The Ultimate Backpacking Calorie & Food Weight Calculator: Plan Your Next Outdoor Camping. - Safecastle

The Ultimate Backpacking Calorie & Food Weight Calculator: Plan Your Next Outdoor Camping.

Steps which is necessary for Food Planning

  • Quantify all the food ingredients.
  • What is the duration of the journey?

  • How many individuals are in the team?

  • What environmental elements will impact the necessity for food?

  • What metabolic factors will determine the necessity of food intake?

  • Follow the transparent Meal Plan Calculator.
  • After the trip is over, carefully see how it all functioned as per your need.

Keep accurate documented records about how much food is left over for outdoor camping. When you came home analyses what you enjoyed, and what is left unsatisfying.

Food weights and terminology

The mathematics calculation mentioned here is in ounces only. With 1.6 ounces to a pound, conversion gets a little tricky otherwise, unlike that easy metric system.

1.0 ounce = 28.35 grams

0.1 pound = 1.6 ounce = 45.5 grams (as per calculation)

1.4 pounds = 22.4 ounces

1 ounce of nutritious meal = 125 calories (approximately)

0.1 pound of food = approximately 200 calories

PPPPD = Pounds per Person per Day

PPPD = Per Person per Day

Snacks = Non-meals, stuff without any necessary nutrition.

Meals = Non-snacks, stuff that (mostly) requires for breakfast or dinner

Fudge Factor = Avoid complex mathematic calculation when making some decision

Food that an average person need for Outdoor Camping

  • Food needs can be calculated with the help of pounds per person per day (PPPPD). This simple miniature form is one of the ways of rations planning. Watch carefully and conduct a survey that helps in analyzing leftover food after the trip ends completely. As I feel, 1.4 PPPPD is nothing more than negligible. Warm weather trips (WWT), needs the food calculation at 1.4 PPPPD and that shows 22.2 ounces of food per person per day (PPPPD). It is preferred very less in quantity as per traditional backpackers. But, for my team's necessities lightweight backpacking food in summer will be an appropriate estimation to execute the plan perfectly.
  • The fact in the form of numbers gives some approximation for 10 days of solo camping. For two people, just make the quantity double and everybody has different food cravings, so it is easy to analyze the figured data and shows the information.
  • Easy calculation about food necessity gives a rough idea to prepare our self for camping. One should make a calculation about food that is necessary for each who is interested in the trip.
  • Ask everyone to make their calculation using the above formula and it will remain with many left food items. Over the many years, we have utilized the calculated data to initiate the food weights for the upcoming new trip.
  • If the calculation shows anything lower than 1.4 PPPPD then one may come with a shortage of food anymore. It is deeply delight for us to eat that last left over raisin on the last day mile. If we follow according, the math worked perfectly.
  • Even, though minimum food is present, still each one of our team members eats well. Our main focus is journey satisfaction. But, when we are walking out of the mountains then no food is present.
  • This layout works extremely well in manner, especially in case you are making any plans for a long trip. Many people in groups may involve in wilderness backpacking. The computer is capable of making and managing extra food data estimation.

A Simple Calculation for Backpacking Food

Total Weight of Meals Required:

Calculation for analyzing food ration

  1. PPPPD (Pounds per Person per Day)
  1. Total member who is participating in the team.
  1. Days for which you stay camping/number of days.
  1. Exact weight of meals per person per day (PPPD).
  1. Total weight of all food before the trip starts.
  1. Actual weight of snacks per day
  2. Number of days till camp continues

How much ration quantity requires for 10 days trip?

Do not count breakfast on day 1 because it is not included in your ration and similarly, do not add dinner on the last day. One can also take snake food during the first as well as last days.

A 10 days trip is 9 breakfasts as well as dinners, and 1st and 10th-day snacks at one time only.

