You need to plan your food and fluid intake to make sure that you have enough to last you the duration of your hike. Planning your meals will make sure that you do not over indulge on day one leaving you with nothing to eat on day
Guidelines for planning your meals:
- Do not depend on possible other sources of food and bring everything you need to keep yourself well fed during your hikes. Only if you are 100% sure that you will be able to restock should you take less with you.
- If you are sure about re-supply points in your hiking plans then anticipate on what provisions they can replenish.
- Separate your meals in daily rations and package them separately. This will make it easier to determine how much you are allowed to eat to have enough for the full duration of your hike.
- Package and label emergency rations. Labeling them as emergency rations will make you think twice before you use them as a snack!
Under the normal conditions the human body will be able to go without food for days. Without water, however, problems come a lot quicker. Here are some guidelines on planning your water needs:
- The absolute minimum is at least 2 liters per day. Take at least 2 liters with you even if you expect to find places where you can refill your water reserves.
- Take about 1 liter for every two hours of hiking with the above mentioned 2 liter minimum.
- Under normal hiking conditions 3-4 liters per day should suffice.
- Higher temperatures will increase the needed fluid intake.
- Increased exercise will increase the needed fluid intake.
- If you plan to spend nights outdoors while hiking then calculate extra water reserves for washing yourself and possibly rinsing cooking utensils.
- Hydration Packs and water bladders have drinking tubes that make it easy to drink as you continue hiking. A possible danger however is that you have no real way of checking your fluid reserves. So make sure to stop and check your bladder’s content at regular intervals.
- Make sure to bring water purification pills or devices even if you are bringing sufficient fluids for the trip. Water bottles and bladders can burst leaving you with nothing. In these cases water filters and purifiers can make the difference. If you have nothing to filter the water with but you do have your cooking gear then you can make most outdoor water potable by boiling it for at least 10 minutes.