Summer is here! Time to head out for a hike and remove the rust of winter. It’s also time to pull out that moldy bin of backpack food and see what grew during the off season. Now is the time to plan your upcoming backpack meals. Here are a few tips to help you plan your food list this season.
First, try new things. The first trips of the year for me are typically short. I usually sneak out for a quick 3 day weekend trip. The first weekend trip of the year is the time to experiment with your food menu. Later in the season, the long hikes to the destination you’ve been planning for years isn’t the time to test new food. I can endure even the worst food on a short 3 day trip. Also, if your body has an adverse reaction to something in a new food item, it’s best to find out when you aren’t 10 days from the trailhead. Try new food items on your first trip of the year.
Next, mind your weight to calorie ratio. Any seasoned backpacker has heard this ad nauseum. However, if you are new to backpacking, this may be new information so it’s worth mentioning. Shoot for a ratio of AT LEAST 100 calories per ounce of food. This will ensure you get the best bang for your back, so-to-speak, when packing in food to fuel your hike. This shouldn’t be too hard if you select food from backpacking companies, like our site at Backpack Logistics that offer the most popular backpacking food. All that said, be flexible. As mentioned above, short weekend style trips allow room for breaking the rules. I can’t say I haven’t packed in my favorite energy drink or special treat on shorter hikes because who cares on a 3 day trip, right?
Last, plan your meals. This is especially important on the longer, more technical backpacking trips. My friend, Brandon, used to leave the trailhead on a 10 day backpacking trip with an entire economy bag of trail mix. The amount of trail mix was probably about the right amount, however, he always seemed to eat the entire bag a few days before the trip was over. I learned the lesson of calculating how much food was required per day and dividing that amount into individual bags, all organized into one large gallon resealable bag for each day. Again, this is most important on longer, more technical backpacking trips. The last thing you can afford is to wake up on day 8 of a 10 day trip and realize you’ve consumed 95% of the food you packed.
Experience is always the best teacher when it comes to backpacking food. With so many different body types, metabolisms, and required physical exertion, do not rely solely on the advice of someone else to plan your backpacking meals. Be smart. Use common sense. Know your body and
error on the side of caution. Make notes after each trip of what worked, and what should be eliminated, for the next trip. Happy hiking.
Dustin, Backpack Logistics
Dustin and his brother, Jason, own and operate Backpack Logistics (www.backpacklogistics.com). They offer a full service backpack food product that allows customers to custom build an entire day’s worth of food and have it vacuum-sealed, shipped to your door ready to hike. Visit their site for more info or to place an order for your next backpack adventure! Use code “launch25” until June 30 for 25% off a pre order. Orders will begin shipping mid-July 2022.