If you are going out on an extensive backpacking trip, then you will have to carefully consider your food provisions. Food and water are essential aspects of staying energized on a backpacking trip, so understanding the best ways to prepare and pack food can really help you plan a good menu.
Weight is always a concern with backpacking food, since you'll be carrying everything on your back. You should try to bring food that is lightweight, durable, and easy to cook out in the wild.
Some backpackers like to cook elaborate meals with fresh ingredients, particularly on short trips, while others carry the gear and take the time to catch fish or hunt small game for food. However, especially for long expeditions, most backpackers' food criteria are more or less the same: high energy content (particularly protein), with long shelf life, and low mass and volume.
Ordinary household foods brought on backpacking trips include cheese, bread, sausage, fruit, peanut butter, and pasta. Popular foods for snacks include trail mix, easily prepared at home; convenient and nutritious energy bars; and chocolate and other forms of candy, which provide quick energy and flavor. Traditional outdoor food includes dried foods like jerky or pemmican, and also products like oatmeal (which can also be consumed raw in emergency situations).
Another common variety of special backpacking food is freeze-dried food, which can be quickly reconstituted by adding hot water. One kind of special food is Meal Ready-to-Eat (MRE), which originated from the United States military. They make excellent food for several reasons; they do not need to be rehydrated nor heated or cooked in any manner. They are very durably packaged. A single MRE contains a full meal, complete with snack and desert, and they offer a great deal of variety in each meal.
To make certain water is safe to drink you should filter it and add a water treatment to it. Iodine tablets are popular because they are easy to use, but they can result in the water having a weird taste. A solution to the taste problem is to add sugar free drink mix to the water. If you need to filter water due to debris it has in it, you can use cheesecloth. You could use a clean bandanna for a makeshift filter.
You should always consider the nature of the trip when you choose your backpacking food. Hot meals are much more important in cold climates, for example. Food and water are your main energy source, and if you are not eating right and getting plenty to drink, it can have a severe negative effect on your backpacking adventures.