4 Calorie-Dense Meals for Winter Camping and Backpacking

4 Calorie-Dense Meals for Winter Camping and Backpacking

Best Calorie-Packed Meals for Camping in the Winter

Camping and backpacking in the winter can be peaceful and rewarding, but also exhausting. Your body burns more calories in cold temperatures to generate body heat, so you may need to consume more calories than usual to stay warm and energized during your trip. Here are four calorie-dense meals to prepare for your next winter camping and backpacking adventure.

Granola with Blueberries, Almonds and Milk

Eating a high-calorie breakfast can give your body the fuel it needs to make it through a day in the outdoors. This tasty granola dish, which is packed with 620 calories and 16 grams of protein, will boost your energy and satisfy your sweet cravings.

  • 1 Backpacker’s Pantry Granola with Blueberries, Almonds & Milk pouch
  • 1 cup hot water

Open the pouch and remove the enclosed oxygen absorber. Pour one cup of hot or cold water into the pouch. Stir thoroughly before serving.

Spicy Vegetarian Chili

Eating a hearty bowl of chili is a fantastic way to end a cold day. This chili dish will spice up your evening, warm your belly and give your body the energy it needs to stay active.

  • 1 14oz can of black beans
  • 1 14oz can of kidney beans
  • 1 14oz  can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 can of seeded chipotle peppers, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 12-ounce can of beer
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 Avocado
  • Salt

Heat the oil in a large pot. Add the onions to the pot and cook for about 5 minutes. Drain the kidney and black beans. Add the drained beans, tomatoes, beer, garlic powder and cumin to the pot. Add as many peppers as desired. Cook for about 20 minutes over medium heat, adding salt to taste. Top the chili with slices of avocado for serving.

Cheesy Camping Hot Dogs

This calorie-dense recipe puts a cheesy twist on classic campfire food for campers of all ages.

  • 6 hot dogs
  • 3 sticks string cheese, thinly sliced
  • 1 can pizza dough, cut into 6 one-inch strips
  • Ketchup, mustard, relish, other condiments as desired

Insert a wooden skewer into a hot dog. To cut a spiral into the hot dog, hold a knife diagonally to the top of the hot dog. Press the knife into the hot dog while using the wood skewer to roll the hot dog downward. Wind a thinly sliced piece of string cheese into this spiral groove on the hot dog. Place the hot dog and cheese on a piece of pizza dough and roll up. Carefully remove the wood skewer and loosely wrap the hot dog in a bit of aluminum foil. Repeat with the remaining hot dogs.

Let the hot dogs cook inside the foil over a campfire or grill for about 10 minutes, or until the dough has puffed. Flip over and cook for another 10 minutes. Remove the foil and top with condiments before serving.

Pad Thai

This meal, which contains 20 grams of protein and 460 calories, will keep your energy levels high when the temperatures are low.

  • 1 Backpacker’s Pantry Pad Thai pouch
  • 2¼  cups of hot water

Open the pouch. Remove the oxygen absorber and packets of peanuts and peanut butter. Combine peanut butter with other ingredients remaining in the pouch. Pour 2¼ cups of boiling water into the pouch. Stir thoroughly. Seal the pouch and let sit for 15-20 minutes. Stir again. Sprinkle crushed peanuts on top before serving.


Backpacker's Pantry provides ready-to-eat, lightweight camping food for short hikes, extreme adventures and everything in between. Browse our nutritious, gourmet food for the trail.