But what do we use food for then? Food can be used for some sort of bonus. I liked the idea of Combat Inspiration. During Long and Short Rests, players can spend Camping Supplies to gain special Inspiration points (maximum of 4) that can be used only during Combat. Each Combat Inspiration provides advantage on 1 attack roll or saving throw. So, if your character is dying, use a Combat Inspiration to gain advantage that round on the Death Save. Need to hit that enemy with high AC? Use a Combat Inspiration to gain advantage. Or, maybe Astarion needs to get that Sneak Attack on an enemy. Use Combat Inspiration to grant him Sneak Attack even though he might not normally get it.

Each Combat Inspiration would be worth 10 camping supplies during a Long Rest and 5 camping supplies during a Short Rest. Thus, once again, a Short Rest is promoted because it is cheaper to buy a Combat Inspiration. You can only buy a Combat Inspiration during a Short Rest if a character spends an SR - 1 Combat Inspiration per SR used. So, if you spend 1 SR for your MC and 1 for Shadowheart, you can spend 10 camping supplies for 2 Combat Inspirations.

This would make food important but it wouldn't necessarily make it essential to the survival of your party. It could provide assistance for your party for combat, thus making it still valuable; something you want to collect.

I also still like the idea of food spoiling and preservation via the Survival skill as well. Yes, it's more complicated, but it gives meaning and purpose to Survival skill and it is more realistic. The moment you enter a certain area, the food in that area starts to spoil. Some food, like carrots, apples, etc. stay good for many long rests. Other foods, like pig heads, racks of ribs, etc. go bad after 1 LR. So, although they are high in value for camping supplies, they don't stay good for long. Best use your Survival skill to preserve such items.

But, to avoid lots of clicks and stuff, the game auto-preserves for you. Every time you long rest, the character with the highest Survival skill rolls to see how much perishable camping supplies they can preserve. A roll of 1-4 means no food is preserved. 5-9 means 10 camping supplies are preserved. 10-14 means 20. 15-19 means 40. 20-24 means 60. 25-29 means 80, and 30+ means 100. Items that perish that day are preserved first automatically. All preserved food becomes a single camping supply pack worth the amount you preserved.

This helps manage your food items automatically, because it turns them automatically into camp supply packs, and any food that spoils is automatically tossed so you don't have to. Since food isn't essential, it doesn't have to be a big chore for players. The system manages most of it without you, turning it into packs you can more easily store at camp or take with you without a lot of back and forth clicks. The PCs simply craft the packs during LRs without you even having to do a thing. All you have to decide is whether you want to take it with you or not.

And why would you want to take any with you? To spend on Combat Inspiration during Short Rests. Remember, it's cheaper during a Short Rest to buy more Combat Inspirations, so you will likely want to bring at least one pack with you to buy more Combat Inspirations during your rests.