Backpacking Cooking Guide


Just because you are backpacking in the wilderness does not mean you should not have a good backpacking kitchen. Yes, you want to keep your gear light and compact, but there are plenty of light backpacking cooking sets to use on your next adventure.

Basic Kitchen Gear

See below for the basic kitchen items you should bring with you when you go backpacking.

Dry Food

While backpacking you want to bring dry food such as trail mix or granola. You also may want to eat something closer to a home cooked meal. Dehydrated food packs are a great way to eat something more comforting. You simply boil hot water and add to your dehydrated food to make a warm meal.

Backpacking Stove

You will want to bring a small backpacking stove when you head out for your trip to boil water or cook your dehydrated meal. The best stoves are compact and attach to a small propane tank.

Backpacking Cookware

You can buy compact backpacking cookware sets that include pots and pans for you to cook your food and boil your water. Good backpacking cookware is small and light but big enough for you to cook an individual meal.

You can also eat your food right out of the pot when it is done. That way you will not have to bring any extra gear that will add weight to your pack.

Backpacking Utensils

Make sure to bring a compact spoon along with a knife when you go backpacking. You will likely not need a fork since you won’t be eating many solid foods. Dehydrated meals usually have a more stew like consistency.

Most backpackers already bring knife when they go into the wilderness, so this can serve as your knife for eating too. Just make sure to clean to knife before eating.

Food Storage

You will want to put some thought into how you store your food while backpacking. Depending on the area you are backpacking in this may vary. Generally, you will want to make sure that your food is secure from critters such as rodents and bugs, but if you are camping in bear country you will need a bear proof canister.

Do not underestimate the determination of wildlife to find your food.

Cleaning Materials

When you make food outdoors you should essentially have little to no food residue leftover. (Yes, you should lick your plate clean). However, it is a good idea to bring cleaning materials to clean up any left-over mess that there may be. Bring along some biodegradable soap and a dry towel to clean your kitchen gear.