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How much food per day dry weight?
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Terry Morris
(TerryM) - F

Locale: Northern California
How much food per day dry weight? on 09/01/2008 16:33:21 MDT Print View

I'm seeing recommendations for 1 1/2 - 2 lbs. food per day when backpacking. Is this dry weight? I'm heading out on a hike and trying to figure out how much I need to take of each thing.

A Mountain House Beef withRice meal is 5.75 oz, and that is supposed to feed two. I imagine one hungry person could eat the whole thing but that still leaves another 1 - 1 1/2 lbs of food to consume per day if we are talking dry weight.

Where does the rest of the weight come from? I know nuts and dried fruit can be heavy because they are not that dry. Is this where the weight adds on?

Thanks in advance.

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Re: How much food per day dry weight? on 09/01/2008 16:39:23 MDT Print View

I usually have about 1 lb per day for myself but my girlfriend needs 2.5-3 lbs per day. My food generally includes dehydrated meals for dinner and breakfast along with granola, energy bars, and dehydrated fruit. Sometimes I'll have a PBJ for the first day's lunch.

Terry Morris
(TerryM) - F

Locale: Northern California
Re: Re: How much food per day dry weight? on 09/01/2008 16:46:55 MDT Print View

Thanks Chris - Is that dry weight or does that include some non dehydrated stuff like fresh meat or veggies?

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: How much food per day dry weight? on 09/01/2008 16:51:54 MDT Print View

With old school packing of some fresh items, yes, 2 lbs can happen easily.

I would say I see most people carrying 1 to 1 1/2 lbs a day. I carry about that - heavier on the first day with stuff like cheese and produce, lighter after day 1.

Terry Morris
(TerryM) - F

Locale: Northern California
Re: Re: How much food per day dry weight? on 09/01/2008 18:17:22 MDT Print View

Sarah. what percentage of your dry food days would be the nuts, fruit and bars? Do this snack and lunch stuff account for most of the weight in a day's food? If I were to eat the commercially prepared dry backpacking dinners and breakfasts at their suggested amounts, that would only add up to 6 oz or so or dry stuff per day. Does that mean most people pack a lb per day of nut and fruits, and other snacks?

The reason I ask is that I have not organized the trail mix/lunch stuff for my trip yet and it looks like I am short on food just weighing the dinners and breakfasts I've dehydrated so far, and they are not small meals. Maybe the weight will come way up a lot with the trail munch food.

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Re: Re: Re: How much food per day dry weight? on 09/01/2008 18:24:51 MDT Print View

That is all dry foods for me. I don't carry anything fresh 99% of the time.

Christopher Holden
(back2basics) - F - MLife

Locale: Southeast USA
Re: How much food per day dry weight? on 09/01/2008 18:34:17 MDT Print View

The weight of your food is really an arbitrary number. You should figure out your nutritional needs and build a menu plan from there. What I take for a weekend out far exceeds what I actually need. I take more than necessary for peace of mind. If you don't like that logic, there's always the Murphy factor.

Edited by back2basics on 09/01/2008 18:36:49 MDT.

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: How much food per day dry weight? on 09/01/2008 19:01:43 MDT Print View

Depends on what you are bring for food, how hard you are working, and how efficient your metabolism is. Rule of thumb suggests 1-2 lbs/person/day. My typical three season menu weights 15-22oz and packs around 1800-2200Kcal which works well for me on trips that are typically 15-20 miles with 2-6k elevation gain. I should note that I am carrying 10-15lb of extra padding. During trips I don't lose weight, but I think some of the fat has turned to muscle by the end. If I was down to a fully lean weight, I would need to carry more food.

--Mark

Edited by verber on 09/01/2008 21:06:01 MDT.

mark henley
(flash582) - F
Re: Re: How much food per day dry weight? on 09/01/2008 20:28:42 MDT Print View

I would second Mark's comments .... I carry about 22-24 ounces per day. Dried fruits, nuts, energy bars, oatmeal, granola, Jerky, Tortillas, cheese, and dehydrated dinners. I tend to try to stay away from freeze dried dinners, packing perhaps one for a week trip. They have limited nutritional value over what you dehydrate yourself. I target 2000 Kcals per day.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: How much food per day dry weight? on 09/01/2008 22:01:22 MDT Print View

Sue and I run on about 650 - 700 g (23 - 24 oz) dry weight per day. That is for long trips where weight counts.
Surprising how much weight goes into the lunch menu!

Cheers

Derek Goffin
(Derekoak)

Locale: North of England
Re: How much food per day dry weight? on 09/02/2008 02:24:18 MDT Print View

Where does the rest of the weight come from? I know nuts and dried fruit can be heavy because they are not that dry. Is this where the weight adds on?

All dried food has some water in it. I expect commercially dried vacuum packed has the least. (perhaps it has heavier packaging to carry in and out) I assume when you look at the nutritional breakdown on the packet any difference between the total and 100% is water unless fibre has not been mentioned. I would not think nuts and dried fruit are significantly more water laden than other dried food. Dry Carbohydrate and protein have 4 calories per gram, to get to 3000 calories per day you are carrying 750 gram (26 ounces)just by simple arithmatic. You would have to have a fat rich diet to get above 4 calories per gram because indigestible fibre and trace water push the sum the other way.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Lunch/Snack weight on 09/02/2008 08:41:17 MDT Print View

As Roger points out - lunch can be the heaviest part.

For myself I often carry bars of dried fruit that are soft. Well soft mean water weight. If one carries dried fruit, nut butters and nuts these dense, nutrient rich items add up fast weight wise.

While most of my food is dry I do like to carry avocados. Those are not light. I also carry packets of oil or on longer trips 4 ounces of oil in a bottle.

There are times as well that I carry pouched meat or in small cans. I prefer it over dried so the weight is worth it.

Weight can also be affected by how big ones meals are too :-)