The food I carry is all, as much as possible, high energy / high calory items, while these are chosen very much for minimal preparation when backpacking and as far as possible with weight in mind, though unfortunately my chocolate and energy bars are quite heavy. My personal choices aside, it is a fact for anyone that collectively food is the heaviest part of the equipment you are carrying, though I don’t understand why my pack never feels progressively lighter as I use it up.
Any loose stuff, namely powdered energy drink, powdered milk and muesli, I meticulously measure out or weigh when I am packing prior to my trip, because I don’t want to carry any more grammes than I can help. I pack each in a little freezer bag which you can buy in supermarkets and pound shops, and I write a reminder of how much to use on them with a marker pen. Then I put a tie-wrap around the neck, they come with the bags, and I put each in a second bag for security, just in case the one with the powder gets a hole in it.
My meals per day:
Breakfast: 1/2 pint isotonic drink (from powder), 3+ oz muesli with mixed in sugar, 1/2 pint milk (from powder), 1/2 pint black coffee (instant) with sweeteners.
Lunch: Cup-a-Soup, energy bar, half a Yorkie bar.
Dinner: 1/2 pint isotonic drink, freeze-dried dinner pack, energy bar.
I also drink at least three and a half pints of water in a day.
An indication of the quantities I carry is at the foot of my Gear List page.
I read of someone whose “backpacking nightmare” is washing up pans and plates. All I can say is, what washing up? I don’t cook a breakfast, while freeze-dried dinner packs are eaten directly from their foil bags. My total for a day is a mug, teaspoon, dessert spoon and microwave bowl, that’s all, and they need little more than a rinse in warm water after use.
I’m tall and slim but with a tendency at my age to grow around the waist, largely the result of irregular exercise. On a multiple-day walk, and toting a heavy backpack, I always find I can tighten my belt a bit on the second morning, and even more on the third morning.
Strangely, though, I am quite happy with what little food I take, I don’t find myself wanting for a thing, except maybe a pint or two of beer!
Then when I’ve finished the walk I spend a further two or three days away from home recuperating, during which time I eat as I would on any other holiday, a sandwich at lunchtime and a pub meal in the evening.
But when I am back home it’s a different story, I am ravenous and for the next two or three weeks I eat between-meals snacks all day long