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PineMartyn

Basic food dehydration for campers and hikers [Video]

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The key to lightweight and good, satisfying meals for longer outings is to dehydrate your own meals.  It's much easier than people imagine.  The commercial freeze-dried meals are sometimes good (sometimes not), tend to be on the small size when it comes to serving sizes, are packed full of air, and they are expensive.

 

If you're planning on making camping a regular thing, a food dehydrator is a wise investment.  You just make your own foods (like what you'd eat at home) dehydrate it, and rehydrate it when you're at camp.  It's easy, it's fast, it's clean, it won't spoil, and it's blessedly light and compact, so you can bring satisfying meals without having to buy a huge pack.  My wife and I have made a couple of instructional videos for people who are just getting started out at camping and want to know how to eat better and pack lighter and smaller.

 

 

Here are some examples of the sorts of foods we pack for our outings.

For day trips: we usually just bring water, instant coffee, pepperette meat sticks, gorp, granola bars, some dehydrated fruits or fruit leather. It's all light, except for the meat sticks and doesn't need cooking. When wild edibles are available, we gather what we feel like eating if we've not eaten already.

 

For backpacking and canoe camping trips we bring all of the above plus an assortment of homemade dehydrated meals such as:

pasta and meat sauces,

beef chile with lentils,

beef stroganoff,

couscous and veggies,

shepherd's pie,

jerky,

chicken fajitas,

etc.

We also bring premixed ingredients to bake bannock, bread, cakes, and panzerotti.

 

For fresh food we bring steak (for the first night or two) and eggs and partially cooked bacon to prepare the first morning or two.

 

I can't eat fish because I'm allergic, but my wife eats what we catch and we fish only for food, not for sport, so one small fish per day is plenty.

 

Hope this helps,

- Martin

 

Note to Moderators: I wasn't sure if this post should go here or in the Wiki knowledge base or another sub-forum. Please relocate it to wherever would be most appropriate.  Thanks.

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Ive been dehydrating backpacking meals for about 15 years now.  Great way to save money. Spot on about the store bought meals. To small for a guy my size and I like tayloring foods to my tast.  Great post  pinemartyn  :thumbup:

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That's the same dehydrator I have (Mine is about 15 years old and still going strong, it was a gift). 

 

 

I LOVE dehydrating foods.  Best snacks in the world.  One of my favorites is to just slice Jelepenos about an 1/8 inch thick and dry them.  Makes a great snack if you like the hot stuff.  Or crumble it up in your hand to drop over food. 

 

 

 

 

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That's the same dehydrator I have (Mine is about 15 years old and still going strong, it was a gift). 

 

 

I LOVE dehydrating foods.  Best snacks in the world.  One of my favorites is to just slice Jelepenos about an 1/8 inch thick and dry them.  Makes a great snack if you like the hot stuff.  Or crumble it up in your hand to drop over food. 

 

When I dehydrate jalapenos, the skin gets really tough and leathery, to the point where I can't even grind them up in the food processor.

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how thin do you slice them?  I can get about 12 to 18 jalapeno chips out of each one when i slice them about 1/8 inch or so.  I never had any trouble with them being tough.  But I ate all but 4 chips like potato chips.  Only crushed a couple up in my chili.    Next time I do it, I'll experiment with some different sized slices and see what happens. 

 

 

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