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How to Plan Meal For a Multi-day Hiking Trip? An In-Depth Guide


Getting a meal plan ready for a multi-day backpacking trip can be quite daunting. As you pack your bag, you maintain the mindset that less is more.  That's why packing enough food to stay healthy and energized for your hike can seem like a big trade-off.

However, packing enough food to keep you feeling fresh on the trail should be one of the most essential parts of the whole process. It can make or break the way you feel about your entire trip.

Instead, go at meal planning systematically. The first time that you do it, it might seem a bit overwhelming. However, it's much better this way than throwing random hiking food into your bag and hoping for the best.

Meet Your Calorie Count

When most of us think of calorie counting, we think of dieters committed to a strict eating regime. In this case, you are one of these, but looking to max out on your necessary calories, not cut back. 

Your goal should be to consume the perfect amount of food so that your body feels like it can keep pressing on at the speed you want it to go. Essentially, in the backpacking world, the estimated amount of calories you burn during the day should be equal to the number of calories you pack for that day.

You also want to time it right. Our digestive systems often feel prime when instead of eating three meals a day, we eat six smaller meals. Where this might not be as applicable during our daily lives, it can be helpful on the trail.

You should plan to consume between 2,500 and 4,500 calories a day. The variation here is due to several outstanding factors that change from person to person and even trip to trip. Some of these include:

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