Plan Your Backpacking Meals By Daily Weight
In addition to a means of purifying water, one of the most important items in a hikers pack will be food and being able to have delicious, nutritional backpacking meals without overloading your pack is every hikers goal. No one wants to carry canned goods or fresh meats while on the trail and finding light weight backpacking meals used to mean tasteless, dried out foods or military surplus.
Freeze-dried foods have come a long way since the military developed them for their long range patrols. Adaptation of these techniques has opened the doors for companies to provide tasty meals requiring only water and something in which to cook. The amount of food you carry and its weight is adjusted to the number of days and backpacking meals for which you are planning. For a single day, with fewer supplies in the pack, more room can be made for food. However, if you are going to be on the trail for several days, consideration must be given for the type of foods you carry.
When you are planning your backpacking meals and your pack's weight, do not forget everything else you will need to be carrying. Items such as clothing, personal essentials, camping gear and your utensils. While it may seem logical to substitute clothing for food, it is not always the best choice and you may need the clothes if what you are wearing gets wet or damaged.
Consider Taste As Well As Sustenance
For those new to planning backpacking meals talk to friends who have had experience in the types of food to carry and the companies that make them. It is important that you have a well-balanced nutritious meal while on the trail, and if it can taste good at the same time, so much the better. Persons with experience camping and hiking can offer suggestions as to which meals provide the best taste.
Read the packaged foods labels to see how each items fulfills the daily requirement needs to insure you will get everything you want in your backpacking meals. It is not enough to get full on your food since you will be out in the wilderness and need your strength. Foods that fill you up may not provide all the strength you will need for hiking.
As a general rule when planning backpacking meals an average of one to one-and-a-half pounds of food per person per day is a good starting point. The meals for some days may weigh more or less, but this is a good average for which to plan.