How Much Food Do You Need for a 3 Day Backpacking Trip?

By Michael Ferguson

When it comes to planning a 3-day backpacking trip, food is one of the most important elements to consider. The amount of food you need depends on the type of terrain you’ll be covering, how long your days will be, and how much physical activity you’ll be doing. Here are some tips for ensuring you have enough food for your three-day backpacking trip.

Calculate Calories:

To calculate the amount of food you need for a 3-day backpacking trip, use the following formula: take your body weight in pounds and multiply it by 15. This will give you an estimate of how many calories you need on a daily basis while backpacking.

Bring High-calorie Foods:

When packing food for your 3-day backpacking trip, opt for high-calorie foods that are lightweight and easy to transport. Foods like nuts, granola bars, and dried fruits are great options because they’re calorie-dense and easy to carry with you throughout the day. If possible, bring foods that can be easily prepared over a campfire or stove to save time.

Plan For Snacks:

Snacks are essential when it comes to backpacking trips because they provide an energy boost without taking up too much space in your pack. Make sure to pack snacks like trail mix, beef jerky, nut butter packets, and energy bars that can help keep your energy up throughout the day.

Bring Enough Water:

It’s important to remember that water takes up a lot of space in a backpack so make sure to bring enough water with you on your 3-day backpacking trip. If possible, try to find sources of fresh water along the way so that you don’t have to lug around heavy jugs of water.


With careful planning and consideration for your terrain and activity level, it’s possible to figure out how much food is needed for a 3-day backpacking trip. Remember to calculate calories needed per day based on body weight, bring high calorie foods that are lightweight and easy to transport, plan snacks throughout the day for energy boosts, and bring enough water with you or look out for sources along the way.