20+ Picnic Lunch Ideas For Hiking

Are you scouring for picnic lunch ideas for hiking for your upcoming expedition but have no clue how to kick-start the preparation? Fret no more, as I’m here with some of the most creative solutions from across the internet.

Want to know how I came up with the ideas?

Well, in my experience, the best picnic lunch ideas for hiking aren’t just delicious. They’re simple as well. They’re dishes you can make way before the hike date, and still rest assured that they’ll taste great when it’s time to consume them.

Better yet, these picnic lunch ideas for hiking are easy to pack in a backpack, and you’ll only need a few lightweight utensils to serve them. No utensils? Even better! Only a few things can beat the joy of eating with one’s bare hands.

My Go-To Picnic Lunch Ideas For Hiking

Dig out your favorite picnic blankets, reusable cutlery, and hiking gear. Because after you’ve read this, you’ll be pumped to host the best picnic lunch hike you’ve ever had.

1. Pasta Dishes

I’m of the opinion that one can never have too many types of carbs at a hiking picnic lunch. Better yet, most pasta dishes are easy to make and customize with your preferred sophistication.

My favorite pasta picnic lunch ideas for hiking include mandarin and spinach pasta with teriyaki dressing, creamy and cheesy pasta salad, BLT pasta salad, creamy tuna pasta salad, and pesto pasta salad.

2. Deviled Eggs

Who knew eggs could be this appealing and inviting in a hiking setting? Munch on these satisfying, flavorful, and not-so-regular deviled eggs spiced with Creole Seasoning. This could also be the best picnic lunch idea for hiking you’ll ever find because it’s totally guilt-free, healthy, and low carb.

3. Lemon Blueberry Scones

Soft and buttery scones with nice crunchy golden crusts. With just the ideal amount of tartness and sweetness from lemon zest and blueberries, these lemon blueberry scones will also be genuinely comforting and refreshing in every bite.

Top off the whole picnic lunch idea for hiking with a glistening sweet glaze for an appealing finish.

4. Beef Empanadas

How can one even begin to resist these beef empanadas loaded with countless flavors? It’s the perfect soul food that’ll, without a doubt, warm your soul. Stuff the flaky, buttery dough with perfectly spiced bell peppers, tomatoes, and ground beef. This is undoubtedly one of the best picnic lunch recipes you’ll want to revisit repeatedly, and not just for hiking or backpacking scenarios.

5. Flaky Homemade Biscuits

Only a few things define comfort food better than these highly flaky lovelies with beautiful layers of buttery goodness. I’d suggest making them entirely from scratch using only simple ingredients that are probably already sitting idly in your pantry.

Here is a step-by-step guide to help you whip out these culinary delights. I’d also like to mention this is one of my absolute favorite picnic lunch ideas for hiking.

6. Chicken Tortilla Pinwheels

Are you looking for the best picnic lunch ideas for hiking couples? Chicken tortilla pinwheels could be what you’re looking for. Impress your lover with your own unique spin on these hard-to-beat comestibles. I usually stuff mine with bacon, spinach, shredded chicken, and a cream cheese mixture.

The end result will be a cheesy and creamy picnic finger food you’re both assured to love.

7. Sausage Rolls

Try this easy and quick picnic finger food made with store-bought puff pastry and stuffed with herb and spice-infused ground meat. This is the absolute crowd-pleaser you can serve as an appetizer, snack, or for breakfast.

Undoubtedly one of the most delicious picnic lunch ideas for hiking you’ll ever try.

Related: How To Pack An RV Kitchen

8. Broccoli Salad

If you can, I suggest making this salad a day in advance. The broccoli will soften and absorb the lightly creamy, tangy dressing as it sits. The end result should be an even tastier salad after the salad’s night spent in the fridge.  

9. Blueberry Poppyseed Pancakes

Whether you’re an intrepid explorer or just starting out, you’ll need picnic lunch ideas for hiking that can sustain you both physically and mentally amidst your hike or trek. Thus enters the blueberry poppyseed pancakes.

These protein-packed and fiber-filled pancakes will award you consistent energy throughout the remainder of the hike and keep you focused and energized as you navigate even the trickiest terrains and steepest climbs.  

10. Tuna Mayo Rolls

Easy to make and travel with on a hike, these rolls require minimal effort but will award you a sufficient protein hit to keep your tummy full. Feel free to keep it simple using tinned tuna and squeezes of mayonnaise.

