How Many Calories Do You Need Per Day Backpacking?

By Anna Duncan

Backpacking is a great way to experience the outdoors, but it requires a good amount of energy and stamina. Knowing how many calories you need per day to fuel your body for an extended backpacking trip is essential for staying healthy and energized. Depending on your age, sex, height, weight, activity level and goals, the number of calories you need per day can vary greatly.

The average adult needs between 2,000 and 2,400 calories per day in order to maintain their weight. For children and teens, the calorie needs can be slightly higher or lower depending on their age and activity level. If you are planning an extended backpacking trip that involves strenuous physical activity such as hiking up mountains or carrying a heavy load over long distances, you may need to consume more calories than your daily average.

The type of food you eat while backpacking can also affect the amount of calories you consume. High-calorie foods such as nuts, seeds, dried fruits and granola bars are excellent sources of energy for when you’re on the trail. Snacking on these types of foods throughout the day will help ensure that your body is getting enough fuel for all the activities that come with backpacking.

It’s also important to stay hydrated while backpacking by drinking plenty of water. About 8 glasses of water per day are recommended for adults and even more if you’re engaging in strenuous activities.

Staying hydrated helps keep your energy levels up throughout the day and prevents dehydration-related fatigue.


Knowing how many calories you need per day while backpacking is important in order to stay energized and healthy during long trips outdoors. Depending on your age, sex, height, weight and activity level; as well as the type of food consumed throughout the day; calorie needs can vary greatly from person to person. High-calorie snacks like nuts and dried fruit are excellent sources of energy while out on the trail; as well as staying hydrated with ample amounts of water.