Plant-based backpacking meals Recipes for Winter Backpacking Winter Backpacking food

Oatmeal and Dried Fruit

Typically, I eat oatmeal most winter days and muesli most summer days. At home I’ll eat rolled oats and when backpacking I’ll switch to quick oats or instant oats. My own preference is plain oats with raisins as a sweetener.

Different types of oats

Whole oat groats, steel-cut oats, Scottish oatmeal, rolled oats, quick oats, and instant oats. The oats that cook the fastest are rolled oats, quick oats, and instant oats. Quick oats and instant oats are essentially the same and the terminology is often used interchangeably. Rolled oats and instant oats only differ in how much they are flattened and instant oats are also cut into small pieces. The thinner and smaller the pieces, the faster they will cook. Rolled oats cook in 4 minutes in a microwave or simmer in a pot for 10–20 minutes. Quick oats cook in about a minute.

Cooking instructions

  • Boil water
  • Add Quick Oats (2.2 oz.)
  • Add about 1/4 or 1/3 cup of raisins (about 2 oz)
  • Let it sit for a moment occasionally stirring it.
  • Enjoy.

Sweetening plain oats: You can add any dried fruit you prefer as a sweetener and flavor enhancer, such as jumbo raisins, golden raisins, died cranberries, or chopped dried mango.

Buying quick oats: Quick oats are usually sold in 50 lbs bag ($60 for about 400 servings or about 6.6 cents per cup-size serving) or tqo 5 lb bags together ($15 or about 0.93 cents per cup-size serving).

You can also buy it pre-packaged in 12 oz boxes (12 packages) for around $3.23. It takes two packages to make a cup of oatmeal. So 12 packages make about 6 cup-size servings of oatmeals, coming to about 50 cents a breakfast (or about $155 more expensive than buying a 50 lb bag).


A little more than 2 ounces of oats will fill a mug and be enough to get me going. If I use the instance packages, that means two packages are required for one breakfast.

quick oats and raisins
The two packs of regular plain quick oats weight 1.10 ounces each or 2.20 together. The jumbo raisins are 1.8 oz.

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