How to Prepare Homemade Backpacking Meals

easy backpacking meal healthy

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*** Orange-marinated beef jerky recipe below ***

If you are going to make a multi-day hike, you will in many cases have to bring your own food. And with the prices you pay for lightweight ready-to-eat meals in outdoor shops, for example, that becomes quite a pricey affair. Fortunately, you can also make your own outdoor meals. That is not only tastier and cheaper but also a lot more varied. So without further ado How to Prepare Homemade Backpacking Meals.

As we were preparing for our trip to Scandinavia in 2016, we were faced with a dilemma. We wanted to bring our own food so that we could really be off-the-beaten-track during our hikes, but if we had to bring breakfast, lunch, and dinner for each day that we were hiking, that would be a considerable expense… Coincidentally we were at the walking fair during that period at a lecture about food during a hike. There we were introduced to drying your food for the first time. And our interest was immediately aroused!

Drying food to make a meal? How does that work?

The reason that the ready meals from the outdoor stores are so light is that all the water has been taken out. What remains is often a hard substance or sometimes even powder. And that of course weighs a lot less! Moreover, you can keep the meals much longer, because there is no liquid substance that can go moldy.

If you are going to dry your own food, it is useful to know a few things. Drying food, for example, is quite a time-consuming job. For example, it takes 24 hours for a pasta meal to be completely dry. You can buy a special food dryer (we have this), but an oven is often also possible. You can dry many different foods, for example:

Fruits: apples, bananas, apricots, cherries, grapes, mangos, peaches

Vegetables: carrots, beets, broccoli, cabbage, mushrooms, eggplant, zucchini

Lean meats: beef, chicken, fish, jerky

Sauces and syrups: jam, pizza sauce, maple syrup, spaghetti sauce, barbecue sauce, molasses

Herbs: basil, dill, rosemary, oregano, thyme, sage, mint, lavender, marjoram

There are people who prefer to dry all parts of a meal separately. Suppose you want to make a pasta meal, you have to dry the sauce, pasta, and meat separately. It is easier (and faster) to just make one pan of pasta, add the sauce and then dry it. That way you only have to add water after the hike and you can eat within ten minutes.

The temperature is easy to set on a drying machine.

Try it out, dry your own food!

Which meals can you dry properly?

How do you make tasty outdoor meals?

How long does it take to dry food?

What do you do with breakfast, lunch, and snacks?

Orange-marinated beef jerky

Link to Recipe:

https://www.jerky.com/blogs/jerky-on-a-budget/orange-beef-jerky-recipe

Make dried food edible again

Do you want to enjoy your well-deserved outdoor meal after a long day of hiking or cycling? Then it is wise to first leave the meal in the pan with a layer of water for a while. That way you don’t have to use fuel yet, but your meal will slowly regain its normal shape. Then put it on the fire and add water little by little. If you know exactly how much water to add, you can of course also add everything in the beginning, but we prefer to play it safe 🙂 You can also add some dry parmesan cheese, herbs, or as we do, stir a bag of the cheese sauce into your pasta if the taste of your outdoor meals is somewhat disappointing. Other than that, it is simply enjoyable 🙂

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