We’ve all been there. We’ve got our gear packed for our next bike adventure, blow-up pillow, the latest front, and rear lighting, fresh chain, water bottles, and reservoir ready to go. But then you begin to wonder what you need to pack for fuel. What are you going to feed your engine while you crank out miles in the saddle for days on end? Well, I have a list of my top 10 go-to bikepacking foods for short and long bike tours. This package can be stored away in your saddlebag or distributed around your bike to make it more accessible during a roadside lunch. All my recommendations listed below are based on real-world experiences and trips I’ve gone on with these foods. Let’s get started.
Let’s keep it simple, I mean there’s no need to complicate things. We all know peanut butter is number 1 on the list. I’m surprised it’s not called a superfood because it’s what kept me going on the Kokopelli Trail for 5 days. I never leave home without it when it comes to bikepacking foods even when I’m not riding. It’s a functional spread that can be had with banana, spoon-fed, and of course the OG PB&J. Nothing can go wrong here. It’s also easy to source and can be found at gas stations and convenience store shelves. It also lasts forever.
I generally bring this with me all the time on tours. Not only is it easy to pack, but it serves as a multipurpose meal. I’ve made PB&J’s with this, corn & black bean tortillas, and toast. Yeah, I said it Tortilla Toast with a capital T right over the campfire.
This is a stable in the bag and I pack this without even thinking twice. Not only are they light and just need water & fire to get started, but they provide you with essential nutrients that helps you go the long haul. To add some fun, I like to mix in trail mix at the end. You can pack instant oatmeal packets or if you have a value pack tub in your pantry just pour a few cups in a Ziploc bag and you’re good.
The giant raisin that packs in tons of sugar to give you a boost. Dates are awesome and I usually pair them with a trail mix. You can throw back a couple when riding or mix it up with the trail mix. When it comes to bikepacking foods these are non-stop energy and goodness here. Save some for your morning oatmeal though, you will thank me later.
Since I transitioned to the Moka Pot for brewing my coffee I never looked back at countertop coffee machines again. The best part about the Moka pot is that it’s pretty packable depending on which one you go with. It’s a luxury to pull out a Bialetti 1 cup Moka Pot first thing in the morning on a trip. Your friends will call you boujee. I generally like premium roasted coffee but Café Buestello will suffice. This setup can never go wrong.
Yeah, I know things can get messy with these, but depending on your tour arrangements you may be able to sneak in one of these. I’m a huge fan of avocado sandwiches and I like to pair it with pesto on bread or tortilla when possible. It makes for a great roadside lunch or dinner later at camp.
If you know me, you will know that pasta is one of my favorite dishes and a must-have meal in your bag. It may require a couple of cups of that precious water supply to fire up but your legs will feel so much better the next day. I like to mix it with some packed up olive oil and if I don’t have that I carry a can of chilly to spice things up. Just remember, whatever you carry in, just be sure to carry it out at your campsite.
Dried fruit is a great way to get in essential sugars and it makes for a great snack while pedaling. I like to make a stop by my local market to pick up dried mango. A trick I do is to leave a few of them inside your water bottle for a long day of riding. By evening or the next day, you’ll have some tasty mango juice.
It wouldn’t be a proper bike tour without Oreo’s as a must for my bikepacking foods list. I’m a sucker for these and can probably devourer a double pack in sight. Be prepared for them to be crushed, but don’t worry they will still taste the same. I like to go with the mini Oreos as I find they pack a little easier.
Camp Dehydrated Meals
These entrees are great and I like to pack a few of them depending on the type of tour I’m doing. I like the Good To-Go brand meals for my dehydrated bikepacking food selection. They make a tasty Thai Curry and Mexican Quinoa Bowl. Heads up, they can get pretty expensive. What’s great about them is that they’re super light and easy to stow away. The con is that they sometimes don’t provide enough calories. Save yourself from staring at your friend’s food when you’re done eating yours at camp and pack a few more than just 1 per meal.
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Ridden & Written by
Dwayne Burgess (Manual Pedal)