Skip to comments.Make Your Own Dehydrated Meal Packs
Posted on 02/19/2014 5:29:11 PM PST by Diana in Wisconsin
For the survivalist, outdoor enthusiast, hiker or end of world planner, this is the perfect long life vacuum packed one day supply of food. Set up like the military MRE Meal-Ready-To-Eat, this is a vacuum packed daily ration of food. And it all weighs under a pound. The total cost of this DIY full day supply of food is just a fraction of the cost of commercial freeze dried food packs.
Anyone who has gone on an extended hike knows that every ounce of weight you carry adds up fast. It is important to get all of your gear down to the lowest possible total weight for a comfortable hiking experience. Food and water are some of the heaviest items we carry on a trip. We can trim down our weight on food with little cost and just a bit of work beforehand. Commercial freeze dried food packages are ideal, but very expensive. Most people cannot afford to take three meals per day of freeze dried food on an extended hiking trip. At about $7 per meal, it adds up fast. The solution is to dry your own food for the trail. It is very simple and does not involve much work to prepare your own do-it-yourself dried food packs. And, if you vacuum pack your food, it can be kept for a very long time on the shelf.
For those who do not have or cannot afford a vacuum sealer, zip lock bags can be found at the dollar store. These can be used to keep your food dry for a while. Tupperware containers can also be used to keep bulk dried foods safe.
If you dry your foods totally, it can be kept for years in most cases. Avoid fatty foods, oil and nuts for long term storage. Fatty and oily foods tend to go rancid with time.
It does not matter if you are preparing food for your bug out bag, planning for a potential future food shortage, or simply just going on a long hike, this article should be helpful. In most cases where long term shelf stable food is needed, light weight is also an issue. It does not help to have a year supply of food saved up, only to find that you cannot carry it all on your back in an emergency.
Campers, fishermen, hunters, survivalists and hikers can all benefit from affordable dried foods for the road. And it is just a good idea to have food put away for bad times. People loose their jobs, money gets tight or an emergency comes up. Having a good supply of long term storage food will help you through these times.
Easy and cheap. Found it while roaming the WWW this evening.
My MIL seems to do that almost every night
I was blessed living in the high sierras as a younger man. I knew the mountains so well I literally could back-pack carrying no food or water. ALTHOUGH. I did carry my fly fishing gear and knew every edible plant in the area. It’s all about preparation. Now a’days, the only time I carry a tent is if I’ll be in mosquito country. Though, I’m getting older and spoiled myself with a fantastic Big Agnes insulated blow up ultra light mattress.
As for the topic of dehydrated foods. By all means it is SOOOOO easy and inexpensive to do yourself. Anyone who has had store bought freeze dried food knows only one thing. SALT. My goodness they are so salty. AND everything seems to be packed in some kind of cream sauce. I LOVE fresh veggies and fruit and they are two of the easiest things to dehydrate yourself. Spend a $100 on a good dehydrator and you’ll save a lot of money if you’re an avid outdoorsman. Don’t forget you’ll need water. Sawyer makes an awesome plastic filter that only weights a few ounces.
I don’t know about your area but my local Walmart now carries #10 cans of freeze dried fruits and vegetables. I particularly enjoy the TVP meat substitute stews I’ll make.
Enjoy, be safe, and get out doors. It might save your life.
We need to find a way to freeze-dry beer...
no no no we need to find a way to never have to worry about that
+1 Way cool. Top knotch information.
Nice read. Great tips.
Would you settle for beer concentrate?
Thanks Diana. I guess I’ll be getting my dehydrator and vacuum packer out and pack some food. Dried beef jerky is easy to make for outings.
ahhhh, yes, backpacking where nothing weighs nothing.
Great DIY info! Thanks.
Would that be distilled liquor?
I have a dehydrator that I’ve not yet taken out of the box!! (Not good use of it, I know!) Which cut of beef do you use to make your jerky? Thanks.
How about dehydrated water?
Concentrated beer is known as "Whiskey".
Bookmark for later
Strips from brisket makes good jerky. You can use any part of the rump too, just cut it with the muscle grain and season well before dehydrating.
Thanks much!! Will look for these cuts when they’re on sale.
How do you store your dehydrated food so it lasts? Can it be stored to last years?
Not really. There’s methods that you can use if you really want to but I don’t do it. You get sterilized #10 cans, add dry ice to the bottom so it displaces the oxygen (or some other way of displacing the oxygen)then seal the lid with a dessicat pack. I will just store my stuff in Ziploc bags without all the hassle because I use it up within 6 months.
Hat tip to Diana in Wisconsin for the heads up.
There is a book out there, (possibly out of print) called “The Well Fed Backpacker” it has some of the best recipes for trail food.
I have to agree with BHFred here. :o
If you find a way to dehydrate water, Army Medics will love you!!!!
The link is to Target. I got mine at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.
Brought to you by Obamacare, because one good trick deserves another...!
My home dehydrated food lasts for years, just in zip-lock bags, but I take out more water than the commercial products. The commercial products leave more moisture in, so that it will be chewy. I trust mine to last longer than the average commercial variety.
Add the fact they sell by weight. Where would we be if we weren't paying those high prices for water?
Mariner ~ Concentrated beer is known as "Whiskey".
This is concentrated Guinness...
That is funny!
you have been blessed with an excellent sense of humor -
PLEASE don't try that. Manufacturers have been trying to perfect the manufacturing process for years, but, no matter what they try, when you add water to dehydrated water the resulting solution always contains dihydrogen monoxide.
Dihydrogen monoxide is a colorless and odorless chemical compound that can be deadly if accidentally inhaled.
It will also stop your breathing if you immerse yourself in it for long periods of time...
What have you been using? Chicken? Beef? Are you using any seasoning? I have this model and dogs... Only used it for fruit, but I could try jerky.
I don't use chicken because the dehydrator goes to 160 degress Farenheit, but chicken or turkey needs an internal temperature of about 175 degrees, where beef is fine at 160 degrees. The manual says that fowl is fine if it's already cooked and you are dehydrating for later rehydrating (say, for camping).
For my dog (and for me), I was buying a cheap cut of meat at the store (maybe a chuck roast at $4.99/pound) and slicing it thin with a meat slicer (maybe 2-3 mm) and then marinating it overnight. For the marinade, I was making about a 4:1 mixture of low sodium soy sauce and worcestershire sauce (which I am going to eliminate because of the onions in the ingredients), a little splash of liquid smoke, a sprinkle of ground ginger, and a squirt of lemon juice and a squirt of lime juice for the acid (using the stuff in the plastic bottles in the produce section).
About 1.5 to 2 pounds of beef will fill up the 4 trays that come with the dehydrator. It takes about 4-6 hours, based on how thick you slice the beef.
I once tried a bottled teriyaki sauce, but I didn't care for it.
Back to my dog, I need to be careful not to include things that are toxic. I know that onions are bad for dogs, but I had hoped that the worcestershire sauce would have cooked out the toxins during the making of the product. Then I saw an episode of "How it's made" that showed the Lea and Perrin's factory, and realized that they boil a LOT of onions, so I'm going to take it out of the marinade even though I only use a few splashes of it.
Yeah,but we can’t make beer without di-hydrogen monoxide.
However, is it possible that the alcoholic content of beer would cause one to pass out before reaching the fatal consumption level of dihydrogen monoxide?
Dried beef jerky is easy to make for outings.
The problem there is that it is hard to keep it for the future when every time it comes out of the dehydrator it is eaten before it can be packaged! We love the stuff.
Same here and it gets eaten if I don't put it away for future use.