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Hiking food

Meal suggestions for hikes

When hiking, a lot more energy is used by or bodies than in everyday life. Thus, energy-rich food should be brought on a trip. Of course there are differences between individual people – while 800g of extra noodles per week is more than enough for two people, for others that will be just enough to feed one.

Apart from its high caloric values, the food should be quite light-weighted, as you have to carry it on your back for the duration of the hike. Usually it is thus recommended to take dry or dried food with you. For example many dishes contain dried minced meat. You can find instructions on how to dry meat further down this page.


Hot porridge is a great breakfast on hikes, along with instant fruit sauce or juice. Apart from that, bread, butter, cheese and sausages are good add-ons for breakfast. It’s best to divide the porridge into daily portions already at home, as it may be quite difficult to do so during the hike. Instant porridge is a faster and less fuel-intensive choice, and thus recommended.

Shared breakfast

  • About 4 dl porridge (+ some salt)/2 persons/day
  • Muesli
  • 0.5-1 instant fruit sauce/day
  • Butter (good during autumn) or margarine (spreadable also in deep frost), e.g. 200g/2 persons/week. Should be packed in a stable plastic container
  • Tea

Personal breakfast

  • Bread and crispbread, e.g., 500g rye bread and 300g crispbread for 5 days
  • Sausage, about 200g/week
  • Cheese, about 500g/week
  • Snacks (raisins, nuts, chocolate, candy)


Hiking lunch should be quick to prepare and not too heavy. During winter hikes lunch can be prepared in the morning in thermos bottles for the day. This is especially useful on Kaamos hikes, as there are only a few hours of light and much frost outside.

Lunch examples for 2 people

  • Noodles: 2-3 packages of instant noodles, dried meat or soya added
  • Soup: Instant soup + extra noodles, dried meat or soya added
  • Pasta: 1-2 packages of a pasta meal, dried meat or soya added


Dinner is the most important meal of the day. At the camp, you have time to prepare even more complicated dishes.

Dinner examples

  • Sausages, meatballs, spinach-pancakes, mashed potatoes: The food for the first day can be a little heavier, and conservation is not a problem either.
  • Instant sauce and mashed potatoes: Add dried meat or soya to the sauce of your choice. You should only need to add water to the mashed potatoes, a bag of 5 servings is usually enough for 2 people on a hike.
  • Tortellini and instant sauce: Dried tortellini go well with instant sauce. Boil the tortellini first and add the sauce-powder to the pot when the tortellini are almost cooked. 150g tortellini per person is a good suggestion.
  • Rice meal: Buy an instant rice meal and add some more rice and dried meat/soya when preparing it. Per person 1.5 dl extra rice is recommended.
  • Freeze-dried meals from an outdoor store: You only need to add water. Easy to prepare but quite expensive.
  • Self-dried food: You can also dry food yourself, which gives you more choice for your meals.

Drying minced meat

Minced meat can be dried in a conventional oven. As fat becomes easily rancid, it is recommended to use low-fat meat. If you choose to buy cheap meat with more fat, it is better to dry it immediately before the hike starts.

  1. Cook the meat in a saucepan at a medium temperature until the fat sizzles out.
  2. Spread the meat on an oven tray covered with paper, set the oven to 50°C and open the oven door a bit
  3. Dry the meat for about 10-12 hours