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how to make dehydrated camping food


How to Make Dehydrated Camping Food

Introduction to Dehydrated Camping Food

Camping trips are often filled with adventure, exploration, and the joys of being surrounded by nature. However, when it comes to meal planning, it can be challenging to find foods that are both lightweight and conveniently prepared. Dehydrated camping food is an excellent solution to this problem. In this article, we will explore the benefits of dehydrated meals, the equipment needed to make them, and step-by-step instructions for preparing your own delicious dehydrated camping food.

Benefits of Dehydrated Camping Food

Dehydrated camping food offers numerous advantages for outdoor enthusiasts. Firstly, dehydrated meals are incredibly lightweight, making them easy to pack and carry during hikes or other activities. By removing water content, the weight of the food significantly decreases without compromising its nutritional value. Secondly, dehydrated meals have an extended shelf life. Unlike fresh ingredients, dehydrated food can be stored for months or even years, making it perfect for long camping trips or emergency situations. Lastly, dehydrated camping food retains most of its original flavor, ensuring that you can enjoy a tasty, satisfying meal even in the middle of nowhere.

Essential Equipment for Making Dehydrated Camping Food

Before embarking on your dehydrated camping food journey, it is crucial to gather the necessary equipment. Here are the essentials you will need:

1. Dehydrator: Invest in a quality food dehydrator with adjustable temperature and adequate drying space. Dehydrators are available in various sizes and price ranges, so choose one that suits your needs and budget.

2. Food Processor or Blender: A food processor or blender is essential for initial food preparation, such as chopping, blending, or pureeing ingredients. This equipment will come in handy when creating sauces, soups, or other liquid-based meals.

3. Vacuum Sealer: While not mandatory, a vacuum sealer will significantly prolong the shelf life of your dehydrated camping food. It eliminates any air from the packaging, preventing spoilage and maintaining the food's quality for longer periods.

4. Mason Jars or Airtight Containers: Once your meals are dehydrated and packaged, store them in airtight containers to protect against moisture and pests. Mason jars or heavy-duty plastic containers work perfectly for this purpose.

Step-by-Step Guide to Making Dehydrated Camping Food

Now that you have gathered the necessary equipment, let's dive into the process of creating your dehydrated camping food. The following steps will guide you through the entire process:

Step 1: Plan and Prep

Decide on the meals you want to prepare and create a shopping list accordingly. Choose ingredients that dehydrate well, such as lean meats, vegetables, fruits, and grains. Once you have your ingredients, wash, peel, and cut them into small, uniform pieces.

Step 2: Pre-Treat Certain Foods

Some foods benefit from pre-treatment before dehydration to preserve their color and texture. Blanching or lightly cooking vegetables before dehydrating them can help retain their vibrant colors and reduce rehydration time later on. Additionally, marinating or seasoning meats beforehand enhances their flavor.

Step 3: Dehydrate the Food

Arrange the prepped ingredients on the dehydrator trays, ensuring proper spacing for even airflow. Set the dehydrator temperature and time according to the specific ingredients being dehydrated. Refer to the dehydrator's instructions or consult a dehydration guide for accurate drying times.

Step 4: Test for Dryness

Once the specified dehydrating time has passed, check if the food is completely dry. Dehydrated food should be brittle and break apart easily. If there is any moisture, continue dehydrating until the desired dryness is achieved.

Step 5: Cool and Condition

Allow the dehydrated food to cool to room temperature before packaging. During the cooling process, excess moisture might redistribute within the food, so it is essential to condition it. Conditioning involves storing the dehydrated food in airtight containers for a week to redistribute any remaining moisture evenly. Shake the containers daily to ensure proper conditioning.

Rehydrating and Enjoying Your Dehydrated Camping Meals

When it's time to enjoy your dehydrated camping food, rehydration is the final step. Depending on the meal, there are various methods to rehydrate the dried ingredients. Methods can include soaking in water, adding boiling water directly, or cooking the meal in a pot over a campfire. Follow the instructions for each specific meal to achieve the desired consistency and taste.


Dehydrated camping food not only provides lightweight and convenient meal options but also ensures great taste and extended shelf life. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can embark on your camping trips with a satisfying and nutritionally balanced menu. Say goodbye to bulky, perishable foods, and welcome the world of dehydrated camping meals for an unforgettable outdoor experience.


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