Sure it is nice to carry around huge packs of fresh vegetables and some beef in order to prepare a proper dish. However, it takes up space and moreover lots of mass in your backpack.

Also, a pound of butter may be highly efficient in terms of energy/mass ratio, however nobody want's to live of that stuff. Consider carbs, proteins and vitamins as well please.

We all want to remain healthy, especially if we are on our great outdoor adventure tours. So what is an effective selection of groceries for a prolonged weekend trekking trip?

  • 2
    Related: outdoors.stackexchange.com/q/45/3313
    – Aravona
    Commented Jul 17, 2019 at 14:42
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    Very related, an old answer of mine to the question linked by Aravona: outdoors.stackexchange.com/a/8005/3478
    – helm
    Commented Jul 17, 2019 at 14:48
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    How long are you trekking for? From a healthy balance point of view there's a difference between 3 days, 3 weeks, 3 months, or 3 years. You say "prolonged weekend". For a weekend, a healthy balance really doesn't matter.
    – gerrit
    Commented Jul 17, 2019 at 15:00

2 Answers 2


The single most efficient food in terms of calories and protein per gram is peanut butter. In pure form, fats have 9 cal/g, protein 4 cal/g, and carbs a bit less than protein. I pack as much of it as I think I'll eat, and then throw in whatever else I think will make the peanut butter go down easier.

When meal planning, I multiply the number of days by 3000 to get roughly the number of calories I'll need for the trip, and pack food accordingly. My suggestion is to actively avoid overpacking... there's nothing worse than realizing you've taken 5 pounds of food for a long walk unnecessarily. Add a bit for emergency if you are going into a remote area.

Unless you're taking months to cross the South Pole, you don't need to worry about vitamins. Your body has plenty to get you back to civilization.


Think in terms of the superfoods like beans, rice and nuts. These are fairly lightweight because most of the moisture has been removed. Add some jerky to the list and you can create some wonderful meals. Don't forget whatever spices you like to season the food too.

Things like iced tea, kool-aid and coffee are nice to have and some are fortified with vitamins and minerals too. Along these same lines you can also include meal replacement mixes as well.

Lastly, if you have a sweet tooth, try packing some M&M's or any other heat stable candies.

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