Ready, Set, Hike: Quick and Easy Dehydrated Food Ideas for Backpackers

Ready, Set, Hike: Quick and Easy Dehydrated Food Ideas for Backpackers

Embarking on a backpacking adventure is a thrilling experience, but when it comes to packing food, every ounce counts. That's where the magic of dehydrated food comes in.

In this guide, we'll explore the many benefits of dehydrated food for backpacking, from its lightweight nature to its nutrient-packed goodness. We'll also delve into the essential equipment you need to get started, helping you choose the perfect dehydrator for your outdoor excursions. But it's not just about practicality – we'll also tantalize your taste buds with flavorful dehydrated meal ideas that will satisfy even the most discerning backpacker. And because hydration is key on the trail, we'll share some refreshing dehydrated drink options to keep you fueled and energized. Plus, for our vegan and vegetarian friends, we've got you covered with plant-based dehydrated food ideas that are as delicious as they are nutritious.

So, whether you're a seasoned backpacker or gearing up for your first adventure, get ready to hit the trail with our quick and easy dehydrated food ideas that will elevate your outdoor dining experience to new heights.


The Benefits of Dehydrated Food for Backpacking: Lightweight and Nutritious Options

Dehydrated food offers several advantages for backpackers, the primary one being its lightweight nature. When water is removed from food through dehydration, it significantly reduces its weight, making it easier to carry in a backpack for extended periods. This allows backpackers to pack more food without adding unnecessary bulk to their load, freeing up space for other essential gear. Additionally, dehydrated food retains most of its nutrients, making it a nutritious option for sustaining energy levels during long hikes. By dehydrating fruits, vegetables, meats, and even entire meals, backpackers can enjoy a variety of nutrient-rich options without compromising on taste or nutritional value.


Flavorful Dehydrated Meals: Recipes for Satisfying Backpacking Cuisine


Creating flavorful and satisfying meals is essential for a successful backpacking trip. Dehydrated meals offer convenience and lightweight options for backpackers, allowing you to enjoy delicious food without the hassle of carrying heavy ingredients. With a little preparation and the right recipes, you can enjoy a variety of tasty dishes on the trail.

Start by selecting recipes that are well-suited for dehydration. Opt for meals that contain ingredients with low moisture content, such as grains, vegetables, and lean proteins. Consider recipes for soups, stews, pasta dishes, and casseroles that can be easily dehydrated and rehydrated on the trail. (see How to Dehydrate Food below for more details).

Recipe: Basic Dried Fish for Meals


Another favorite backpacking meal is dehydrated pasta with marinara sauce. Cook pasta until al dente, then spread it out on dehydrator trays to dry. Meanwhile, prepare a flavorful marinara sauce using canned tomatoes, onions, garlic, and herbs. Once both the pasta and sauce are fully dehydrated, combine them into individual servings and package them for your trip.

For breakfast, consider making dehydrated oatmeal with dried fruit and nuts. Prepare a batch of oatmeal with your favorite add-ins, then spread it onto dehydrator trays to dry. Once dehydrated, portion the oatmeal into individual servings and package them for easy rehydration on the trail. Simply add hot water, wait a few minutes, and enjoy a warm and satisfying breakfast to start your day.

With a bit of creativity and planning, you can enjoy flavorful and satisfying meals on your next backpacking adventure. Experiment with different recipes and ingredients to find the perfect dehydrated meals that suit your taste preferences and dietary needs.


Hydration Strategies: Dehydrated Drinks and Beverages for Backpackers

One popular option for dehydrated beverages is electrolyte powder. Electrolyte powders are designed to replenish electrolytes lost through sweat during physical activity. Simply mix the powder with water to create a refreshing and hydrating drink that can help prevent dehydration and muscle cramps on the trail. (see The 8 Best Electrolyte Powders of 2024 below for more details).

Another option is dehydrated fruit juice. By dehydrating fruit juice into powder form, you can create a lightweight and compact option for refreshing beverages on the go.

Tea and coffee lovers can also enjoy their favorite beverages on backpacking trips with dehydrated options. Dehydrated tea and coffee packets are available in a variety of flavors and blends.

For a refreshing twist, consider dehydrating coconut water or lemonade into powder form.

With a variety of dehydrated drink options available, you can stay hydrated and refreshed on the trail without adding extra weight to your pack. Experiment with different flavors and blends to find the perfect beverages that suit your taste preferences and hydration needs.


