Freeze Dried Camping and Backpacking Food
There are many options for backpacking and camping food, and freeze dried foods are among the most popular types of food to pack along. With their light weight, nutritional density, variety of available foods, and ease of preparation, freeze dried foods are preferred for both short camping trips and longer backpacking adventures. There many options for freeze dried food these days. You can buy pre-packaged freeze dried meals and snacks, or you can prepare your own freeze dried food with a home freeze dryer. Each option has its benefits, and what you choose is highly determined by your personal needs and preferences. Here are some things to look out for and consider when purchasing backpacking and camping food.
Pre-Packaged Freeze Dried Food
There are quite a few companies selling freeze dried food for backpacking and camping use. Most of these foods are sold in single serving packages, making it easy to plan out your meals for your trip outdoors. And while the freeze drying process won’t vary between brands, the way that they use and package the food will differ a lot.
Some brands use 100% freeze dried food, while others will mix dehydrated foods in with the freeze dried food. Dehydrated food is generally lower quality food, full of fillers, preservatives, and nutrionally compromised ingredients. Before you settle on a packaged camping meal, check to make sure that you’re getting 100% freeze dried food to ensure the highest quality of food and the best nutrition possible.
One convenience factor offered by prepackaged freeze dried food is that you can pick it up on short notice. Just a day or two before your trip, or even on your way out, you can buy the food from a local retailer. Your choices will be limited to the types of meals the store carries, but if you’re familiar with what they typically carry, you should know what to expect. Pre-packaged freeze dried backpacking meals generally come at a premium cost over other foods, however. Expect to pay a bit more for the added convenience.
One downside to pre-packaged freeze dried food is that there aren’t a lot of varieties for snack foods. Most of the freeze dried camping food you come across will be for complete meals, so options are limited for snacks, making it likely that you’ll have to settle for dehydrated or processed foods.
Freeze Dry Your Own Food
Freeze drying isn’t a new method for preserving food, but it is fairly new for home use. With the Harvest Right freeze dryer, you can freeze dry your own food. Everything from snacks to complete meals can be saved. For a camper or backpacker, freeze drying at home opens up a lot of new possibilities.
When you freeze dry your own food, you have full control over portions and the exact foods you will be eating. You will also know that your food will be free of any preservatives and that all your meals and snacks will be 100% freeze dried. There won’t be any hidden food additives or low quality filler foods to compromise the nutritional value of your camp meals.
If you like to snack while backpacking or camping, which is actually recommended to keep your energy levels up, a home freeze dryer gives you amazing options for creating trail-ready snacks. Fruit, cheese, vegetables, yogurt, and all kinds of other foods make great snacks when freeze dried. They’re lightweight, flavorful, and easy to pack around.
One consideration with home freeze drying, however, is that you need to plan ahead. It takes about a day to freeze dry a batch of food, so you will need to prepare ahead of time.
Another big advantage that comes with freeze drying your own food is that you will save a lot of money over the cost of pre-packaged freeze dried food. There are no added costs with freeze drying when you do it yourself, so meals and snacks that you prepare yourself will be much lower than anything you will find in stores.
If you prepare ahead of time, freeze drying at home holds many advantages over store bought freeze dried food. With more food options, better quality foods, and a lower cost, home freeze drying is the winning option. If you are in need of a meal on very short notice, buying freeze dried food at a store is not a bad option if you’re careful to avoid brands that use fillers or dehydrated foods mixed in with actual freeze dried foods. Just always make sure to read labels and know what you’re buying.