How do You Organise Your Food for a Multi-day Hike?

Do you organise your food by ingredient, by type of meal or by day ? Which method do you find is best?

There seems to be little consensus about the best way to organise your food within your pack on a multi-day hike.

Some people keep similar ingredients together and use them in more than I meal. This allows larger containers and hence less packaging, but also risks losing the lot if a large container splits or breaks. It is  a bit like carrying a pantry in your pack and most people I’ve seen arrange the items on the ground around their stove as they begin meal preparation.

Others keep all their breakfasts, lunches and dinners separately. They will have all their breakfast bars or muesli in the one bag, keep their salami,  cheese and biscuits in another, their scroggin in one large bag, and keep their dinners in another. 

Others prefer to pack each day’s food separately in a labeled plastic snap lock bag.

The advantage of this is that you can take a day’s food from deep in your pack, while still in your tent, and store it in the lid of your pack  for the day. You don’t need to undo your dry bag to get to your meals, and if its raining hard, the inside of your pack is not exposed to the weather. The zip -lock bag is waterproof and if you lose one then you have only lost one day’s food. At the end of the day, you have a bag to store your rubbish. In addition, it means that you can’t eat more than a day’s food at a time, so you always have that emergency food supply available. As you label each bag with the day of intended consumption, you can vary the contents so that the first day and last days are lighter and perhaps the emergency bag only contains high energy food. This level of organisation, which is done before you leave home, helps you ration your food evenly over a multi-day hike. It allows me pack my food more compactly with less likelihood of breakages.

The disadvantage is that there is significantly more packaging,

Which do you prefer?

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This article by Bush Walker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.


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