Vegan and Vegetarian Options: Plant-Based Dehydrated Food Ideas for Backpackers

For vegan and vegetarian backpackers, plant-based dehydrated food offers lightweight and nutritious options to fuel their adventures on the trail.

One popular plant-based option is dehydrated vegetable soup. By dehydrating a variety of vegetables such as carrots, celery, and potatoes, you can create a hearty and flavorful soup mix that can be easily rehydrated with hot water at camp. Add some vegetable broth powder and seasoning for extra flavor, and you have a comforting and nourishing meal that will warm you up after a long day of hiking.

Recipe: Vegan Burger Patties

Recipe: Snap Pea Snacks

Recipe: Lemon-Pepper Parsnip Chips

For a quick and easy snack, consider dehydrating fruits and nuts. Dried fruits like apples, bananas, and mangoes are lightweight and provide a natural source of energy to keep you going between meals. Pair them with some dehydrated nuts or seeds for added protein and crunch, and you have a nutritious and portable snack that will keep you satisfied on the go.

Recipe: Spicy Curry Cashews

Dehydrated Apple Chips Recipe

temp: 167℉, time: 6-8 hrs


If you're craving something sweet, try dehydrating fruit leather. Made from pureed fruit that is spread thin and dehydrated, fruit leather is a delicious and natural treat that satisfies your sweet tooth without any added sugar or preservatives. Pack some fruit leather strips in your backpack for a tasty pick-me-up during your hike.

Recipe - Mixed Berry Leather

Recipe - Orange-Scented Apple Leather

Recipe - Sweet Snack Wraps

These plant-based dehydrated food are easy to prepare and lightweight to carry. Experiment with different ingredients and flavors to create your own custom meals that suit your taste preferences and dietary needs. Happy hiking and happy eating!


Essential Equipment: Choosing the Right Dehydrator for Backpacking Adventures

When it comes to selecting a dehydrator for preparing backpacking foods, there are several reliable options to consider. One popular choice among outdoor enthusiasts is the Septree Food Dehydrator. Known for its durability and consistent performance, the Septree features adjustable temperature settings and ample drying space, making it suitable for dehydrating a variety of foods, from fruits and vegetables to meats and herbs. Its horizontal airflow system ensures even drying and eliminates the need for rotation, making it a convenient choice for busy backpackers.

Choose a large-capacity food dehydrator to make it easier to prepare all the supplies you need for your backpacking trip in one go. The Septree 10-tray Food Dehydrator is a great choice. This large dehydrators for food and jerky with 10 healthy and durable food grade 304 stainless steel trays (15.6*15.6in), the dehydrator provides 17 square feet to dry vegetables, fruits, herbs, meat, fish, and various kinds of food and lock the minerals and vitamins in the food easily. 

If you need to dehydrate fruit leather, a silicone tray for dehydrating liquid is the way to go. Septree is also available for purchase. It is transparent and has no pigment, (some colored silicone plates on the market are due to the use of industrial pigments in their production) It is safe to use it to dehydrate liquids and juices.

For backpackers seeking a lightweight and portable dehydrator, a stackable food dehydrator is an excellent option. With its stackable trays and compact design, it is easy to pack and transport, making it ideal for backpacking trips. Choose the dehydrator that features a bottom-mounted fan for efficient drying and adjustable temperature settings for optimal results.

For those who prefer a solar-powered option, a portable solar oven is worth considering. While not a traditional dehydrator, it can be used to dehydrate foods using solar energy, making it an eco-friendly and energy-efficient choice for outdoor enthusiasts. Its lightweight and collapsible design make it easy to carry in a backpack, and its durable construction ensures long-lasting performance in the wilderness.



In conclusion, dehydrating food for backpacking offers a plethora of benefits, from lightweight and nutritious meals to convenient and space-saving storage. By selecting the right dehydrator, mastering essential techniques, and exploring flavorful recipes, backpackers can elevate their outdoor culinary experience while staying fueled and energized on the trail. Whether you're embarking on a weekend getaway or a thru-hike adventure, the versatility and convenience of dehydrated backpacking food make it an indispensable companion for any outdoor enthusiast. So, gear up, pack your dehydrated delights, and hit the trail with confidence, knowing you have delicious and nourishing meals awaiting you at every turn.

Regresar al blog

Deja un comentario

Ten en cuenta que los comentarios deben aprobarse antes de que se publiquen.