Food - a menu for 9 days hiking

Lightweight food for a 9 day hike?
Making sure you are not bored with your hiking meals?
Some great ideas to keep you fuelled up on an long bushwalking trip?

What food to take on an extended hike is always something that challenges us before a trip. Balancing weight, freshness and variety all make for interesting discussions as we plan our menus. We are always on the lookout for new or well written information about hiking food so please contact us here if you would like to contribute.

Photo by Super Starfish ..dining outdoors

Tasadam, from the Bushwalk Tasmania Forum ,submitted an excellent post on that forum regarding the food his wife was taking on a 9 day walk on the South Coast Track in southern Tasmania. The link to the full topic on the forum is here.

We asked Tasadam if it was OK to reproduce the menu and he was happy for us to make it available for "Our Hiking Blog" readers.

We did the South Coast Track in March / April 2006 and this is the link to our posts. If you want to read Sue's reflections and check out the pictures, have a look.

This is the list of food Tasadam's wife took on the walk and his thoughts:

Breakfast - x 9
Her normal cereal which is Fibre Plus - 60 gram serves which is a cup full. Weighed into individual Multix medium sized freezer bags (these are the best and lightest bags).
Milk powder - 9 x 30 gram bag fulls, cheap & nasty Coles freezer bags, tied into a knot then the tails cut off. All together in a Glad sandwich bag.Also, 20 tea bags, a quantity of milk powder in a bag for extra cups of tea, and a small bag of sugar.

Total for 9 x Breakfast with mentioned extras = 983 grams. 109 grams per day.


The expensive freeze dried single serve bags that you get in the bushwalking shops. Approx 110 grams total.
Also, a quantity of dried beans and some cuppa soups.

Total for 8 dinners plus extras = 1047 grams. 131 grams per day.

Lunch - a bit more tricky but still managed okay
Mountain Bread, 8 sheets plus bag = 250g.
Thickly sliced cheese enough pieces for each day= 274 grams
Stick of salami = 317 grams
Semi Dried tomatoes in a sandwich bag with oil drained off = 88 grams
Mango chutney in a food tube as a spread = 109 grams
Carrots * 2 - cut into quarters (1/4 carrot per day x 8 days) = 220 grams

Total for 8 lunches = 1258 grams or 157 grams per day.

Nibble bags
8 bags of nibbles consisting of dried fruit (fruit cake mix - sultanas, raisins, fruit pieces etc), dried apple, scroggin (bushwalkers mix from Wholesome house, Deloraine - I swear by that stuff), Dried banana, sweetened dried banana, dried apricots.

Total = 983 grams or 117 grams per day

Extra food -
Full packet of GingerNut Snaps = 270 grams
Half a 200g block Toblerone chocolate (one piece per day) = 110 grams
Bag of cashew nuts = 100 grams

She also had 3 x 75 gram portions of Sustagen powder to make 3 x half litre energy drinks = 225 grams.

Total extras 705 grams or 88 grams per day average.

Total food weight for 9 breakfasts, 8 lunches and 8 dinners plus all the extras = 4976 grams.
Total per day = 608 grams.

And she carried a chicken salad roll for a couple of hours on the first day to have a luxury lunch.

Total weight could be cut down by -
Losing the carrots - new daily total 580 grams
And talking only half a packet of biscuits New total 563 grams
And lose the sustagen powder (if it's not your thing) New total 555 grams.

Wouldn't want to go too much more extreme than that - lots of energy burnt up when walking.

EDIT - A bit of follow up from Tasdam.
The sundried tomatoes weren't such a hit, still too sloppy...
The bushwalkers mix of nibbles, there are similar bags of stuff you can buy in the supermarkets - easy to spot - with the nuts etc in the fruit and veg section. Pre-packaged in a 400 gram bag. Walnuts, almonds, sultanas, dried fruit, seeds - I think they are pumpkin and something else, etc you get the idea. But I think I prefer the stuff from Wholesome house more... It tastes "better". This stuff keeps you regular too. I find about 100 - 120 grams a day is enough.

Many thanks to Tasadam, we think it is one of the best food lists for a multi-day walk we have come across.

Just a reminder to checkout and join the Bushwalk Tasmania forum. It is an excellent resource for anyone who loves (or dreams about) walking in Tasmania. There are also some fantastic pictures that have been posted by the members there showcasing some of Tassie's most beautiful wilderness scenery .

Related Posts
Hiking Food- a menu for 9 days
Dehydrating a curry for a multi day hike
Vegetarian Hiking food ideas
Meal ideas for the Overland Track and other long hiking trips - Part One
Meal ideas - (Lunch and Dinner) for the Overland Track and other long hiking trips - Part Two
Spagetti Bolognase - a great inexpensive meal to dry for hiking


Anonymous said...

What a great food plan,sounds like you've put a lot of work and planning into the menu. Love the table and setting in the photo

dave said...

Thanks for posting this! It's very thoughtful, detailed, and gave me a few thoughts when I look at my common plan.

Frank and Sue said...

Thanks guys, but thanks have to go to Tasadam at the Tasmanian Hiking forum. There are a lot of other good ideas there.

amy said...

Wow, this is so well thought out!

On the Overland Track last week, food was one of our key topics of conversation with the other hikers (no wonder, being hungry all the time). One woman owned a dehydrator, and had prepared 6 days of gourmet, dried meals for both her and her husband that filled less than a single grocery bag. What a brilliant idea – she said you can just pack up any leftovers from normal meals, and dehydrate them for later use. Some meals freeze better than others, of course, so it takes a bit of experimentation. But given the amount of salt and additives in store-bought camp food, not to mention the expense, a dehydrator seems worth the investment.

We tried to strike a balance between weight, nutrition and taste, and ended up bringing a combination of ‘real’ food and freeze-dried stuff. The surprise winner was the 100% turkey Spam! I hadn’t had Spam in years, but it tasted even better than the salmon packs. The only issue was their weight, but carrying a couple of tins didn’t break the camel’s back (this time).

This is a great blog, by the way. I will draw inspiration from you for future walks next time I’m down under – I’m itching to do the Southwest Walk in Tasmania.

Frank and Sue said...

Hi Amy, Thanks for dropping by and leaving such a great comment. I reckon dehydration is the best way to be able to take some fantastic food on a hike. We actually share the ownership of a dehydrator so it worked out as quite an inexpensive option. Plus you know what you are eating!!

Drop by when you are thinking about the South Coast Walk and check out the posts Sue did about our trip. It is a TOTALLY different experience to the Overland Track , MUCH LESS are basically on your own down there...

As for Turkey Spam....enough said.....Smoked Chicken breasts are great , they last a long time and it is real chicken.

tasadam said...

Yeah, I still refer to my own list I made for her on that trip as a checklist when I am preparing for any overnight walk.
Glad to see people are getting something out of it.