The Complete Guide To Meal Planning For Hunting Trips


There’s a lot that goes into packing for a hunting trip. You have to bring all of your clothes, your accessories, your weapon, your tags — but have you thought about food to take hunting? Many people underestimate how hungry they get out in the field, and if you’re doing something as physically demanding as hunting, you’ll need to give your body the fuel to take on the task.

Packing food for a hunting trip may not seem like an easy thing to do, but if you know what types of food to bring and some easy meal ideas, you’ll be in great shape. Read on to learn more about how to plan your hunting food choices and get some meal ideas.

How to Plan Your Hunting Food Choices and Quantities

As you’re putting together your hunting food list, there are a couple of different things you need to keep in mind.

Assess Your Calorie Needs and Plan Accordingly

Calories are a unit of energy — and any hunter will tell you that hunting requires quite a bit of energy. Packing hunting food requires you to do a new type of calorie counting, and instead of trying to limit the calories you intake, you want to make sure that you’re getting enough calories to keep your body going throughout the day.

The recommended caloric intake for a person depends on their height, weight, age, sex, lifestyle, and overall general health, but in general, an active man should try to consume 2,500 calories a day and an active woman should try to consume 2,000 calories a day. However, if you’re out walking through a field carrying firearms and other hunting equipment, you’ll want to aim to consume more than 2,500 calories since you’ll be burning through them rather quickly.

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Choose Nutrient-Dense Foods

With that being said, you shouldn’t take this as an opportunity to load up on calories in a non-nutritious way. Consuming calories is one thing, but you’ll also want to make sure that you’re getting the right nutrients that your body needs.

Small, packable foods that are nutrient-dense (think blueberries, nuts, seeds, or vegetables) will give your body so much more energy and awareness than typical snack foods like chips, crackers, or candy. When you’re out in the field, you’ll want as much energy and awareness as possible, so load up on nutrients in any way you can.

Bring Enough Hunting Food But Don’t Overpack

Despite how well you pack, any hunting trip is going to require you to bring plenty of things with you. Because of this, you’ll need to be smart with the amount of hunting food that you bring with you. Obviously, you’ll want to bring enough food that will last you throughout the trip, but it’s also important that you don’t overpack.

Camping Food

Think about any opportunities you have to eat at a restaurant. Will you be staying in a tent the entire time, or are you taking breaks at night to stay at a lodge or hotel? Whenever you have the chance to get food somewhere else and not pack it is a win for your backpack, so take any opportunity you can get.

Eliminate the Unessential

As mentioned earlier, your bag is going to be plenty full, and it will be tough to find space for all of your hunting food. Food is obviously an essential item, but can you say the same about the rest of the items in your bag?

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If there’s anything in your bag that you would consider unessential, it’s best to take it out. You can be caught with plenty of things out in the field, but being caught without food is not an option. You’ll be much happier that you have food in a bag than a random unimportant accessory, so pack with care.

Backcountry Breakfast Ideas

They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and if you’re a hunter who is waking up before the sun rises to get out in the field, you probably tend to believe it. However, cooking a full breakfast isn’t exactly an option when you’re hunting. Thankfully, there are plenty of different options to choose from that take up little space and contain some good nutrients.

  • Breakfast/protein bar
  • Oatmeal packets
  • Bananas
  • Pop-Tarts
  • Granola

The Lunch List

Once the sun is at the peak of the sky and you’ve spent the morning hunting and scouting, you’ll likely be ready for lunch. Here are some great backcountry hunting meals that make for a great lunch:

  • Trail mix
  • Dried fruit
  • Bagels
  • Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
  • Tuna pouches
  • Apples
  • Jerky

Trail Mix

Easy Hunting Dinners

Dinner is likely the time when you’ll be the hungriest and want to eat the most. These easy hunting dinners will help you load up on calories and keep you feeling full for a long night’s rest.

  • Cup Noodles/Ramen
  • Peanut butter crackers
  • Summer sausage
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Freeze-dried meals

Don’t Forget Snacks

These meals alone may not cut it. You may want to bring some snacks with you for an extra boost. Some of the best hunting snacks include:

  • Snickers bar
  • Macadamia nut butter
  • Meat sticks
  • Cheese crisps
  • Sports drinks
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Keep Yourself Fueled in the Field

When you’re hunting, you’re only as good as your body allows you to be. Hunting is a physically demanding activity, and if you don’t give your body the fuel it needs, it can end up costing you. If you follow the tips listed here, you can be confident that your body will be prepared for whatever your hunt throws at you.

Once you’ve eliminated the possibility of a growling stomach scaring a deer away, it’s time to address the noise that your hunting rifle makes. This is where Silencer Central can help you out — learn more about how hunting with a suppressor can help you out and then browse our selection today!

Learn more about Silencers!

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>