbo is superb for a hot lunch, but they have things like chicken salad as well.

Within their general grocery category, if you actually want to challenge yourself to cook on the trail, If I were to substitute their freeze-dried chicken for crawfish, I could make chicken etouffee using their supplies. I'd have to bring my own flour, oil & spices, but that's it!
 

Salmo_g

Well-Known Member
#4
Billy,

That's a great question! I've solved my backpacking breakfast and dinner needs with my own sort of instant oatmeal mix and store-bought freeze dried dinners, but not my lunch dilemma. I'm a life-long brown bagger for lunch, so a sandwich has always been my go to. For the last few seasons I carry hard salami, a brick of sharp cheddar, and tortillas or flat bread. Then I have a granola bar and some dried fruit and call that lunch. However, I have a hard time getting my food weight down to the 2 pounds per day goal.

I'm going on a hike in the high Sierra in a couple weeks, and a bear vault is mandatory. Those large foil packages that freeze dried dinners come in won't fit in the BV 500, at least not enough of them. I've read about and intend to transfer freeze dried meals into smaller plastic zip lock bags to get 5 days of food into the BV.

I'd like to hike with Alex, knowing I'd eat well, but I'd want him to carry all the food cuz I don't think his menu choices will meet the 2 pound per day goal either. Having tried the ultra-light hiking alternative, I'm never going back to a large heavy pack and carrying the kitchen sink.

Sg
 

Kilchis

Active Member
#6
When I was out backpacking on my own or herding a scout troop around the mountains my lunches typically involved bagels, peanut butter, homemade sirloin jerky, extra sharp cheddar and maybe some dried fruit. The cheese would last several days without going south if carefully rewrapped each time a slab was removed. (Today the sharpest cheddar I can find is Old Croc from Australia. Good stuff, Maynard!)

A pocket full of Kraft caramels provided energy bursts when sucked on at the rate of 2-3 an hour.

I didn't say it was health food.
 
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JohnB

Active Member
#7
Salmo I don't know the regs on the area you are headed, but consider purchasing an Ursack instead of the Bear Vault. They are way lighter and easier to deal with.
 

Salmo_g

Well-Known Member
#8
Kilchis,

I don't make homemade jerky, but I tried the dried beef steak available at Costco, and it tastes pretty good. I like the Kraft caramels idea.

John,

My daughter has both an Ursack and BV, but I think the USFS and NPS have only approved the BV in the high Sierra.

Sg
 

Alex MacDonald

that's His Lordship, to you.....
#11
I think the USFS and NPS have only approved the BV in the high Sierra.
Sg
First mistake is giving a rat's ass about what the forest "service" OR the park "service" has to say about what you carry into the boonies. Bears were never a problem, and we just hung our supplies with a lightweight line and a stuff sack. has something changed?
 
#13
I grew up back packing in the Stanislaus, Tuolumne, Merced etc areas just outside of Yosemite. We just hung our food bag in a tree. You probably have to worry more about raccoons getting into your chow than you do bears.
 

Salmo_g

Well-Known Member
#14
Alex,

Yes, apparently wilderness rangers actually check packs to make sure hikers are using BVs. And like Freestone says, the bears have become smarter because of so many stupid people. I've never had a bear issue, including camping along bear trails in AK. The mice, chipmunks, and in low elevations, the damn raccoons are the ones that are hard to keep out of the chow.

Sg
 
#15
First mistake is giving a rat's ass about what the forest "service" OR the park "service" has to say about what you carry into the boonies. Bears were never a problem, and we just hung our supplies with a lightweight line and a stuff sack. has something changed?
That worked for me for 40 years but the NFS requires bear canisters in the North Cascades NP. They do have Rangers roaming around the back country checking permits.
 

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