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Test Kitchen: Cheese

From Gouda to good old string cheese, we tested 20 types to find the trail-worthiest.

Soft cheese
Best for Short trips, cool weather, and gourmet camp kitchens
Trail worthiness Moisture makes them mold quickly. In our tests, samples stayed edible for a week at temps below 72℉; at higher temps, they spoiled in as little as two days.
Storage Purchase cryovac (vacuum-sealed) packs. After opening, seal in an airtight container and store in a cool part of your bag.

Top picks
>> Brie The rind of this gourmet soft cheese is edible, so there’s nothing to pack out. The creamy, sharp-flavored interior is high in salt; pair it with trail berries or jam after a sweaty hike.
>> Cream cheese This low-fat spread adds body to sweet or savory sandwich wraps, and (thinned with water) can substitute for sour cream or milk in camp recipes. It’s also widely available in single-serve packets that last longer than a week without refrigeration.
>> Goat Easier to digest than cow cheese, goat cheese is a good midday snack choice because it’s unlikely to upset your stomach. It’s also more delicate than many other cheeses; aim to consume it (on sandwiches or in quesadillas) in your first few trail days.

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