For long trips I started using Geoff Spearpoint’s quantities for meals and I have modified this over the years to suit my tastes.  I weigh out all my food as I don’t want to carry any more than necessary but also I want to make sure I have enough food.  All the weights below are for one person.  Obviously you can modify the quantities to suit your tastes.  Try to get a balance of sweet and savoury for snacks and lunch.


The total weight per person per day for food is 700 g and I have found this works.

Breakfast 150 g per day

Lunch 150 g per day

Dinner 200g per day

Snacks 150 g per day

Drinks 50 g per day


Muesli 130 g per day

Milk powder 20 g per day

Premixed together and packed in three day lots in plastic bags

Alternative breakfasts include instant porridges.  These only need hot water and are tasty but you need at least two packets to make a breakfast.  Dried potato with a flavour eg cheese or one of those dried miso soups is also an option and very filling.         

Total breakfast 150 g per day



I personally don’t like bread very much so I like to make Tararua Biscuits.  They are lighter than bread and you can make them to a variety of recipes to suit yourself.  Usually they are sweet but I have made cheese and paprika tararua biscuits in the past.  I usually count out 3 or 4 biscuits per day, weigh them and make up the total daily allowance in spreads.


Possible spreads include salami, cheese, up to you really                                             

Total lunch 150 g per day



I take pasta or rice in preference to commercial dehydrated meals as these are much cheaper and I find pasta very satisfying.  I think you need plenty of carbohydrate in the evening for tramping the next day.  Pasta seems much more filling than rice for the same weight.


Geoff Spearpoint says you need 3000 to 7000 calories per day so if you are taking commercial dehy packets make sure you check how many calories are in them.  I’m guessing dinner should make up 2/3 of the day’s calories.  You can easily work out how many calories food has per 100 grams by looking at the nutritional information on the packets.


Pasta or rice 120 g

We used to cut this down to 110 g per person per day for really long trips but you start to get hungry after a few days.  You could probably get away with 115 g but 120 g seems to keep everyone happy.  Macaroni elbows are the standard favourite, some of the thinner pasta cooks quicker (which is good) and some of the fancier stuff can be a bulky to carry (which is bad).


Add other tasty things to make meal up to 200 g per day


Additions can include combinations of

Salami or nuts for protein

Packet soup for flavour

Coconut milk powder (works well with a satay sauce packet and cashews)

Dried mushrooms (from Asian section of supermarket)

A few sun dried tomatoes or olives (although I inevitable end up with oil all through my pack)

Packets of cheese sauce (these work well with salami)

Dried vege packets from the supermarket (eg peas and carrots)


Dehy potato is a good to carry for an emergency meal

Total dinner 200g per day



150 g per day.  This seems quite generous when you are packing it but its great to have lots of snacks.  You seem to get better value for weight from biscuits, sweets and muesli bar kind-of-things than from dried fruit which quickly gets heavy.  Jeff swears by dates.  I like a variety of packets of things and then I can open something new each day and know I’m not getting ahead of myself.  Jonathan lives on chips and afghan biscuits - this is not a balanced diet – I would add sour snakes and shortbread biscuits at least………

Total snacks 150 g per day



I take powdered drink eg refresh and its great on summer trips.  Make sure you get the stuff with real energy in it, not weight watcher’s stuff.  I calculate that an 80 g packet will last 2 days.

Tea coffee milk as required                                        

Total drinks 50 g per day


Total for a day per person 700 g