5 Unnecessary Backpacking Treats Worth Their Weight

Everything tastes better in the backcountry.

By: Ali Gates + Save to a List

Weight is always a factor when packing for your next backpacking trip, but these tasty additions to your backcountry cooking will make the extra haul worthwhile. Make sure you throw at least one of these 5 unnecessary backpacking treats into your bag before your next backpacking adventure!

1. Leopold Brothers New York Apple Whiskey

This smooth Whiskey is delicious straight-up, so no need for mixers. After a long trek to your destination, passing around the bottle with friends under the stars, around the campfire, or even in the hot springs will ease your soreness from the day’s hike. I prefer Leopold Brothers because of the taste, which is amplified after earning it with a hard trek. If you aren’t a big drinker, consider pouring some in a flask rather than bringing the whole bottle - just don’t be shocked when all of your friends want a taste!

2. Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

We all know the secret that Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are the gourmet choice when making s’mores, but even if you aren’t planning on carrying marshmallows and graham crackers up the trail, don’t leave behind the Reese’s! Chocolate makes everything better, and if you need a pick-me-up from a surprise rainstorm or stepping directly in the creek crossing, you’ll be glad you have this extra treat on hand.

3. Steak and Butter

This is a midwestern treat I have only recently been exposed to, and man it has changed the way I enjoy steak. Even when grilling at home, as soon as you take the fillet off the grill slap a pad of butter on it and lightly cover it with tinfoil. Grilling steaks in the backcountry doesn’t require as many tools as you may think - bring along a stainless steel cooling rack (the kind you use for cookies) and an oven mitt, and you are set up. Remember to remove the steaks from heat just prior to your desired cooking temperature, and to always use caution when in bear country!

4. Cinnamon Rolls

Another great use for the cooling rack is to warm up cinnamon rolls the morning you leave camp. I prefer to buy the cinnamon rolls pre-made from a local bakery, and on Sunday morning heat up coffee with the rolls and take in the views before breaking down camp. This Sunday breakfast routine has become a tradition, and is my favorite way to quietly soak in the last of the weekend before heading back to civilization.

5. Ice Cold Craft Beer

Not a whiskey drinker? No worries, just bring along your favorite craft beer, a mesh bag, rope, and a carabiner. Unfortunately, this method will not work if your destination isn’t near a stream, but if you’re in luck it doesn’t take much to have ice cold brews. Beers in the bags, rope to a tree, carabiner to tie it all together, and voila! You’ll be relaxing your sore legs and enjoying a cold one in no time.

Photo: Austin Trigg

See all of Ali's awesome articles on her Outbound Profile.

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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