5 Trail Lunches to Elevate Your Next Adventure

Tired of the same old granola bar and trail mix on your day hikes? Us too. That’s why we’re sharing a couple of our favorite hiking lunches that are easy to prep, carry, and enjoy on the trail!

Elevated Lunchables

Nothing says childhood snack nostalgia quite like a Lunchable. So why not recreate them? Lunchables are great because they don’t require silverware and the variations are endless.

One of the challenges with fresh trail food is spoilage. That’s why we love these reusable UCO Gear 4-Piece Mess Kits. They seal in the food and hold in the cold! We also like the Yeti Thin Ice packs that are super lightweight and can be easily stowed away next to food in your day pack.

Backcountry Oatmeal Blog

For our Lunchables, we like:

  • Blueberries or melon (because they don’t brown or spoil fast like sliced apples)
  • Carrots and sliced cucumber (crunchy and refreshing)
  • Sliced cheese (we especially like hard cheeses like Gruyère, Tuscano, or aged Gouda because they hold up better and–let’s be honest– taste sublime!)
  • Crackers or thinly sliced baguette
  • Sliced meat of your choice (we prefer cured meats like salami or prosciutto because they last longer than lunch meats)
  • Pickles and olives (for a little something briney)
  • Chocolate chips or squares (because everybody needs dessert)
  • Maybe a cookie? (because you might want a second dessert)

And if you’re looking for a chocolate bar recommendation (because who isn’t!), we love Honey Mamas. They’re made with superfood ingredients and only the most unique and delicious flavor combinations!

Cucumber and Zesty Hummus Sandwich (vegan)

One of the challenges with typical deli sandwiches is the meat and the sogginess. It can be tough to keep the meat cold and the sandwich from becoming soggy. This usually means sticking with PB&J or opting for a dry ham and cheese on bread. That’s why we love a good cucumber and hummus sandwich on Dutch Crunch or sourdough bread!

This three-ingredient sandwich is easy to prep, super affordable, and fresh! Plus, it’s a great vegan and vegetarian option. All you need is crusty bread, zesty hummus, and fresh cucumber.

  • For the bread: the crunchier the better! This will keep your sandwich from getting smashed and soggy in your day pack. It’s also way tastier! 
  • For the hummus: we recommend something with a little spice to compliment the fresh cucumber. Really load up your crusty bread with that hummus so you’ll get plenty of satiating protein and flavor. 
  • For the cucumber: we cut thick round slices so it holds up better and adds a nice crunch. We like to sprinkle some salt and pepper on ours for a little extra flavor.
Babes In The Forest Tee

And that’s it! An easy, fresh sandwich that keeps well with a small ice pack (or even without) as you hike to the perfect lookout lunch spot.

Triscuits and Trout

It’s hard to find a cracker as snackable as Triscuits. Plus, they’re tough enough to withstand hiking without turning into crumbs. That’s why we love to pair the sea salt and black pepper Triscuits with some fish and avocado for appetizer-style bites as filling as any sit-down lunch.

We love Trader Joe’s smoked trout (or similar canned fish like salmon or tuna). For $3, it’s a smokey bite of the great outdoors. Just toss the can into your backpack next to a whole avocado and Triscuits box. You’re set to go! Plus, you won’t need an icepack– making this one of the most effortless hiking lunches!

Mount Rainier National Park Tee

Backpack Bibimbap Bowl (vegan)

This bowl can be prepped the night before your hike and tastes great cold. You can add seasoned tempeh for extra protein or leave it out and stick with rice and veggies for something a little lighter.

For starters, add matchstick carrots, sliced cucumber, and sliced red onion to a bowl with a pinch of salt and a splash of rice vinegar (red wine vinegar and apple cider vinegar work well too if that’s what you have on hand.) Let the veggies marinate for a few minutes.

Then grab a bowl and layer the ingredients in this order:

  • 1 cup of cooked rice
  • Steamed shiitake mushrooms (cooled)
  • Carrot, cucumber, and red onion mixture
  • 2 handfuls of spinach
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup of fresh kimchi (optional)
  • Salad dressing (like Trader Joe’s Sesame Soy Ginger Vinaigrette) *You can also combine equal parts soy sauce, sriracha, sesame oil, and maple syrup for an easy homemade dressing.

When we have them on hand, we add some optional garnishes like scallions, cilantro, chili oil, or sesame seeds. And there you have it! A Korean-inspired lunch that tastes even better out in the sunshine.

Trail Taco Salad

If you like Tex-Mex, then taco salad might be your new favorite trail lunch. We like this lunch because it’s protein-packed, flavor-packed, and easy to pack. Here’s how we prepare ours.

Grab a reusable container and layer each ingredient in this order:

  • Black or pinto beans with taco seasoning
  • Salsa of choice or finely chopped tomato
  • Shredded cheese sprinkled generously
  • Chopped romaine or iceberg lettuce

Then toss some tortilla chips in a bag and grab an avocado and lime to add on the trail if you’re feeling fancy. And that’s it. It almost seems too easy for how great it tastes!

What are your favorite day hike lunches? Leave us a comment so we can try them on our next adventure!

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