If you’re planning on doing a long hike that requires cooking in the backcountry, it’s likely you already have a few meal plans up your sleeve. While the Internet is a great place to learn about new recipes and outdoor cooking methods, there’s nothing like good old fashioned cookbooks to get your thoughts going. To get some inspiration, every backpacker should have one of these backcountry cookbooks home on a bookshelf or packed inside their bag:
1. Lip-smackin’ Backpackin’: Lightweight Trail-tested Recipes for Backcountry Trips
By: Tim and Christine Connors
The title alone should be enough to want to add this to your wishlist. Tim and Christine Connors actually write a whole set of backcountry cookbooks, from backcountry vegetarian cooking, to just a whole series of recipes. This cookbook in particular has everything you need to make some awesome, “lip-smackin'” meals outdoors. In addition to recipes, you’ll also get nutritional information and tips for long-distance hikers who are looking to spice up their meal choices.
2. Backpack Gourmet: Good Hot Grub You Can Make at Home, Dehydrate, and Pack for Quick, Easy, and Healthy Eating on the Trail
By: Linda Frederick Yaffe
This cookbook is ideal for hikers who don’t like to waste too much time cooking on the trail, and would rather prepare everything beforehand. Linda Frederick Yaffe writes this amazing collection of gourmet recipes you can make at home and dehydrate, so when you’re on the trail you can just add water. Just because these meals save time, doesn’t mean they sacrifice flavor. Plan on making everything from exotic Asian meals to Italian favorites, with only the healthiest ingredients.
3. The Complete Trail Food Cookbook: Over 300 Recipes for Campers, Canoeists and Backpackers
By: Jennifer Mackenzie, Jay Nutt & Don Mercer
This cookbook is great for anyone who just needs some ideas for cooking on the trail. Combining dehydrated meals made at home with store-bought ingredients, hikers can use this cookbook as a guide to making delicious and wholesome meals. Some recipes in this cookbook include Vanilla Cinnamon French Toast, Just-Add-Water Hummus, and Cheese and Herb Skillet Biscuits. Yum.
4. Another Fork in the Trail: Vegetarian and Vegan Recipes for the Backcountry
By: Laurie Ann March
Cooking on the trail isn’t so hard when you’re able to eat just about anything. But, when you have dietary restrictions as a vegetarian or vegan, backcountry cooking can be a lot more difficult. Luckily, this amazing cookbook by Laurie Ann March is just for the vegans and vegetarians out there who are in search of good recipes. There are gluten-free recipes as well.
5. Supermarket Backpacker
By: Harriet Barker
This one is definitely an oldie, but a good one. Backpackers for decades have relied on this cookbook back when there wasn’t a lot of information out there. Sometimes, going with the original way is the best way. After all, isn’t your great-grandma’s recipe better than anything you can find online? Of course it is. Though it might not be quite a cookbook, it has everything you need to know about buying and cooking staple ingredients for the trail.
6. Cooking the One-Burner Way: Everything The Backcountry Chef Needs To Know
By: Buck Tilton
For backpackers who love cooking on their portable stoves but wish they knew more recipes than just the plain pasta dishes, this one is for you. Cooking the One Burner Way has over 150 recipes for you to try on your favorite outdoor cooking gadget. Some of the recipes are simple and some are more elaborate, but they can all be done on one burner. Genius!
7. Recipes for Adventure: Healthy, Hearty and Homemade Backpacking Recipes
By: Chef Glenn McAllister
Every backpacker knows how important it is to have hearty meals for the trail. With all the energy you’ll be using each day, backpackers need to increase the amount of calories they’ll be eating. Chef Glenn McAllister knows all about that, and wants to make it easier for backpackers to cook wholesome meals. This cookbook has over 75 recipes with step-by-step guides and pictures. It will teach techniques for making trail food that’s healthy, simple, delicious, and cheap.
8. Freezer Bag Cooking: Trail Food Made Simple
By: Sarah Svien Kirkconnell
This cookbook takes one of the simplest methods of backcountry cooking and makes it glamorous. Freezer bag food might not sound all that appetizing, but only avid backpackers know how much of a time-saver it is. Not only does this cookbook focus on simple and convenient recipes, but also lightweight backpacking, so you can bring delicious food without the extra weight. It will tell you what to buy, how to combine ingredients, and great techniques to make trail-cooking as easy as 1,2,3! Something only a freezer-bag can do of course.
9. Wilderness Ranger Cookbook: A Collection of Backcountry Recipes by Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service, National Park Service, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Wilderness Rangers
By: Ralph Swain
There aren’t any cookbooks out there like this one, because of the people who helped write it. The recipes in here are some of the most authentic you can find, including quotes, tips, and Leave No Trace information from the people who know these trails best. This cookbook has 100 recipes that are unique. It’s also a celebration of the Wilderness Act’s 50th anniversary.
The recipes in these cookbooks shouldn’t be forgotten because of the Internet age. Use them to get some incredible cooking ideas.