Meal Planning Tutorial

To perform at your best during the extended effort demanded by alpine climbing your body needs high energy, nutritious food. Identifying nutritionally sound and appealing foods will require some personal experimentation. This page is meant to help get you started in the right direction with insights, recipes, and strategies that have worked well for Peak over time.

Everything we’ll present here can be prepared ahead of time, carried multiple days, and only requires hot water.


Instant oatmeal is as simple and effective as it gets. Consider adding chocolate candy, nuts, etc to make it more sustainable.

Look for pancake mix that only requires water. Add oats, chocolate, dried berries or syrup for better taste. This is a step up from oatmeal but requires a little more effort.

Powdered eggs with cheese
This can be a fast high protein meal if your tired of oatmeal that’s simple to make and light. If you’re looking to get creative, get dried veggies, or potatoes. has a good selection of these items.

* Don’t forget instant coffee packets and powdered cream!


It’s rare to stop and eat a single “lunch” during a day of climbing. Numerous snacks and small meals are more efficient. Here is a list of some of the time tested favorites:
– Peanut butter and jelly sandwich
– Dried meats and cheese
– Dried fruit such as mango, pineapple, apple, and banana
– Instant Hummus with carrots, peppers, or crackers
– Bars: Cliff bars, Epic bars, Pro bars, Laura bars, Candy Bars, etc
– Trail mix: mix of nuts raisins, M&Ms, seeds, Chex, etc
– Cliff Shot Bloks or GU energy gel with caffeine

Dinner Recipies

  • Dehydrated Instant Meals

    Dehydrated meals are exceptionally convenient and relatively lightweight. These off the shelf meals are usually well balanced with and endless number of options to choose from.

    Some favorites:
    Spaghetti with meat sauce, Beef Stroganoff, Chicken Fajita bowl, Pasta Primavera, and the Breakfast Skillet.

    Some Tips and Tricks:
    Always measure out exact amounts of water when prepping your dehydrated meal. While guessing is a possibility, adding too little will potentially lead to stomach aches and too much water makes soupy food.

    Bringing hot sauce and some cheese to add on top of meals can be good too.

  • Couscous w/ Noodle Packet

    Seasoning plain couscous with a Lipton Instant noodle packet is a simple, easy to make meal.

    Add dried meat, and vegetables for a more substantial meal. Chicken and Carrots are a solid combo!

  • Mashed Potatoes

    Instant mashed potatoes are also a great platform to build from.

    Add dried meat, and/or vegetables for a more substantial meal. Bacon and cheese are a crowd favorite.

Thoughts on a Stove

There are many different options for stoves. Some reputable brands are MSR and Jet Boil

Things to consider when selecting a stove:
-Type of trips
-Length of trips
-Type of fuel and if it’s refillable

If your going on a long expedition, a stove like the MSR Whisper lite is a good choice. It has a refillable white gas fuel tank and is user-friendly. It is popular among outdoor enthusiasts because it is easy to troubleshoot. Parts can be replaced and the stove can be cleaned fairly easy. Also white Gas doesn’t Freeze.

If you’re primarily going to be boiling water for freeze dried meals, or melting snow, use a Jet Boil. Nothing boils water as fast as a jet boil, they also pack into themselves for easy storing in your pack. While the downsides include having individual fuel cans, and an isobutane/propane fuel blend that can potentially malfunction if cold. A solution would be making sure you keep fuel off the snow and not out overnight.

Additional Considerations

Create Your Backcountry Spice Kit
It can be nice to have spices to make things taste better on a long trip or overnight. While the size of your spice kit might change here’s somewhere to start:
– Use 1 OZ Nalgene container or Ziploc bag to put spices in.
– Salt, pepper, oregano, paprika, cinnamon, curry powder, garlic powder make up the basic list
– Consider are Steak salt, Jonny’s seasoning, Tony Chachere, etc.
– Hot sauce, Oil, and Vinegar.

Staying Hydrated In the Mountains
Something that can be hard on long summit pushes or cold days is drinking cold water. Here are some alternatives to mix things up a little:
– Gatorade Powder, Tang, and Lemonade Powder are sweet and can make water go down easy and also add a few sugar calories.
– Yerba Mate, Tea, and Apple Cider are good hot drinks in cooler temps when cold water isn’t as desirable.
– Emergency Vitamin C packets are also a good immune system boost and a reminder to start the day off drinking water if you make them with breakfast.

Contact Us

Mountain Trip

135 W Colorado Ave 2A | Telluride, C0 81435

Authorized Permittee

Peak Mountain Guides is an authorized permittee of the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, Gunnison National Forest; San Juan National Forest; Bureau of Land Management Monticello, Moab, Gunnison, and Glennallen Field Offices; Eldorado Canyon State Park; Ouray Ice Park, City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks; and National Parks including Mt. Rainier, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, and Colorado National Monument. Peak Mountain Guides is an equal opportunity service provider.