Foodie Friday: Backpacker Meal Tips

I've been in lots of hostel kitchens that look vaguely like this one. Photo Cred

I’ve been in lots of hostel kitchens that look vaguely like this one. Photo Cred 

When I say backpacker I am really referring more to flashpackers like myself.  While I did grow up cooking over a campfire with my mom which has greatly inspired my on the road cooking, I am thinking of a hostel kitchen when I’m writing these recipes.

I tend to make a lot of peanut butter and jelly (PBJ) sandwiches when I stay in hostels because the ingredients don’t really need to be refrigerated (most types of jelly have so many preservatives that I have never had a problem leaving it out for 10 days or more), its cheap, and you don’t have to fight people for fridge space.  BUT, if you are backpacking for more than a couple of days, you will want a variety of food to please your taste buds, and your body will NEED a bigger variety of food for its nutritional value!

I’m going to try to post recipes on the second and fourth Fridays of the month to inspire your backpacking cooking sessions.

Basic Backpacker Cooking Tips

When I first arrive somewhere and it is still light I like to go to a local grocery store. By shopping where the locals do food is usually cheaper, I gain insight into the new city and culture, and I get supplies.

If I plan on being somewhere for three days or so I usually buy a loaf of wheat bread, peanut butter, jelly, and a dozen eggs.  With these materials I can usually cook breakfast and lunch.

No matter where I go, I love to snack on almonds and cranberries.  They are both great snacks for the beach, the airport, the bus, or even at work.

I go on a lot of beach vacations and normally make a PBJ sandwich there, but if I am in the city, I like to buy a baguette, some cheese, and a little bit of meat to make a picnic lunch while I’m out and about.

I normally like to eat an early dinner at 5pm and try to catch either happy hour prices or places that will let me eat off of the lunch menu.  If I am visiting a place where this is an unusual mealtime, I will buy some pasta and basic pasta sauce from the supermarket too.

I also like to bring my own spices.  This way my food doesn’t have to be bland.  When in the supermarket I will often check to see if there are any spices I’m unfamiliar with and get those so I can give them a try. Spices can make great souvenirs!


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