How Much Extra Food Should I Bring Backpacking?

By Alice Nichols

Backpacking is a fun, rewarding and challenging activity that can be enjoyed alone or with friends. Whether you’re planning a day hike or a multi-day trek, it’s important to plan ahead when it comes to food. Knowing how much extra food you should bring backpacking is essential for your safety and comfort.

When deciding how much extra food to bring backpacking, the first thing to consider is the length of your trip. If you’re planning a short day hike, you may decide that bringing an extra snack or two is enough. However, if you’re embarking on a multi-day trek, it’s best to plan for at least one full day’s worth of extra food in addition to your regular meals. This will give you enough energy reserves in case something unexpected happens and your trip takes longer than anticipated.

It’s also important to consider the type of food you’ll be bringing backpacking.

Dried foods are usually the most lightweight and have the longest shelf life, making them ideal for long hikes where weight is an issue. You should also make sure that any meals or snacks you bring are high in protein and complex carbohydrates so that they provide lasting energy throughout the day.

Finally, when packing your food for the trail, make sure it’s properly stored in airtight containers or bags so that it stays fresh and doesn’t attract wildlife. It’s also important to keep your food away from your sleeping area at night so as not to attract bears or other animals while camping.


Deciding how much extra food to bring backpacking depends on the length of your trip and the type of food you’ll be bringing with you. For short trips, an extra snack or two may suffice while longer treks require more substantial meals packed in airtight containers away from sleeping areas at night. With proper planning, packing enough extra food can help ensure a safe and successful backpacking adventure.