Backpacking Food Tip: Eat Your Weight

When backpacking, your pack weight is usually heaviest at the beginning of your trip. The reason for this? Food. Lightening your pack and fueling your body go hand-in-hand, creating a win-win situation for your stomach and your shoulders.

While eating weight on a backpacking trip is something that happens naturally, you can help speed the process along with one simple tip: eat your heaviest backpacking food first.

If you want this tip broken down even further, take a look at these suggestions for how to ration your food on a backpacking trip.

Backpacking Food to Eat First

The first type food you'll want to get rid of on your backpacking trip is perishable food, such as fruits, meat and vegetables. Aside from having the potential to make a mess in your pack, foods such as apples, turkey and carrots are also often the heaviest. Try to gobble these foods up within the first day or two of your backpacking trip to lighten your load.

Backpacking Food to Eat Next

Backpacking Food Weight

Next, focus on eating heavier meals. Pre-packaged meals such as those from Backpacker's Pantry or Hi Mountain Jerky are delicious, but they can also be a little on the heavy side. If you are using these types of meals for breakfast, focus on eating them first and saving lighter meals, such as oatmeal, for later. You'll likely want to save some of these meals, especially dinners, to eat throughout your backpacking trip. In this case try to save your favorite meals for the end so you have something to look forward to after a few days on the trail.

Backpacking Food to Eat Last

Backpacking Food Weight

Those smaller backpacking foods that really pack a punch should be saved to help you finish your backpacking trip strong. Protein-filled bars and energy gels or chews can help give you trail boosts without weighing you down. Of course you will still need some hearty meals to keep you going, which may require you to save some of those freeze-dry dinners. I like to live by the saying, "save the best for last," so consider saving your favorite pre-packaged meal for your last night on the trail. You'll need a reason to make it to that final campsite, and food is a good motivator.

What suggestions do you have for packing and eating food for backpacking trips? Share your tips in the comments!
posted by
Lauren Seidl
Blogger at Sierra Trading Post
Lauren enjoys hiking, camping, climbing and exploring the outdoors. She's always up for trying something new, especially if it involves getting outside. When Lauren isn't out finding adventures in her home state of Colorado, she can be found writing as Sierra Trading Post's blogger.
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