Preparing Backpack Meals
Freeze drying is a dehydration process used to preserve foods. The process makes them more convenient for transport and long term storage. Freeze drying works by freezing the food and then reducing the surrounding pressure and adding enough heat to allow the frozen water to be transformed from a solid to a gas, then the gas is removed. Today there are hundreds of freeze dried backpack meals that can be purchased at any outdoor outfitter or through the internet.
Dehydrating or drying is another way of preserving foods by removing the moisture at a low temperature, usually between 90 & 145 degrees, which prevents or limits the spoilage due to microorganisms and decay. The drying of foods in the sun and wind has been around since the ancient times.
Both of the these forms of drying foods are great for backpack meals. The use of a home dehydrator is more economical than purchasing freezed dried meals. Both backpack meals and backpacking recipes can be assemblied at home and rehydrated on the trail saving time and money.
All the campfire cooking and Dutch oven recipes ingredients can be dried and sealed for your next backpacking or camping trip. Get your favorite recipe and prepare it, dehydrate it, seal it and your ready, Yes, dehydrate the whole meal. For example, make your mom’s tomato sauce with meat, garlic, onions etc. Dry it. The sauce will be like fruit leather. Tear it into pieces and seal in a ziplock. Cook your pasta and dry it, this sounds weird but it takes less time to cook than it would normally. Break it up and seal it. On a day hike or backpacking trip bring your water to a boil, add your homemade backpack meal and simmer. All you need is ten minutes for really good eats.
We have dried things and prepared them on the trail that you would not believe, spaghetti, burrito meat, chicken and tuna, not to mention vegetables.
Dan & Katherine