Food, the thing that keeps you going on the trail.
For the past couple of years I’ve been opting for freeze bag cooking. I think it’s really neat, packs small, no dishes to do and you got mini-trash-containers for each meal. Is it always the most fun things to eat? No. But for me personally, the food I bring on a trip I see more as fuel rather than a dinner at a fancy restaurant.
For this 8 day trip I’m bringing 7 breakfast soups, 16 bags of noodles, 18 powerbars and 4 bags of nuts and candy for that extra punch. Total weight is 3900g so roughly 490g per day. Between 400-500g per day is good enough for me with the things I’ve chosen.
8 days worth of supplies is quite a lot for my Zpacks Arc Blast backpack, almost bursting at that point, but it’s doable. Best thing with food is that you consume it and after even two days it’s way easier to close the bag.
Before I leave my tent in the morning I always bump the meals that I’m gonna be using through out the day. Putting Noodles in the back mesh pocket and snacks goes in the side pockets for easy access while walking. If it’s a really small meal I can even put it inside my cooking kit that I have right now. All of the above will save you time and not having to dig through your food bag inside your backpack. If possible I try to have everything I need during the day in the mesh pocket so I don’t have to open the main compartment of the backpack.
Before going to Vålådalen, Sweden, 2016. 7.5 days worth of supplies.
It’s starting to get closer to this years trip into the wilderness. We’ve been test-packing and checking our gear today in the sun and then went for a supply run to stock up on food and snacks. Everything looks like it’s in order.
I’ve bought some new stuff for this trip. Some items were just too worn out to bring and I also got something new as an complement, down vs synthetic.
Inov-8 Terraclaw 220 shoes (replacement)
2 pairs of socks (replacement)
Patagonia Ultralight Down Hoodie (complement)
Patagonia Houdini Jacket (replacement)
Arc’Teryx Venta Gloves (replacement)
My gear list can be found here, it’s a work in progress. Haven’t weighed and repacked the food just yet but everything is bought. Besides that everything should be there.
I think this is the thing that people always look at me with that strange look when they ask about what I bring to a backpacking trip.
– Will you survive out there with just those things? How can you even wash your utensils if you don’t bring the kitchen sink? Look! I bought this at [enter random store name here], it was super cheap and the sales person said it was the best thing ever. I bought two just in case…
People new to thru hiking and backpacking often don’t realize they need far less than what they think or what their local big box outdoor store salesperson tells them they need. They base what they bring on their fears. Don’t fall into this trap. Understanding what you need is the secret to knowing what you don’t. You absolutely need something to sleep on, to sleep in and to sleep under. Plus you need insulating layers, waterproof layers, some kind of water treatment, a knife, a headlamp and the right kind of food at the right time. Anything else is gravy. I’m not saying you must leave your nonessential, favorite items behind; I simply recommend you strip down to the bare essentials, and then rebuild your list from there with your wants.
These are some common fears or questions we’ve heard over the years:
How warm is that tent?
I’d better bring 2 layers of fleece in case I get cold!
With all the new stuff that arrived we wanted to have a quick taste of what’s to come.
We tried making creamy vegetables with couscous. Seasoned with bruschetta, salt and some cooking oil for extra flavor.
Vegetables and powdered cream in a freezer bag.
I must say that it tasted quite good! Way better than that crap you buy at the store… And also cheaper. The cost of the dried vegetables and cream divided over several dishes is a fraction of what a single freeze dried meal costs.
Received some new freeze dried stuff in the mail this Friday from Friluftsmat.nu.
They sell some different stuff compared to your normal outdoor retailer like powdered egg, milk, cream and some other interesting stuff. All their food are KRAV-labeled which is good too.
I ordered two packs of vegetable mix and one bag of powder milk and cream. The milk is made out of whole milk which is quite different from many other powdered milk products out there.
The vegetable mix, nutritional info,100 gram: protein 22 g, fat 5 g, carbs 62 g. Energy per 100 gram: 1270 kJ / 300 kcal. 45 grams of these are ca 1/2 kilo fresh vegetables.
It contains different vegetables depending on what season you buy them in but basically they contain carrot, leek, onions, parsnip and beans. It’ll be a nice compliment to our meals. We’ll mix these up with some cream powder and let it sit for about 15 minutes.
The milk powder will be used at breakfast when we’ll have porridge and granola.
Trail snacks are an important part of your adventure to work as an energy booster between meals. Some prefer to only use snacks during the day and just have a full, preferably, hot meal at the start and end of the day. Personally I like to have three hot meals a day to keep the morale up on though, rainy or cold days.
As my previous post pointed out my summer trip is getting closer and closer by the minute and I’m right now on the food section of my list. I’ve experimented with different snacks over the years, everything from the standard nut and raisin mixes to Snickers.
Some taste better than others and some are more “vulnerable” to heat/cold. Snickers for e.g. get frozen quite fast in cold weather and is kind of like chewing on a rock and in the summer heat it melts and you get chocolate all over when you remove the wrapping…
One of my latest favorites are M&M’s with peanuts. 🙂
A few different snack options.
Recently I’ve bought different chocolate based products to compare how they work in cold/warm environments and also to compare how much energy they pack compared to weight. All the bars above weigh in at about 50g.
I haven’t tried them all out in the field but the Starbar works quite well in cold and warm condition and so does the Sport Lunch bars.
Chunky peanut butter
As you can see the Double Nougat wins but it’s a fairly even list.
It would be nice to get some feedback on what the rest of you are using on the trail!