This informative post was originally featured on Backcountry Fuel Box

Folks familiar with the backcountry travel lexicon will be familiar people focusing on calories per ounce to lighten up their backpacking load on trips. It helps to understand that some granola bars, trail mixes, and other snacks for the backcountry really don’t cut the mustard from the perspective of their energy delivery to weight ratio. At the same time, bodies cannot operate on straight coconut oil packets every day for a 7-day trip.

Calories Per Ounce Rule of Thumb

Photo credit: Backcountry Fuel

Here are a few rules of thumb to take into consideration when you are packing your food for that next backcountry trip.

Measuring the energy you will receive per weight unit is the baseline for determining what someone should pack into the backcountry. If someone were to bring a big carrot in the backcountry, you’re looking at a total of 10 calories per ounce. Those carrots are going to take up an enormous amount of weight for how much energy someone gets out of them.

As a generality, one should aim for 125 calories per ounce of backpacking food. If your goal is 4000 calories of food intake per day, 125 calories per ounce allow someone to pack under 2lbs of food per day. READ MORE

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