The Hungry Hiker's Guide: Adventures in Eating Outdoors

The Hungry Hiker's Guide: Adventures in Eating Outdoors

When it comes to buying food for a hiking trip, the options can be overwhelming. Three meals a day? How hungry will I be? This freeze-dried meal looks good, but is it? Should I cook or should I pre-buy meals? It can be hard to know where to start when you’re stating at all the different options, which is why we have created this quick guide to help you select the right food for you and your trip.

Portability, nutritional value, and ease of preparation are some of the key elements that make a good hiking meal. When choosing the best brand of hiking food for you, consider factors such as taste preferences, dietary restrictions, nutritional content, convenience, and environmental impact. Experimenting with different brands and products can help you find the ones that suit your needs and tastes the best. 

Our biggest piece of advice? When preparing for a trip, choose a selection of different food brands. Having some variation across your meals will make them much more enjoyable. Remember too - if you’re going to test these meals, it’s best to try them in a real life context. While many of the meals are great, they’ll seem 5 star after a long day of hiking (the more cold and tired you are, the better!). Take a long spoon for stirring, and make sure you follow the instructions for your meal exactly (especially waiting the suggested number of minutes. There’s nothing worse than ending up with soup for dinner…). Finally, taking some seasoning, spices and even sugar to augment your meals will go a long way - products such as the GSI Spice Missile are perfect for this.


Radix offers the most nutrient dense meal options. The New Zealand based company specialises in making meals that are not only ideal for hikers, but that offer a balanced and nutritious meal for athletes or anyone looking for on-the-go meals. Rather than using traditional serving sizes, Radix meals are offered based on the number of calories. For example, many of the meals we have in-store are available in either the ‘Original 400’ size or their ‘Ultra 800’ size. So, depending on the caloric expenditure of the activities you have been doing and your overall energy needs, you can choose the size that best caters to your situation. For the gram conscious hiker, Radix meals are the lightest and require the lowest amount of water to prepare.

The meals also cater for a large range of dietary requirements. The majority of their meals are plant based, and they have plenty of FODMAP friendly and gluten free options. If you’re someone who likes to read the ingredients on packaging and recognise everything you see, Radix meals are a winner - they use natural ingredients and have low additives.

Radix has the largest range of breakfast options, also available in 400 or 800 calorie sizes. What makes them even better? These breakfasts can be prepared either hot or cold. They also offer a variety of smoothies, perfect for when you need an on-the-go energy boost.

Back Country

Back Country meals are the heartiest of our selection. They have the widest range of flavours, from Beef Teriyaki to Roast Lamb & Vegetables. If you’re on the lookout for classic favourites like Spaghetti Bolognese or Cottage Pie, look no further. For meat lovers especially, Back Country will offer you the biggest range (having said this, they have some great vegetarian options too!). For the creative cooks, Back Country also has a selection of basics and side dishes, such as Mixed Vegetables, Instant Mash, or Diced Chicken. These are great to augment an existing meal, especially if you want to cater to a larger group of people. 

I think we can all relate to getting to the end of a big day of hiking and craving something sweet. Well, Back Country has the answer! With a range of desserts, you can have treats like Apple Pie or Brownie Pudding wherever you are. A sneaky tip - the Apricot Crumble makes a great breakfast too.

Campers Pantry

Campers Pantry is the closest to a home cooked meal. Like Backcountry, it’s also great for cooking due to the individual ingredients and side dishes that are available (such as Red Onion, Mushrooms and more). They offer some gluten and dairy free meal options too. 

Who said meals on the trail had to be boring? Campers Pantry also have some exciting products that can keep the food on your trek interesting and more like home. The award winning freeze-dried Tasmanian ice cream is an absolute must try! The freeze-dried Hummus Dip is also a customer favourite.


For those who like a little indulgence, the new Offgrid range is for you. These chef designed meals don’t compromise on luxury or flavour. The range is all natural and gluten free, with some dairy free options as well. You don’t need to add anything when you’re preparing these meals - just heat and eat.

It has a shorter shelf life as it isn't freeze-dried, but in turn, there is no flavour compromise at all.


The best snacks for hiking are those that are lightweight, portable, and provide a quick boost of energy to keep you fueled during your outdoor adventures. 

  • Forager Fruits: these dried fruit options are an awesome (and super light) way of giving you a boost of energy and providing you with natural sugars. Each pack is equivalent to one serve of fruit.
  • Crafty Weka Bar: if you’re in need of a more substantial snack, these bars are ideal. They offer a dense mix of carbohydrates, fibre and protein. The Orange and Date flavour is a big hit in-store. You can even have these as a breakfast option, or as a generous & sustaining snack on your longer days on the trail.
  • Campers Pantry Nut Mix: A classic hiking snack, trail mix typically contains a mix of nuts, dried fruits, and sometimes chocolate or seeds. It's nutrient-dense and offers a good balance of carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats.
  • Kooee! Jerky: Jerky is lightweight, doesn't require refrigeration, and provides a good source of protein to keep you feeling satisfied on the trail. Our Kooee! range comes in a selection of flavours to keep it interesting.