low carb backpacking food

A low carb backpacking food list for 3 days in the backcountry

Below we give you our 3 Day Low Carb Backpacking Food List. It has all the food you need to stay well fueled on the trail with a spring in your step. It’s nutritious and provides all the calories of traditional backpacking food but it’s almost 1/2 the weight.

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Why Low Carb is a Great Choice for Backpacking Food

Low carb backpacking food is the way to go on the trail (and likely for your general health). Every year more and more data is coming out that replacing carbs with natural fats makes a healthier diet. Especially on trail and when engaged in endurance activities. Cutting carbs reduces sugar crashes and gives your mind and body the nutrients they need to sustain peak performance levels — and it has wealth of other health benefits. Finally, it is significantly lighter than traditional backpacking food for the same calories.

1/2 the Weight of Traditional Backpacking Food | Same Calories

1.2 lb of Low Carb Hiking food = 3,000 calories — Amazing, right?! That’s almost 1/2 the weight of the 2 lb per day most hikers carry. It’s nutritious and provides the same calories.

What is Low Carb? While there is no definitive definition of a “low-carb diet,”  many definitions of a low carb diet are under 150g net carbs/day for the 3,000 cal/day that we suggest for hiking (~20% of calories). But it is up to each hiker to make their own dietary strategy — some may choose to go moderate carb or even full carb.

What if I Want More Carbs?

No worries if you want some more carbs. Using this food list a a base, and adding carbs in moderation will likely keep your food weight to around 1.5 pounds per day. Still substantially lighter than the 2 lb of food per day that the usual hiker brings.

Other Resources: See our Best Hiking Food Guide

Nutrition Summary Low Carb Backpacking Food | 3 Days

3.0 Pounds Food | Trip Total for 3 days

Amounts per Day of Nutrition*

Cal Fat Prot. Carb Fiber NetCarb Sugar
3000 226 110 123 42 81 24

* Nutrition scaled for 2.5 days of food (no breakfast first day & no dinner last day). That is, a full day of food — Breakfast, Snacks, Lunch, & Dinner equals 1.2 lb of food and 3,000 calories.

Detailed List of Low Carb Backpacking Food | 3 Days

Day by Day | Everything You Need to Take

Day 1 Food

Snacks, Lunch, & Dinner

oz Day 1 Breakfast
None. Eat before hitting the trail
Day 1 Lunch
2.0 ORGANIC PANTRY Flaxseed Crackers
2.0 Almond Butter
Day 1 Snacks
2.6 Mixed Nuts
2.0 People’s Choice Beef Jerky
Day 1 Dinner
3.2 Broccoli Beef Stroganoff (RightOnTrek)
0.5 Dried Mango
2.0 90% Dark Chocolate (Lindt)
0.9 Pounds | Totals Day 1

Nutrition Totals Day 1

Cal Fat Prot. Carb Fiber Netcarb Sugar
2207 167 106 98 29 68 22

Day 2 Food

Breakfast, Snacks, Lunch, & Dinner

oz Day 2 Breakfast
4.2 Low Carb “Granola” (homemade)
NuTrail™ – Keto Nut Granola (store buy alternate)
Coffee, Starbuck’s VIA
0.5 Heavy cream powder
Day 2 Lunch
2.0 ORGANIC PANTRY Flaxseed Crackers
2.0 Hard Cheese (cheddar or other)
Day 2 Snacks
3.0 Mixed Nuts
1.8 Sausage (Duke’s Original)
Day 2 Dinner
4.9 Cheesy Bean & Meat Chili (homemade)
2.0 90% Dark Chocolate (Lindt)
1.2 Pounds | Total Day 2

Nutrition Totals Day 2

cal Fat Prot. Carb Fiber Netcarb
3101 225 92 137 54 84 22

Day 3 Food

Breakfast, Snacks & Lunch

Day 3 Breakfast
2.4 Cheesy Mushroom Egg Scramble (RightOnTrek)
1.0 Butter (to add to breakfast)
Coffee, Starbuck’s VIA
0.5 Heavy cream powder
Day 3 Lunch
2.0 ORGANIC PANTRY Flaxseed Crackers
2.0 Almond Butter
Day 3 Snacks
2.6 Mixed Nuts
1.8 Sausage (Duke’s Original)
1.4 Kind Bar
Day 3 Dinner
None. Eat after exiting the trail
0.9 Pounds | Total Day 3

Nutrition Totals Day 3

cal Fat Prot. Carb Fiber Netcarb
2218 191 79 78 22 56 16


  1. To be very clear, I am not a Medical Doctor or a Nutritionist. What I share here is from my personal experience as a backpacker for over 50 years, professional backpacking guide, outdoor writer and an elite athlete. As such, this post should in no way be considered professional medical or nutritional advice. When in doubt, consult with the correct board certified professional.