Unsquishable Pack Foods

food breakI’m a Tupperware lover.  I hate when my sandwich doesn’t look exactly like it did when I made it, and I strategically stack lunches so that my banana doesn’t get smooshed and my cookies don’t crumble.  I’m not picky necessarily, I just don’t like when my lunchbox starts chewing my food up before I get a chance to.  This applies to my pack, too.  I LOVE peanut butter and jelly (or peanut butter banana, or just peanut butter), but I HATE pulling out a balled up wad of sticky gunk from my pack.  Better to avoid that whole situation altogether, these are examples of unsquishable food categories to keep you going:

Healthy munchiesBeef Jerkycomposition of various yellow fruitsCheese on whitelight lunch sliced wrapsSultana Pile
Granola based:
You can do trail mix, you can do cereal bars.  These calorie packed snacks are sure to keep their shape while tossed around with your gear.

Beef Jerky:
The cool thing about jerky is that if you rehydrate it, you can even make some pretty sweet meals in the wild.

Hard fruit:
I’m thinking apples, pears, and oranges here.  Make sure you’re not leaving rinds apple cores everywhere (we only need one Johnny Appleseed around here, and I don’t care if your name really is Johnny).  With cored fruits like apples and pears, if you start eating from the bottom, you can even eat the whole thing, core and all, and not waste any fruit.  Plus, maybe it’s a personal thing, but I feel pretty badass when I eat a whole apple. 

Hard Cheeses:
I know, I know.  Dairy?  Unrefrigerated?  Think again.  Hard, aged cheeses keep up extremely well outside of refrigeration, especially those like Parmigiano Reggiano and Swiss.  I sometimes spring for string cheese on day trips—since it is individually packaged in a clean environment, it should keep up well for a day, granted it is not sitting directly in the sun the entire time.

Sandwich alternatives:
If you can’t get away from the sandwich, consider wrapping it up.  Pitas and tortillas make sandwich magic out on the trail.

Dehydrated fruit:
This is hardy, healthy stuff.  Sweet and easy to snack on, and won’t get crushed under the weight of your gear and water bottle(s).  This can be anything from raisins and dried cranberries, to whole medleys of dried apple chips, mango, and banana.