Dehydrated Foods for Backpacking

Dehydrated Foods for Backpacking
Dehydrated foods are perfect for backpacking and camping because they are lightweight and store long-term without refrigeration. They can be eaten as is or rehydrated in water over a campfire for a warm meal. Choosing the right combination of dehydrated food products for your outdoor trip will give you the nutrients and calories that your body needs. You can purchase pre-prepared dehydrated foods or make your own at home. The many dehydrated food options available enable you to choose from a wide variety of tasty snacks and full meals for your backpacking adventure.

Dehydrated Foods

You can purchase dehydrated foods from outdoor sporting goods stores or make your own at home using a food dehydrator. Outdoor sporting goods stores sell dehydrated snacks and complete dehydrated pre-packaged meal packs. Some of the dehydrated pre-packaged meals come in packaging that doubles as a cooking pot. Hot water can be poured directly into the food pouch to rehydrate, or water can be put into the food pouch and the pouch put in a pot of boiling water, allowing the food to cook until fully rehydrated and warm. Check the package directions to make sure the food can be rehydrated in the pouch. Some brands are not packaged in heat-resistant pouches and must be rehydrated in a separate cooking pot. There are many choices to choose from when purchasing dehydrated pre-packaged meals, anything from spaghetti to couscous to chicken curry.

Store-bought dehydrated foods are convenient but expensive. The average price for a pre-packaged one serving meal is six dollars. It is cheaper to make your own dehydrated snacks and meals in a food dehydrator. Add dried spices to your homemade dehydrated meal packs for flavor. The Well-Fed Backpacker by June Fleming has a lot of great dehydrated food recipes for backpackers. If you make your own dehydrated foods, store them in a bag that is both airtight and watertight to prevent spoilage.



Bring dehydrated foods that contain protein. Protein feeds your muscles, giving them energy to perform on long hikes. Meat jerky, tofu jerky and lentils are excellent sources of protein. Bring meat or tofu jerky to eat as snacks. They are easy to grab and eat whenever you are hungry throughout the day. Save the lentils for when you have set up camp and cook them over a campfire for a warm and protein rich meal.


Fruits and carbohydrates provide your body with energy. Dehydrated fruits taste good, provide your body with nutrients and are a source of natural sugar, which keeps your energy levels up. Bananas, apples, mango and grapes dehydrate well. Melon type fruits do not. Munch on fruits throughout the day when you feel you need an energy boost. At dinnertime, when you have set up camp, eat a carbohydrate-rich meal such as pasta, which will give your body the energy it needs to stay warm overnight. For breakfast, sprinkle dehydrated fruit pieces on top of a bowl of freshly made oatmeal.


Vegetables are a great source of fiber for your digestive system. Bring dehydrated vegetables to snack on throughout the day and to add to your campfire meals. Dehydrated peas and corn are tasty snack foods.


Article Written By Rose Kivi

Rose Kivi has been a writer for more than 10 years. She has a background in the nursing field, wildlife rehabilitation and habitat conservation. Kivi has authored educational textbooks, patient health care pamphlets, animal husbandry guides, outdoor survival manuals and was a contributing writer for two books in the Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Series.

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