Video Four: Packing a Five Day Food Supply for easy storage and weather protection

Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 19 October 2018

The Youtube Video that lives here
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Video #4, Properly Packing a Five Day Food Supply
Full five day Wintertime backpacking food supply, packed tight and waterproof.
Five day backpacking Food Supply, packed tight and waterproof



Video Four
Packing it Dry and Tight

Now that we have figured out our route, the miles and amount of days it will take to complete our route,  we have determined the number of meals and snacks that will provide us with 3000 calories per day. Now we have to pack our food both to fit easily in our pack, to be readily hung from a tree, and to protect it against the elements and river fording problems.

This video deals with how to properly package our food. As this video was shot describing a Winter trip in the High Sierras, no bear can or protection was required.

A general rule of thumb is that you can pack 5 full days of food into a Garcia bear cannister, or 7 days of the high calorie components of your menu. The Garcia perfectly fits the lower compartment of my external framed pack, putting the heavy weight of the food low on the frame. Though the Garcia is not the biggest or lightest food canister, it fits perfectly into my food system.

Pick your gear so each element works properly together to store your food for carrying, to access your snacks and lunches as necessary on the trail, and easily protect when you stop to make camp.

As I regularly do 7 to 11 day segments between resupply points,  there is not a bear cannister made that can hold my food supply. And I will never carry two bear cans.

(Nevers: never carry two sticks, two cannisters, groundcovers, pack covers,...and see "Never-Nevers" on the Trail and Camp Skills page for more stupid things not to do. If you are wondering why, email me or read the guide and'll see...logistics is logic in motion...) 

My solution is to pack the bear can with all the high calorie food, and then properly hang the remaining lower calorie content food. I'll shortly write an article about bear technology, ie, bear's amazing skills in removing food from trees. Experienced bears actually have a checklist they go through in approaching treed food.

I have only had my food stolen by a bear once, and he had to go to the extreme of tracking me down the trail for a half day before I made camp, and he immediately rushed in and stole my food when I took my pack off and started cooking. I had even hung-up the food I was not using, as I always practice max bear protection in the field... I don't leave food on the deck.

It's quite a story that I will relate as I build the trailguide. The bear and I had it out. Once the bear got my food it had only just begun...

 Backpackers who I had passed the previous day reported to me the next day that they had observed a bear following me down the trail. I had no idea that I was being tracked, and I keep a sharp eye on things.

Son of a gun! Never underestimate bears, or anything else you encounter in the Sierras.

Everything out there is extreme. Even the mellow things are extremely mellow...




 Tahoe to Whitney on Youtube



Trail Guide

High Sierra Resupply Spots



Originally Published
around 23 March, 2010


Food, Part One: Planning a Five Day Backpacking Trip

Video Two: 
Food, Part One: Planning a Five Day

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