#08 Take Supplies – Food/Water

This video is from NZ Mountain Safety Council.

In this video you will learn about what sort of food to take with you, and how to estimate how much you’ll need. You’ll also want to find out what water sources are available along the way and whether they are safe to drink from, or whether you’ll need to treat the water. This video introduces you to a number of methods for treating water.


Normally too much thought is given to achieving variety in the menu instead of paying more attention to the need to maintain an adequate intake of liquids, especially in hot weather. Considerably more energy than usual will be expended during a camping expedition, and so more foods will need to be eaten.

Planning menus for bushwalking expeditions
When planning a menu a balance between amount of food taken and the weight of the food. If too little food is taken then the group will go hungry and the efficiency of the group may be impaired. The prime need is to pack as much energy into the smallest possible weight and volume. This is usually achieved by increasing the amount of carbohydrates and fats and by using dehydrated, freeze-dried and canned food.

Supermarkets carry an endless variety of dehydrated foods and freeze dried meals so if there is a plentiful supply of water there is no need to carry the extra weight of canned food. The packaging of such products is good, they are quick to prepare and usually only require the addition of water.
Only carry the foods that you like and enjoy and keep all meals uncomplicated and simple to prepare, meals such as soups, stews, casseroles and pasta dishes are ideal. Always carry more tea, coffee, milk and sugar than you think you will need. Fruit flavoured drink powders and cordials are also useful.

Most bushwalkers begin the day with a substantial breakfast. Others prefer to do without washing up greasy pans and prefer cereals or muesli that only requires the addition of hot or cold milk followed by biscuits or bread and jam.

Lunches do not usually play an important part in most bushwalkers dietary routine and a little and often is the rule. Cheese and biscuits or biscuits with some spread such as jam or peanut butter are popular as are nuts and dried fruit supplemented with chocolate or sweets. These are a concentrated form of energy and can be eaten on the move. Others prefer sandwiches and fresh fruit.

The evening meal is usually the main meal of the day and even when limited to one stove and two or three pans it is possible with a little practice to prepare a hot, filling three course meal in a very short time. A typical meal might consist of a soup, stew, casserole or pasta dish followed by dessert [hot
or cold] or cheese with biscuits and coffee. A visit to the local supermarket will reveal a great variety of dehydrated meats, soy bean, potato, peas and other vegetables, pre-cooked rice, noodles and various pastas and instant soups.
There are whips and mousses that require the addition of cold water or milk, and preparations that only require hot milk to turn them into nourishing desserts.

NOTE: Plan your menu ahead, experiment with different foods and try them out at home.

Preparing a meal
When the tent has been pitched and you are ready to prepare your meal, lay out all the ingredients and allocate the pans in which they are to be cooked. Some prefer to cook a course, eat it while it is hot and then prepare the next course. Others prepare the whole meal and then eat it.
Whichever you choose it is essential to economise on the use of fuel and this can be done by planning the order in which the food is cooked and eaten. After the preparation of the main course water can be boiled for washing up and for coffee. After the meal the experienced camper will wash up, tidy up, and pack away gear, which will not be needed during the night.

Knife, Fork, Spoon, Plastic Plates, Cup, Billy, Cooking Utensils


  • Saturday Lunch – premade sandwiches, small fruit boxes, oranges, apples
  • Saturday Tea – Sausages, small potatoes in foil, dried vegies, 1 minute noodles
  • Sunday Breakfast – Cereal, UHT milk, Eggs & Bacon, bread,butter, jam
  • General – fruit, biscuits, Muesli Bars, snack foods, marshmallows.