Backpacking and backcountry camping are some of my favorite pastimes. Each gives you a chance to explore, get some fresh air, take a break from typical day today monotony, and depending on what you’re looking for, meet new people or enjoy some much-needed solitude.
But I’ve found, through my own experiences, that cooking a good meal while backpacking can be difficult, and this is especially true if you are on a diet such as the keto diet. To make your life and meal prepping a little easier, I’ve put together a list of some of my favorite keto backpacking meals and snacks. I hope it’ll make planning your trip a little easier!
1. Quest Nutrition S'mores Protein Bar
This s’mores bar is one of my all-time favorite protein bars. It doesn’t taste like pure whey protein masked in cheap flavoring and is much healthier than most high-protein bars and much, much less carb heavy.
One of the most popular flavors – and my favorite – is s’mores. I didn’t think I’d like this flavor because I didn’t think it’d actually taste like s’mores, but I was happily surprised. It’s got all the components of one (chocolate, graham crackers and marshmallows) and although it’ll never be the same as a freshly made campfire s’more, it comes close.
2. Munk Pack Keto Granola Bars
I have a deep love for all things granola, and these are by far my favorite granola bars. I used to eat Nature Valley bars, which are delicious, but high in sugar. Munk Pack’s granola bars are just as tasty, with a tiny fraction of the sugar and carbs. It comes in four flavors – almond butter cocoa chip, coconut cocoa chip, peanut butter, and maple pecan. Each bar is low sugar, gluten free, and most importantly, keto friendly, and I can’t recommend them to fellow granola lovers enough.
3. IQBAR Protein Bars
If you’re looking for an easy to eat, keto friendly snack that contains a good amount of vitamins and minerals, or have food allergies/dietary restrictions, IQBAR Brain + Body Protein Bars are something I’d recommend for you. They’re vegan, soy-free, kosher, gluten-free, paleo friendly, keto friendly, and they contain 6 different brain boosting nutrients – lion’s mane, MCT, omega-3s, flavonoids, vitamin E, and choline.
My favorite flavor is matcha chai, which tastes as good as it sounds.
4. BRAMI Lupini Beans
Lupini beans are a superfood that not many people know about, and that fit crazily well into a keto lifestyle. They contain 50% more protein than garbanzo beans, 2 times more fiber than edamame, 60% fewer carbs than pistachios, and 80% fewer calories than almonds. They’re an ancient legume that have been eaten in the Mediterranean since before the Roman Empire, and are as tasty as they are good for you.
They come in multiple flavors, such as chili & lime, sea salt & vinegar, and garlic & rosemary, and are one of the few snacks that I can say contain 0g NET carbs.
5. Melba Toast
These keto toast snacks are a simple treat that I enjoy taking along with me when I backpack because they pack well. They’re thick and crunchy, so they won’t crumble into a million pieces if they’re packed tightly with other food, and they pair well with a lot of other ingredients. I like using them for dipping, as a carrier for other food, and stand-alone. They contain 0 grams of sugar, 3.5 grams of fat, 7 grams of protein, and 1 gram NET carbs.
6. Low Karb Granola Cereal
As I said previously, I am weak for granola. It’s so versatile – it can be eaten in a huge variety of ways, can be eaten anywhere, and is durable like trail mix, which makes packing it a breeze. Low Karb’s Blueberry Cinnamon Nut Granola is my favorite keto friendly granola, and I enjoy eating it on the trail by itself or with some rehydrated dehydrated milk.
7. HighKey Keto Snack Cookies
Cookies are delicious and a fun treat to eat while hiking, but not all Keto cookies are created equal. Some of them are good, some of them taste like glorified cardboard. HighKey’s Low Carb Chocolate Chip Cookies are one of the former.
They’re gluten free, grain free, paleo friendly, and contain only 2 grams NET carbs. They’re very tasty, and once again, I like eating them both stand alone and with rehydrated dehydrated milk.
8. Quest Peanut Butter Protein Cookie
I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but this isn’t the only Quest product on this list. That’s because they make a ton of yummy keto friendly foods, and their Peanut Butter Protein Cookie is no exception.
It’s another keto cookie that I enjoy eating, but instead of being several, small, crunchy cookies like above, it’s one big soft and chewy cookie. It contains 15 grams of protein, 5 grams of NET carbs, 12 grams of fiber, and tastes pleasantly similar to betty Crocker’s peanut butter cookies.
