Multi-day hiking rations

Good evening all. A group of us are hiking the Tsitsikamma trail in a couple of months and we were advised to keep 2 days worth of food with us in our day packs whilst the rest of our bulky gear gets portered to the accommodation every day. In your collective experience what should we be looking at in terms of rations that we can carry with us?

Your physical size plays a big role in how much food you need to carry - the bigger you are, the more fuel you need. With that in mind, I’m 1.86m tall and weigh 85kg and generally take the following for snacks and lunch:

  • 2 Jungle Oats bars
  • 4 Provitas & 2 cheese wedges
  • 1 or 2 sticks of droĂ«wors
  • 1 small packet of chips
  • 1 packet of jelly sweets
  • 1 apple
  • 2L water

I also take a packet of peanuts and raisins that I keep as a backup in case things take longer than expected.

Hope that helps.


There’s no one size fits all approach to food. What works for me (largely chips, biscuits, biltong and dried fruit) doesn’t work for others. Also depends whether or not you are bringing a gas stove.

I usually shoot for 600-800g per day. Make sure you include some “reward food” for the end of the day, memories of a nice piece of fudge at the end of every day on many hikes!

Coffee/hot chocolate can be nice for the end of the day, and a cup of soup is never bad in cold weather.

Don’t forget to eat and drink throughout the day, that is probably the most common mistake people make.


I just love the “reward food” idea! Especially fudge!
Thanks for the tip. I’ll definitely pack some fudge.

1 Like

I was very surprised on the Otter Trail 2 weeks ago how little food I ate in 5 days. I eat double the amount at home doing nothing for 5 days :rofl:

1 Like

Forever Fresh are launching their new freeze dried meals range next week, so keep an eye out for those. I’ve tried a few of them and it’s better than anything I could prepare at home. Delicious and ultra-light.


Speaking of ready made meals, i took a few with me from Raw Food Company. They work from home in Bothasig in Cape Town and their meals are beyond awesome, and very cheap in comparison. And the portions are massive. I battled each night to finish my supper and gave left overs away to another hungry hiker


Another one we tried recently…“Mama Alles”.
Struggled to load the page so no link but Goggle reveals all.

Dried Hummus is actually really good and their little coffees “Moses Coffee” good and nifty, enjoyed with hot chocolate mixed in for breaky. Good way to start the day!!

@Chuckmyster agree, those Raw Food portions are huge, love the Thai Green Curry.


Some pics of coffee, package and in action…

1 Like

I couldn’t stretch to that budget for this trip to the Fish River Canyon (I was covering the fuel) but my Buddy did, and like you found the 1 pax meals more than adequate - they also smell really good!.
the Raw Food Company packet serves as a measuring container, Add 1.3 packets of water…

For the Kruger Trail I am taking them,
My meal is:
Cous Cous/noodles/ 2 pax portion of Smash and 50gm Salami/Packet tuna
Raw Food Company
Packet soup.

Snacks, Biltong, Dried Fruits Energade sweets.


1.3 packets of water Yes, I read that as 13 packets on my 1st night a few weeks back :rofl: I said to one of my hiking partners I forgot to pack in a number 3 poitjiekos pot. She read my packet and said no it isn’t 13 packets it is 1.3 packets of water. LOL Thank goodness I didn’t stuff that up and end up making a massive soup for myself. Those meals are super awesome and delicious and affordable

Forever Fresh have launched their outdoor meal range. Use the discount code HSA10 to get 10% off: Hiking Food | Outdoor Meals | Freeze-Dried Food & Pre-Cooked Meals– Forever Fresh Foods

I can’t overstate how delicious these meals are! The calorie count on the different meals differs quite dramatically, so just check that out. Some are okay for two people and some are just enough for one.

The sides are also sold separately, which is quite cool, because you can use your own rice, noodle or couscous if you want.

Hi Arno,
Don’t you find that the 1 or 2 sticks of droëwors & the 1 small packet of chips, makes one thirsty, and results in one needing more water / liquid?
Kind regards,

For sure, eating salty foods does make one crave a bit more water, but I find the benefit of replacing salts that I’ve lost through sweating (and preventing cramps) outweighs the need for a few extra sips of water.

Most of the time with salty foods, the need to drink water is not so much thirst as it is the desire to get the salty taste out of one’s mouth.


Agree 100%
I need salty snacks on a hike, helps loads

1 Like

Interestingly on multi day trails afterwards its intriguing if you come out without a food craving. If youve ever gone on a tour and realised youve got the same rations in the rat pack you come back with a massive craving.

For me having diverse foods means that you dont have a craving afterwards - its really satisfying when after 5 nights you dont crave something specific.

Loving the Royco Sweet n Sour as well as Butternut Chicken curry sauces to spice things up.


Another tip that I might add: Try to add something fresh to your snacks. Especially on longer hikes. E.g. I Usually take an apple or two and try to save them until day 3 or 4 (in winter it can be even later on). It might just be a personal thing, but I get tired of the rehydrated, sugary, salty, preserved nature of hiking food pretty quickly, and a fresh appel on day 4 can be glorious. You’ll have to be careful in considering the weight and Best-before of the fresh stuff, and so it might not really be an option if you’re going seriously ultra-light.


Only two? :grinning:
For me nothing beats the zing and snap of fresh fruit. Not even Belgian chocolate. Though that’s a poor comparison.
Fuji, Braeburn or Cripps Pink rule the roost. It’s a kind of Apple Parliament that reminds me of the goodness of cider too.