KEY fundamentals of expedition food packing

By Derik Ng –

Out of all things we bring in our expedition packs, packing the right food is always one of the most difficult challenges many face. It is always either too heavy or not enough. Having the right meal for the day is utterly important and it could define your experiences gained throughout your journey. Here are some key foundations that you’ll want to follow when deciding what you want to take on your next adventure.

To do’s

  • Pack foods that consist of the highest amount of energy with the lowest weight, so you do not have to carry unnecessary weight. Typically, dehydrated foods are a good option for this.
  • Focus on foods that are high in sugar content such as chocolate bars or granola power bars. While journeying, your body tends to burn a lot of calories, so be sure to replenish them.
  • Pack unperishable food that can last without a fridge such as bread, pasta, and much more.
  • Pack food that can be easily cooked over a small camping stove or a campfire in case if your stove fails on the field.
  • Pack and cook according to a meal plan. This allows you to estimate and ration your food properly so you do not end up going hungry in the middle of the trip.
  • Repack your food in individual zip lock bags or airtight bags to keep things organized and only bring what you need with a little extra.
  • Meal ready to eat (MRE) is a good option for quick-to-go meals. The only drawback is it cost more compared to other options. But they are extremely reliable and convenient whenever things do not go as planned. For example, a broken stove or an extra night in the outdoors.


  • Avoid purchasing or packing foods in glass and canned jars. It would only take up more space and weight in your pack.
  • Avoid bringing ‘fragile foods’ such as eggs. If possible, purchase powdered eggs as an alternative if needed.
  • Avoid bringing hydrated foods such as liquid milk, fruits, and much more. Water only makes it heavier.

Kitchen setup:

  • 1 Messtin
  • 1 set of cutleries
  • 1 knife (or you could use your utility knife)
  • 1 lightweight stove
  • 1 gas canister
  • 1 small flysheet as your kitchen countertop to keep things clean and tidy

Meal plan example

Trip: 2 days 1 night

Day 1 Breakfast: Granola, oats, and peanut butter

Day 1 Lunch: Tortilla wrap with nuts, peanut butter, and dehydrated meat

Day 1 Dinner: Pasta with dried spices

Day 2 Breakfast: Granola, oats, and peanut butter

Day 2 Lunch: Mashed potatoes and beans

Extras: Dried fruit snacks, snicker bars, protein bars, tea, biscuits

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