7 Best Food For Backpacking in 2017

By | July 1, 2017

best food for backpacking

Best Food for Backpacking in 2017

Some questions are quite frequently asked by people who are looking for the best food for backpacking. These are the common ones:

  • What are the best food for backpacking in 2017?
  • What kind of food to take camping?
  • What are the best hiking meals?

There are many. And you can choose your favorite among them when you are planning for your next hiking session.

Conquering great miles with an empty stomach is out of the question. You need a meal packed with nutrients if you want to keep going.  As we mentioned before, the main concern of a backpacker is to go light. Therefore,  nothing is as perfect a packed meal of homemade dehydrated dishes.

In this article, you will learn 7 best food for backpacking and how to prepare your food for preservation. Some are great and some are good food for backpacking

1. Dehydrated Zucchini Apple Salad

If you are a big fan of yummy salads this recipe is going to win your heart. You can always add some “chat spice” to make it even more exciting. However, always allow it enough time to soak in the lemon juice. Not just healthy, but also lip smacking.

  • Preparation time – 10 minutes.
  • Marinate time – 24 hours.
  • Dehydration time – 12 hours.
  • Camp rehydration time – 30 minutes.


  • Lemon juice – ¼ cup.
  • Fresh ginger – 1 tablespoon (minced).
  • Sugar – 2 tablespoons.
  • Zucchini – 1 large (shredded).
  • Apple – 1 large (shredded and cored).

How to make at home

  1. Take a bowl and mix in the lemon juice, ginger, and sugar. Stir it until the sugar dissolves completely.
  2. Slice the zucchini and apple and place them separately in another bowl.
  3. Now pour the mixture over the zucchini-apple slices and marinate for 24 hours at least.
  4. Dehydrate the marinated zucchini-apple until crisp and pack 1/3 cup of it as a single serving in air-tight zipper bags.

How to make in camp

  1. Pour 1/3 cup of water to 1 serving of salad and allow 30 minutes of sitting time to rehydrate.
  2. Enjoy it with your heart’s content.

Inspired by www.backpacker.com

2. Bean & Beef Chili Stew

There is dehydration as well as rehydration of the recipe. Adding the breadcrumbs will make the procedure easy and tasty. It locks the flavors of chili in the meat. Moreover, if you want to make everything yourself, you can even dehydrate the bread and make homemade bread crumbs. Adding breadcrumb makes me so full. A whole meal in itself.

  • Preparation time – 1 hour 15 minutes.
  • Dehydration time – 12 hours.
  • Camp rehydration time – 15 minutes.


  • Beef or turkey – 1 to 1¼ pounds (lean meat, grounded).
  • Breadcrumbs – ½ cup (finely grounded).
  • Onion – 1 large.
  • Garlic – 2 cloves.
  • Chili powder – 3 tablespoons.
  • Red beans or kidney beans – 1 can of 15 ounces (drained).
  • Tomato puree – 1 can of 10 ounces.
  • Tomato – 1 can of 14 ounces (diced).

How to make at home

  1. Mix the breadcrumb into the ground meat. Use your fingers… they got some magic that makes it tastier. Set it aside.
  2. Chop the onion and garlic. Sautee them in a non-stick pan with very little olive oil.
  3. Add the meat to it and cook it for 10 minutes. Stir it continuously.
  4. Now add the chili powder in it and cook for another minute or so.
  5. Time to add the tomato both diced and pureed. Put the beans into it and cook until it starts bubbling.
  6. Lower the heat and let it simmer for 1 hour.
  7. Once cooked, it’s time to dehydrate. Spread it out on the lined trays evenly and dehydrate for 8 to 10 hours at 125ᵒ Check it regularly for meat and bean blocks. Break them with a fork.
  8. Once dried, divide the dish in large cup servings and pack them in air-lock bags.

How to make in camp

  1. Add an equal amount of water to it. For one cup serving, add one cup of water and give it 5 minutes to rehydrate.
  2. Boil some water in a pot for a minute. Then remove it from the heat and put the rehydrated stew in it and let it get insulated for another 10 minutes.
  3. Enjoy your meal with some crackers or bread. If you want it to be cheesy, sprinkle some cheddar cheese on the top.

Inspired by www.backpackingchef.com

3. Dehydrated Spicy Dal Rice

It is a whole meal in itself. In addition, it is one Indian recipe, with some twists to make it even yummier… It’s spicy, healthy and finger-licking tasty. You can always add or minus something from this recipe to suit your taste buds.