I’d also suggest adding red onion, lemon juice, celery, and garlic to give the meal plenty of flavor.

11. Chocolate Chip Cookies

picnic lunch ideas for hiking
Photo Credit: Unsplash.

The melted butter and extra yolk are the highlights of these chewy and perfectly soft discs of happiness. I’d personally recommend using chocolate for that chocolaty and rich goodness. The best part about this picnic lunch idea for camping and hiking is that you won’t need a mixer. Pretty cool, right?

12. Spicy Hummus Veggie Wraps

Buy some spicy hummus or make some of your own by blending a can of chickpeas, garlic (as much as you wish), and a drizzle of chilli oil in a food processor. Add a touch of water till you get the consistency you desire.

Generously spread your hummus over one-half of a wrap and top with chopped bell peppers, thinly sliced cucumbers, and shredded carrots.

13. Lemon Bars For Dessert

Any guide on picnic lunch ideas for hiking would be incomplete without tropical summer treats akin to these fantastic lemon bars. You’ll love how the shortbread crust matches the luscious lemon filling. Prepare these sinfully addicting bars the right way, and they’ll deliver the perfect balance of tartness and sweetness.

14. Peanut Butter And Jam

This American classic may seem sickly sweet, but I promise that the salty contrast to the jam’s sweetness will make it the crowd-pleaser every picnic lunch desires.

Better yet, it doesn’t matter if you have smooth or crunchy peanut butter. Just layer it up alongside strawberry jam for a sticky treat.

15. Mango Salsa

Ready to work your magic around this fresh and vibrant tropical salsa? The unique pairing of jalapeno and mango was surprisingly addictive when I first tried this concoction. The picnic delicacy also boasts the right amount of tanginess, spiciness, and sweetness that will complement all your Mexican favorites.

16. Herby Roast Chicken

This is the perfect picnic lunch idea for hiking for people with roast leftovers or those who just want a change from the classic roast chicken. Blend 10g parsley, 10g coriander, 1 tbsp lemon juice, a clove of garlic, and 1 tbsp of olive oil with a pinch of salt to create the perfect herby sandwich dressing.

17. Pico de Gallo

All you need is a spoonful of Pico de Gallo to go with your Quesadillas, Burritos, Tacos, and Tortilla Chips to complete your Mexican food escapades. Feel free to fire away with Jalapenos here as well if you must.

This picnic dip is astoundingly easy to make and will be ready in less than ten minutes. Pretty impressive, huh?

18. The Classic Ham And Cheese

Take two slices of your favorite white sandwich bread slices and spread a layer of butter, followed by an extremely thin layer of mustard. Feel free to layer up your grated cheddar cheese and wafer-thin ham for a classic lunch idea with a kick.

Cut the sandwiches diagonally and stack them in reusable lunchboxes for easy transport during your hike.

19. Buffalo Chicken Dip

Get the picnic lunch party started with this scrumptious buffalo chicken dip. The contrasting flavors of cheesiness and spiciness really hit the spot. The dip is made even tastier by the addition of Creole Seasoning and Ranch Dressing.

I’ll be honest. This is my favorite dip for wilderness picnic finger foods like baguettes, crackers, and tortilla chips.

20. Curry Chicken Salad

Chicken salad is a classic picnic fare for a reason. This creamy, delicious dish just tastes better when eaten anywhere, including outdoors, amidst hiking expeditions. Here, I suggest piing it high between your slices of sourdough bread. You could also lean into the curry flavor and use Indian naan.

21. Drinks

Any guide on picnic lunch ideas for hiking and backpacking trips would also be incomplete without a drink or two. My favorite is homemade pineapple juice, which helps me beat the heat. Also made from lemons and loaded with fiber and Vitamin C, my pineapple drinks deliver the perfect balance of tartness and sweetness.

Additional revitalizing drinks you should consider for your picnic hike include southern sweet tea and lemonade. You can also include coffee and energy drinks in moderation for extra energy on the treks.

Picnic Lunch Ideas For Hiking – Conclusion

A good question I often get about picnic lunch ideas for hiking is, “How much food should I bring on my backpacking trip?” This will depend on many factors, like how long you’ll be hiking, your size & weight, the number of calories you burn, and the intensity of the hike.

A reasonable goal is between 1½ and 2½ pounds of food per person. Always err on the side of taking a little more but don’t overdo it.

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