When planning how much food to pack, think about your trip. Take a few minutes and go through your entire trip in your head and picture yourself eating your meals. the trick to any kind of cooking in the backcountry is TAKE WHAT YOU NEED. DON’T PACK FOR THE “WHAT IF’. However, it’s always a good idea to pack one extra meal. In fact, one of the Ten Essentials for an overnight trip, is a supply of extra food. A reasonable goal is 1.5 to 2.5 lbs. of food (or 2,500 to 4,500 calories) per person per day depending on your size, weight and exertion level.
On the other hand, don’t overdo it. A common blunder is to pack too much food, forcing you to lug unwanted bulk and weight. In our Bootcamp class, the number one mistake most new backpackers make, they carry way too much food.
To help plan your backpacking cooking meals, make a list of food that you actually like to eat. If you don’t eat Beef Jerky at home, what makes you think you will love it on the trail?