Food and Drink

How much food and water to carry

For a fun and safe trip, it’s important that everyone in the group packs and drinks enough drinking water throughout the bushwalk.

Allocate 0.5 L of water for every 1 hour of walking. For example, on a 4-hour walk, carry 2 L of water. Keep one container near the top of the pack for easy access.

Some walks pass water sources (rain-tanks, cafes, streams) where water bottles can be refilled with drinking water, but be careful about relying on these as water tanks can run dry.

In some cases, water can be collected and treated on the track. On longer trips carry water treatment tablets.

Snacks Great snacks to carry

Snacks are a great way to boost dwindling energy resources. Carry foods that can be eaten on the move, and have a high energy to weight ratio.

  • muesli bars
  • fruit (fresh or dried)
  • nuts
  • crackers
  • biscuits
  • English muffins
  • peanut butter sandwiches
  • scroggin (aka trail mix)

Pack any chocolates (or muesli bars with chocolate pieces) in zip lock bags to prevent them from melting inside the backpack. Avoid using external or lid pockets for chocolate (or other heat-sensitive foods) because they tend to heat up the quickest.

Lunch Great food for lunch

Lunch is a time to relax, take in the surroundings and refuel. Take foods that need minimal preparation in the field. Either pre-prepared sandwiches or wraps (with spread, cheese, salad etc.), or take base ingredients that are quick to assemble.

Some ideas include:

  • Bread: flatbread, wraps or mountain bread.
  • Crackers: savory wheat or rice.
  • Toppings: cheese, salami, jerky, small tins or packets of tuna
  • Spreads: hummus, tahini, vegemite, peanut butter, jam, honey.
  • Extra protein: sachets or tins of tuna, salami, salmon.
  • Fresh veggies: cherry tomatoes, carrots, cucumber, celery, apples.

Sometimes it’s nice to bring a small cake or other sweet treats to share with the group.

Backup Food Food to carry as backup

Backup food is a good idea on longer trips or trips into remote areas.

Backup food should not require any preparation and should be edible on the move so that it can be used in situations where the group is delayed, or there has been an unexpected event.

Muesli bars are a great backup food because they are lightweight and filling: carry ones that have high energy content for their weight. Sweet biscuits are another good option.

Snacks such as lollies and dried fruit also work, but being lower in carbohydrate content don’t provide as long-lasting energy release as muesli bars or biscuits.

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