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Even in easy terrain, tramping is hard work which requires lots of energy. If you have a heavy pack or the weather is cold, wet and windy, you'll need even more energy.

You'll need about 3000-4000 calories each day if you are involved in vigorous activity.

Proteins are quickly digested and are important for the repair of muscles and tissues. Sources of proteins include meat, cheese, eggs and milk powder.

Fats have the highest energy content per gram and are slowly digested. Sources of fat include butter, bacon, cheese, salami, chocolate and full cream milk powder.

Carbohydrates are quickly digested and provide energy quickly. Foods rich in carbohydrates include sugar, honey, bread, muesli, oatmeal, rice, macaroni, spaghetti, sweets and dried fruits.

Generally you should eat proteins, fats and carbohydrates in the proportion of 1:1:4. But if you are more active and the weather is cold and wet, then you should eat more fats, proportions approaching 1:2:3.

Food also has considerable emotional and psychological effects. When planning food for others, consider their likes and dislikes. Variety and quantity may become important on extended trips and it might be worth carrying some fresh fruit for a treat after days on dehydrated food, or to celebrate reaching the top of a mountain.


Keep the billy lid on - it saves time and fuel, and keeps ash, smoke and insects out of the food.

When pouring from a billy, let the contents run out over one side where the handle is attached. It's easier to control.

You can tell a billy is boiling by holding a spoon or stick against the side - the vibrations are much more vigorous.


Cleaning a burnt saucepan or porridge pot at home when there's plenty of hot, soapy water and a decent scourer may not be enjoyable, but coping in the bush is less pleasant.

Some people carry a pot scourer and a small bottle of biodegradable detergent. Others swear by river gravel.

Drain suds into soft soil to save polluting streams and lakes.




Tararua biscuits


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