While having the right gear is pretty important to a comfortable, safe and successful backpacking trip, packing the right food is just as important. Here’s a quick look at how to pack right for your next trip out on the trail.
First and foremost, remember to maintain a “leave no trace” policy when it comes to your backpacking food. Pack out any trash that comes along with your meals, including wrappers and even biodegradables like coffee grounds and apple cores.
Also, remember to store your foods properly. If you’re hiking in bear country, make sure your food is hung in bear bags or bear canisters when you make camp.
Now for the actual packing tips…
It’s very easy to bring too much food, especially if you’re just starting out in backpacking. Avoid excess weight by calculating how many calories you’ll burn and how much you’ll need to consume and pack accordingly. Be smart when it comes to calorie to weight ratio. Pack lighter items that have higher calorie content. As a rule, the less space you can take up with a higher calorie count, the better.
If you’re really racking up the miles during your hike, you probably won’t want to prepare an elaborate meal when you finally stop for the day. Dehydrated backpacking meals make a great option because they’re generally lightweight, and you really only need to boil water to prepare them. Keep in mind that boiling requires water, a stove, and fuel, all of which add weight. Calculate how much fuel you’ll need, as it’s easy to over-pack in this area, too. As for water, you can carry your own or plan to filter or boil collected water from a natural source once you stop to save weight.