Sugarless Instant Oatmeal Packets for Backpacking, or Eating!

DIY Sugarless Instant Oatmeal Packets!

DIY Sugarless Instant Oatmeal Packets!

Many people will tell you that you should really take oatmeal on a backpacking trip for breakfast.  Many others will tell you to eat anything but oatmeal for breakfast on a backpacking trip.


Personally?  Eat something for breakfast on a backpacking trip.  And I recommend something more than a Slim Jim and a Twinkie.



One of the positives of eating oatmeal is that it’s easy to prepare packets of oatmeal ahead of time, spicing them up any way that appeals to you.  They’re also filling and energy-giving, and they’re pretty quick to prepare.  One member of my group even foregoes milk (allergy) and eats the oatmeal with boiled (or not boiled) water.  In fact, to save even more time in the morning, you could just do these like overnight oats and let them soak overnight.

Measuring cup of oatmeal, Amella Crook, Creative Commons

Measuring cup of overnight oatmeal (Amella Crook, Creative Commons)

So I’ve concocted six recipes for oatmeal packets you can take on the trail or eat in the parking lot (my preferred method, since I’m day hiking 99.9999999999% of the time).  They’re totally sugar-free (except #6 – see note).  They’re also dairy-free if you use water.  If milk is more down your line (like me!) use some milk while you’re still in the parking area, or add 2 Tbsp of dried milk to each packet.


Other thoughts: Want a little sweetness?  Add 1 tsp brown sugar (not sugar free – duh!) or a non-sugar sweetener to each packet.  Add salt if you like it that way.  Like add-ins?  Try raisins / Craisins (my choice), dried apricots / dates / apples, dried carrot chunks, flaked coconut, marshmallows, pecans / walnuts / almonds / other nuts (though experience would tell me peanuts in any kind of cereal is just too much!), sunflower seeds, chocolate chips / chocolate chunks (won’t melt if you are using cold water / milk), bacon bits, banana chips, anything you might put in granola.

6 Sugar-free Instant Oatmeal Packets for Backpacking


Basic Recipe


Old Fashioned Oatmeal (such as this)


Food processor (doesn’t have to be big, though mine is rated for 10 cups)


½ c. measuring cup + measuring spoons


Zip-loc bags (one for each packet you’ll be making – I like the pint size)

Measure oatmeal into the food processor – how much will depend on the size of your blender and how many packets you’ll be making.


Blend a few times, until the oats are chopped, but not complete powder.


Measure ½ c. chopped oatmeal into each Zip-loc bag, blending more oatmeal as necessary to fill all the bags.


After filling the bags, add other ingredients as directed / desired.  Seal bag; mix a bit by massaging with your hands / shaking bag.

To prepare for eating:

Pour ½ c. boiling or cold water or milk into bag.  Stir very, very well – you don’t want pockets of flavor!  Be careful, especially if the water is hot.  If you’re like me, you’ll eat it immediately (I hate soggy oatmeal!), or allow to rest 5 to 10 minutes (seal the bag so it doesn’t spill) for a more classic oatmeal experience.  You can also add cold water or milk the night before and allow to rest overnight.

Cinnamon Oatmeal

1 bag with ½ c. oatmeal

1/8 tsp cinnamon


Variations: For Apple Pie Oats, mix in dried apple chunks.  For Gingerbread Oats, add a dash (each) of ginger, cloves, and nutmeg.

Swedish Oatmeal

1 bag with ½ c. oatmeal

1/16 tsp cardamom

Slivered almonds (optional)

Dilly Bread Oatmeal

1 bag with ½ c. oatmeal

¼ tsp dried minced onion

1/32 tsp dried dill weed


(This was inspired by the 1960 winner of the Pillsbury Bake-off Contest – Dilly Casserole Bread.)

Mint Oatmeal

1 bag with ½ c. oatmeal

½ tsp mint extract


Variation: For Mint Chocolate Chip Oats, try adding chocolate chips or chopped chocolate – Yum!

Lemon Oatmeal

1 bag with ½ c. oatmeal

½ tsp lemon extract


(Note: Lemon extract is extremely expensive when made by the name brands.  I get it for a quarter of the price at discount food stores like Aldi (in season) and PriceRite.)

Vanilla Oatmeal

1 bag with ½ c. oatmeal

½ tsp vanilla extract (pure or fake, to taste)

1 tsp sugar or non-sugar sweetener


(Note: My testers said the vanilla simply wasn’t good without sweetening.  So use at your own digression.)


What would you put in your oatmeal?


This Week’s Featured Product!

This is the food processor I used – it’s extremely powerful, and it can hold a whole lot of oatmeal (not to mention the really, really cool chopping feature that comes with it!)



Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Get Hiking Guides & Other Outdoor Fun!

Subscribe to View Junkie Adventure Report and get exclusive outdoor and hiking-related content.

We use Sendinblue as our marketing platform. By Clicking below to submit this form, you acknowledge that the information you provided will be transferred to Sendinblue for processing in accordance with their terms of use