Look at the Free Three | Food, Water, extra Stuff
In this post, we show you how to lighten your pack by thinking rationally about what you need rather than packing for your fears. To do so, we take a close look at three categories of items: 1) Food, 2) Water, and 3) all that Stuff you don’t really need! These three categories offer lots of potential weight savings all without spending a dime, which is why we call them, “the free three.”
1. Carry Less Food
To be precise, we’ll show you how to pack enough calories, but take food that weighs less. You won’t go hungry and your pack will weigh less.
1.5 Pounds per Day Will Give you 3,000 Calories
In all the years we’ve been guiding, our clients regularly walk out of the woods with leftovers when following the guidelines of 1.5 pounds per person, per day and 125 calories per ounce (average food weight). Note: obviously there is some variation between hikers (6’2″ men hiking many miles per day may need more), but this is a great first start that works for most people.
But if you’ve spent any time researching how much food to take backpacking, you’ve likely seen the advice to pack 2 pounds of food per person, per day. In our experience, this amount is only necessary to keep up with all the calories you’ll burn on especially strenuous trips lasting many weeks or longer. The reality is that most folks are going out for a long weekend up to a 7-10 day trip. On these shorter trips, you can save a lot of weight by carrying less food weight (albeit calorie dense foods) and still get plenty of calories and thus be completely satisfied.