9. HighKey Keto Breakfast Cookies
I pretty much always pack HighKey’s Keto Breakfast Cookies when I go camping, and that’s because they’re particularly awesome when paired with nut butter. They make for an easy, fast, satisfying high-calorie meal. My favorite of the flavors is banana bread, which pairs well with all kinds of spreads, and contains 16 grams of fat, 2 grams NET carbs, and 5 grams of protein.
10. FBOMB Macadamia Nut Butter
Speaking of nut butters and spreads, FBOMB Macadamia Nut Butter is my favorite for camping. It’s well suited for backpacking because of its pouch design, which makes dispensing it and carrying it convenient.
I do tend to only use this for camping for that very reason, though – I try to stay away from single use plastic as much as possible. It comes in a few different flavors, including coconut & macadamia nut, macadamia nut & hazelnut, and salted chocolate macadamia. They each have 21-22 grams fat, 2 grams protein, and 1-2 grams NET carbs.
11. CHOMPS Grass Fed Beef Sticks
Meat jerky is a classic backpacking staple, and it fits into the keto diet well. It lasts for many years (depending on whether it’s preserved and/or cured), is easy to eat on the go, and unlike traditional meat, does it need to be refrigerated.
These Grass Fed Beef Jerky Meat Sticks are one of my favorite types of jerky, and I much prefer them over the stuff you’ll find at gas stations. They contain little to no sugar and a hefty amount of protein and fat, making them a satisfying snack that will keep you full for hours. They come in eight different flavors, the most popular being jalapeno beef, cherry habanero beef, and Italian style beef.
12. People's Choice Beef Jerky
If you like a more old-school jerky that’s tough and thick rather than thin and tender, People’s Choice Beef Jerky is for you.
I used to get all my jerky from a family-owned shop near where I live (that has sadly closed down) and this is the closest thing I’ve found that resembles it. It’s hardy, extremely high in protein, and very simple with the ingredients being only beef, water, sea salt, garlic powder, and a few other spices. I like a jerky that takes me a while to eat, and this fits the bill.
13. Great Low Carb Bread Company Pasta
No one should have to give up pasta – it’s a gift from the universe that shouldn’t be withheld from anyone. Especially since there are specific pastas created for the keto lifestyle that maintain that delicious taste and magnificent texture of normal pasta.
I’ve tried many specialty pastas that are low in both carbs and gluten, and there have only but a handful that I have repurchased. Great Low Carb Bread Company’s pastas are the ones I buy most frequently, and I cannot recommend them enough. They are seriously the closest you can get to traditional pasta. They don’t break up in sauces, have a chewy but firm texture, and taste just like regular pasta. A single serving is 12 g of protein, 18 grams of fiber, and 7 grams of NET carbs. (which is crazy low for pasta)
In general, pasta is a superb ingredient to take backpacking because it’s easy to cook, versatile, and if you bring/make the right sauce, doesn’t make you compromise on taste.
14. Yo Mama's Keto Vodka Sauce
And this is one of the right sauces I was referring to. I love this pasta sauce. That might be due to the fact that I have a deep appreciation for vodka sauces, but it’s also because it’s delicious. I’ve been eating it for a long time, and the fact that it’s keto friendly makes me so happy, because I can continue to enjoy it guilt and repercussion free.
Just transfer it into a durable, leak proof container (accompanied with your pasta of choice) and you’re good to go.
15. Primal Kitchen Dairy-Free Alfredo Sauce
This dairy-free Alfredo sauce is another great pasta sauce, and one that I buy when I’m in the mood for something more creamy and less acidic. It’s plant-based, which might seem a little gross for an Alfredo sauce, but is actually really good. Instead of cream they use cashew butter and avocado oil, and although it doesn’t taste exactly like a traditional cream-based sauce – it doesn’t – it’s good in its own way. One serving is 1/4 of a cup, and it contains 4.5 grams of fat, 1 gram of protein, and 5 grams of NET carbs.
16. Meat Shredz Dried Pulled Pork
Dehydrated shredded meat is not to be confused with jerky, they’re very different things. One is eaten as a stand alone snack, the other is incorporated into meals. And although you could eat dehydrated shredded meat as a snack, you’d be missing out on its potential.
