The Best Meals to Pack for Your Colorado Rafting Adventure

Posted by on May 24, 2018 in Food, Rafting, Travel, Trip Planning
The Best Meals to Pack for Your Colorado Rafting Adventure

Whether you are going out on the river for just a day or for the entire weekend, the rapids require copious amounts of energy and it is of the utmost importance that you properly refuel yourself.  The difficult part of packing food for your trip is you must also be aware of the limited space on your raft.  The less room the food takes up, the more room for other necessities.  Check out this list before you start packing for your next rafting trip.


Let’s start with snacks. Small nutrient-dense meal bars are perfect. Cliff Bars or Power Bars are great for refueling during a quick stop. These bars have tons of calories packed in small bars that can be eaten quickly that can boost your energy back up before you take on a tough stretch of the river. Along with the bars, some drinks can help improve your performance. Drinks like Gatorade can boost your electrolytes and help those muscles recover. We recommend tablets like “nuun” that you can just drop in your water bottle, that way you are not left with any extra empty bottles taking up space and adding to your trash.

Dehydrated Meals

For full day or overnight trips dehydrated meals are always an easy option. Lightweight and easy to pack dehydrated meals are perfect for those looking to save space. Many days’ worth of food could easily fit into one dry bag. Another great feature of dehydrated meals is their quick cook time. Most meals will require a liter or less of water brought to boil and poured in to the bag the meal comes in. With a camp stove like a Jetboil, that liter will be boiling with in a few minutes. Once the water is added to  the meal, it will take a few more minutes for the meal to absorb the water and then dinner is ready. Dehydrated meals come in a wide variety of foods, which is nice for long over night trips, so you won’t get bored with having the same breakfast, lunch, and dinner everyday.

Of course some people like to have nice cooked meals for their trip. Many campsites will along rivers will have camp grills available. You would just need to find, or bring wood and some pans to get that meal started. If you are camping more remotely, two-burner camp stoves can turn any spot on the river into a fully stacked kitchen! With your own stove you have the option to cook whatever you like when you are on the trip. Just remember, the food will take up more room in your cooler, and the stove and utensils will take up room on the boat. So think twice about that 5 course meal you were wanting to bring for just a main dish and a side.

Of course, if you are of age, a beer is great in the evening after a day of rafting. But remember – no glass bottles. Nothing is worse than broken glass on the shores of the river, so keep all drinks in cans or plastic bottles. And keep in mind that when you leave your campsite, there should be no trace that you were ever there. Be sure to pack all your trash and leave no litter behind.

You may be set for your next overnight adventure, but if you need to rent some gear, call Colorado River Rentals.