DIY: Backpacking Meals and Bag Cooking Cozy

This weekend I tried making a few do it yourself backpacking meals. We love the brand Mountain House but they are pretty costly and many times there is just too much in one pouch for one person. Yes, we could share a pouch but the three of us all have different tastes and it never seems to work out where we are able to share. Which got me to thinking…..could I make my own meals cheaper and in the appropriate portion sizes that we would be able to finish the entire meal? The answer apparently is a big YES! I passed with flying colors after we all did some taste testing this weekend.

First, I did some research to see what has worked best for other backpackers. Quart size FREEZER bags are important. They are thicker than storage bags and don’t burst when adding boiling water. You could also prepare the meals and store them in bags, then when your ready to cook them do it in a covered insulated camp bowl. Although, this is often more than backpackers care to carry with them.

Next, I needed to make something to insulate the bags for the appropriate amount of time for the food to rehydrate. Many backpackers make their own bag cozy out of insulated reflective bubble wrap. So I made a trip to my local hardware store in search of this product which I could not find but decided to use a vehicle reflective window screen instead. This worked out great, was easy to cut out, and made three cozies with some to spare. And you could not beat the price…. a whopping $6.


Then it was time to prepare my meals. I had some ideas, had purchase things like freeze dried mushrooms, tomato powder, freeze dried fire roasted veggies, tuna pouches, chicken pouches, bouillon granules, dried fire roasted tomatoes, couscous, minute rice, quick cooking pasta, and so on. I did not need to purchase any spices since I already had a good supply of everything my family likes. I started mixing together things in the bags I knew we would enjoy. And came up with a few trial meals.


All I had left to do was add the boiling water, insert them into the cozy pouches and wait 10-12 minutes before we tried them. (Oh, I also prayed a little that they would be a success)

Wait time is over and it’s time to taste. IMG_0809

Success all the way around. We each tried every one and then picked our favorite to finish for lunch. I was happily surprised that I pulled this off on the first try. So now since we all enjoyed them I plan to share each recipe with you.

For the next few weeks watch for a new DIY backpacking meal to be shared. Also, keep in mind, you don’t need to be a backpacker to enjoy these meals. They would be super for business trips when your stuck in hotel rooms, dorm meals to send your college student, to take to work, or just to keep in the pantry for a fast easy meal. Throw them together, boil water, wait a few minutes, and you have a tasty hot meal ready to go.




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