Access to Outdoors


Plan your meals and transport your food

Source : Mountain Equipment Coop (French Website)

Deciding what to eat is sometimes a difficult decision even with a fridge full of food. So imagine the problem when you have to deal with a bag full of disparate foods chosen in a hurry? Take the time to plan your meals and you might be in for a treat.

To plan

The food brought should take into account the type of trip you plan to take, the food preferences and allergies of the members of your group, and the ease and speed of preparation. For hikes lasting several days, it is better to provide snacks to eat during the excursions. For a day hike or a few hours getaway, don't forget to bring something to eat in case of an emergency.

The volume of food you carry will become a critical factor as your journey progresses. Opt for foods that are easy to eat, light and rich in protein and carbohydrates. Freeze-dried foods contain minimal moisture (2%) compared to dry foods from the grocery store (25%). Freeze-dried foods are light, compact and keep very well. In addition, they remain odorless until their packaging is opened, which is less likely to attract insects and animals. However, they are relatively expensive and some find them bland.

A variety of factors will determine how much food you should bring. Energy needs vary with age, sex, weather and type of activity. Because the amount of calories we should consume depends on each person's age and size, it is difficult to recommend precise amounts. However, be aware that during a long hike a person's consumption can vary between 3,200 and 4,500 calories per day.


Because storing food is as important as planning it, there are food storage bags that are reusable. Nylon bags that have a flap closure like dry bags. Some people prefer clear Ziplock freezer bags. Whatever your preference, multiple small bags will be easier to store and reach than one extra large bag. When you prepare your backpack, avoid storing any non-essential items that could get in the way or that you would find difficult to dispose of along the way. And don't forget your favorite recipes!

Another important tip: always put your food in a separate storage space and above your fuel. And, since fuel fumes could seep into your backpack, it is recommended that you double-pack it, a mix of plastic bag and nylon tote, and store it away from your food.

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