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Food per day, how many liters?
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Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - M

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Food per day, how many liters? on 09/26/2011 01:18:03 MDT Print View

How many liters does a day's worth of food generally take up? Or is that too variable to calculate? I am wondering about how much space I need for longer trips of varying length.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Food per day, how many liters? on 09/26/2011 05:41:07 MDT Print View

My food is one liter volume per day. That is about the minimal in my estimation. For pack buying it might be wise to up that a little and figure on 1.5+ per day?

Edited by jshann on 09/26/2011 05:42:45 MDT.

Michael Levine
(Trout) - F

Locale: Long Beach
fpd, liters on 09/28/2011 15:17:15 MDT Print View

The bear can I took was the BV500, 11.5 liters according to REI. I fit six 4000 calorie days (2pppd) in it with much struggling and conscious placement using food at about 125kcal/ounce. I noticed when I was done with the first day or two it still seemed full because I had placed less emphasis on packing it well, so a lot depends on how efficiently you do that.

That was at the end of my trip, the start I ate a LOT less, 1.6pppd was a bit too much and six days fit with no problem and I wound up with about a day's worth of extra food.

Also, unsolicited advice, nutella repackaged is the shizznitlebampsnipsnapsack either by itself or with ... whole wheat tortillas which go with any dinner (I'm from socal, might be a factor).

Edited by Trout on 09/28/2011 15:22:18 MDT.

David Drake
(DavidDrake) - F

Locale: North Idaho
Re: Foods per day on 04/25/2012 08:49:35 MDT Print View

>"consume more foods for getting required calories"

Hmm. I might have to try that.

Robert Kelly
(QiWiz) - MLife

Locale: UL gear @
It depends on 04/25/2012 11:37:14 MDT Print View

On how many calories you want, the calorie density of the foods you pick, and the type of packaging your foods are in. I budget about 1.5 lbs of dry food per day and try make sure that's at least 3000 calories. I'm not hungry, but I am losing weight (but I have weight to lose). ; )
If I were all muscle, I would budget 2 pounds per day (or more in winter or high mileage). Volume is much trickier. Somewhere between 1 and 1.5 liters is probably what I would need for my usual 1.5 pounds. You can very easily exceed that with high bulk foods.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Food per day, how many liters? on 04/25/2012 11:49:49 MDT Print View

The answer depends almost entirely on the type of food you take. If you stick with dehydrated or freeze-dried, use cous-cous for your pasta (or take a hammer to other, more bulky types of pasta to reduce its volume), eliminate bulky packaging and use calorie-dense foods as much as possible, you can get the size pretty small. I did a test two years ago on my Bearikade Weekender (650 cubic inches) and managed to cram in 6 days' food for both me and my dog. (As a rough estimate, about 10 liters.) That was leaving out the first day's food, and the 6th day didn't include dinner, which means that it was really 5 days' food. It was a really tight squeeze, though! My dog's food is 3 cups of kibble (relatively small pieces) per day. I did have to use a hammer on that and repackage some of it into smaller plastic bags so I could squeeze it into smaller nooks and crannies.

If you're estimating for pack size or bear canister size, just prepare one typical day's food for the trail and make up a bunch of other packages of the same size (crumpled paper in plastic bag) for the appropriate number of days.

Edited by hikinggranny on 04/25/2012 11:54:35 MDT.

Delmar O'Donnell

Locale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio
To summarize... on 07/04/2013 12:05:28 MDT Print View

Mark Fowler, from another thread:

"I find that a day's normal food for walking takes up about 1.5 litres of pack capacity (pasta, biscuits, muesli, cheese etc) thus 2 days = 3 litres."

Edited by Bolster on 07/04/2013 12:22:23 MDT.

Matt Thyer
(mthyer) - MLife

Locale: Pacific North West
less about volume and more about density on 07/24/2013 17:14:44 MDT Print View

Interesting that someone hasn't already pointed this out, but when Roman Dial, Ryan Jordan, and Jason Geck trekked 1000 km across Alaska's western North Slope and Brooks Range in 2006 this was an item of deep concern. However, the concern was less about volume and more about density.

May I suggest the following as evening reading material and a potential well-tested answer to your question.

Delmar O'Donnell

Locale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio
Sum on 07/27/2013 21:18:16 MDT Print View

^ That was an interesting read. Didn't discuss volume, but did address weight. If there's a straight-across conversion from lbs to liters (as it appears from above posts), then we have another answer.

In a nutshell:
Week 1: ~ 1.5 lb of food / 3,000 Calories.
Week 2: ~ 2.0 lb of food / 4,500 Calories.
Week 3: ~ 3.0 lb of food / 7,000 Calories.

Edited by Bolster on 07/27/2013 21:21:23 MDT.