The weather turns, the clouds part, the sun returns, and one’s thoughts revolve around camping, backpacking, and the great outdoors in general. Conquering the desert and rejoicing in its majesty, beauty and danger is essential for human beings. The real frontier is now mostly gone, but we can emulate that most basic and ancient human experience by camping.
I explained Why Camping is very important for your health and happiness:
It restores your circadian rhythm.
It encourages healthy movement outside.
It sets fire to communal night setting centers instead of TVs or smartphones.
It’s a joke.
But you have to eat out.
What to eat at Great Outdoors: Easy camping food
Camping food ideas don’t have to be complicated. You can easily get a few days or more in combination with:
- Grain-free granola
- Shaking, Bilting, Pemican
- Olives or dried olives
- Almonds and almond butter (available in single-serve packets)
- Tail mixture, spiced fried nuts
- Hard salami, summer sausage
- Hard cheese, fridge-dried cheese
- Tuna packets or other canned fish, canned oysters / oysters
- Whole avocados
- The whole fruit
- Low carb protein bar
- Low-carb tortillas (or regular corn tortillas if you prefer)
- Cooked potato / sweet potato (which lasts for a few days at room temperature)
- Hard boiled eggs (which last one or two days depending on temperature)
- Dried fruits, dates, berries, figs
In fact, you can eat quite well this way. You can certainly survive.
But sometimes you want a bit more luxury. You want something warm and comfortable. Instead of sitting around a fire with dried meat and nuts, you want to sit down with your people with a warm bowl in front of you and eat a decent meal, desert style
Yesterday, you learned how to dehydrate food. Check if you are new to dehydration. It’s easy and profitable, but you need to know a few things to get started. Today, I am going to give you some recipes for dehydrated trail food. This is trail food – not car camping food. It is something that is light weight, backpack-stable and dehydrated. This is food that you can carry with you for the day.
Make your own easy dehydrated camping meal
Unlike most commercial trail foods, these are nutritious-dense and delicious foods without any unwanted fats or ingredients. No industrial seed oil, lots of animal protein.
Here are some ways to make dehydrated camping food:
- You can make homemade food, dehydrate them and heat them on the trail
- You can make individual dehydrated ingredients and then mix and heat them together on the trail.
I will describe below how to rehydrate food on the trail.
It’s almost as good as the real thing. Almost.
- Add 1 part egg powder, powdered milk powder and powdered butter to 1.5 parts water. (Ingredients are readily available online or through camping supply retailers.)
- Whisk it madly. You want it to be fully blended, perfectly smooth, with plenty of ventilation
- Heat oil or butter in a pan over medium-low heat. Add the egg mixture and any other rehydrated vegetables you have and stir constantly. Salt and season you go.
- If you have, finish with cheese.
Pressure cooker pepper
This is an empty bone pepper. There are no beans in it, but you can add them if you want.
- Place the thin beef you can get (top round, London Braille, 96% lean soil, etc.) with the tomato paste, onion, garlic, black pepper, chilli powder, cumin, smoked paprika and chipotle pepper in the pressure cooker (if you like spices). Add enough bone broth to cover everything, then cook with pressure until the meat is broken.
- Reduce the pepper until most of the liquid is gone and it stews thicker than the soup.
- Spread the pepper in a thin layer and dehydrate it.
The technique here is to use liquid and pressure to cook without fat. When you rehydrate it on the trail, add plenty of fat.
Dehydrated mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes
These make a great base for any meal, especially if you spend a lot of energy on the trail.
- Peel a squash, grate it and squeeze the juice.
- When they are soft, remove them almost completely. Save a few cups of cooking water.
- Mash them with as much water as needed to make a thick “soupy” textured mash, wetter than usual.
- Add salt and spices if desired, or wait for the tail.
- Do not add any fat, milk, butter or cream. You can add it to the trail after reconstruction.
- Spread in a thin layer and dehydrate until dry and brittle. Break or grind and save.
To reheat, mix half a cup of dehydrated potatoes with 2/3 cup boiling water. Cover and simmer for 5-10 minutes, then add any milk, butter, cheese or spices. Adjust the texture by adding more water if you want.
It also works for cauliflower. Make sure you don’t add any fat until you re-hydrate it on the trail.
These are just a few ideas. If you stick to the basics and follow some basic rules, you can do a lot of great things there.
Use as little fat as possible.
The thing about cooking and dehydrating your own food for the path is that you have to go about it a little differently. You cannot use one ton of fat when cooking because fat does not dehydrate very well. The whole point of dehydrating is to remove moisture and finish with a final product that stays shelf-stable for a long time at room temperature. Excess fat will retain moisture and become bad.
So when you look at these recipes, they may seem a bit funny. When I make my typical camp peppers, I’m smearing meat and vegetables in butter and olive oil and making a really rich, dense stew – but it doesn’t fly away when you’re dehydrating the peppers. You can always add fat after the dehydrated food has warmed up and I will include a list of essential additions when you go to the desert to enrich your food.
Use low-fat meats.
When you use beef, go as lean as possible. When you cook chicken, use breast or canned chicken.
Since you can’t really use a lot of fat when cooking food for dehydration, you need to include plenty of fluids to prevent it from getting stuck. Dehydration must take care of moisture.
Important additions to your pack
These cooking ingredients I think are essential for anyone to eat well on the trail.
Gelatin Powder / Bone Soup Powder
Heat some water in the camp stove and whisk these things in it, then pour the gelatin-rich liquid to add texture, body and gelatin to your soups, stews, chillies and sauces.
Buttermilk (yes, real powdered grass-fed butter)
Add butter powder to any low fat diet to make it more luxurious and rich. If there is space, you can bring real butter, it is not too hot and it will not reduce the weight of your backpack.
In small bottles olive oil or avocado oil
This is a great bottle (BPA-free, made in USA) to preserve edible oil by sticking to your food. This is a good olive oil and it is a good avocado oil.
Powdered eggs and yolks
Powdered eggs and powdered egg yolks are great for a quick breakfast or for strengthening other foods.
Milk powder is another good addition to the hands.
Cheese powder or cheese
Cheese powder is a great way to add body and nutrition to almost any diet. You can also pack straight-up hard cheese, which lasts quite well at room temperature. Shelf-stable grated cheese is also an option.
Salt, pepper, spices
At the very least, bring salt, black pepper, and something like garlic powder, paprika, porcini powder, or red pepper. Very simple, very easy, very effective seasoning.
Sun-dried tomatoes provide ummi, acidity, sweetness and rich tomato flavor which enriches almost any food it touches. You can have breakfast directly on them.
Yeah Al that sounds pretty crap to me, Looks like BT aint for me either.
How to rehydrate your dehydrated food
This is quite simple.
- Heat the water and add to your food until cooked in the camp oven. Usually it is about 1 part dehydrated food to 1.5 parts water.
- Cover and heat until it reaches the desired consistency.
- Garnish your food with any spices, seasonings, oils, fats and cheeses.
Different foods will require different rehydration, but this is the basic formula. If you’re guessing, use less water than you think. You can always add more.
I want to hear what you are dehydrating and rehydrating on the trail. Let me know below what to make and eat your favorite dehydrated backpacking foods!
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