One of my favorite topics, besides hiking and backpacking, is FOOD. I love food, especially backpacking food. I love eating food on trail. I love eating food in town, off trail. I’m a self-proclaimed, food motivated hiker. Most of the time when I’m out on trail, I’m completely submerged in the beauty of Mother Nature AND happily thinking about my next meal.

One of the questions I get asked the most about my day hikes and backpacking trips, besides the gear I bring, is about the food I eat out on trail. People want to know what’s in my food bag, what kind of gear I carry in my backcountry cooking system and the backpacking meals I prepare on trail.

At the end of August/beginning of September this year (2020), I went on an 8-day solo backpacking trip where I section hiked part of the Pacific Crest Trail in Washington. For eight days, I headed north from Rainy Pass along the PCT and hiked 60+ miles of Section L, all the way to the Northern Terminus at the Canadian border. Once I reached the border, I tagged the terminus, camped for the night and then headed back south along the PCT to hike the 60+ miles back to Rainy Pass.

Since there were no towns to stop in along this section, there were no resupply options, which meant I had to carry ALL of my food for the entire trip. Since I typically carry an extra day or two’s worth of food with me on any backpacking trip I go on, the section hike along the PCT this summer was my heaviest food carry I’ve ever done to date. I couldn’t seem to eat my food fast enough. My food bag was incredibly HEAVY, but I didn’t go hungry which is always a priority for every trip.

Here’s the Gear I Brought With Me in My Backcountry Cooking System:

20L Osprey Ultralight Dry Sack (Food Storage Bag)
BRS 3000T Ultralight Titanium Backcountry Stove
Snow Peak Trek 900 Titanium Cookset
Light My Fire Spork Original BIO

8.11oz/230g (medium sized) fuel canister
REI Multi-Towel Light, micro fiber towel in small
BIC Classic Pocket Lighter
3L Osprey Ultralight Bag (Use to Store Cooking System In)

Here’s the Backpacking Food I Brought With Me, Categorized By Meal:



*I prefer a no-cook option unless I’m stopped at a water source

Lunch Option #1: Salami, Cheese and Crackers (One of my most favorite meals on trail!)

Peppered Salami
Fancy Hard Cheese

Lunch Option #2: Chicken Wraps (Another one of my most favorite meals on trail!)

Starkist Chicken Creations   Packets (Buffalo Style is my favorite flavor!)
Flour Tortillas

Lunch Option #3: Ramen + Peanut Butter = Backcountry Pad Thai

Chicken Flavored Ramen
PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter


Frigo CheeseHeads Combo Pack: Cheddar Cheese and Beef Sticks

Sour Gummi Bears (from the bulk section at either QFC or Fred Meyer)

Snickers – A staple in every thru-hiker’s diet
Blue Diamond Crafted Gourmet Almonds in the Garlic, Herb and Olive Oil flavor
Snack Club Everything Bagel Cashews
Trader Joes Dark Chocolate Covered Mini Pretzels
Original Recipe Gardettos – My favorite crunchy and salty trail snack
Lu Petit Ecolier European Biscuits – Dark Chocolate – My all-time favorite cookies


*This is the time of day where I would cook since more than likely I’d camp near a water source.

Dinner Option #1: Dehydrated Backcountry Spaghetti

Dinner Option #2: Stove Top Stuffing with a packet of coconut oil (for extra calories)

Dinner Option #3: Knorr Rice Side with a packet of coconut oil (for extra calories)

Dinner Option #4: A Store-Bought, Freeze Dried Backpacking Meal 

Electrolytes & Vitamins


My blue powdered Gatorade of choice. I packed out 9 servings.
Emergen-C Super Orange packets. I brought 8 packets and only used 1.

Trash Storage

I used previously used Ziplock bags as my trash bag throughout my trip.

PCT 2020 | Backpacking Food For 8 Days on the Pacific Crest Trail

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