View Full Version : Lunch on the trail

11-17-2010, 18:10
I am planning out a meal plan for a thru-hike and breakfast and dinner are pretty easy to figure out, but lunch is the one I am having problems with. I don't think i want to be eating jerky, and gorp and peanut butter and crackers for lunch everyday for 5-6 months.

SO what are some non cooked options that would be good?

Serial 07
11-17-2010, 18:37
i like bagel, cream cheese and tomato/basil wheat thins...YUM! basically anyway you like to dress a bagel...

Many Walks
11-17-2010, 18:45
Your tastes and cravings may change during the hike. Just buy things that look good to you along the way. Veggies and fruit are good for the first couple of days out of town. On our thru, we enjoyed deli sandwiches along the way. You can get a sandwich without mayonnaise in a zip lock (lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, etc that make bread soggy can go in a separate zip lock). Get a small container of ice cream in a zip lock and put the two together in your sleeping bag while you hike out in the morning. They'll both be great for lunch. If you don't mind cooking a bit, you can do the same thing with a frozen steak and have it at night for dinner. Fried steak, onions and potatoes are great after a good days hike.

max patch
11-17-2010, 19:04
When leaving town I'd take a sub sandwich and apple/orange or something similar. Otherwise, every day I had a bagel with peanut butter and jelly or honey and a hunk of cheddar cheese and whatever was in my gorp bag. Never got tired of this.

11-18-2010, 10:34
A variation on that, peanutbutter and jelly on tortilla, nutrious, high calorie, cheap.

11-18-2010, 10:42
For a variety, make any sandwich out of flatbread. The stuff is virtually indestructible and won't flake or crumble like tortillas in your pack.

I second Max Patch's idea of carrying items out of town. Cold pizza for lunch or dinner is a delicacy on the trail.

11-18-2010, 13:15
The new flatbreads they have out with cheese and spam singles or pepperoni or just a chunk of summer sausage. We got hard salami too from a deli, but my gallbladder had a cow with it. Hummus is good too with pita chunks

11-18-2010, 13:20
Don't plan on lunch. Just nibble on snacks all day. I find that stopping for the amount of time lunch takes really disrupts the day. Certainly plan on taking breaks every hour or so. After I did this for my hikes, meal planning get much easier. Example snacks to nibble on: GORP (of course), cheese, jerky, crackers, candy, pop tarts, etc.

12-01-2010, 17:59
Maybe I can pick up some lunchables along the way as well haha. Thanks for the info thats what I have been looking at is making some energy bars as well as gorp and jerky and the occasional town snack.

12-01-2010, 20:24
The best lunches I had on the PCT was when I carried town food out like pizza, a sandwich or a burger along with one of my water bottles filled with soda. Sometimes swapping the order of the meals helped like cooking dinner for lunch. But I have to admit to mainly eating tuna foil packets+mayo packets or peanutbutter+jelly packets on a large tortilla with the occasional Summer Sausage/pepperoni + Cheddar on a bread product (if you have a way to heat the cheese to make it melt inside a pita, I recommend it).

12-02-2010, 13:38
Lots of good ideas here thus far.

I know that those tuna packets in foil are heavier than most people like but they're compact. Besides plain tuna, you can now get the tuna salad mix - basically tuna with mayo and chopped onions.

I've found that cheese lasts for several days although I'd be careful in the heat of mid-summer (when I avoid Eastern backpacking).

Also, fresh fruit the first day or 2 works for me - apples, pears, peaches in season, tangerines & small oranges.

12-02-2010, 23:19
The first couple of days are great for fruit and veggies. My veggie friend invented this one: crusty french bread, a ripe avoocado smeared all over it topped with sunflower seeds out of the shell. Wonderful and full of protein.

12-03-2010, 00:10
Erin-that sounds delicious. I'll have to try it soon!.

i'd go with what amac said. I snack all day-every hour or so have a few handfuls of various snacky foods-goldfish, teddy grahams, something with peanut butter, etc.

sly dog
12-03-2010, 13:49
English muffins with peanut butter and jelly or nutella. Sometimes i sprinkle roasted soy nuts or sunflower seeds over the nutella. For peanut butter and jelly i use those small packs ya can find at restaurants. Also like the tortilla shells with cheese and beef jerky or pepperoni.

12-03-2010, 14:00

My favorite trail food is Flavor blasted cheddar Goldfish

12-03-2010, 14:01
My favorite trail food is Flavor blasted cheddar Goldfish

I was looking for the "like" button here on WB. :)

12-03-2010, 18:42
lots of good stuff here. I like to make tabouli - mix bulgur, spices, lemon juice, olive oil, veggies & water in a tupperware in the AM, all hydrated & ready to eat for lunch.

12-04-2010, 08:20
Deadeye - great meal, I'm into tabouli on trail too. Cucumbers last in a pack too, and gives you something to whittle :)

Wise Old Owl
12-06-2010, 19:13

bagels (cream cheese)
Pita bread
Logan Bread
granola bars
candy bars
dried fruit
GORP (nuts, M&M's raisins, yogurt peanuts, crackers, dried fruit, etc)
crackers (the dense kinds at health food stores)
Wheat Thins
Cheeses (string cheese, blocks of mozarella, etc)
Tuna (sold in pouches now)
lunch meat
. Hard boiled eggs/ with salt packet
. jerkys pemmican
. Summer sausage (eg Landsjager) (80 cal/oz)



String Cheese
Hard candy
Candy bars
Fig Newtons
Fruit Cake
Beef Stick
Fruit leathers

Carob coated raisins
Sesame Seeds
Breakfast bars
Granola bars


Tea + Coffee
Fruit powders
Spiced Apple
Bouillon Cubes

12-06-2010, 22:48
I pretty much ate either pb&j on a tortilla, (deyhydrated) hummus and cheese on tortilla or flat bread, crackers and cheese, or just snacks for lunch during my entire thru-hike. I never really got tired of any of it either. It always helps to have some special items like chips, combos, or Snyders chedder cheese pretzel bits.