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How to choose food for tramping

Heading away tramping but don’t know what food you need to take? We all face a common problem when we run away on our adventures. There are so many things to think about when choosing the food you will take with you.

  • How long are you going for? Is it a quick overnight jaunt to a local hut? Or is it a multi-day expedition?
  • Do you have any specific dietary needs? Do you need plant-based meals? Or is it a gluten-free set of meals that you need? Perhaps you are on the keto diet and need a low carb option?
  • Do you need a high-calorie diet? Or do you want to run on a calorie deficit?
  • Arguably the most important, what flavours do you like? Are you a fan of a bit of heat? Or do you like it mild? Do you prefer chicken & fish, beef & lamb, or vegetarian? Mushrooms anyone…..?


In this blog post, we will discuss all of the above consideration points when choosing what food to take tramping. Hopefully, we will be able to help you with deciding on the food you should take on your next adventure. In the end, we will have a wee bonus bit of information for you.


The first point will help you start planning your meals and snacks. If you are going for an overnight, you can probably happily take some fresher ingredients. If you are going for longer, perhaps some freeze-dried meals with a high density of nutrients for their weight, such as Radix Nutrition, are the way to go. Of course, if you prefer to carry as little weight as possible, other freeze-dried options like Back Country, Real Meals, and Local Dehy are great options for overnights. An excellent in-between option is the Go Native range of ready to eat meals; these are easy to heat but can be consumed immediately from the pack cold.


Does your food need to fit a specific dietary profile? Are you living with a condition like coeliac or IBS? Maybe you have been maintaining a ketogenic diet for any reason you have chosen? Or perhaps you love to eat a plant-based diet. These are important to ensure you don’t upset your gut and conscience in some cases. We have a great range of meals that tick these needs. Have a look at our ranges of Gluten-Free, Plant-Based and Keto tramping foods.


Getting the right calorie count in yout tramping food can be essentialWhen food planning, it can pay to remember that your calorie burn will be much higher than usual. On a typical day, the average male will burn approximately 2500Cal and 2000Cal for a female. When you are out tramping, this increases hugely! If you are walking around 6-hours per day, you can realistically double these numbers; you’ll need more energy input than when you’re at home. With these numbers in mind, the ‘average-sized’ tramping meal has 800Cal, which adds up to 2400Cal over three meals, covering your daily base calories. This is where you need snacks. You can expect to get a good number of calories from snacks, but you may also need to look at throwing in a dessert, yum.


Now, as we mentioned, this is possibly the most crucial part. Do you like the flavour? I am sure you don’t need us to tell you that you should avoid a meal you don’t like. With the choices available in our shop here at Venture Outdoors NZ, you can rest easy that there is a flavour that you will find appealing. Freeze-dried meals have had much grief for being mush with terrible texture and tastes, but these have improved significantly in the last few years, with the number of brands climbing to our current range. There will be something you like between Back Country, Real Meals, Radix Nutrition, Local Dehy, and The Outdoor Gourmet Co. Still don’t like the texture? Maybe the Go Native meals are the way for you.

Camelbak Horizon Wine Bottle, perfect for taking a white or red on your adventuresWe promised it, the bonus bit at the end…… alcohol. Do you like to have a little drink at the end of the day? Perhaps a glass of wine? Or a small dram of whisky? Or maybe a cheeky can of craft beer? This might also change depending on your trip. Going for that overnight trip, a can of craft beer is easy, except for keeping it cold. When you get to the end of the day, if you are near a river, pop it in the river, and it will cool down hopefully enough to enjoy. The same goes for white wine if you have chosen that, but you can use a bottle like the Camelbak Horizon Wine Bottle. Red wine is easy as you can drink it without cooling, and whisky or another spirit can be mixed or consumed without mixing; this is great for longer trips.