Better Backcountry Breakfasts

©istockphoto/AJ_WattBecause there’s more to life—and camping—than instant oatmeal. Just don’t forget the coffee!

Alpine Scramble
For multi-day backpacking trips, nothing beats a good breakfast scramble. Use dehydrated hash browns as a base, then add whatever inspires you: chopped sausage, bacon, cheddar cheese, and hardy, easy-to-transport veggies like onions, zucchini, peppers, and cabbage. Then add eggs. If ambient temperatures are cold and you’re relatively close to home, you can carry real eggs (out of the shell) in a small water bottle. If you’re on a longer trip or temperatures make carrying real eggs unsafe, pick up some powdered scrambled huevos at your local co-op or outdoor store. Mix all ingredients in a frying pan, scramble until everything’s cooked, and blow your adventure partners’ minds.

Breakfast Burritos
The best recipe for an overnight weekend adventure: burritos! Make them at home with your favorite ingredients, wrap each burrito in aluminum foil, then freeze in a Ziplock bag. If you take them out of the freezer on a Friday night, they’ll be perfectly ready to re-heat on Saturday morning.


Pop Tarts
Toaster pastries are a classic for a reason: they’re sturdy, delicious, and ready to eat. Pop Tarts aren’t a nutritional powerhouse, but because they pack a hardy punch of calories and sugar they make a great summit-morning snack, and they warm easily in a pan or skillet over a camp stove, fire, or toaster. To add a hearty dose of protein and heart-healthy fat, top with almond or peanut butter. Look for organic versions, too.

If you’re car camping, opt for a south-of-the-border breakfast casserole: chilaquiles! All you need is a package of stale (or fresh) tortillas, a can or two of beans (preferably black), chopped tomatoes (either fresh or canned), and shredded cheese. Tear tortillas into chip-sized chunks, then mix with beans and tomatoes and heat slowly over a camp stove until the tortillas are soft. Top with shredded cheese. For added pizzazz, add jalapeños, avocado, fresh onion, canned corn, salsa, or hot sauce. To add a protein kick, top with a fried egg.

Upgraded Oatmeal
For a healthy treat, skip store-bought packets of instant name-brand oatmeal and make your own! All it takes is quick-cooking oats, a sprinkling of brown sugar, and some fun additions: chopped nuts, cinnamon, ground ginger, dried berries, coconut flakes, nut butter, etc. Package servings individually in sandwich-sized zip bags. If your camping partners are handy when you’re packing, let them select their own ingredients for a do-it-yourself gourmet mixture. Try cinnamon-cranberry, coconut-walnut, or blueberry-almond-ginger.