No-stove hiking meals are perfect for those wishing to avoid the weight (extra 1-lbs or more) of carrying a stove, pot, and fuel combination.

Why go stoveless?

A no cook hiking trip can provide a variety of benefits over the alternative of packing a stove, fuel, and related supplies for cooking a warm meal.

A major benefit is the simplicity factor. There is no need to be concerned with a cooking pot, setting up a stove, measuring fuel, etc. Just eat or hydrate the prepared food.

Make sure the food is nutritious and filling to keep the energy levels up while out exploring on the trails.

Other great reasons to go stoveless include:

  • Burn bans
  • Environmentally sound
  • Less need to carry water
  • Logistics
  • Weight saving

Hiking Meals

Here are five no-stove meals to experience out on the hiking trails:

Chia porridge

A delightful on-the-go trail meal is chia porridge. While it won’t be warm, the chia porridge is able to get into a cold form which just needs reviving with water and 2-3 minutes. Extra taste is achieved by adding cinnamon (carry in a zip-lock bag) or dried fruit.

Crusty bread roll

Make a delicious crusty bread roll with cured meat and a hard cheese (slices of provolone or cheddar are great). This trail meal is easy to prepare and won’t crumble in the day-pack even after walking for several hours. Use bagels as an alternative to the crusty bread – and bagels are less likely to leave crumbs behind. Plus, if hiking in an area common to bears, a zip-close bag or similar can be used to conceal the smell.


Add a plain hummus to tortillas or pita bread for an instant snack on the trails. Extra taste and flavor is possible with the addition of radish sprouts, mustard greens, cress, or similar greens, as well as dried tomatoes and olives.

Nut Butters

Add the pouch or squeeze packets of nut butters to celery or banana chips for a quick and simple snack on the trails. Alternatively, use any other base for the butter that travels well. Use the pouches (in place of the glass jars) to keep the weight down in the backpack.

Tuna and Crackers

Tuna and crackers are a quick trial meal to prepare and easy to travel with in the backpack. Tuna or chicken makes a simple shelf-stable food that will last on the trails without a problem. Alternatively, for those not too keen on crackers, it can easily be replaced with crusty bread or make a tortilla. Extra taste is possible with dried tomatoes and slices of cucumber.

Lentils can go well with crackers and a pack of dressing. All of these items are shelf stable and perfect to pack as part of a no cook trail menu.


Even though there is no need for a stove, pots, and pans with the no cook recipes it can still benefit to have a variety of useful tools, such as utensils, ice, sealable bags, tin foil, and can opener. Other larger items could include cutting board and cooler.