You are here: Home > Complete Preparedness Library > Life Essentials - Food > Easy To Carry Food For Camping And Hiking
Easy to Carry Food for Camping and Hiking

Easy to Carry Food for Camping and Hiking

When you are going on a camping or hiking trip, weight and space will be at a premium in most cases. Almost everything that you will be using, eating, or drinking will have to be carried in on your back. Getting your backpack ready will take some ingenuity to make you that you have everything you need, and also that you will be able to carry it without strain. If you are a very fit individual, you can probably carry about 33% of your body weight – a 200 pound man of this type could carry about 65 pounds comfortably, while a 125 pound woman who has been working out is capable of carrying approximately 42 pounds. ‘Ordinary’ people should carry no more than 25% of their body weight, so the above hikers should carry no more than 50 and 30 pounds respectively.

Emergency Food Bars

These could probably be considered to be the ultimate in easy to carry food. One bar, in a compact size, will be enough to sustain you for an entire day. These food bars are available in 400, 800, 1200, 2400, and 3600 calories sizes. Some of them feature smaller packages inside the main package so that you can use only a portion at a time, without exposing the rest to the air.

Those who suffer from nut allergies should pay attention to the ingredients, as some of these bars contain coconut. Others not only do not contain nuts or any kind, but were also produced using equipment that has never been used in the manufacture of food containing nuts. Emergency food bars are usually flavored like lemon or apple-cinnamon and are generally considered to be tasty. These emergency bars are designed not to make you thirsty, too, an important consideration when water may be restricted.


Another option for lightweight meals for camping or hiking are meals ready to eat, or MREs. These will generally contain a complete meal that simply needs to be opened, and eaten. Many MREs come with a heating element that will allow you to warm up the food before you eat. The nice thing about MREs is not only that preparation is minimal, but that there is a great variety of food to choose from. These meals can include MREs that are a full course, from appetizer through main course, to dessert. An MRE of this sort will also usually contain a sweetened powder that can be added to water. Some MREs are designed to be a single meal, such as pork and noodles, or chicken cacchiatore. If you are only going on a hike of less than a day, you might want to simply take along some MRE snacks. Be sure to check the shelf life of the MREs that you are considering; most have a shelf life of at least 5 years, and are available as a single purchase item or in cases.