Backcountry Breakfast

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. When backpacking, though, cooking up a delicious breakfast is not very easy (not to mention it can be pretty messy). Here is my favorite breakfast recipe, which only takes 10 minutes plus the time it takes to boil your water to cook, and clean up consumes a whopping zero seconds! Now you can kiss gloppy oatmeal goodbye forever! Here is what you need to do to enjoy a flavorful backcountry breakfast.

Backcountry Bacon and Egg Omelet:

prep @ home_std 

Prep at home


  • Pre-cook and prepare any items you would like in your omelet. I prefer bacon, tomatoes, and shredded cheese, but mushrooms, diced onions, and broccoli all taste scrumptious too.
  • Chop up the omelet add-ins into small pieces as this ensures they cook faster and saves prep time on the trail. Put them in a Ziploc bag.
  • In a separate Ziploc bag, pour three or four eggs (egg beaters or egg whites also work nicely). Make sure you squeeze out all of the air, then seal the Ziploc bag.
  • Double-bag the eggs to make sure nothing leaks in your pack or bear canister.


In the morning, heat up a pot of water – I use a one-liter pot and boil three cups of water. While you are waiting for the water to boil, open up the Ziploc bag with the eggs and dump in your bacon, tomatoes, cheese, or whatever else you like in your eggs. Seal the Ziploc bag of eggs, be sure that all of the air is squeezed out of the bag. Stir it all together by squishing the eggs around inside the bag with your fingers.

Once the water is boiling, plop the Ziploc bag into the boiling water, being careful to make sure the bag is not touching any bare metal. Cook time will vary depending on your altitude, but I find that my typical cook time is about 10 minutes. To keep cleanup simple you can eat the eggs straight out of the Ziploc bag (and you can use the boiling water to make your morning coffee or tea). If you are feeling extra gourmet, add a garnish of avocado and your favorite hot sauce. After you are done eating, squeeze and seal the Ziploc bag, lick your spoon clean, and your clean up is done!

on the trail_std

Use caution when storing these items in your pack. I prefer to store the double-bagged items in a bear canister because they cannot get accidentally popped inside my pack (there is nothing quite like sleeping in an egg-soaked sleeping bag). If you would rather not carry a bear canister, they fit nicely inside of a one-liter pot with a lid.

Make sure you keep the food away from the sides or the top of your pack so the sun cannot heat them up, which will speed up the spoiling process. These recipes utilize perishable food so they will only work for short trips, or if you are traveling in cold weather, maybe a few days longer. I have stored eggs overnight in my pack while hiking in the desert and have suffered no ill effects.

If you have any favorite backpacking recipes, please share them with us on our Facebook or Twitter! See you on the trail.

finish h_std


About the author

Isaac Tait is the Gear Manager for Seattle Backpackers Magazine. He has been a rock climber and backpacker for over two decades and a skier for three years. He also spent nearly ten years in the Marine Corps Infantry with two tours overseas. He is a member of the American Alpine Club (AAC), Mountain Rescue Association (MRA), American Mountain Guide Association (AMGA), Access Fund, and is nationally certified as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). In the course of his adventures he has discovered a love for outdoor leadership and education and is pursuing his certification as a mountain guide. In his spare time he can be found exploring the wild-lands surrounding his new home in the greater Washington DC area.

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