As more and more of us are looking to explore nature and all its splendors, it seems a shame to pack a bunch of processed nonsense with long ingredient lists.

It seems equally as wasteful to schlep all the fresh ingredients needed for a nice keto meal.

Unfortunately, most store-bought camping meals and snacks are highly processed and, more often than not, contain hidden carbs and sugars.

Some of these products may even use ingredients such as wheat and maltodextrin to replace some of the lost fiber from processing.

But there is a solution: keto backpacking meals!

The great thing is, it doesn’t take a lot of effort to improve our health and reach our keto goals when we’re in the backcountry.

All you need are a few staple ingredients that can be used for many different meals.

You’ll want to keep your pack light so plan on having items that are full of protein and healthy fats, but low in carbs.

To help you with your next camping trip, let’s take a look at some keto camping foods you can include in your backpacking meal plan.

We also have a range of keto breakfast, keto lunch, keto dinner, and keto side dishes ideas for you too!

Why Keto Meals and Backpacking Go So Well

Keto and backpacking really are a great combination for a few reasons:

  1. When you eat keto while backpacking, camping, or hiking you actually free up more space for nutrient-dense food as you’re not bringing any carbs.
  2. Every day, your body burns some of the fat that you carry on your back to turn into ketones for energy–so why not have these ketones replace those from glucose?
  3. With a carefully devised plan of things to eat, you won’t succumb to the temptation of fast food or high-carb snacks.
  4. You’ll feel more satisfied for longer with keto backpacking meals.
  5. Keeping your diet carb-free while backpacking means you don’t have to worry about your energy levels running out quickly due to depleted glycogen stores like you would on a traditional “high carb” backpacking trip.

Keto Camping Meal Plan

Before you set off to go backpacking, you need a proper meal plan.

Whether you’re going on a day hike or spending a week deep in the backcountry, you’ll need to pack food.

If you don’t plan things out correctly, you may end up with lots of heavy, unusable food at the bottom of your backpack.

So let’s look at what keto camping meals might be helpful and where we can find them:

Ketogenic Backpacking Food

Before we start to prep we need to save some space in your pack for healthy keto backpacking food.

Foods to avoid

  • Bread
  • Buns
  • Rolls
  • Chips
  • Pretzels
  • Crackers
  • Candy
  • High sugar fruits

Healthy food list

  • Low carb fruits
  • Low carb veggies
  • Eggs
  • Hard cheeses
  • Fat bombs
  • Keto tortillas
  • Keto bread
  • Deli meats

By packing the right food for your trip you cut out unnecessary carbs as well as pack as many healthy nutrients as you can into your bag.

Keto Freeze-dried Meals

One of the most popular types of food to take with you backpacking is freeze-dried meals.

These are popular because they’re typically pretty light and easy to prepare at the end of a long day.

Oftentimes they are dehydrated so you don’t have to worry about the extra weight of the water that fresh ingredients would add.

While these are a good option for keto backpacking food, they can be very expensive and aren’t always healthy. Make sure to check the label before you buy!

The best part about them is that you can find tons of keto backpacking food options such as Noodles with shrimp and veggies Chicken parmesan Stews Chili Curries And more!

Next mile meals

Next mile meals is a popular brand that has been featured in Backpacker, Outside, and Gearjunkie and produce freeze-dried meals that are high in protein and healthy fats.

They offer everything from Italian Beef Marinara to Steak Omelette and can be purchased online before your trip.

If you’re looking for something with a little more flavor, consider making your own meals before setting off.

With all the spices and herbs available at the grocery store it’s easy to create some buzz-worthy keto backpacking food!

Keto Hiking Food

Keto hiking food needs to be able to offer a lot of energy while still being lightweight and easy to prepare.

There isn’t usually much time, if any, for extra preparation when you’re out hiking all day–which means you need some pretty straightforward recipes.

The best backpacking food for keto hikers includes:

  • High protein nuts like pecans or almonds and nut butters.
  • Fatty meats like salami, pepperoni, summer sausage, hard cheeses (avoid these with high lactose), and jerky.
  • Oils such as olive oil or MCT oil.
  • Low Carb fruits and vegetables
  • Fat bombs
  • Cheese sticks / hard cheese

Keto snacks like Quest bars or Quest bites that offer a nice boost of fat and protein without adding carbs (and contain 20 grams of fiber!) Low carb

Keto Hiking Snacks

Keto hiking snacks really aren’t too complicated and many fit the “no-cook keto camping food list.

Since you’ll be going the whole day without a break, you want something that’s going to keep your energy levels high and satiated until dinner time.

Some of the best keto backpacking snacks include:

  • Nut Butter Pouches
  • Nuts and Seeds
  • Cheese Snacks.
  • Olive Pouches
  • Beef Jerky
  • Cured Meats
  • Low Carb Yogurt Pops
  • Keto Trail Mixes


When did the ketogenic diet begin?

The ketogenic diet was first used back in the 1920s as a treatment for epilepsy and has recently started gaining popularity again with athletes who want to increase their performance while remaining in ketosis.

How do you eat keto while backpacking?

The best type of foods to eat when you are backpacking is high protein and fat and low in carbohydrates so you don’t need to carry heavy food.

What can I use to make my own meals while backpacking?

You can use a solar oven, camp stove, or fire pit to cook your food when you are backpacking.
You can also purchase freeze-dried food from some brands or make your own keto backpacking meals.

What are the best foods for a backpacker going on a ketogenic diet?

Some of the best foods you can bring with you hiking are nuts, seeds, cheese sticks, cured meats, beef jerky, olive pouches or packages, and hard cheeses.
You can also bring Quest bars or Quest bites that have 20 grams of fiber and only contain 1 gram of net carbs.

Do I need a special stove to cook keto backpacking food?

No, you don’t need anything special to cook your food when backpacking as long as there is access to fire or at least a camp stove.

What should I do if camping isn’t an option?

If camping isn’t an option but you still want to eat keto, you can always purchase food items that are ready-made at grocery stores so you don’t have to cook them.

What should I look for when buying keto backpacking food?

You should check the nutritional facts on the labels of your food before getting it because not all keto backpacking foods are created equally.

What is a good meal plan for a backpacker on a ketogenic diet?

Some good options for meals are omelets with veggies and cheese, peanut butter or almond butter pouches, beef jerky or cured meats, nuts, and seeds. For snacks, bringing Quest bars or low carb snacks like carrots will well.


If you’re looking for some easy and lightweight keto hiking food, you’ll love the options listed above.

From high-protein nuts to fatty meats, there are plenty of great options that will help keep your energy levels up while you’re out on the trail. And, best of all, most of these foods don’t require any extra preparation–which is perfect for those who want to spend more time enjoying the outdoors and less time in the kitchen.

What sort of food do you take when you go hiking?

If you have any keto backpacking recipes, please feel free to share them in the comment section below!

2 backpacks sitting on some grass against a mountain backdrop.
Ketogenic Backpacking Meals + Foods to Avoid
About the Author

Passionate about helping households transition to sustainable energy with helpful information and resources.

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