Things To Consider Before Packing Your Food

There are a few different thoughts on what and how to pack food for your trip. Some people pack lots of food, others pack as little as possible. Some people pack all dry foods and others pack the better foods that weigh a little more. It all depends on where you are camping, how many portages you might have, the length of trip, and your own value of having a good meal on your trip. If you are in an area known for wildlife, you might consider being a little more cautious about the food your bring. If you have a lot of portages you probably don't want to bring a cooler with food - unless this is important to you. If you are on a long trip you might also consider not bringing a cooler as it is a lot of weight to carry around. In my opinion the most important factors to consider are amount of food, expiration, weight, and scent.

Amount of Food:

This is important when planning for longer trips. Depending on the amount of people that are going and the amount of activity planned for each day, you need to be ready give people the energy they need. Snacks are important as it becomes essential to be able to have a quick snack on the go. You don't always want to have to prepare your food so having trail mix, cliff bars or other foods like that are important. If you do a lot of fishing and you know there are fish where you are camping, you might consider packing a little lighter knowing that you will be able to eat some fresh fish. This does pose a greater risk as with fishing there is no guarantee.


If you plan on packing foods that expire, you need to plan effectively. When I bring a cooler on my trips we will freeze items like steak so that that they act as an ice pack to keep the  rest of your food cold, and also keeps the steaks good for longer. Pre-cooked sausages are a good food that keep a little longer. Also the scent if fairly well contained until you open them up to be cooked. You want to eat the foods that are going to expire the quickest, first. 


This is where I will mention the cooler once again. When you bring food that needs to keep cool, you will have to carry them on your portages. If you don't have many portages it would be a reason to bring a cooler with you. If you have lots of portages you likely want to pack as light as possible. Some people like to do a comparison of weight vs. calories. Ideally on trips that you need to pack lighter you want the most calories for the least amount of weight. This will help you to pack more effectively. Again, If you are doing long trips you are likely looking to pack more dehydrated foods as they weigh very little and still have a lot of nutrients. They do tend to be expensive if you do not own a dehydrator to do it on your own.


You must always remember that the more scents you have, the more risk you have of running into wildlife. Whether it be racoons or bears, both can find their way into your packs and find the food you thought was well hidden. The last thing you want is to be in a remote location and have all of your food taken or ruined by animals digging through it. If you know you are in a wildlife heavy area, you will want to cook responsibly, clean well, and pack effectively.