When planning your menu, you'll need to know what and how strenuous the activities
are on each day. The longer distance you make in one day, the more food you'll need
to replenish you energy on that day.
Also keep in mind that a lot of energy is required for digestion of protein
and fats, so it is not good to demand that you body be digesting a heavy meal at the
same time it is engaged in strenuous activity. For this reason, it will be a better
idea to plan your heaviest meal (the one containing the most protein and fats) at night.
Breakfast / Lunch and Snacks during the day should be high in carbohydrates (dried fruits,
gorp or bread with peanut butter and jelly).
On cold nights, add a bit more fat (margarine or cheese) to your dinner.It will help keep
you warmer in bed.
Remember to drink enough liquids every day to replenish what was used up by the activities.
4 Litres of water per day per person is optimal. You can make soup or add in fruit mix
powder to encourage fluid intake.
Don't ignore the aesthetic appeal of a meal!. A little bit of colour, variety and flavour
makes a meal much more appetizing. Herbs and spices are a "must". For the small amount of
weight they add, their contribution is invaluable.
After all, if you find the total weight of the food that you are planning to bring is way too
heavy. Then ask yourself, "Can any items here be replaced by Dehydrated food?". Canned
food are usually the first ones to be replaced because it has so much water in it.
In packing, two important principles to keep in mind are "simplicity" and "accessibility".
Think ahead of time, and it will make your meals on trail much easier to prepare.
Bulk items such as grains, vegetable mixes, biscuit mix, powdered milk, etc. can be packed in
double plastic bags with a label between the 2 bags.
Similarly, each meal that requires cooking should be bagged separately and all ingredients for that
meal should be put into one bag for easy access.
- Soak dried beans overnight or enroute in a nalgene bottle during the day will greatly
reduce cooking time.
- Grains and pastas with short cooking times (10-15 mins) such as oatmeal, spaghetti,
macaroni and instant rice should be put into salted and Boiling Water.
- Legumes and Grains that have longer cooking times (30+ mins) such as split peas,
brown rice should be started in salted Cold Water.
- Always add water to powder (NOT powder to water) to avoid lumping.
- Margarine or oil can be added to water before cooking rice or pasta to prevent sticking
and boiling over.
- Mix all leftover ingredients into a soup, I guarantee everyone will say, "That's yummy,
what's in it?"