  • Preparation time – 15 minutes.
  • Dehydration time – 8 hours.
  • Camp rehydration time – 15 minutes.


  • Butter or ghee – 2 tablespoons.
  • Onion – 1 small (diced).
  • Garlic – 2 cloves (diced).
  • Cumin seeds – 1 teaspoon.
  • Garam masala – 1 tablespoon.
  • Broth (chicken/vegetable) – 3 cups.
  • Fresh tomato – 2 diced or pureed.
  • Red lentils – 2 cups.
  • Chili pepper -1 small (diced).(OPTIONAL)**

On the trail

  • Dehydrated/instant rice – ½ cup per serving.
  • Dehydrated vegetables of your choice – ¼ cup per serving.
  • Cashew – handful.
  • Raisin – handful.

How to make at home

  1. Sautee the onion in butter or ghee until it’s soft. Then add garlic, pepper, and spices to it. Then add the lentils to it.
  2. Add the broth (add water if you don’t have broth) just enough to cover ½ inch more than it and stir well.
  3. Once the lentils are soft add the tomatoes to the dal. Cook it until it’s mushy. Add water if required.
  4. Mash it. You can use a masher or even a blender to make it smooth.
  5. Spread the dal thinly on the parchment paper-lined dehydrator trays. Dehydrate it for 8 hours at 135ᵒF until it’s a bark.

How to make in camp

  1. Take everything goes in a serving in a pot.
    • ½ cup of dehydrated dal bark
    • Next is ½ cup of rice
    • Then ¼ cup of vegetables
    • Handful of cashews and raisins
  2. Add an equal amount of water to it and allow it a sitting time of 5 minutes.
  3. Boil another pot of water, then remove it from the heat.
  4. Insulate the pot of your meal in it for around 10 minutes.
  5. And it’s ready to attack on…

Inspired by www.backpackingchef.com

4. Dehydrated Apple Rings

These Apple rings are perfect to fill in the tiny breaks. Also, you can even add some of these to your oatmeal. It’s really easy, even a 6-year old can do this.

  • Preparation time – 10 minutes.
  • Dehydration time – 14 hours.


  • Fresh Apples – 4.
  • Lemon – 1 large.

How to make at home

  1. Clean the apples gently and make sure there is no wax.
  2. Squeeze the lemon juice on a large filled with cold water.
  3. Now peel, core and slice the apples and put it into the lemon water right away. It will prevent browning of the apples. Slice the apple thin.
  4. Take a sieve, spread the apples to drain.
  5. Time to dry it. The Golden rule says, spread the slices on the lined dehydrator trays in a single layer and then dry it at 135-145ᵒF until dry. It can take up to 14 hours.
  6. Once dried, it will be leathery. Cool it down and pack in an air-tight pack.

How to make at home

Nothing to prepare, just open the pack and enjoy your dehydrated apple rings.

Inspired by www.gazingin.com

5. Pesto Pasta with Spinach

Well, this is not really a homemade one, but it still makes its way to the top 7 backing food ideas for me. It tastes yummy… Had to agree that fresh-cooked meals got some charm!

  • Preparation time (on trail) – 20 minutes.
  • Dehydration time – 3 to 5 hours.


  • Spinach – ½ pound.
  • Parmesan cheese – to taste.
  • Pesto mix – to taste.
  • Whole wheat pasta – 8 ounces.
  • Butter or oil – 1/8 cup.
  • Salt – to taste.

How to make at home

  1. There nothing much to do at home. Just wash the spinach and dehydrate them at 135ᵒF for 3 to 5 hours, then pack for the trail.
  2. Pack the oil in a container. Take the pasta, pesto mix, parmesan cheese, salt in separate packets.
  3. Take an extra container and spoon to stir the pasta. And you are ready to go camping.

How to make in camp

  1. Boil the pasta until it’s soft.
  2. Now drain the water out and put the dehydrated spinach in the pasta. Mix it well and put it in the extra container. The spinach will get rehydrated and steamed with the pasta.
  3. Now prepare the pesto mix according to the instruction given on the packet and pour in the pasta-spinach mix that you kept aside. Put some butter/oil and cook.
  4. Finally, add the cheese and mix it well.
  5. Your steamy Pesto Pasta with Spinach is ready!

