Best Backpacking Food: 14 Breakfast Shootout

Best Backpacking Food: 14 Breakfast Shootout

With so much backpacking food on the market today, it’s tough to decide what to take in the field. The purpose of this blind taste test is to help you find the best backpacking food for your needs and taste buds. Hopefully after reading this, you’ll be able to decide what meals to take on the trail this year, and what you can leave on the shelf.

What makes up the best backpacking food? For some it’s all about taste. For others, hitting that certain calorie count is the most important thing. Still others, clean nutrition is of the utmost importance. Whichever is most important to you, you’ll want to check out the results of this test!

Food Discounts Below!

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Best Backpacking Food: Scope of the Test

To find the best backpacking food we put together a panel of 7 participants (3 for the breakfast portion) gathered to taste test each of these meals. No one (other than the ones cooking the meals) knew which was which. The panel of taste testers only knew if the meal was a chili, pasta dish with chicken, etc. All of them were served in an identical bowl labeled with a different number.

Don’t miss our Backcountry Coffee Review!! We taste tested a handful of great backcountry coffee options.

14 Breakfasts | 51 Dinners | 14 Brands

Best Backpacking Food

You read that right. A total of 65 backpacking meals were charted and tested for this review to find the best backpacking food. It was no small undertaking. It took over FIVE MONTHS of gathering, researching, and charting each meal to gather this information. One last shout out to the panel of volunteers who offered up their time (and intestines) for this review. We had a great time with this!

Now, with all that out of the way, let’s get started.

Best backpacking Food Test: Ranking System

In order be as fair as we could be, the panel of taste testers ranked each meal with a 1-5 star rating for both taste and texture along with whether or not they liked it enough to purchase it. We’ll put the percentage of the panel recommendations as the product “recommend” percentage in the below chart. The results were averaged across the whole panel to bring you what this group averaged to be the best backpacking food of these 51 meals. The exact manufactures recommended cooking instructions were followed (with a measuring cup) on every single meal.

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Best Backpacking Food RESULTS!

Best Backpacking Food: Mountain House

A long standing favorite in the backpacking, hunting and outdoor communities, Mountain House is a staple in many people’s backcountry adventures. With an enormous selection, you are likely to find something (or many things) you really like. While the typical complaint against Mountain House is the sodium content, they do have a lot of tasty options.

Mountain Mouse Biscuits and Gravy

  • AVG Taste Score:4.8
  • Recommend: 100%

The classic Mountain House Biscuit and Gravy was a favorite of the panel. All agreed, MH nailed the biscuits and gravy.

Mountain House Breakfast Hash

Mountain House Breakfast Hash

  • AVG Taste Score: 3.3
  • Recommend: 100%

The Mountain House Breakfast Hash was a solid performer, but wasn’t quite as popular as the biscuits and gravy.

Buy Mountain House

Best Backpacking Food: Alpine Aire

Best backpacking food.  Alpine aire backpacking food

Alpine Aire is another popular backcountry food option that has a massive selection to choose from. While Alpine Aire offers your traditional meals, they also have gluten free meals, as well as desserts, snacks and more! They’ve got some brand new meals this year geared toward the hunting community, some of which we tested in this review!

Alpine Aire Raspberry Granola

  • AVG Taste Score: 3.3
  • Recommend: 100%

The Alpine Air Raspberry Granola with Milk was tasty, but did lack a little flavor. We’d all happily eat it for breakfast, but it could be better.

Buy Alpine Aire on Amazon

Best Backpacking Food: Outdoor Pantry

Outdoor Pantry - Backwoods Pursuit Best backpacking food.

Outdoor Pantry is a lesser known company I discovered in my search for backpacking food options. While you may not have heard of them, you may want to check out what they offer. Best of all, Outdoor Pantry is offering all Backwoods Pursuit followers 10% off your order!

Outdoor Pantry Biscuits and Gravy

Outdoor Pantry Biscuits and Gravy

  • AVG Taste Score: 3.8
  • Recommend: 100%

Outdoor Pantry Biscuits and Gravy was a hit! Less black pepper flavor but very good none the less.

Outdoor Pantry Turkey Sausage and Ham Scramble

Outdoor Pantry Turkey Sausage & Ham Scramble

  • AVG Taste Score: 4.3
  • Recommend: 100%

The Outdoor Pantry Turkey Sausage and Ham Scramble was really good. Another good surprise from Outdoor Pantry!

Use the code “Backwoods10” at checkout and receive 10% off your order!

Buy Outdoor Pantry Meals

Best Backpacking Food: Backpackers Pantry

Best backpacking food.  Backpackerss Pantry backpacking food

Backpackers Pantry is another well known food company that has some brand new entrees geared toward the hunting community. Many of the meals tested in this review are some of those! Give them a serious look as some of these are tasty!

Backpackers Pantry Granola, Blueberries, Almonds and Milk

Backpackers Pantry Granola with Blueberries, Almonds & Milk

  • AVG Taste Score: 3.2
  • Recommend: 66%

The Backpackers Pantry Blueberries, Almonds & Milk had tons of blueberries and a great almond flavor. Some didn’t like it as much, but the majority still recommend it.

Buy Backpackers Pantry

Best Backpacking Food: Heather’s Choice

Heather's Choice. Best backpacking food.  Heather Choice backpacking food


Heather’s Choice is a company that prides itself in high quality gluten free meals. If you want top shelf ingredients and/or have a gluten intolerance, you’ll want to take a look at the options from Heather’s Choice! Heather’s Choice is offering Backwoods Pursuit followers free shipping on your next order!

