A few days ago I was reading on some backpacking forum someone was saying that when choosing and packing food for a backpacking trek, choosing lightweight food should be your foremost concern.
I think that is TERRIBLE advice.
Who wants to eat crappy food just because it’s lightweight? Styrofoam is lightweight but nobody eats it and likes it and expects it to fuel their hike or to be healthy in any way.
That’s not to say that your food weight is not a concern at all. I have posted before about that 100 calorie per ounce rule of thumb, but that’s all that is – a guideline!
How about trying this as an experiment…
Forget pack weight and prep and pack seriously great meals – the type of meals that make all your camping buddies jealous! Whatever is the tastiest, most nutrient-dense, most impressive meal you can manage to cook outside – pack that!
If you can’t carry it all for an extended trek, shorten your trek until you can. Instead of calling it a “backpacking trek,” call it a “progressive dinner” or something like that. If you have to shorten it to just a couple of hours hiking into a campsite, a fabulous meal, a night under the stars, and an amazing breakfast before hiking back to the vehicles – do that!
Then keep doing that scale of trek (rocking the menu the whole time) until you get stronger and more skilled and can extend your trek (ahem, I mean your “progressive dinner”) one more day. Then one more day!
Get stronger, not lighter – but for goodness sake don’t make the weight of your food your foremost concern when you’re doing meal planning for a backpacking trek Make your backpacking food AWESOME – not AWFUL!