How to make homemade meal replacement shakes for backpacking

How to make homemade meal replacement shakes for backpacking

If you’ve ever been on a long and strenuous backpacking trip, then you probably understand the allure of meal replacement shakes.  Cooking can become quite the chore when you get into camp after dark or before dawn in the cold when you’re trying to get going.  Homemade meal replacement shakes can be a really simple, convenient solution that allow you to pack in a bunch of calories with little effort on your part.  I avoid commercially prepared meal replacement shakes because they contain a lot of highly processed ingredients that can be difficult to digest along with lots of sugar.  Its easy to make your own meal replacement shakes with real food ingredients.  Here’s how:


STEP 1:  Choose a carbohydrate base

Since you will not have access to a blender, choose something in a powder form that mixes well. I suggest whole oat powder, banana powder, sweet potato or pumpkin powder, or a carbohydrate blend powder.

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STEP 2: Choose a protein powder base

You will need protein while backpacking to help repair muscle and regulate your metabolism.  Choose a high quality plant based protein powder for your homemade meal replacement shake.

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STEP 3:  Choose a healthy fat option

Healthy fats will bump up the calories in your shake and help keep you feeling full.  You want to choose one that does not solidify so that you can mix it well with your other ingredients.  I suggest using chia seeds because they don’t really have a taste but offer omega 3s, minerals, antioxidants, protein, and fiber.  You can also use powdered coconut milk or cream.

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STEP 4:  Choose powdered fruits and veggies

For veggies, the easiest thing to do is just get a green superfood powder mix.  If you want to add fruits to sweeten try a freeze dried powder mix.

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STEP 5:  Combine with water and shake

Put the ingredients in a water bottle and then add water.  Close water bottle and shake until everything is mixed.



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Leave a comment and let me know if you’ve tried to make homemade meal replacement shakes.  What are some of your favorite go to ingredients?


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2 thoughts on “How to make homemade meal replacement shakes for backpacking”

  • Hi Katie,
    Thank you for writing this article. I am always looking for advice and recipes on how yo make healthy foods and drinks myself. As you stated a lot of the commercially made products contain sugar and undesirable additives.Do you have a certain type of water bottle/shaker that you recommend? I have a hard time getting the protein powder blend when shaking it manually.

    • Hi Lisa,

      I would just use one of the water bottles I carry with me backpacking, which is usually a 1 liter powerade bottle.  If you are looking to make these at home, I would look for a BPA free or stainless steel shaker bottle.    

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