Food

As a general rule it is recommended to select foods in the ratio 1:1:4::proteins:fats:carbohydrates. Make sure that you select foods with high GI and low GI values so that you have both instant energy and stamina. Remember that you will (probably) be expending more energy than usual and will therefore (need to) eat more! If carrying a heavy pack in wet, cold and windy conditions, your energy needs will be in the range of 12,000 → 20,000kjoules/day.
You should also make sure that you carry and drink sufficient water. Outdoor supplies may not always be safe to drink and you may need to treat it first.
As a general rule you should aim to keep your food weight to about 900g/day, but this is less critical on short trips when fresh produce is fine. Always get rid of excess packaging before you pack it and write any special instructions on the inner packet!

Day Trips

Amounts and weight not critical; assumes breakfast and dinner at home.
  • Bread or dry biscuits
  • Butter/margarine
  • Spreads
  • Cheese/Salami/Tuna
  • Tomato/Capsicum
  • Muesli bar/Chocolate
  • Fruit (fresh or dry)
  • Scroggin (mix of dried fruit, nuts, seeds and chocolate (Smarties or M&M's)
  • Tea, coffee, powdered juice

You can pretty much take whatever you fancy, including small tins and packets. If you group together then things like smoked trout become possible!
Remember to take some emergency food; perhaps a snack bar or chocolate.


Note:

The amounts below are indicative only and do not necessarily add-up to 900g/day!

Weekend Trip

Assume 2 lunches, a breakfast and a dinner, plus snacks.

Breakfast:

  • Muesli 75g
  • Milk Powder 50g
  • Bacon 75g
If your muesli has lots of nuts and seeds, then it will be low GI and digest more slowly and you won't need the bacon. Wholemeal bread with butter and jam is another alternative.

Lunch:(per day)

  • Bread/Biscuits 150g
  • Butter 50g
  • Cheese 25g
  • Salami (unsliced) 30g
  • Jam/Honey/Peanut Butter 15g
Sardines, boiled eggs, tomato, capsicum, carrots. Spreads can be carried in ‘Jerry Tubes’. Hard cheeses are better than soft ones. Chutney/pickles add variety.

Dinner:

  • Soup 30g
  • Fresh Vegetables 100g
  • Pasta 50g
  • Pasta Sauce 30g
  • Bacon/Salami 75g
  • Packet Cheesecake 100g
  • Milk Powder 30g
In cool weather why not take a steak and fry it? Or prepare a risotto with sun-dried tomatoes and parmesan cheese.
How about pancakes and stewed fruit for dessert?

Snacks:(per day)

  • Scroggin 150g

General:

  • Tea, Coffee, Milo 20g
  • Milk Powder 20g
  • Sugar 20
  • Powdered Juice 95g
  • Salt, Pepper 10g

Fresh fruit could also be taken, but beware of the weight! Not a pasta fan…how about couscous or burghul?

 

Multi-Day

Here weight and volume become quite important and you should aim at about 900g per person per day. Again a ratio of 1:1:4::protein:fat:carbohydrdate is to be aimed for, although in cold weather a ratio of 1:2:3 may provide more energy.
The use of commercial dehydrated meals saves weight but they are expensive, not always very appetising and tend to be on the small size. It is perfectly possible to make your own; although they will not be ‘freeze-dried’, the oven does a good job on meals that only need to keep for a relatively short time.

So why not dehydrate your own foodstuff?
Don't forget to include an extra meal or two for emergencies.

 

Breakfast:

  • Low GI Muesli 100g
  • Powdered milk 50g
  • Wholemeal bread, butter and jam, or
    an Anzac biscuit, or
    Pancakes 50g
Remember that you want something for quick energy and something to last.

Lunches:

  • Bread or savoury biscuits 170g
  • Butter or margarine 25g
  • Cheese 25g
  • Salami 25g
  • Jam/Honey/Pickles 20g
How about tuna in a sachet?
Don't forget to include herb and spice mixes to sprinkle or savoury pastes to spread. Sun-dried tomatoes go well.
A mixture of peanut butter and honey is flavoursome.

Dinner:

  • Soup 30g
  • Dehydrated meat 75g
  • Dehydrated vegetables 25g
  • Rice/pasta/couscous 80g
  • Instant pudding, or
    Pancakes and fruit 50g
The dehydrated meat is really protein, which you could get from TVP/beans/lentils/salami/nuts/dried fish/biltong etc.
Extra flavour can be added with tomato flakes/dried onion and garlic/dried mushrooms/herbs & spices/stock cubes & powders. Asian supermarkets are a good place to look for ideas…pickled ginger, instant dashi, pkts of curry pastes, etc
Couscous and burghul cook much faster than rice and thus use less fuel!
 
Remember that just about anything can be dried at home and that you don’t need a fancy commercial drier to do it. There are lots of ideas and recipes on the Internet, or in books such as The Outdoor Gourmet by Michael Hampton (published by open Spaces Publishing, Australia).
The shelf life of foods can be extended by a factor of ≈5 by vacuum-packing them, but this does need special equipment.

Snacks and Extras:

  • Scroggin 150g
  • Tea/coffee/Milo 20g
  • Powdered milk 25g
  • Sugar 20g
  • Powdered juice 40g
Scroggin is best divided into daily rations so the ‘good bits’ last!
You could also bake Anzac biscuits with chocolate bits in to use as dessert or snack food.