Camping/Hiking Trip Meal Plan

Day   Breakfast Snack Lunch Snack Dinner Drink
1 Oatmeal, fruit Trail mix Peanut butter and jelly sandwich Fruit Beef and vegetable skewers, rice Water
2 Granola, yogurt Beef jerky Tuna salad wrap Cut vegetables Spaghetti and meat sauce, garlic bread Tea
3 Scrambled eggs, toast Apple slices with peanut butter Grilled cheese sandwich Popcorn Chicken fajitas, tortillas, salsa Lemonade
4 Bagels with cream cheese Clementines Pasta salad Nuts Chili and cornbread Powdered milk,Coffee
5 Instant oatmeal, dried fruit Granola bar Hummus and pita bread Cut vegetables Pork chops, baked potatoes Water
6 Scrambled eggs, bacon, toast Fruit smoothie Chicken Caesar wrap Chips and salsa Grilled salmon, quinoa, steamed vegetables Iced tea
7 Pancakes, syrup, fruit Trail mix Tuna salad sandwich Celery and carrot sticks Steak, baked beans Soda
8 Bagels with cream cheese Apple slices with peanut butter Grilled cheese sandwich Popcorn Beef stew Hot cider
9 Instant oatmeal, dried fruit Granola bar Peanut butter and jelly sandwich Fruit Spicy black bean soup, cornbread Water
10 Scrambled eggs, toast Clementines Turkey and cheese wrap Chips and salsa Grilled chicken, sweet potatoes, green beans Lemonade

Highly Recommended Products

1. Freeze Dried Grilled Sliced Chicken

2. Powdered Eggs

3. Non-Fat Milk Powder

4. Beef Stew

5. Canned Pork Meat

Snacks vs. Meals

  • Snacks: It is not considered proper food which includes vital vitamins, proteins, and carbohydrates. Examples are a cool drink that contains calories, and biscuits.
  • Meals: Food full of protein, Vitamins, and carbohydrates. Examples – are grains, pulses, and milk.

Meal Weights Charts Calculation - Backpacking Meals

For wilderness backpacking one need to have an exact meal chart calculation which gives a small analysis of food during trips. Do not just assume the breakfast and dinner weight in terms of numbers only. There is no necessity to plan with uneaten leftovers in backcountry hiking. We make a very deep analysis and are our overall amenability to vacate the mountains place as clean as we can, and that means we are supporting any leftovers on the hiking. Throwing these foods behind a bush (or burying them) is not simply a solution. The most efficient strategic planning is to eat everything you have on your plate, and that is only possible if you have a good mathematic calculation and if you're following your plan accordingly.

The exact weights about which we are defending are a perfect figuration for meals. Measure the weight completely using a metric scale, and be cautious with your calculation while taking meals for breakfast and dinner.

  • Assume 4.5 ounces of dry food (couscous) PPPD (per person per dinner).

  • Attach 1.5 ounces of some sort of calorie-dense sauce (or cheese) to 4.5-ounce a dry food which in total gives 6 ounces per person per dinner (PPPD). Apart from these, it may have some leftovers, and one can still silence their hunger. If you are playing something for the whole team then use a 9-ounce dry ingredient that is left in your bag, especially for dinner. Use all dry food ingredients and cook in a 1 L (liter) pot.

  • The breakfast figure is quite less, nearly at 4 ounces per person per breakfast (PPPB). Calculate chart needed

The above calculation presents 12.4 ounces of snacks allotted per person per day (PPPD). One needs to trust this figure and it will work smoothly in planning trips. Even, these calculations work well for adults in summer.

A precise measure over the years with these figures in terms of numbers is very important for big team member groups. We are confident in recommending this pattern while going on trips. Also, if these numbers do not work for you completely, simply make some variation in the appropriate data points.

Meal Plan Calculator for Multi-day Trips

How many calories do you need?

Anything between 2.5K to 3K calories PPPD is at the end. But, one can choose sufficient backpacking meals for their trip. Keeping these numbers in mind is essential when you add some more stress or pressure.

