How To

Leslie Rasmussen – Merrell Sports Marketing Specialist

When I go backpacking it is typically for 1-2 nights, just a weekend trip, and is my chance to forget about the stress of daily life and reconnect with nature. I find my zen in the woods, I love going rustic, but I still like to have some “comforts” of home. One of those comforts is good food. When I first started to research backpacking and full rustic camping I was intimidated because I thought that meant living on granola, cliff bars and freeze dried space meals….I was wrong. Long trip or short you can have some of the best meals when you backpack, everything tastes better when you cook it over a fire and eat it in the woods. Below are some of my favorite meals to prepare while backpacking.

For breakfast I love pancakes, pancakes pretty much rock all the time. When you’re backpacking here is my recipe for pancakes:

  • Instant Pancake Mix
  • Ziploc Bag
  • Dried fruit or fruit you found in nature
  • Togo syrup packets
  • Mini butter packets



To Make:

  • Put the pancake mix directly in the Ziploc bag, pack it in your pack (pre-measured for how many pancakes you want).
  • Add proper amount of water and shake to mix fully.
  • Bring a small frying pan, the JetBoil FluxRing Fry Pan works great, heat and add butter to keep from sticking, cut a small hole in the corner of the pancake bag and pour using that. Flip by using your fork.


  • Top with dried or fresh fruit for added sweetness
  • When done, use syrup packs and put all your trash back in the pancake bag to recycle when you can and use to hold other trash that you cannot burn.

For lunch or dinner there are two things I love to make, Campfire Burritos and Mashed Potatoes on Steroids. It’s comfort food that fills you up at night.


For Potatoes on Steroids:

  • Instant 4 Cheese Mashed Potatoes (Idahoan brand is my favorite)


  • Dried Parsley (or red pepper flakes for some added heat)
  • Butter Packets
  • Bacon Bits/Diced Veggies

To Make:

  • Cook potatoes
  • Once cooked add butter, parsley and bacon or veggies. Stir and serve!
    • This is a very easy recipe, but so delicious to eat sitting by the fire. When I am on the lakeshore this is a great warming up meal for the chilly nights on the water. The bacon/veggies really add a lot to them.
    • Pre-Season veggies and bacon for less items to carry.

For Campfire Burritos:

  • Tortillas
  • Tin Foil
  • ToGo Tostitos Nacho Cheese (does not need to be refrigerated) and can be found in most grocery stores. (1 pack is good for 2 burritos)


  • Veggies (Pre-Chopped) – If you don’t plan on eating the first day, I would freeze them and pack them Frozen to eat the next day.
  • Pop Top Refried Beans- You want to make sure the can is pop top so you do not need to bring a can opener. (You will use the can to hold trash you cannot burn, makes a good holder).
  • Instant Mexican Rice- The boil in a bag type is the best.
  • Red pepper flakes

To Make:

  • Cook Rice
  • Spread refried beans in tortilla
  • Add rice, cheese, veggies and flakes
  • Wrap tortilla tightly in tin foil
  • Put by fire until browning and heated through.

No weekend backpacking trip would be complete without a beverage. For my friends we always bring whiskey, it’s easy to pack, does not need to stay cold and is perfect to pass around the fire while you tell your camping stories. But sometimes you just need to feel fancy in the woods and have some wine while relaxing in your hammock. We call it Bungee-Boxed-Wine and it is a must have when we go backpacking.


  • Buy a box of wine (or sangria)- We love the Bota Box RedVolution


  • Bungee cord it to the outside of your packed pack, spout side out.
  • As you hike, and when you hang your pack at camp, you have easy access to wine the entire time

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