I eat it in a variety of ways. Sometimes I rehydrate it in a sauce and eat it on bread, and sometimes I eat it in a soup. Either way, it makes for a great meal.
17. Kevin's Natural Foods Keto Sauces
Kevin’s Natural Foods Keto & Paleo Sauce is my usual sauce of choice to pair with dehydrated meat or tuna. Each flavor – cilantro lime, classic taco, Korean BBQ, lemongrass basil, teriyaki, tomatillo taco, tikka masala, and Thai coconut (my favorite) have roughly 4 grams of NET carbs and low levels of sugar. I haven’t tried all the flavors, but the ones I have tried I enjoyed and repurchased.
What makes them particularly nice for backpacking is that they come in a flexible foil container, which means you don’t have to repackage them.
18. Birch Benders Keto Pancake Mix
Birch Benders Keto Pancake & Waffle Mix makes for a fun and indulgent meal that requires very little effort and supplies. All you need is water for this mix, which makes it ideal for camping. Maybe add in a little syrup or spread, and you’ve got yourself a treat.
One serving (two pancakes) has 9 grams of protein, 11 grams of fat, 5 grams of fiber, and 5 grams of net carbs, making them a much healthier keto alternative to standard pancake batters.
19. HighKey Hot Cereal
If you want a calorie dense breakfast that will give you lots of energy, you can’t go wrong with hot cereal. Rather than traditional oatmeal, a more keto friendly option is HighKey Snacks Keto Breakfast Hot Cereal. It’s referred to as noatmeal and has a similar consistency without all the carbs.
Its ingredients include hemp seeds, coconut, sunflower seeds, milk protein, pecans, flax seeds, chai seeds, and more. One 1/3 cup serving contains 14 grams of fat, 4 grams of fiber, 9 grams of protein, and 1 gram net carbs.
20. Kettle and Fire Keto Soups
Soup is one of my favorite things to bring on a camping trip because of how easy it is to prepare. All you have to do is heat it up. If you want to get a little fancy, you can doctor it up with some additives, but it’s not necessary. It’s simple, but filling, and after a long day’s hike, I rarely want to make an elaborate meal.
Kettle & Fire’s soups are some of my favorites. They’re tasty, keto friendly, contain 0 grams of sugar, and have a 2 year shelf life. My favorite of their flavors is mushroom bisque, but some others include butter curry, broccoli cheddar, and spicy cauliflower.
21. Tsubi Miso Soup
Tsubi’s Miso Soup is my all-time favorite soup to bring backpacking. I wouldn’t consider it a full meal because of how low-calorie it is, but it pairs well with almost anything, and I more often than not enjoy it as a midnight snack with keto friendly ramen and a glass of chamomile tea. I’ve tried all three flavors (spicy red miso with mushrooms, white miso with seaweed & tofu, and miso with crunchy vegetables) and they’re all delicious.
Side note: They go well with bonito flakes and dashi!
22. Shirataki Keto Ramen
I don’t have a whole lot to say about these other than that they are the best low-carb ramen I’ve found to pair with miso soup. They are oodles better than the alternative brands I’ve tried, and if you’re looking for a keto friendly ramen, I recommend you give these a try.
23. Chicken of the Sea Tuna Infusions
Chicken of the Sea Tuna Infusions are a favorite of tons of backpackers, myself included, and for good reason. They’re easy to pack, contain a crazy amount of protein, and are really, really yummy. Eat them by themselves, on top of crackers, anyway you want. They come in multiple flavors including basil, cilantro & lime, cracked black pepper, lemon & thyme, smoked, sun-dried tomato, and the best in my book, thai chili.
One serving contains 20 grams of protein, 6 grams of fat, and 0 carbs. One of my favorite ways to eat them is in a wrap like this.
24. Judee's Whole Egg Powder
Dehydrated eggs are cheap, and in my eyes, a backpacking staple. Heat them up in some water or rehydrated dehydrated milk, throw in some spices and dehydrated vegetables, top them with some shredded meat, and you’ve got yourself some gourmet scrambled eggs. 10/10 would recommend.
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Hi, I'm Ash!
I’m a travel blogger who loves experiencing new things and deeply connecting with people. My missions are to help others around the world realize their travel dreams, and to spread the word about sustainable travel. Feel free to send me a message here.