Food Planning

In the pull down menu above, you can find various worksheets to help you pick menus and then create shopping lists.

Good backpacking food is:

  • light weight but packs densely.
  • last for days without cooling.
  • requires minimal fuel to cook.
  • provides calories.
  • provides nutrients and fiber.
  • is easy to clean up
  • tastes good


  • cans and containers.
  • foods with high water content - water can be added on the trail.
  • food that has to cook a long time. Stove fuel is heavy.
  • respect allergies, cultural, or religious requirements. (Currently in T80: no peanuts. no cashews. no pinenuts. no pork. caution with eggs.)

How Much:

  • 1.3 lbs of backpacking food per scout, per day (3 meals per day), works well. Weigh your total food and adjust with snacks.
      • Example: 5 scouts on a 3 day trip (9 meals) will need a total of 5 scouts X 3 days X 1.3 lbs per scout per day = 19.5 lbs of backpacking food.
  • strive for foods which contain 125 cal/oz = 4.4 cal/gr
  • A hungry scout might want ~3000 cal/day or 1.5 lbs/day = 680 grams/day.
  • Here’s an example for a heavier person, hiking a long distance, with a lot of vertical feet:
  • A 160 lb person has a base metabolism of approx. 2,400 cal/day.
  • 10 miles hiking at 120 cal/mi is an additional 1,200 calories.
  • Assume 3,000 elevation gain is another 600 calories.
  • Total caloric expenditure: 4,200 cal/day ~ 1000 grams ~ 2 lbs. This is more than a scout typically needs.