Nuts and Bolts

Nuts and Bolts can make a nice alternative to trail mix but it isn’t as high in protein. It can also make a great gift at the winter holidays.


  • 2 cups Shreddies
  • 2 cups Cheerios
  • 2 cups Crispix
  • 2 cups pretzel sticks
  • 2 cups small cheese crackers
  • 1 cup peanuts (optional)
  • 1/2 butter
  • 2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp paprika


  1. preheat oven to 250F
  2. mix cereals, pretzels, crackers and nuts in a large roasting pan.
  3. melt butter and stir in spices
  4. pour butter mixture over cereal mix and stir until everything is coated.
  5. toast in the oven for 1 – 1.5 hours, stir periodically.

Spices can be adjusted to your liking.

Elvis Bars

This recipe is adapted from the blog 3 Homemade Breakfast Bar Recipes for Hikers by Nick Cote

  • 2 very ripe bananas
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • ¼ cup peanuts, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup dates, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup bacon bits
  1. Pre-heat oven 350 degrees
  2. Mix the bananas, peanut butter, maple syrup and salt in a bowl until smooth.
  3. Add in the other ingredients and then stir well
  4. Smooth mixture into a 9″ square baking dish
  5. Bake for 30 min and then let cool for 2 hours
  6. cut into 9 bars and wrap individually

Tips for Backpacking Protein

There are people who dehydrate their own meat but that makes me nervous from a health and safety point of view.

There are several good options commercially available though such as:

  • Jerky
  • shelf stable bacon
  • powdered peanut butter
  • textured vegetable protein (tvp)
  • tuna in foil packs
  • hummus mix
  • powdered eggs

On a weekend length trip you can also consider canned goods.

There is also lots of protein to be found in seeds and nuts so don’t forget to pack some trail mix.

Tips for Backpacking Fruits and Vegtables

There are some vegetables that you can find already dehydrated such as mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes.  Likewise, raisins, cranberries, dried blueberries etc are often available off the grocery store shelves.  Especially if you are hiking with a large unit, it can be worth looking into purchasing either at a bulk food store or a warehouse store as you may save quite a bit over the cost of smaller packs at the local grocery.

For fruit and vegetables that you can’t buy dried, a dehydrator provides an easy if not quick solution.  The trick to dehydrating fruits and vegetables is to make sure everything is about the same width.  I often use chopped frozen vegetables and canned fruit as I find they are already a consistent size.  If you are using fresh produce you may want to consider using a mandolin or other slicer to ensure constant sizing.

Backpacking Granola

This recipes is more of a rough guideline then a solid recipe.  Which is great because it can be easily customized depending on the taste of your budget, taste, food limitations and preferences.

Nuts: walnuts, peanuts, cashews, almonds etc.

Seeds: sunflower, pumpkin, chia et.

Dried fruit: raisins, cranberries, blueberries, cherries etc.  You also add some dried coconut flakes.


  • 3 cups of rolled oats
  • 2 cups mixed chopped nuts
  • 1 cups mixed seeds
  • 2 teaspoon spices – I used pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large egg whites (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups dried fruit


  1. preheat oven to 300 F
  2. mix all the ingredients together except the dried fruit
  3. spread out on a baking sheet and toast for 20 min, then cool
  4. Stir in dried fruit
  5. Store in ziplock bags.

Food for Backpacking Trips

Last summer I shared some of my favourite camping recipes.  This year I’ve been learning about backpacking cooking so I thought I’d share some of the more successful recipes I’ve discovered.

General Principles of Ultralight Backpacking Food

  • Minimize water carried (purify water en route)
  • Minimize the need for cooking fuel
  • Maximize calories for the space/weight
  • Everything must be stable at room temperature (or hotter)
  • Everything must fit in bear bag/vault
  • Food should be tasty, nutritious and comforting

There are a number of commercial companies that make meals for backpacking but they are pretty expensive.  The cost can be brought down a lot by preparing meals yourself, often out of things that are readily available in the grocery store.  That said, I’ve found that many blogs that cover this topic are from the US and many of the ingredients they call for don’t seem to be available in Canadian grocery stores.  Depending on your location you may find the same issue with my recipes.

Come back over the summer for more tips and recipes.

Happy Canada Day

I have no idea how long these celebration packs will be up on the government website but these are some links to some great activities

Maple Leaf activity pack

Get creative! Paint, read, dance, produce your own stop animation film or sing along to some of your favourite Canadian tunes.

Peace Tower activity pack

Test your Canadian knowledge and display your Canada Day cheer with fun crafts and games! Challenge your family and friends in a quiz, have a paper model build-off, decorate your house or share your story with other Canadians.

Beaver activity pack

Get active in your backyard and explore your natural surroundings! Go on a scavenger hunt, decorate your sidewalk or work out like a Canadian athlete.

O Canada activity pack

Are you an aspiring master chef? Try out these fun and delicious Canadian recipes to enjoy during your Canada Day celebrations.


(Adapted from the Imagination Challenge from the 1st Kingussie Guides in the UK)

Materials Needed: a pair of dice, pencil, piece of paper

Roll a 2: Draw a dining shelter
Roll a 3: Draw a Leader (with a cup of tea or coffee!)
Roll a 4: Draw the weather on your campsite
Roll a 5: Draw a place to sit like some camp chairs or sit-upons
Roll a 6: Draw a favorite camp activity (such as archery, swimming, crafts etc.)
Roll a 7: Draw tents on your campsite
Roll an 8: Draw a campfire
Roll a 9: Draw yourself on your campsite
Roll a 10: Draw some wildlife on your campsite
Roll an 11: Draw a flagpole & a flag from your unit or home country
Roll a 12: Draw your favourite camp meal

Roll the dice and draw that item on your paper. Then roll again. If you roll a number you’ve already drawn you can roll again (or add another one). Keep going until you have at least 6 unique items on your campsite.

You may want to follow this up with a discussion on the proper way to setup a campsite.  IE where to place the tents in relationship to the fire etc.