Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Welcome REI Co-op Members!
We're glad you're here. If you can't access the Co-op Members section of the community,
click here for instructions on how to join the section that's just for you.

Recommendations of your favorite Camping Meals

Will be traveling to Badlands NP --> Grand Teton NP --> Glacier NP. Majority of the time will be spend at Teton NP (3 days) and Glacier NP (5 days).

What are some of your favorite meals to cook for dinner that are simple and one pot style? Do you cook the dehydrated bag meals each night, or how would you mix it up but keep it simple and light for packing? Will stop at some places to eat, but plan to cook once we have our camp site set up. 


14 Replies

Always keep your eye open for deals when it comes to Freeze-dried food.

Two months ago, I'm at WalMart, because they sell Mountain House. All their MH meal are $9.97 and I wanted to try something new. There's a package of the Spicy Southwest Style Skillet for $4.00. I go around the corner and there's a four-side center aisle display with nothing but that same meal, again ALL $4.00. I check the expiration date, everyone was Jan. 2051, this is all brand new from MH. 

I asked one of the employees, come to find out, inventory got meshed up. They don't want to store it at the store and it's too expensive to ship it back to the Warehouse, so they mark it down, just to get rid of it. I bought one, went home and tried it, it's great, and went back and bought 30 more packages. They must have had 300 - 400 packages and they were all gone in 2 - 3 days.

Add my plus 1 to the Mountain House meals, as well as trying them on short trips when "intestinal upset" is inconvenient rather than trip ending. I have a Google Keep document that has our families preferred flavors of meals AS WELL AS adjustments to the amount of recommended water. (I do not appreciate macaroni & cheese soup - I want it thicc.) 

Wife trends heavily vegetarian, but I carry a dry cure summer sausage in my pack to supplement some of the veggy meals. I have Cliff bars in my backpack, camel back, computer bags, and gloveboxes, even in my office bottom drawer. I found that you can get them in coffee flavors with caffeine, so I have several of those as an option in case I run out of coffee and get a caffeine withdrawal headache - or generally as an option to treat a minor headache.

Another snack I keep available is packs of Justin's peanut butter with honey, other flavors available - I know I like these. I can rummage an envelope of peanut butter out of my pack, clip off a corner with my hiking knife and keep myself distracted and busy for a good half hour consuming EVERY last bit of it while I hike and stave off the hangries.


I make my own meals that are kind of a hybrid between rehydrating and cooking (i enjoy cooking on trail). Shepherds Pie, Cheesy mushroom grits, pad Thai…

“Between every two pine trees there is a door leading to a new way of life.” (John Muir)

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

If you're car camping, an oldie but goodie is foil pack meals. The favorite we found was diced potatoes, trail bologna, cheese, pepper, then more cheese. Simple, but crack an egg over the top and it is just 👌 Don't forget the olive oil. You can even pre-make them and keep them in the cooler for long days when you won't have time to prep.

I use mostly ready-made dehydrated meals for dinner to ensure I am getting proper nutrition.  I have yet to find a nutrition-dense alternative that didn't weigh more than those types of meals.  Keep in mind that cooking times are longer at altitudes above 3000 feet, so calculate fuel needs accordingly.  Have a great trip!