Inspired by www.wonderlandguides.com

6. Mexican Tangy Beef and Rice

Need something super delicious? Try out this recipe, Mexican Tangy Beef, and Rice. It is an exotic dish that will definitely spice up your evening. Whether you add a cheddar cheese sauce or some taco seasoning to it; it will blow your mind with every way.

Preparation time – 5 minutes.

  • Dehydration time – Depends on what you are drying.
  • Camp rehydration time – 30 minutes.


  • Instant ride or dehydrated rice – ½ cup.
  • Dehydrated ground beef – ¼ cup.
  • Next is dehydrated bell peppers, tomatoes, onions – ¼ cup (combined).
  • Then dehydrated black beans – ¼ cup.
  • Taco seasoning – 1 teaspoon. (You can purchase or even make one yourself by mixing 1 tablespoon of chili powder, 1 ½ teaspoon of grounded cumin, ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder, crushed red pepper, oregano and salt each).
  • Cheese mix – 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon.
  • Instant dry milk – 1 tablespoon. (preferred Nestle Nido brand).
  • Water – 1 ¼ cups.
  • Dried jalapenos – 2-3 slices. (Optional)

How to make at home

  1. First, dehydrate the ground beef and the vegetables. You know how to do that don’t you? In case you have missed that you can check it right here.( http://dehydrateyourfood.com/prepare-food-dehydration/)
  2. Now pack the cheese mix, instant milk, and taco seasoning in small pouches. Pack them together with the other ingredients in a big plastic bag.

How to make in camp

  1. Combine everything except the cheese, milk and taco seasonings into a pot. Add some water to it and allow it soak for 5 minutes.
  2. Now put it on the heat and bring to boil. Cook it for another minute.
  3. Remove it from the heat and add the milk, cheese, and taco seasoning. Stir it well.
  4. Cover it for 10 minutes.
  5. After 10 minutes, it is ready. If you are a taco lover, then you can fill a tortilla with a spoon of it and roll. Or, just scoop some of it with tortilla chips. Isn’t it yummy?

Inspired by www.wonderlandguides.com

7. Dehydrated Eggs

Didn’t you ever wish to dehydrate your eggs? This is actually not a recipe but a guide to help you carry your eggs on the trail without fearing to break one. Yes! You can buy some dehydrated eggs, but why buying when you can dehydrate some yourself.

  • Preparation time – 5 minutes.
  • Dehydration time – 10 hours.
  • Camp rehydration time – 5 minutes.


  • Eggs – 5.

How to make at home

  1. Split the eggs into a large bowl. And whisk pretty well. It should be blended well and a little foamy.
  2. Now pour it into a fruit leather dehydrating tray. Make sure there is no leak and it is level.
  3. Dehydrate it at 140ᵒF for nest 8 to 10 hours until it is fully dry and bark-like.
  4. Scrape the dry egg flakes. If it is still sticky, leave it there to dehydrate more.
  5. Put all the dried egg flakes in an airtight bag and freeze it.
  6. After an hour, take it out of the freezer and powder it in a food processor or blender. Freeze it back in the zipped airtight bag for the trail.

**Remember, if it sticks to the dehydrating tray or the blender, then it is not completely dry. You need to dehydrate for more time if it sticks.

How to make in camp

  1. To rehydrate it, add one tablespoon and one teaspoon of water to one egg in the pouch. You can use it directly from the bag. Just let it sit for 5 minutes.
  2. If confused, you can add a little more. It should look like it did before dehydrate it.
  3. Use the mixture, the way you were going to use a raw egg in your trail recipe.

Hopefully, this article has helped you to plan your next trip menu. So what are you waiting for get some air-tight zip-lock pouches and get ready with your favorite recipes. Remember, you can always add some cheese or spices and give it your personal touch… Finally, if you got any backpacking food ideas to share, don’t hesitate. Let’s make out next trip tastier!

Inspired by www.dirtygourmet.com

How to Prepare the Best Food For Backpacking

You know now why and how to dehydrate food such as fruits, vegetables, and meats. But do you know what to before attempting to dehydrate everything you see in your garden and refrigerator?

If you want to be successful with food dehydration, there are some things you need to know and understand in preparing your home-made goodies.

As with everything else that involves handling of food, sanitation should always come first. Therefore, your hands, the equipment and tools you will be using, the kitchen or workplace and the air should be clean and free of any contamination.

