5 tips to enjoy your backpacking freeze dried food

As the world gets busier and more technical it's harder to find time to unplug and still enjoy mother nature.  Usually where there's a variety of beautiful landscape, outside of the concrete jungle can severely limit cell phone coverage.  This usually takes some planning, time, and money to visit such places. In doing so we sometimes poorly plan how we are going to fuel our bodies on these trips. Stopping at a convenient store only moments before we get tour destination is never very healthy or providing our vessel with sustainable energy.  Using freeze dried meals can eliminate poor planning while delivering a nutritious and satisfying meals.  Utilizing a freeze dried meal while trekking through backwoods or down a path leading to some of the most amazing places on the planet, can also save you immense amounts of time. 


Tip #1 Let it Rehydrate

We highly recommend to let the freeze dried ingredients re-steep to the maximum time amount recommended by the manufacturer. In the Best Freeze drying process. The ingredients are frozen solid and then slightly reheated while a vacuum pulls the gas of water vapor away from the ingredients. Leaving behind all the nutrients and flavor. This process allows for the meal to be stored in an airtight, moisture barrier container. If you've ever ate a freeze dried meal and some of the ingredients were crunchy or ridgid. H20 did not soak into the meal properly. This can give you a discomforting idea about freeze dried entrees and also alter the flavor slightly. In my experience consuming to much freeze dried food that has NOT been reconstituted properly can lead to slight dehydration and irritable bowels. The process has removed 90-95% of its water content and if you digest it without rehydrating it, your body then uses its own water to rehydrate the meal.


TIP #2 Heat source

What separates us from an MRE, is that you bring your own fuel source. Bringing a seperate way to boil water allows you to use water from a creek or lake. Meal prep and planning are eliminated.  Simply by heating some water and adding this to the meal to reconstitute the ingredients with H2O.  Delivers a fast yet highly nutritions and great tasting meal. There are many options for various heating sources to choose from. We recommend using Camp Chefs Stryker stove. They offer a butane and propane version of their Stryker series stoves. Its built rock solid and comes with a built in handle helping steady the boiling water fo use. Look at several different type of stoves to determine if they fit into your style of hiking before purchasing them.


TIP #3 Water vs Weight

There are basically 3 choices to make when deciding to bring your own water or use mothers natures Aqua. Option 1: Do I use a water filter or purifier. Purifiers can save major weight on long trips or multiple nights under the stars Also allows you to store water when its in short supply along your voyage. Option 2: Scoop and boil water in your heat source. This is a personal choice and mind set. If you go this route, keep it boiling for a minimum of 1 minute to remove the contaminants. Option 3: Bring bottles of water or a bladder if your pack allows. I like this option if I know it will be 1/2 to 3/4 of a day away from my truck or trailhead. I don't have to worry about finding a water source, or measure the amount of water needed for my meal. Another reason I love the Camp Chef Stryker stove. The aluminum cup has measuring lines molded into the design. In .5 liters there are 16.9 ounces as a good gauge when preparing your meal.


TIP #4 Pick your meal wisely

Some people choose meals based off what they like or stick to what they have had in the past.  I would consider looking at the calories your going to spend on the trip.  Ask yourself how long will I be hiking everyday?  How heavy is my pack going to be?  How steep is the terrain I'll be climbing?  To maximize your adventure and help your body enjoy the experience.   I like to consider these factors so I can get meals that will help replace calories lost.  Here are some stats based on averages.

  • 😰160lb person with 10lbs of gear climbing hills burns 496 calories an hour
  • 😰160lb person with 20lbs of gear climbing hills burns 528 calories per hour

10 lbs does'nt seem like a big difference.   20lbs of gear can burn 32 or more calories an hour and will leave your tank short of 256 calories in 8 hours.  Evaluate your type of hiking or hunting for the day and choose meals that replace the burned calories to help you perform better for your activity.


TIP #5 Load up before lift off

You may want to consider cooking up a meal before you engage in melting some serious calories.  Packing out and elk sized portion back to your camp will definitely cause you to create some sweat rings on your hat.    Usually by the time we have hunted enough to successfully harvest and animal we have already ramped up the stove and fried some calories.  Preparing the meat for transport will also take its toll on the calorie bank.  I used to fire up a meal when i was cleaning up and getting ready to head back to camp.  This gives me time to reflect and think about my experience.  But most important puts some horses back in the engine to haul my meat back to camp.  Look for more updates and share your exepriences with us on your adventures.

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