6 Food Packing Tips to Fuel Your First Backpacking Trip | SELF

Plus, a list of “kitchen” essentials.

If you’ve ever done a day hike that stretched your limits, you know that hiking really gets you in touch with your hunger. That’s especially true if you start backpacking, which often requires you to carry more than 20 pounds on your back while facing backcountry terrain. So what do you pack when you won’t have full access to your kitchen fridge that night?

Last summer I backpacked 1,000 miles

To help beginner backpackers avoid making the same mistake I did—and as a reminder to myself—I decided to compile my best advice, plus tips from a few pros, for properly packing food for your first backpacking trip.

1. Stock up on a few basic pieces of equipment you’ll need to cook.

1. A stove.

2. Stove fuel. 

3. A pot.

4. A utensil to eat with.

5. A lighter.

6. Food! Naturally.

2. When choosing what actual food you’ll bring, consider the weight, first and foremost.

3. Bring a variety of foods that cover important nutrients and different flavors.

4. Take the the length and intensity of your trip into consideration.

5. Save weight and space by repackaging everything before you leave.

6. You can get a little fancy if you want—the key is finding recipes you can prep ahead of time.

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