Backpacking menu: 3-night fall hiking trip along the Highland Trail of Algonquin Provincial Park

I heard a quote recently that I kind of like: “Life is what happens in between snacks.” For me, the journey and the food is the destination!

I recently returned from a 3-night, 4-day early October backpacking trip with a friend along the Highland Trail of Algonquin Provincial Park. You can read the full trip report here:


Cheryl and I are trying to decrease the weight of the food we bring, down to approximately 1.5 pounds per person per day. On this trip, we had 11.5 pounds of food, which worked out to approximately 1.9 pounds per person per day. We felt that we had the perfect amount of food – we didn’t go hungry, and we didn’t stuff ourselves either!

If you have any ideas on how to up the calorie content of our food while decreasing the weight, all while eating healthy foods, having a good mix of protein, fat, carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables, and variety, I’d love to hear them!

We love the backcountry cookbook A Fork in the Trail (FT) by Laurie Ann March – her recipes feature heavily on our menus every time! (I have not met Laurie and was not paid to gush over her book!) We prepare/bake/dehydrate as much of our food as we can!

Day 1

Distance hiked: 6.51 km

Afternoon snack – quick energy bar (The Trailside Cookbook by Don and Pam Philpott) [155g – note: weights are given per food item, not per person – so here, 155g = 2 energy bars]

Dinner – carrot raisin salad with peanuts (FT), and 1 mini naan bread each (store bought) [380g, includes container for peanut butter]

Faya Lake in the background, Algonquin Provincial Park

Bedtime snack – 1 dehydrated banana each, a few mini Skor bars [101g] and Baileys [278g – this was divided over 3 days]

Day 2

Distance hiked: 12.29 km

Breakfast – strawberry peach muesli (FT) [356g], gatorade [223g, divided over 3 days and 2 meals/day] and tea [62g divided over 3 days]

Strawberry peach muesli

Morning snack – trail mix (homemade) [157g]

Trail mix: pretzels, cashews, yogurt covered raisins, smarties, raisins…

Lunch – apple peanut salad wrap (FT) [352g, includes container for peanut butter] and gatorade

Snack – chocolate peanut butter balls [126g]

Chocolate peanut butter balls

Dinner – quinoa and spinach soup (FT) [164g] and bannock (FT) [190g]

Bannock with quinoa spinach soup

Bedtime snack – 1 dehydrated banana each, a few mini reeces pieces, [107g] Baileys

Day 3

Distance hiked: 12.1 km

Breakfast – Canadian maple blueberry granola (FT) and dried fruit [284g], gatorade and tea

Morning snack – honey mustard gorp (FT) [179g]

Honey mustard gorp – I bought regular pretzels and made a honey mustard sauce, which I drizzled on the pretzels and then baked

Lunch – bannock (FT) with hummus (rehydrated), dried peppers, dried fruit [160g] and gatorade

Mango, red pepper, bannock and hummus

Afternoon snack -quick energy bar (The Trailside Cookbook by Don and Pam Philpott) [174g]

Dinner – bacon and egg bagel with veggies [308g]

Filling for our bagels

Bedtime snack – banana chips, a few mini turtles [118g] and Baileys

Day 4

Distance hiked: 7.7 km

Breakfast – huevos rancheros (egg/salsa/cheese/tortilla wrap) (FT) [258g], gatorade and toffee coffee hot chocolate (FT) [145g]

Huevos rancheros (egg/salsa/cheese)

Morning snack – pizza trail mix (FT) [155g]

Pepperettes and sundried tomatoes plus seasonings and other stuff made this pizza-like

Lunch – black bean dip (FT) and dried peppers [147g] with homemade crackers [143g] and gatorade (ate at trailhead)

Afternoon snack –  fruit leather and beef jerky (ate on drive home) [106g]

Other than eating Sunday’s lunch and snack after our hike was done, we estimated food quantities perfectly. Any tips would be greatly appreciated!

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