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Backpackers’ Food Shopping List: 10 Must Have Food Items

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Backpackers Food that’s easy to carry and cook in a hostel.

We all know it’s fun to eat but not so much if you have to carry the food while travelling around New Zealand. The key is dry food that lasts, easy to carry, and something easy to put together in a hostel. Then you can buy fresh food once at your destination. For those food items that are worth keeping in your backpack to carry around with you, take a look at the backpackers’ food shopping list below!

For a quick guide to buying food check out: Food Shopping in New Zealand. Or inspiration on what the hell to cook: 10 Meals Easy to Cook in a Hostel.

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1. Noodles/Ramen

Want to be part of the backpacker stereotype? Backpackers go wild for noodles because they are super easy and quick to cook. They are cheap and easily travelled. Mix them with some fresh vegetables if you have access to a store once you are at your destination though. Noodles alone will not give you the nutrients needed to be a backpacking boss!

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2. Pasta

Stock up on carbohydrates for a big day adventuring! Pasta is cheap and light to carry. Like noodles, you can mix it with some veggies to add the vital nutrients. Because pasta is such a favourite among backpackers, we put together these 5 Easy Pasta Recipes for Backpackers.

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3. Canned Tuna

Mix tuna with some pasta for some protein and to make you feel like you are giving ‘healthy eating’ a good go. The canned meat brands in New Zealand offer tuna in different flavoured sauces making your meal surprisingly tasty. They also keep well and are not too heavy to carry for multi-day hikes.

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4. Canned soup

It may not be a good idea to buy in bulk if you want a lighter backpack, but soup is comforting on its own or adds flavour to your pasta.

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5. Kumura

New Zealand Kumura could well be the tastiest sweet potato in the world. Bake it with some melted cheese, or treat yourself by stuffing in some mince and bolognaise sauce. For more ideas for this versatile vegetable, check out Why Every Backpacker in New Zealand Should Cook With Kumara.

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6. Cheese

The price of cheese in New Zealand shocks and appalls. After you have cried about spending NZ$10 for a block of cheese, you will realise it is quite versatile from grating over your pasta to sticking in a sandwich.

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7. Rolled Oats

See oats as fuel for the first part of your day as energy is slowly released. Porridge is easily made and very filling by heating with water. Top with some fruit. However, it is bland on its own, that’s why a backpacker should also carry some…

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8. Chocolate and Hazelnut Spread

We have to have some indulgence in our backpack, right? Plus, this goes great with…

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9. Bread

The perfect breakfast and sandwich companion. Do you know what else goes great with bread…

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10. Ham

Buying ham at a supermarket deli is cheaper than buying it prepackaged. It will keep through the day but make sure to refrigerate once you get to your accommodation. You can also chop it up and throw it into the pasta and noodles we talked about earlier.

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