As per recent data, a well-balanced meal should have an average of about 125 calories per ounce. It is just only an estimate, but it’s a clear number and acts very perfectly for eating or planning to arrange foods for others. You can get 125 calories per ounce that creating a dense meal plan for those who are on the way to hiking. It is not just a balance diet ratio; one needs to maximize the energy in every ounce for multi-day trips. 

Pounds per person per day(PPPPD) at 125 calories per ounce:

Ex: 1.4 pounds = 22.4oz * 125 calories = 2,800 calories

Calorie Calculator

Some factors that enlarges food need


Food is a basic source of energy and this energy provider act as fuel to work for a long time without any weakness. The more energy you expend, the more food you need which means energy is directly proportional to good quality high protein ration which helps in doing a heavy task. One main factor that increases persons food needs is cold weather.

A human can easily generate internal heat via exercise as well as metabolism; this requires high calories eatable food which burn after walking a long distance. When the temperature decreases, the need for ration goes up suddenly. Do not accept 1.4 PPPPD (pound per person per day) to the Yukon in December.


The physical need for something such as backcountry hiking or remote mountaineering demands more rationed foods. A huge campaign drives a loaded pack along with ropes. The brain needs high-content food which is very important when going on trips. When the bag pack weight enhances frequently, then the demand for meals increases. Also, as per recent research, Himalayan climbers will take a good and well over up to 2.5 PPPPD but still they lose their weight in a few days.

Trip Duration Impacts Food Demands - Wilderness Backpacking

On a longer trip, one shows more hunger for food and starts craving it. User body adopts, and their metabolism as well will move into a speedy gear. After, that on day 10, PPPPD numbers will show some changes.


During the first few days, people do not have much appetite or hunger. That will change slowly as team members will spend time outdoors. You’ll feel an explicit increase in daily needs as you come closer to day 10.

1.75 PPPPD FOR DAYS 10 TO 20

One will begin to take more diet and will increase hungry at the end of the 10th day. Some collision and interaction appear with fats and protein percentages in the diet.


You need to add more fat and protein in your diet and may experience healthy. Be careful, and do not eat your friend’s or team member plates during dinner. It is enough food for summertime with a light pack. Do not go any higher unless you are aware of your metabolic condition and requirements in terms of diet.


Do you want to go for a night or two? No, an issue if you are a shortage of ounces in your meal prepping but 10 days of diet is almost sufficient for you while hiking any higher. The decisions you take during preplanning and organizing using a calculation basis will influence your backpacking food weight.

The alteration between 1.4, as well as 1.6 pounds, is scant at 3.2 ounces. Multiplying 3.2x10 days will give 32 ounces which are nearly 38.4 ounces, that’s around 2.5 pounds.

Ex: A 10-day ration at 1.4 PPPPD = 14 pounds

Total Weight of Meals Required:

Route Demands for Backcountry Hiking

  1. First check the simplest route if possible and choose the easiest path where no or minimum troubles occur.
  1. If the claimed route is very long and full of desire along with adventure such as trying to clinch the Appalachian, Continental Divide, and Pacific Crest Trails. In that case one needs a more nutritious meal for wilderness backpacking which increases the chance of risk sometimes.
  1. Be cautious, when you are dealing with high mountain climbing and avoid doing multiple 40-mile trail days in a regular cycle. People in the team will require lots of patience and consumes not less than 1.4 PPPPD.
  1. When your climbs get a higher reach with mileage, so does the food needed per day.

Amplify Metabolism Reference Axis

  • Any person the age of 19 years and has a good metabolism due to exercise and a regular schedule. Your metabolic demands are perhaps different from the rest of your team members.
  • You would be well suggested for bump up new challenges and be realistic with a new challenge that the body tolerates. If you know about your demands for food are more than enough then for it by analyzing no one else is starving.
  • Also, the healthy hiker takes foods like a vacuum; the food requirement per day shoots up.

Is proper formula for inexact issue exists?

Perhaps no but this is way of organizing some systematic strategy, experience, pre-checking, and the discerning application of the suborn factor brings into play.


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