The Best Breads for Backpacking

When hiking, it is important keep yourself well fueled throughout your adventure. What better way to keep that energy high than with bread. High in carbohydrates, this staple food would be perfect for backpacking, if only it was not so fragile.

Most bread will definitely not survive the journey in a warm backpack being tossed and squished for hours. Flatbreads, in general, work best for backpacking trips due to their flat shape and stronger structure. Here are a list of the best breads to bring on multi-day hikes.

Tortillas  

Stack of flour tortilla on a red plate

This flatbread from Mexico was traditionally made out of corn flour. Most Canadian grocery store tortillas are made of wheat flour but the corn type can still be found if you look hard enough. Tortillas are readily accessible in most shop and comes in different sizes, variety and colors.

Since they are thin but soft, tortillas will fit well on the inside of a bear barrel or in between food. If you use the corn (or whole wheat variety) tortillas you will have to keep in mind that they are a little bit more dry and brittle than the flour tortilla and might require a bit of heat if you are planning to make a wrap out of them. 

If you prefer to make your own, tortillas are really easy to make at home. 

Pita bread 

This flatbread originated in the Middle East. The hollow interior creates a soft ‘pocket’ in the middle of the bread, ideal for filling. Pitas are a little bulkier that tortillas and if not fresh the bread can become brittle and hard to fill.

To guarantee a fresh pita, you can make them in the oven at home.

Naan bread

Naan bread has many variations but from a North American perspective, we know naan bread from India best. Baked in a tandoori oven (a traditional oven) this bread should be flat but fluffy and slightly elastic in texture. This makes it ideal for wraps, sandwiches and also as a dipping bread for curries and other stew like meals.

Bagels

Bagels originated from Jewish communities in Poland. After being shaped, this bread is boiled and then baked. This makes for a dense and chewy bread. Bagels can be tossed around and flattened but will still hold up for sandwich making.

Pumpernickel bread

This dense sourdough bread originated from Germany, with the main ingredient being rye. Pumpernickel bread is dark in colour and has a slight sweet taste to it. If you can get your hand on a traditionally made pumpernickel, this bread will last days and still taste delicious. Being so dense, this bread will also keep well in a backpack and makes hearty sandwiches.

Ciabatta

Best known for being the base bread for the panini sandwich, the ciabatta was first created in Italy in 1982. The ciabatta has an elastic texture which means it usually lasts well when squashed in a backpack. On the downside, it has lots of air inside, making it bulky. If space is less of an issue, ciabatta bread makes excellent sandwiches.

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