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Plan food for mountaineering

Food is just as important as the itinerary and equipment in your mountain climbing plan. Food is the source of maintaining your physical strength and energy for your trip. You need to consider various changes in the environment and the trip and pick the appropriate weight, nutrition content, calories, taste, and ease of preparation to be ready for your trip.

What should you bring? How much would you bring? Everyone has different tastes and appetites, so it is difficult to generalize. Your plan may look perfect before you start the climb, but things change all the time. It is best to ask those who have prior experience or the guide of the trip for recommendations. Please do not carry food in a way as if the trip is weight training. For example, peanut maltose candies may taste good, but you cannot bite them as easily once you go up the mountains, and it will be as if you are carrying rocks to train your physical condition. 

The contemporary mountaineering equipment weighs about the same to everyone, so the total backpack weight will depend on the water and food you carry. It is recommended that after each trip, you review the amount of food you bring, and the experience will help you estimate more accurately for the next trip.

Preparation tips for mountaineering food

  1. Consume a sufficient amount of calories and water during your trip. Foods should be high-sugar and low-weight. Avoid gas-producing foods (such as beans) and carbonated drinks.
  2. Estimate the amount of food required for your trip based on daily nutrition intake. Rules: Good taste, small size, lightweight, not perishable, easy-to-cook, and nutritious.
  3. Do not eat too much before your climb. Take in sufficient amounts of water and salt. If you drink too much water, it may speed up the loss of electrolytes in your body fluid and increase energy consumption.
  4. Prevent dehydration. The first sign is fatigue. Severe dehydration can cause hyperventilation, racing heartbeats or mindlessness, which can be life-threatening.
  5. Please do not bring alcoholic beverages for mountain climbing. Your body may get warm within a short period of time after drinking them, but the dilation of capillaries can consume body energy and water and increase the risk of hypothermia.
  6. Sugar offers good digestion and absorption rates so that the sugar in sugar-rich foods can be converted easily into the energy required for your trip.
  7. Appropriate intake of vitamins. Vitamins may not generate energy the way sugars, proteins and fats do, but they can regulate the metabolism. A lack of vitamins can cause serious health issues and affect your climbing trips.

Preparation of foods for mountaineering

  1. Choose white rice, dried noodles and bread as your staple food. Due to the low air pressure on the mountain areas, the boiling point becomes low and rice does not get cooked as easily. You can increase the proportion of water and make the cooking time longer (pay attention to the amount of fuel you have) to make your rice. You can also try the commercially available instant noodles, porridge, or dried rice.
  2. Vegetables such as dehydrated vegetables, mushrooms, wood ear, day lily, dried vegetables, and preserved vegetables.
  3. Protein sources include meat, canned fish, dried meat, iron egg and powdered milk.
  4. Fruits such as those with thick peels and cannot be crushed easily or dried fruits.
  5. Fats from cooking oil or butter.
  6. Bring snacks or ready-made soup in packets as they can prevent moisture. Examples are rations, biscuits, candies, chewing candies with vitamin C, soup packets, cereals, coffee, and tea.
  7. Seasoning: Salt, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, and spices to add flavors to your food.
  8. The amount of drinking water is limited by the weight you can carry. To avoid dehydration, please refill your water canteens at campgrounds. You can also have more soup or drink more tea to replenish water in your body.
  9. Bring multivitamins or minerals with you, so that they can supplement what you need on your trip.