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weeks worth of food?
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Brian Kelly
weeks worth of food? on 11/13/2012 09:07:11 MST Print View

Ok so Im getting a new pack and i cant decide on the size and it is just based on consumables. I am new to this ul backpacking style and im curious what even would bring on a 5-7 day trip as far as food goes in order for it to fit in a 2400(+600 outside net pocket) or would u guys just have a bigger pack for that even if so im still curious what food everyone is using and do most of you dehydrate your own food or just buy things not needing dehydrated?

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: weeks worth of food? on 11/13/2012 17:24:05 MST Print View

"im curious what even would bring on a 5-7 day trip as far as food goes in order for it to fit in a 2400(+600 outside net pocket)"

I regularly get 8 days' worth of food in a ULA OHM, which has a main compartment of 2400 c.i., and have packed as much as 11 days into it. Currently I only carry 19 oz of food/day, but on a couple of 11 day trips I was carrying 21 oz/day. The secret is to select food items that do not have a lot of air space between the particles, or to crush those which do so you can pack them densely without much air space. Examples are: mashed potatoes; dehydrated split pea soup; cous cous; olive or coconut oil; hummus, to mention a few. Even potato chips can be crushed to reduce their volume, as can nuts and granola. Powders, such as Ensure, Nido dried milk, and "sports drinks" like Hammer Perpetuem are already crushed to the max. The choices are practically endless. I hope this helps.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
weeks worth of food? on 11/13/2012 18:33:41 MST Print View

I suspect you'll get a lot of different answers, since so much depends both on gear configuration and your food/cooking lifestyle. Mine is not necessarily a typical example!

My pack has a main body capacity of 2600 cubic inches (42 L). I have no trouble getting 9-10 days of food plus my gear in that space without resorting to the extension collar. The only gear items not in that 42 L are my tent, fishing rod, water bottle, the day's snacks/lunch, a possible pair of wet socks being dried and my rain gear, all of which ride in the outside mesh pockets. Now that I have a cuben fiber tent, I will probably move it into the main pack for protection, although since it's quite small it still won't overflow into the extension collar.

My food is mostly home-dehydrated, with a few freeze-dried items such as most meat and a few veggies (bought in bulk mostly from Packit Gourmet) added in. Many ingredients are bought off the store shelves, of course: breakfast cereal, dried milk, cereal bars, nuts, rice (cooked and dehydrated at home), quinoa (ditto), cous-cous, beans and lentils (both these last cooked and dehydrated at home), some dried fruit (which I dry further in my dehydrator to reduce weight). For longer trips I tend to use more freeze-dried fruit which is a lot lighter. You'll find lots of meal ideas on Sarbar's (Sarah's) website at

What I did to allow volume/weight for my food when pack hunting was to make up a couple days' actual meals and from that figure out the approximate weight and volume of a week's worth of food. I mocked up the volume by stuffing paper into plastic bags and the weight with several weights I had on hand; this all went into my food bag. I added a liter of water and a large fuel canister and called it good.

The most important space-consumer in your pack is your non-consumable gear--how much space will that take up? Things like a bulky tent, synthetic fill sleeping bag or bulky (when packed) pad can fill up a lot of space!

That's why most people advise buying your pack last, after you have everything you're going to put inside. That way there are no guessing games with either volume or the amount of weight the pack needs to support.

Edited by hikinggranny on 11/13/2012 18:35:08 MST.

Brian Kelly
_ on 11/16/2012 18:37:04 MST Print View

Thanks for the advice guys and especially the websites. I really have no idea about what foods to bring and those sites are helping.

Bob Shaver
(rshaver) - F

Locale: West
pack size for a week trip on 01/01/2013 20:21:22 MST Print View

65 L packs work for me for a week long trip. Food bulk for 7 days varies incredibly depending on what you take.

Steve S
(idahosteve) - F

Locale: Idaho
8 days on 01/07/2013 19:49:36 MST Print View

I was able to get 8 days worth of food into my Jam without any trouble, and that included a Solo bearikade as well. Its all about prep... Its not difficult, and I believe that I could have pushed it to 10 days if I needed to.

This is what my pack looked like on the SHR with 8 days of food using 24oz per day as a guide and using the same types of food mentioned above.


Edited by idahosteve on 01/07/2013 19:50:30 MST.