Nutritionists tell us that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. For me, I need a decent breakfast to give me enough energy to start the day well. At home I begin the day with a bowl of porridge with cranberries and honey. For a few years, I tried to do the same backpacking. I used traditional porridge and Ready Brek. In the end, I found both inadequate and messy so I gravitated to various grain and nut bars.


Pictured above is now my typical backpacking breakfast, a combination of grains, nuts, fruit and cheese all washed down with a cup of refreshing green tea. I find I need a decent amount of bulk to keep me going for the morning. I highly recommend the M&S super nut, fruit and seed flapjack. It’s lovely and moist, tasty and packed with calories. The Nature Valley granola bars are a good substitute for porridge.

I like to eat plenty of nuts while I’m out and both Eat Natural and M&S do some good bars. A small box of raisins provides a bit of extra fruit (and digestible sugar). Lastly, I like to have a bit of cheese to boost my protein intake as I don’t carry milk. Babybels are ideal as they keep well and are a reasonable sized portion.

I used to drink black tea but found that powdered milk was a pain to carry when backpacking. I tend to drink more green tea at home now, as it’s healthier. When I’m backpacking, I drink only green tea as it’s much easier to prepare, not needing milk. I also find it’s more refreshing and clears my palate after eating.


18 thoughts on “Breakfast”

  1. A good, simple breakfast is Alpen with added powdered milk – prepack into portion-sized bags and just add cold water to eat. The nutrition balance is pretty good, and overall quantity is easily scaleable.

    Re nuts, I discovered Marmite oven-baked cashews last summer. They make a good break from overly sugary food. I find I regularly need something quite salty, presumbly because of all the sweating when climbing steep slopes.

    In the same vein, a good alternative hot drink is chicken stock (preferably a variety with only ingredients).

    1. That’s a good idea but for some reason I’ve never really liked Alpen. I’ve tended to take salted peanuts, so I’ll look out for Marmite cashews 🙂 .

  2. For a day or two I take oats so simple or a store equivalent tipped into a freezer bag with skimmed milk powder. Add hot water to the bag and just dispose of the bag later. For years I’ve tended to take lemon tea powder as my main drink. You just add water, hot or cold.

  3. for many years now i have made my on take on porridge. I put a selection of nuts and seeds in the blender and pulse blend to break them up. then after removing the seed mix i blend oats then add the seed/nut mix, cinnamon, milk powder and chopped dried fruit[dates,apricots, sultanas and sometimes blueberries and cranberries]. When out i just mix in hot water and eat.

  4. I think outside of winter you’re right Robin. Also if your say using esbit – then your fuel weight each day would be very little. But your breakfast is fast to use. On a warm morning you could be up and away walking then stop for breakfast later, or eat it as you go. Got me thinking about my breakfast menu.

  5. In muesli, I use whey protein powder instead of milk powder – similar taste, I think, and the protein is useful. Another option is coconut flour, it mixes up well with cold water

  6. In the winter when there is more time in the morning, I also have a hot porridge based breakfast, but often in the summer I get away early and eat similar stuff to you on the go. Always a cup of tea in the morning when I wake up whatever the year.

  7. I love the Eat Natural bars and quite often I have one for a quick breakfast when travelling (up early airport flights etc).

    For a hot breakfast I still subscribe to the own mix of oats, powdered milk and sultanas – add boiling water into a heat resistant pouch bag and cover in insulating pot cozy material for 10 minutes.

  8. I don’t eat breakfast when at home, but on the trail it’s compulsory! My preference is for hot food for breakfast – normally a porridge. These are pre-packed into zip lock bags with the correct amount of milk powder already added.

    On some trips I have even made bacon rolls – although the washing up becomes a much bigger pain when doing this.

    For me next trip I’m going to be trying bread rolls with pre-spread butter to go with the porridge. I’m working on the basis that the weather will be cold enough, that the pre-buttered bread will last 🙂

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