I think food is the most difficult part of a long term trek. Many places now require that anything edible must be put in bear canisters. You need to really check out your trail requirements. If bear canisters are needed, each member of the trek must carry their own.  Each should be checked by leaders for nutritional qualities, caloric intake, weight and a sufficient amount to last the length of the hike. 

I was totally inspired by information I found on greenbelly.co and highly suggest you check out the site and read any sub-sites found in blue.  I’d like to pass on their favorite breakfast recipe: Carnation instant breakfast, brownie mix, oats and powdered coffee mixed in hot water.  Full of calories, high in nutrition, and a bit of caffeine to get you up and going; sounds great doesn’t it?

 As I suspect most of you will be putting your food in bear canisters, it will have to be in sort of flexible packets, or repacked in zip lock bags. You can really stuff a lot in that way. There should not be any food packed which will spoil…and go easy on the snacks.


Instant oatmeal packs or grits, both can be mixed with hot water and some honey to make a hearty breakfast.  Hot chocolate can wash it down.


I assume you understand bread will fall apart. have read that pita bread is flexible, doesn’t tear and can be used as a wrap. You can spread your wrap with peanut butter, add dried fruit, and wrap it up. It sounds really good if you use Nutella with dried fruit, or honey. I like the idea of a hummus wrap.


Tuna fish now comes in single serving packets.  Mixed with some pickle relish, it is tasty. For a hot meal, all kinds of rice come in bendable packs. You can add salami to the rice or any kind of smoked, dry meat. At night a hot drink of herbal tea might help you to relax.  Personally, I prefer chamomile.

SNACKS:  First and most important, dried fruit and nuts! 

Remember, snacks can’t go into your tent. I think they need to be squishy, but not sticky. Maybe gummy bears might sound good to you or cut up some of the red vines. You have to ration your food, so don’t eat everything the first day out.

I guess the food choice is up to your individual taste. Be creative. Go to the grocery store and look around. If you are using a bear canister, bring it with you to check for space. I understand some fast food places will donate condiments if it is for a Scout activity.

Just remember, be prepared for the number of days you will be gone and maybe plus one in case of something unforeseen. Most important is to weigh your food, as you have to carry it.  After a couple of days you will understand. Also remember to leave no trace behind, so all empty food containers have to be packed out.

Next time I will be writing about the Boy Scout Trail, now known as the Silver Moccasins Trail, leading from Mt. Baden Powell to the next peak over. This 50 mile trek packs a really neat BSA patch.

Joyce Olesen
is a grandmother, mother, and daughter of Scouters. She love kids, camping, country music and sport cars. Her Dad was a Scout leader in Chicago in the early 1920’s and having only daughters did not bolster his Scouting hopes. As his "Scout" she was tying regulation knots by the time she was 7.

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