Food food glorious food: The first principle in planning a compact food supply is to have enough calories to permit muscles to work in the body to keep warm. Fat has twice the calorific value of carbohydrate eg: sugar or protein eg: cheese, and fat delays the gnawing sensation of hunger. Carbohydrate quickly assimilated provides ready fuel for the muscles. Protein not only has a special power of promoting warmth, but also is the most interesting component of a meal, and important ingredient for health, and the chief constituent of muscle. Fat, Protein and carbohydrate in sufficient proportions, together with minerals and vitamins, make up a balanced diet for keeping the body in a good physical shape.
Food is everyones favourite subject and the hardest to agree on. Always carry extra, high energy and quickly digestible food, eg: glucose tablets, nuts, dried fruit, chocolate, instant soup and energy bars. In general hiking food should be nutritious, lightweight, low in bulk and prepared with a minimum of fuss. I divide food into five categories: fresh, tinned, dried, dehydrated and freeze dried.
Fresh food: such as fruit, cold meat, tomatoes, eggs, bread are heavy and bulky, but the enjoyment of eating fresh food is sometimes worth the extra muscle strain.
Tinned food: and the opener add extra mass, and once the contents have been eaten you must put the smelly tin with its rough edges back in the pack - no you cannot bury the tin. Dried foods: (figs, raisins, crispbreads, nuts, energy bars) make great hiking snacks and are usually packed with energy giving kilojoules.
Dehydrated food: such as dried soup mixes, isotonic drinks or milk powder require little storage space and have a long storage life. Their only disadvantage is that preparation takes a little longer. Dehydrating removes 98 percent of moisture making the food shrink in size. Dehydrated foods are usually less costly than dried foods or off season fresh food and definitely cheaper than freeze dried food.
Freeze dried food: The extremely lightweight nature of Freeze dried foods make them suitable for taking along as an emergency back up. Drinks - Plenty of liquids is a must, especially on a hot summers day.
Energy drinks: There are plenty of high energy drinks which taste great, eg: Loaded, E2, Powerade or Isotonic drink powders. A drinking tube with a bottle screw attached to a 2 litre cool drink bottle makes for a cheap water carrier.