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food for overnight bushwalks


  • it is important to take enough energy and protein for your hike (and carbohydrates to help you keep warm at night)
  • most hiker take high energy content dry foods which may need hot water added before eating such as hiking pre-prepared meals in a bag (need a LONG spoon!)
  • ensure you have a titanium LONG spoon!
  • a general rule of thumb is to choose foods with at least 100 calories per ounce of weight (or 1.5kJ per 100g) to maximise the energy to weight ratio
    • using this, a male adult hiker could get away with around 20oz or 600g of food per day (and supplemented by a bag of potato chips for lunch if only having a snack bar for lunch) 1)
  • for multiday hikes, its a great idea to separate out daily food into individual bags for each day which are clearly labelled - this helps rationing and avoidance of over-supply and makes replenishing supplies easier
  • prior to packing food, remove unnecessary packaging and open food packets (eg. potato chips) to release air so it can be compressed into a less bulky bag for your backpack
  • eat potato chips and nuts from a bag with a long spoon to minimise contamination with soiled hands (crush the potato chips!), this also helps soiling hands from orange Doritos and reduces over-eating so you large back of potato chips can actually last 3-4 days
  • use a foil insulated food bag to help rehydrate your dry food faster and keep it warmer eg. Big Sky Insulite food pouch
  • use aluminium foil as a lid for your pot so you conserve gas in boiling water (foil is much cheaper and lighter than a lid)


  • preparing dehydrated foods:
  • other foods:
    • porridge
    • powdered milk
    • dates, dried fruit, nuts
    • packet soups
    • wraps tend to last for days (bread can go mouldy in warm humid conditions within a day)
    • if bringing a fry pan, pancake powder allows pancakes for breakfast (consider adding banana and maple syrup)
    • perishables are very dependent on temperature conditions, the below assume temperatures below 16deg C
      • NB. some places such as Tasmania's Overland Trail, have requirements such as for dehydrated food that fruit and veg are cooked
      • bacon and eggs for the first morning if kept in a cool bag
      • fresh vegetables will last a couple of days but tend to be heavy, but some like to bring them as a luxury
      • smoked fish in vacuum sealed bag should last a few days
      • Salami and chorizo both last well and don’t even need to be cooked, also vac packed prosciutto
      • cheese kept in its vacuum pack is also good for a few days - BabyBell and hard cheeses such as Parmesan last well
      • quick rice mixed with tuna, long life cream and pre-cut celery and carrot in vacuum sealed bags (stays fresh and then can be cooked at camp site - not pre-cooked)
      • vac packed steak should last 3-4 days hiking winter <14 degrees, perhaps 1 day longer if it was frozen.
      • can freeze 2L bladder of water and keep perishables next to it to make them last longer, although the water is no longer frozen in 12hrs
      • carry soft veges like tomatoes or mushrooms in your cooking pot
australia/bushwalk_food.txt · Last modified: 2024/07/23 21:03 by gary1

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