Six Lightweight Food Options to Take Hiking

In this blog, I take a look at some of the lightweight hiking food I take with me when I’m out on the trail, as well as some of the places to get them from other than Coles, Woolies, or your local supermarket.

lightweight hiking foodSnickers

The Snickers bar is an absolute staple in my hiking menu. At around 50g per bar, it’s a lightweight hiking food option that is full of energy. The combination of peanuts and chocolate – something often found in amongst hiker’s snacks – is a great little boost when out on the trail. Now, you can often buy these from Coles or Woolies for $1 a bar, or you can venture out to Costco and buy a box of 50 for $48.

Peanut M&Ms

Similar to Snickers, they are a lightweight hiking food full of energy and are a staple in my hiking menu, especially on day hikes.

They come in a variety of packs (50g, 180g or 345g), however, if you take a trip to Costco you can usually pick up a kilo bag for $8.

I recently bought a 345g bag on special at Coles for $3, so the kilo bag at Costco is great value.

While you might take the smaller bags out with you, you probably wouldn’t take the entire kilo bag out with you.

My recommendation would be to place 100g in a small Zip-Lock bag thus reducing the weight you are carrying even further.

This is particularly useful on multi-day hikes.

lightweight hiking food


Grab some mountain bread, Babybel Cheese, some salami, and hommus dip as your spread, and you have a delicious, lightweight hiking food option for lunch.

Often it can be hard to bring certain types of meats and chicken on the trail, particularly on multi-day hikes.

However, salami is a great option that keeps and still tastes great after you’ve been hiking for a couple of days.

Remember to keep the net packaging that the Babybel Cheese came in, so you can use it to scrub your pots or pans with.

Continental Pasta

These are good to have on those cold days and can be eaten at breakfast, lunch, or dinner; it all depends on your mood and what you feel like.

Again, don’t bother taking the packaging with you as it just takes up unnecessary space.

So, as mentioned previously, put the pasta into a Zip-Lock bag, add in some powdered milk, and then all you have to do is chuck it in the pot with some water at your campsite and cook as normal.

A tasty little addition to the pasta is tuna from a sachet.

Again, it’s lightweight and you don’t have to mess around with cans or draining it brine or olive oil out it.

lightweight hiking foodGORP

Experienced hikers and campers will know what this is, but for anyone who isn’t familiar with the term, it stands for ‘Good Old Raisins & Peanuts’.

This can be found at most Coles or Woolies or you can make your own.

I sometimes do my own take on it and will chuck in some Peanut M&Ms, cashews, and other dried fruit.

I might take it a step further and will include Maltesers as well.

lightweight hiking food

Dark Chocolate

Is there anything better than setting up camp for the night and having a few pieces of dark chocolate before you climb into your sleeping bag?

There’s nothing wrong with plain dark chocolate, but I absolutely love some of the flavoured options. Sea Salt Caramel is a favourite.

It’s also useful as a tradeable commodity when you’re with a group of people or are in a hut with other people that you don’t know.

IMG_4015These are just some of the lightweight hiking food options that are available to you should you be venturing out for the day or on a multi-day trek.

They all taste good and they’re relatively cheap.

My recommendation would be to seriously consider Costco and Aldi as places to shop for hiking food.

Aldi sometimes sells Snickers for $1 and their powdered milk is fairly cheap for the amount you get.

In saying all of that, I would love to hear about what you bring with you when you’re in the outdoors. Feel free to leave a comment below.

2 Responses
  1. Kerry Neighbour

    I have looked at the Continental Pasta option a few times. but the cooking time is a killer. You have to simmer for a certain time – not going to happen – too much fuel usage. You are also cooking in your pot – so then you have to clean it. Big problem.

    Wraps – way too heavy.

    I like the chocolate options – I often take out Snickers bars. But to be honest, I think they are not really worth the weight. They are really only good for a mental pick-me-up. They also melt and deform. Protein bars (from Aldi) seem to be a better calorie/weight option.

    1. John Feeney

      Thanks for the reply, Kerry.

      The list of snacks/food options included in this blog certainly aren’t a hard and fast list. These are just some items that I think work and I know work for others. But obviously personal taste and preference come into it.

      Wouldn’t completely disregard using your pot though. Easy to clean with water (which you’d have already) and some mesh netting for a scrub brush. That’s what I use anyway. But again – it all comes down to personal preference.

      Thanks again mate

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