Heather's Choice Strawberry Vanilla Breakfast

Heather’s Choice Strawberry Vanilla Breakfast

  • AVG Taste Score: 2
  • Recommend: 0%

It could have just been this panel, but none were a huge fan. There are lots of folks who love Heather’s Choice meals, just not this group.


Buy Heathers Choice

Best Backpacking Food: Peak Refuel

Best backpacking food.  Peak Refuel backpacking food

Peak Refuel is quickly making a name for themselves for their GREAT TASTING food. We tested most of their meals in this review and were not disappointed. While the selection is limited, the portion sizes are massive, even too big in some cases. Some of the meals are easily sharable, a great weight and water saving bonus! If you want great tasting food and huge portions, definitely give Peak Refuel a try!

Peak Refuel Breakfast Skillet

Peak Refuel Breakfast Skillet

  • AVG Taste Score: 3.3
  • Recommend: 100%

The Peak Breakfast Skillet looked absolutely delicious, but it lacked a bit in flavor and needed some pepper or a little Tabasco, but everyone really like it.

Buy Peak Refuel on Amazon

Best Backpacking Food: Off Grid Food Company

Best backpacking food.  Off Grid backpacking food

Off Grid Food is a fast growing food company that has quickly made a name for itself especially in the hunting community as one of the best backpacking food options. These meals were made for hunters, by hunters. High quality ingredients make these meals taste good time and time again. Best of all, Off Grid is offering Backwoods Pursuit followers 10% off you orders with the code “BACKWOODS10” at checkout! Keeping up with demand has been a challenge, so I’d recommend snagging the meals you want as soon as they are available on the website or you might lose out!!

Off Grid Predator Fuel Oatmeal Washington Apple

Off Grid Food Predator Fuel Washington Apple

  • AVG Taste Score: 4.8
  • Recommend: 100%

Off Grid nailed its breakfast meals. The Washington Apple was just awesome!

Off Grid Predator Fuel Oatmeal Blue Raz

Off Grid food Predator Fuel Blue Raz

  • AVG Taste Score: 5.0
  • Recommend: 100%

Off Grid knows its breakfast meals. The Blue Raz was probably the panel’s favorite!

Use the code “BACKWOODS10” to receive 10% off you order!

Buy Off Grid Food

Best Backpacking Food: Wise Food Company

Wise Food Company has a huge selection to choose from, making sure you’ll find something you like! They not only offer single serve meals, but Wise Food Company also offers food storage in much larger quantities for emergencies. Wise Food Company offers some great tasting meals that you’ll definitely want to check out.

Wise Company Apple Cinnamon Cereal

WISE FOOD COMPANY Apple Cinnamon Cereal

  • AVE Taste Score: 1.5
  • Recommend: 0%

The Wise Apple Cinnamon was odd in that the recommended water seemed to be about 3 times the needed amount. Less water and this would have scored better.

Wise Company Strawberry Granola Crunch

WISE FOOD COMPANY Strawberry Granola Crunch

  • AVG Taste Score: 4.0
  • Recommend: 100%

A contrast and good surprise to the Apples and Cinnamon meal, the Wise Strawberries and Granola was loved by the panel. The recommended water seemed just right and flavor was great!

Buy Wise Food Meals

Best Backpacking Food: BaseKamp

Best backpacking food.  BaseKamp backpacking food

BaseKamp is a food company that I discovered right before I launched this taste test (almost too late). Luckily, we were able to include them in the test because these are some great tasting meals! Huge servings make it easy to share these meals. While some of them are a bit on the heavier side and require a bit more water to re-hydrate, if you split them with a buddy, you’ll end up saving weight.

BaseKamp Muesli Breakfast

BASEKAMP Muesli Breakfast Cereal

  • AVG Taste Score: 3.7
  • Recommend: 100%

BaseKamp Musesli Breakfast maybe doesn’t sound awesome, but it was pretty darn good! Cranberries gave it a great flavor!

Buy BaseKamp Food on Amazon

Best Backpacking Food: Omeals

Best backpacking food.  Omeals backpacking food

Omeals are a different kind of meal than all of the rest in this review. These are not freeze dried, and the meals also come with a liquid activated packet that causes a chemical reaction which self heats the meal. No stove is necessary for hot water. If you just don’t like the freeze dried taste, these are going to be something you will want to check out. One down side is that the heating packet does add extra weight (each one serving meal is typically 8oz), but you do save the weight of the stove.

One awesome thing about the Omeals is that you can use ANY liquid to activate the heating pouch. This means you don’t have to use precious filtered water to get a nice hot meal and it only takes 3-5oz of whatever liquid you choose to activate the heating packet. Pretty dang cool.

Omeals Hashbrown Potatoes

Omeals Hashbrown Potatoes

  • AVG Taste Score: 3.8
  • Recommend: 100%

The Omeals Hashbrown Potatoes was really good if you love bacon. A different consistency than freeze dried meals, because it’s not.

Buy Omeals on Amazon

Best Backpacking Food Compiled Results


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Keep in mind that the above results were purely based on taste and texture. Much more information (way more than I could fit on the above table) from the panel is available by becoming a Backwoods Pursuit Insider Member.

In Part 2, we test out 51 dinners from 14 companies! Don’t miss it!

If you didn’t catch any of our other backpacking related reviews (backpacking tents, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, pillows, Garmin InReach Mini, Trekking Poles, tripods and more), scroll through our gear reviews!

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