How to Prepare Your Fruits for Dehydration

  • For first timers, the best way to go is to prepare and dehydrate one type of fruit at a time.
  • After harvesting or purchasing, fruits must be prepared as soon as possible, especially when they are in their most fresh and ripe state. They must be of good quality and washed thoroughly.
  • Fruits with pits are halved and pitted. Cut them into uniform pieces and slices. Slice away the bruised parts.
  • Fruits with tough and waxy skins, such as grapes and cherries, should be cracked to let moisture out. To crack, put in boiling water for 30-60 seconds. Then dip in very cold water.
  • Treat light-colored fruits with an antioxidant to keep them from browning. Do not soak fruit in salt or vinegar water as this only adds water. Soaking also dissolves some of the water-soluble vitamins.
  • Some fruits require pretreatment such as blanching or dipping.
  • For overripe or already soft fruits, you can puree them and dry the puree. They are awesome as fruit leathers.

best food for backpacking

How to prepare vegetables for dehydration 

  • Most vegetables require blanching before drying. Blanching helps retain the color and vitamins. To do this, put vegetables in boiling water for a few minutes then immediately dip in cold clean water to stop the cooking process. Mushrooms, onions, okra and tomatoes do not require blanching.
  • As with fruits, choose vegetables that are at their most ripe and fresh state.
  • Steaming is also recommended in preparing vegetables as steaming inactivates enzymes that cause vegetables to mature or toughen during drying.
  • Vegetables with a strong odor should be dried separately as other mild odor vegetables may absorb the strong odor.
  • Peel vegetables that have a thick coating, such as cucumbers.

Now that you have successfully dried fruits and vegetables and any other food that you can get our hands on, it’s time to pack and store them away for future use and consumption. There are a lot of ways to store dehydrated food, but to make them last and to avoid unnecessary spoilage or molding, careful preparation, and sanitation must be practiced.

As with any other food, insects get easily attracted to the smell and components, and the last thing we want is contamination. Moreso, if you expose your newly dehydrated food to open air, moisture reabsorption will eventually occur.

How to Store Dehydrated Food — Best Practices

At some point, you need to put certain things in place before you can prepare the best food for backpacking. Some of these things include the following:

  • First, cool completely. Food straight out of the dehydrator would be warm or hot, and putting them straight into air-tight containers would only result in moisture being trapped inside. This could lead to molding.
  • Pack foods into dry and clean air-tight containers as tightly as you can without crushing them. If you can’t take out as much air as is required, vacuum packaging is a good alternative.
  • Pack foods in small amounts so you don’t have to open a whole pack and re-close them again. This would expose the unused portions to air and moisture which could affect the quality and lead to spoilage.
  • Fruits that have been treated or exposed to sulfur should not touch metal, as sulfur will react to metal and cause changes in the color and taste of the fruit.
  • Store in cool, dry, dark areas. Storage temperature can affect the length of time a food can be stored. The higher the temperature, the shorter the lifespan.
  • Periodically check your storage as some foods that seem dry can still contain moisture. Using air-tight glass containers is recommended as moisture inside can be seen immediately. If using plastic bags, they should be freezer bags.
  • It is also a good idea to label the containers with dates so you can keep track on what to use first.
  • For longer storage time, store dried foods in the freezer.

How to Ensure Your Food Is Completely Dry

Some dehydrated fruits would still be containing small amounts of moisture no matter how much you dry them. How they were placed in the dehydrator determines what part of each slice still contains moisture, and this unequal moisture distribution will result in molding.

To evenly distribute moisture in each piece, we have a process called conditioning. To condition fruits, put fruits loosely in plastic or glass containers and let stand for around 7 to 10 days. The moisture in other pieces will be absorbed by the drier pieces. Shake the container everyday to check for condensation. If condensation appears, return the fruit slices to the dehydrator for further drying. Then store in dry containers after they have been cooled.

A good preparation leads to healthy preservation. Nonchalance is to be avoided here. Food that is contaminated can make you and your family sick so  make sure to follow all the tips we presented in theis article.

Final Words on the Best Food for Backpacking

Your ability to dehydrate can really help you gain a new level of skills. You can even amaze your friends and family with your culinary creations. With a food dehydrator, you can make healthy, delicious homemade dried foods that your family will love. Now that you know the best food for backpacking, what’s next?

Source images: pixabay

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