Food for High Sierra Trip 2018

Before reading this post, I would read my post about the gear that we took on the trip, especially the part about the kitchen wear to understand some of the choices that we made for the food on the trip. I would also read the itinerary for the trip as well.

While at Base camp:

Since we drove the first day we really only had to do dinner, which we heated up some pre-made dinners and ate those. It was simple and minimal clean up. We didn’t make a lot because we had no way to save leftovers and any food we didn’t take in our backpacks, we had to stick in lockers at the trail head.

Breakfast was bacon and pancakes. We brought a package of bacon and cooked it on the camp stove we had. We brought a larger camp stove because we were car camping for the first night, but brought a small backpacking stove for the trail. For pancakes, we brought in a plastic baggie pancake mix with powdered buttermilk and an egg in the cooler. We bought a little travel shampoo bottle from Walmart for like $0.80 for the syrup, which was perfect because it was one meal worth of syrup.

While on the Trail:


Breakfast each day on the trail was a consistent 4 packets of instant oatmeal and 2 packets of hot chocolate per person. It is a pretty simple breakfast but in the morning, it’s better to have an easy breakfast that you can eat quickly and get out on the trail. My wife didn’t have as much oatmeal as I did, but you need to make sure that you stay fed. I usually stick both packets of the hot chocolate in the same mug because having both in the mug make the hot chocolate more chocolaty.

Lunch and Snacks:

Lunch on the trail mostly consisted of snacks and extra food that we hadn’t eaten from previous dinners. We carried a jar of peanut butter, beef jerky, pepperoni, and tortillas that made up the caloric base of our lunches. On top of that we ate other snacks. We probably could’ve grabbed a couple spoonfuls of peanut butter in a ziplock bag.

For snacks, we had power bars and granola bars. We also had the iconic trail mix.

We stopped every hour and a half to take our backpacks off, sit down, rest and eat. This allowed us to relax on the hike so that we could enjoy it more.


The first night on the trail, we had one of those pasta salad and chicken. We boiled the water and dumped it in the freezer ziplock bag before sealing it. Sealing the boiling water in the bag allows you to cook the pasta in the bag. After the pasta was cooked, we dumped in the ingredients and mixed. Without a heat reflective sleeve to trap the heat, the water cools down significantly so by the time the noodles were hydrated, they weren’t super warm.

The second night on the trail, we had mashed potatoes and chicken. We used instant mashed potatoes for this dinner and mixed half a packet of instant gravy into the potatoes before they were completely finished rehydrating. The potatoes and gravy were super good and were hot when we ate.

The third night on the trail, we had top ramen and chicken, which we cooked with boiling water over the top of the ramen and chicken. This is a super common backcountry dinner because it is so light and fairly calorie dense.

Pack List for the Food (2 people):

  • 18 packets of Oatmeal (I’d bring an extra couple just in case)
  • 12 packets of the hot chocolate
  • 3 envelope packets of shelf stable chicken (Don’t bring cans because of weight)
  • 1 box of pasta salad mix
  • 1 envelope of instant mashed potatoes
  • 3 packets of top ramen
  • 1 small jar of peanut butter
  • 1 packet of beef jerky
  • how many ever granola bars that you want

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