Spending time outdoors will make you hungry, so do not forget to take plenty of food. Think nutritious, easy to prepare and easy to carry.

What can I eat when I go bushwalking

Day walking

Suggestions: SCROGGIN (Sultanas, chocolate, raisins, other good gear including nuts) is an absolute winner. Great to graze on throughout the day. Fruit can be carried, however keep it to apples, oranges, or if you are going light, dried fruit. Bananas, pears and fleshy fruits are hard to keep and can make the inside of your pack rather gooey.

Lunch can be sandwiches, pita breads or dry crackers. Use a plastic lunch box if you do bring bread, and careful how you handle tomatoes.

A thermos or lightweight fuel stove is handy for a revitalising hot drink or soup on a cold day.

Overnight walking

The demands on the body for overnight walking are far greater than day walking, with heavier pack weights and extended periods in the elements. So the food to consider needs to fulfil the following criteria.

  1. Nutritious Carbohydrate based meals are ideal, also include protein, fruit and veg for balance.
  2. Tasty No point carrying it if you will not eat it!
  3. Lightweight Forget carrying cans, you will be carrying enough weight already! There are plenty of dehydrated vegies and meals on the market nowadays, and tuna comes in foil packs. Be creative, strip off as much packaging as possible before you go, and decant off excess amounts (e.g. do you really need half a kilo of sugar?)
  4. Easy to handle No point carrying it if it gets squashed, bruised, damaged or goes off before you can eat it.You may also consider the hassles involved with cooking raw food in the bush. Sure, sausages & eggs would be nice, and can be done, but even if you can keep raw meat & eggs cold enough, the contamination of your cooking equipment from the raw food could make you sick.

Foods with high water content will be heavy!

Making a food plan for hiking

Food Planning Grid

A grid is a great way to plan your menu

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4

Take one extra meal for insurance. The day you drop your last meal in the dirt is the day you will be glad you remembered to bring it.

Disclaimer to Guide to Better Bushwalking

A Guide to Better Bushwalking: Disclaimer

Bushwalking Leadership SA

Bushwalking Leadership South Australia, in putting this information together, does in no way suggest that this is the ultimate guide and STRONGLY recommends anyone interested in bushwalking to educate themselves in the dangers involved with this activity.

Bushwalking Leadership SA STRONGLY advocates first aid training and recognised outdoor leadership training before leading groups of any sort of bushwalking.

This information is intended as a prompt or introduction to some of the basics of enjoyable bushwalking.

National Parks/Government Trails

Trails are provided for your enjoyment and should only be used in accordance with the Code. Trail users must be adequately prepared and obtain relevant information and maps. The trail conditions may vary from time to time, and trail users are advised to check weather conditions prior to leaving. Persons should use caution at all times when using trails in South Australia.


This information was originally published in 2004. View credits.

Bushwalking Leadership SA