Some of My Favorite Gluten-Free Foods while Thru-Hiking
Gluten-free food options aren’t as tough to find in everyday life as it used to be but there is still room for improvement in the hiking world. It’s a world of ramen and Honey Buns; where trail magic means free pancakes and spaghetti. All the gluten can be overwhelming but I am here to tell you there are delicious gluten-free trail options.
I have a gluten allergy. Through trial and error on the trail, I’ve been able to incorporate delicious snacks into my thru-hiker diet so that I don’t feel like I’m missing out.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or medical professional. Be sure to speak with your health provider about your food allergy and options. Please note that many of these items are manufactured in a cross-contamination (not fully gluten free) facility.
Back to the Delicious Food Part
Here is a list of my favorite gluten-free food items on trail:
Cheetos: The crunchy Cheetos and flaming hot Cheetos are perfect for backpacking.
Fritos: Fritos (and Cheetos) are perfect in corn tortillas.
Marshmallow rice treats: Smashmallows are listed as gluten free and their cinnamon churro flavor is delicious, but hard to find. Rice Krispie Treats are always a convenient replacement.
Lance crackers: Did you know Lance produces gluten-free mini peanut butter sandwiches and cheesy square crackers?
Glutino frosted tarts: Just make sure to get the frosted ones.
Sour gummy worms: There are never enough sour gummy worms.
Butterfingers, Milky Ways, and Three Musketeers: Chocolate is a must.
ProBar Meal bars and Base Protein bars: These can be tricky to find too but they’re gluten free and packed with protein.
Simply Asia Thai Kitchen garlic and vegetable instant rice noodle soup: Essentially gluten free ramen.
My favorite go-to meal is a corn tortilla with cheese sauce (if available), layered with pepperoni, mozzarella cheese, and Cheetos. Yum!
Knorr rice and pasta sides have a line called Knorr Selects that offer some gluten-free options. They offer a variety of flavors such as: Spinach Florentine with Penne Pasta, Four Cheese Risotto Rice, Roasted Garlic Alfredo Rice, Asiago Cheese and Cracked Black Pepper Rice.
I regularly eat the Four Cheese Risotto and Roasted Garlic Alfredo rice flavors. I like to mix them with rehydrated meat and veggies. I tried the Spinach Florentine with Penne pasta before and it is delicious. It’s just hard to find in stores.
Annie’s offers macaroni and cheese flavors: cheddar and white cheddar. The macaroni is rice pasta, and it’s naturally gluten free. Both flavors are delicious. I love to mix the cheddar macaroni with dehydrated ground beef and gluten-free potato chips.
I’ve purchased a few different brands of dehydrated meals for my thru-hike. I really like some of the meals from PackIt Gourmet, such as the All American Works Burger, Texas State Fair Chili, and the Austintacious Tortilla Soup.
I also use dehydrated chicken, beef, rice, and a variety of veggies from PackIt Gourmet. It’s quick, easy, and a healthy meal. I like to add any available condiments, such as hot sauce, ketchup, mustard, lime flavoring, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Several times I mix the dehydrated meat and veggies with a Knorr side for the ultimate meal.
Note: All food items mentioned in this article can be found in some stores along the trail. Some products are more elusive than others so be prepared to have some mail drops as a back up.
*This excludes PackItGourmet as their products are only available via their website.
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