section 2: food & mess kits

how do you eat on expedition? i have found that the one thing i miss while hiking is bread, but bread is heavy. what other options are there then? if you are going for more than a day trip you need to have dehydrated rations. at most sporting goods stores, you will see many options for food in plastic, vacuumed sucked bags. all you have to do is add hot water. mountain house is a great brand (they have delicious eggs and bacon) but the brand i prefer to use is firepot by outdoorfood. they were our sponsor during the villmark expedition and there is no going back now. all of their food is handmade in dorset, england, it is quickly ready, and it has 100% natural ingredients. they are high in calories and protein, perfect for those 8 hour days hiking up mountains. 

 photo by  @jamiebarnesuk

boiling water with jetboil is the easiest way to can get hot water in just two minutes. jetboil allows you not to have to bring a cup or bowl, they put a handle on the side so you can sip easily or eat from it. the container turns orange when the water is boiled and you can easily stack all the parts together to pack. you have to buy a gas tank separately and you can not take gas on a plane (i figured this out the hard way). when deciding what to buy for expeditions, you need to consider durability. if you buy plastic utensils, they will break and then it makes it hard to eat. always buy aluminum alloy, they are worth it. i use this one. having clean drinking water is essential, for water filtration i use sawyer water filters. the storage container it comes in is a loose net that doesn't stay together all that well, so think about getting a small dry sack for storage. the great thing about this product is you have the option to hook it up directly to your water bladder tube. the only default to doing this is you have to cut a part of your tube, which made me apprehensive. however, this gives you the ability to fill up your water bladder from anywhere and you can sip on it without worry. the other option you have is to fill up the provided bag and squeeze the water through the filtration system into a water bottle or in a pot. both ways work well, it is just a matter of personal preference and efficiency. another alternative that i have bought but not used yet is the lifestraw water bottle. the great thing about this product is it can filter up to 264 gallons of water before it needs changing, it also will physically not allow you to drink water out of it if the filter needs replacing, plus they donate to schools in need of clean water. You can find out more information about the charity here. depending on how long your trip is and how much weight you can tolerate, i carry a 2 litre water bladder with me. A lot of people forget that water weighs more than we think. you should be drinking 2 litres a day, if not more, when backpacking all day. osprey makes a great magnetic feature on the nipple that you can hook on the clip across your chest so you can always be sipping on the water. when i was at standing rock and riding down a dirt road in the back of a truck, 10 people entangled with the other, a man gave me a tanka bar and told me to always keep that with me for emergencies. it is packed with protein and never goes bad, so i always carry it with me when i adventure, partly for emergencies and partly for the memory. the more expeditions you go on, the more objects you will acquire in your bag, train tickets, rocks, batteries, drawings, plants, just random objects that remind you of a specific moment. i haven't cleaned my camera bag out since i have bought it two years ago.

the next section will be about my clothing and tips on personal hygiene while backpacking, stay tuned!

 photo by  @ianefinch

photo by @ianefinch